Probabilistic inverse reinforcement learning in unknown environments

We consider the problem of learning by demonstration from agents acting in unknown stochastic Markov environments or games. Our aim is to estimate agent preferences in order to construct improved policies for the same task that the agents are trying to solve. To do so, we extend previous probabilistic approaches for inverse reinforcement learning in known MDPs to the case of unknown dynamics or opponents. We do this by deriving two simplified probabilistic models of the demonstrator's policy and utility. For tractability, we use maximum a posteriori estimation rather than full Bayesian inference. Under a flat prior, this results in a convex optimisation problem. We find that the resulting algorithms are highly competitive against a variety of other methods for inverse reinforcement learning that do have knowledge of the dynamics.

Presented at:
Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, UAI 2013

 Record created 2013-12-08, last modified 2018-09-13

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