Batch Active Preference-Based Learning of Reward Functions

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Erdem Biyik, Dorsa Sadigh ;
Proceedings of The 2nd Conference on Robot Learning, PMLR 87:519-528, 2018.

Abstract

Data generation and labeling are usually an expensive part of learning for robotics. While active learning methods are commonly used to tackle the former problem, preference-based learning is a concept that attempts to solve the latter by querying users with preference questions. In this paper, we will develop a new algorithm, batch active preference-based learning, that enables efficient learning of reward functions using as few data samples as possible while still having short query generation times. We introduce several approximations to the batch active learning problem, and provide theoretical guarantees for the convergence of our algorithms. Finally, we present our experimental results for a variety of robotics tasks in simulation. Our results suggest that our batch active learning algorithm requires only a few queries that are computed in a short amount of time. We then showcase our algorithm in a study to learn human users’ preferences.

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