Masked World Models for Visual Control
Proceedings of The 6th Conference on Robot Learning, PMLR 205:1332-1344, 2023.
Visual model-based reinforcement learning (RL) has the potential to enable sample-efficient robot learning from visual observations. Yet the current approaches typically train a single model end-to-end for learning both visual representations and dynamics, making it difficult to accurately model the interaction between robots and small objects. In this work, we introduce a visual model-based RL framework that decouples visual representation learning and dynamics learning. Specifically, we train an autoencoder with convolutional layers and vision transformers (ViT) to reconstruct pixels given masked convolutional features, and learn a latent dynamics model that operates on the representations from the autoencoder. Moreover, to encode task-relevant information, we introduce an auxiliary reward prediction objective for the autoencoder. We continually update both autoencoder and dynamics model using online samples collected from environment interaction. We demonstrate that our decoupling approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on a variety of visual robotic tasks from Meta-world and RLBench, e.g., we achieve 81.7% success rate on 50 visual robotic manipulation tasks from Meta-world, while the baseline achieves 67.9%. Code is available on the project website: https://sites.google.com/view/mwm-rl.