Principled Offline RL in the Presence of Rich Exogenous Information
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 202:14390-14421, 2023.
Learning to control an agent from offline data collected in a rich pixel-based visual observation space is vital for real-world applications of reinforcement learning (RL). A major challenge in this setting is the presence of input information that is hard to model and irrelevant to controlling the agent. This problem has been approached by the theoretical RL community through the lens of exogenous information, i.e., any control-irrelevant information contained in observations. For example, a robot navigating in busy streets needs to ignore irrelevant information, such as other people walking in the background, textures of objects, or birds in the sky. In this paper, we focus on the setting with visually detailed exogenous information and introduce new offline RL benchmarks that offer the ability to study this problem. We find that contemporary representation learning techniques can fail on datasets where the noise is a complex and time-dependent process, which is prevalent in practical applications. To address these, we propose to use multi-step inverse models to learn Agent-Centric Representations for Offline-RL (ACRO). Despite being simple and reward-free, we show theoretically and empirically that the representation created by this objective greatly outperforms baselines.