Header logo is

Learning from demonstration


Conference Paper


By now it is widely accepted that learning a task from scratch, i.e., without any prior knowledge, is a daunting undertaking. Humans, however, rarely attempt to learn from scratch. They extract initial biases as well as strategies how to approach a learning problem from instructions and/or demonstrations of other humans. For learning control, this paper investigates how learning from demonstration can be applied in the context of reinforcement learning. We consider priming the Q-function, the value function, the policy, and the model of the task dynamics as possible areas where demonstrations can speed up learning. In general nonlinear learning problems, only model-based reinforcement learning shows significant speed-up after a demonstration, while in the special case of linear quadratic regulator (LQR) problems, all methods profit from the demonstration. In an implementation of pole balancing on a complex anthropomorphic robot arm, we demonstrate that, when facing the complexities of real signal processing, model-based reinforcement learning offers the most robustness for LQR problems. Using the suggested methods, the robot learns pole balancing in just a single trial after a 30 second long demonstration of the human instructor. 

Author(s): Schaal, S.
Book Title: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9
Pages: 1040-1046
Year: 1997
Editors: Mozer, M. C.;Jordan, M.;Petsche, T.
Publisher: MIT Press

Department(s): Autonomous Motion
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)

Address: Cambridge, MA
Cross Ref: p873
Note: clmc
URL: http://www-clmc.usc.edu/publications/S/schaal-NIPS1997.pdf


  title = {Learning from demonstration},
  author = {Schaal, S.},
  booktitle = {Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9},
  pages = {1040-1046},
  editors = {Mozer, M. C.;Jordan, M.;Petsche, T.},
  publisher = {MIT Press},
  address = {Cambridge, MA},
  year = {1997},
  note = {clmc},
  crossref = {p873},
  url = {http://www-clmc.usc.edu/publications/S/schaal-NIPS1997.pdf}