Self-Activating Neural Ensembles for Continual Reinforcement Learning
Proceedings of The 1st Conference on Lifelong Learning Agents, PMLR 199:683-704, 2022.
The ability for an agent to continuously learn new skills without catastrophically forgetting existing knowledge is of critical importance for the development of generally intelligent agents. Most methods devised to address this problem depend heavily on well-defined task boundaries, and thus depend on human supervision. Our task-agnostic method, Self-Activating Neural Ensembles (SANE), uses a modular architecture designed to avoid catastrophic forgetting without making any such assumptions. At the beginning of each trajectory, a module in the SANE ensemble is activated to determine the agent’s next policy. During training, new modules are created as needed and only activated modules are updated to ensure that unused modules remain unchanged. This system enables our method to retain and leverage old skills, while growing and learning new ones. We demonstrate our approach on visually rich procedurally generated environments.