Online Multi-Task Learning for Policy Gradient Methods

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Haitham Bou Ammar, Eric Eaton, Paul Ruvolo, Matthew Taylor ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1206-1214, 2014.

Abstract

Policy gradient algorithms have shown considerable recent success in solving high-dimensional sequential decision making tasks, particularly in robotics. However, these methods often require extensive experience in a domain to achieve high performance. To make agents more sample-efficient, we developed a multi-task policy gradient method to learn decision making tasks consecutively, transferring knowledge between tasks to accelerate learning. Our approach provides robust theoretical guarantees, and we show empirically that it dramatically accelerates learning on a variety of dynamical systems, including an application to quadrotor control.

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