Unsupervised Learning of Goal Spaces for Intrinsically Motivated Goal Exploration

Alexandre Péré, Sébastien Forestier, Olivier Sigaud, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer

Intrinsically motivated goal exploration algorithms enable machines to discover repertoires of policies that produce a diversity of effects in complex environments. These exploration algorithms have been shown to allow real world robots to acquire skills such as tool use in high-dimensional continuous state and action spaces. However, they have so far assumed that self-generated goals are sampled in a specifically engineered feature space, limiting their autonomy. In this work, we propose to use deep representation learning algorithms to learn an adequate goal space. This is a developmental 2-stage approach: first, in a perceptual learning stage, deep learning algorithms use passive raw sensor observations of world changes to learn a corresponding latent space; then goal exploration happens in a second stage by sampling goals in this latent space. We present experiments where a simulated robot arm interacts with an object, and we show that exploration algorithms using such learned representations can match the performance obtained using engineered representations.

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