Publications

In this work, we introduce a new perspective for learning transferable content in multi-task imitation learning. Humans are able to transfer skills and knowledge. If we can cycle to work and drive to the store, we can also cycle to the store and drive to work. We take inspiration from this and hypothesize the latent memory of a policy network can be disentangled into two partitions. These contain either the knowledge of the environmental context for the task or the generalizable skill needed to solve the task. This allows improved training efficiency and better generalization over previously unseen combinations of skills in the same environment, and the same task in unseen environments. We used the proposed approach to train a disentangled agent for two different multi-task IL environments. In both cases we out-performed the SOTA by 30% in task success rate. We also demonstrated this for navigation on a real robot.

XIHAN BIAN, OSCAR ALEJANDRO MENDEZ MALDONADO, SIMON J HADFIELD (2021)Robot in a China Shop: Using Reinforcement Learning for Location-Specific Navigation Behaviour

Robots need to be able to work in multiple different environments. Even when performing similar tasks, different behaviour should be deployed to best fit the current environment. In this paper, We propose a new approach to navigation, where it is treated as a multi-task learning problem. This enables the robot to learn to behave differently in visual navigation tasks for different environments while also learning shared expertise across environments. We evaluated our approach in both simulated environments as well as real-world data. Our method allows our system to converge with a 26% reduction in training time, while also increasing accuracy.

XIHAN BIAN, OSCAR ALEJANDRO MENDEZ MALDONADO, Simon J. Hadfield (2021)Robot in a China Shop: Using Reinforcement Learning for Location-Specific Navigation Behaviour

— Robots need to be able to work in multiple different environments. Even when performing similar tasks, different behaviour should be deployed to best fit the current environment. In this paper, We propose a new approach to navigation, where it is treated as a multi-task learning problem. This enables the robot to learn to behave differently in visual navigation tasks for different environments while also learning shared expertise across environments. We evaluated our approach in both simulated environments as well as real-world data. Our method allows our system to converge with a 26% reduction in training time, while also increasing accuracy.