Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Autonomous Cross-Domain Knowledge Transfer in Lifelong Policy Gradient Reinforcement Learning / 3345
Haitham Bou Ammar, Eric Eaton, Jose Marcio Luna, Paul Ruvolo

Online multi-task learning is an important capability for lifelong learning agents, enabling them to acquire models for diverse tasks over time and rapidly learn new tasks by building upon prior experience. However, recent progress toward lifelong reinforcement learning (RL) has been limited to learning from within a single task domain. For truly versatile lifelong learning, the agent must be able to autonomously transfer knowledge between different task domains. A few methods for cross-domain transfer have been developed, but these methods are computationally inefficient for scenarios where the agent must learn tasks consecutively. In this paper, we develop the first cross-domain lifelong RL framework. Our approach efficiently optimizes a shared repository of transferable knowledge and learns projection matrices that specialize that knowledge to different task domains. We provide rigorous theoretical guarantees on the stability of this approach, and empirically evaluate its performance on diverse dynamical systems. Our results show that the proposed method can learn effectively from interleaved task domains and rapidly acquire high performance in new domains.