Meta-Adaptive Nonlinear Control: Theory and Algorithms

Guanya Shi, Kamyar Azizzadenesheli, Soon-Jo Chung, Yisong Yue

We present an online multi-task learning approach for adaptive nonlinear control, which we call Online Meta-Adaptive Control (OMAC). The goal is to control a nonlinear system subject to adversarial disturbance and unknown $\textit{environment-dependent}$ nonlinear dynamics, under the assumption that the environment-dependent dynamics can be well captured with some shared representation. Our approach is motivated by robot control, where a robotic system encounters a sequence of new environmental conditions that it must quickly adapt to. A key emphasis is to integrate online representation learning with established methods from control theory, in order to arrive at a unified framework that yields both control-theoretic and learning-theoretic guarantees. We provide instantiations of our approach under varying conditions, leading to the first non-asymptotic end-to-end convergence guarantee for multi-task adaptive nonlinear control. OMAC can also be integrated with deep representation learning. Experiments show that OMAC significantly outperforms conventional adaptive control approaches which do not learn the shared representation.

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