Two-stage visual navigation by deep neural networks and multi-goal reinforcement learning

Amirhossein Shantia*, Rik Timmers, Yiebo Chong, Cornel Kuiper, Francesco Bidoia, Lambert Schomaker, Marco Wiering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a two-stage learning framework for visual navigation in which the experience of the agent during exploration of one goal is shared to learn to navigate to other goals. We train a deep neural network for estimating the robot's position in the environment using ground truth information provided by a classical localization and mapping approach. The second simpler multi-goal Q-function learns to traverse the environment by using the provided discretized map. Transfer learning is applied to the multi-goal Q-function from a maze structure to a 2D simulator and is finally deployed in a 3D simulator where the robot uses the estimated locations from the position estimator deep network. In the experiments, we first compare different architectures to select the best deep network for location estimation, and then compare the effects of the multi-goal reinforcement learning method to traditional reinforcement learning. The results show a significant improvement when multi-goal reinforcement learning is used. Furthermore, the results of the location estimator show that a deep network can learn and generalize in different environments using camera images with high accuracy in both position and orientation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16-Jan-2021

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