Learning to Navigate in Mazes with Novel Layouts Using Abstract Top-down Maps


Learning navigation capabilities in different environments has long been one of the major challenges in decision-making. In this work, we focus on zero-shot navigation ability using given abstract 2-D top-down maps. Like human navigation by reading a paper map, the agent reads the map as an image when navigating in a novel layout, after learning to navigate on a set of training maps. We propose a model-based reinforcement learning approach for this multi-task learning problem, where it jointly learns a hypermodel that takes top-down maps as input and predicts the weights of the transition network. It disentangles the variations in map layout and goal location and enables longer-term planning ability for novel goals compared to reactive policies. We use the DeepMind Lab environment and customize layouts using generated maps. Our method can adapt better to novel environments in zero-shot and is more robust to noise.

Under Conference Review
Linfeng Zhao
Linfeng Zhao
CS Ph.D. Student

I am a CS Ph.D. student at Khoury College of Computer Sciences of Northeastern University, advised by Prof. Lawson L.S. Wong. My research interests include reinforcement learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics.