Learning preferences for interactive autonomy
- When robots enter everyday human environments, they need to understand their tasks and how they should perform those tasks. To encode these, reward functions, which specify the objective of a robot, are employed. However, designing reward functions can be extremely challenging for complex tasks and environments. A more promising approach is to learn reward functions from humans. Recently, several robot learning works embrace this approach and leverage human demonstrations to learn the reward functions. Known as inverse reinforcement learning, this approach relies on a fundamental assumption: humans can provide near-optimal demonstrations to the robot. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case: human demonstrations are often suboptimal due to various reasons, e.g., difficulty of teleoperation, robot having high degrees of freedom, or humans' cognitive limitations. This thesis is an attempt towards learning reward functions from humans by using other more reliable data modalities. Specifically, we study how reward functions can be learned using comparative feedback, in which the human user compares multiple robot trajectories instead of (or in addition to) providing demonstrations. To this end, we first propose various forms of comparative feedback, e.g., pairwise comparisons, best-of-many choices, rankings, scaled comparisons; and describe how a robot can use these various forms of human feedback to infer a reward function, which may be parametric or non-parametric. We discuss the pros and cons of each comparative feedback modality in detail, and show how such feedback enables us to outperform standard inverse reinforcement learning that only utilizes demonstrations. To increase data-efficiency, we also propose active learning techniques to enable the robot to ask for comparison feedback that optimizes for the expected information that will be gained from that user feedback.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Degree committee member
|Degree committee member
|Stanford University, Department of Electrical Engineering
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2022.
- © 2022 by Erdem Biyik
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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