Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)
Guangxiang Zhu, Minghao Zhang, Honglak Lee, Chongjie Zhang
Sample efficiency has been one of the major challenges for deep reinforcement learning. Recently, model-based reinforcement learning has been proposed to address this challenge by performing planning on imaginary trajectories with a learned world model. However, world model learning may suffer from overfitting to training trajectories, and thus model-based value estimation and policy search will be prone to be sucked in an inferior local policy. In this paper, we propose a novel model-based reinforcement learning algorithm, called BrIdging Reality and Dream (BIRD). It maximizes the mutual information between imaginary and real trajectories so that the policy improvement learned from imaginary trajectories can be easily generalized to real trajectories. We demonstrate that our approach improves sample efficiency of model-based planning, and achieves state-of-the-art performance on challenging visual control benchmarks.