Conference Paper

Getting priorities right : intrinsic motivation with multi-objective reinforcement learning


Intrinsic motivation is a common method to facilitate exploration in reinforcement learning agents. Curiosity is thereby supposed to aid the learning of a primary goal. However, indulging in curiosity may also stand in conflict with more urgent or essential objectives such as self-sustenance. This paper addresses the problem of balancing curiosity, and correctly prioritising other needs in a reinforcement learning context. We demonstrate the use of the multi-objective reinforcement learning framework C-MORE to integrate curiosity, and compare results to a standard linear reinforcement learning integration. Results clearly demonstrate that curiosity can be modelled with the priority-objective reinforcement learning paradigm. In particular, C-MORE is found to explore robustly while maintaining self-sustenance objectives, whereas the linear approach is found to over-explore and take unnecessary risks. The findings demonstrate a significant weakness of the common linear integration method for intrinsic motivation, and the need to acknowledge the potential conflicts between curiosity and other objectives in a multi-objective framework.

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Yusuf Al-Husaini
Rolf, Matthias

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-01-17

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