Keywords: [ imitation learning ] [ inverse reinforcement learning ] [ bayesian ]
Bayesian inference over the reward presents an ideal solution to the ill-posed nature of the inverse reinforcement learning problem. Unfortunately current methods generally do not scale well beyond the small tabular setting due to the need for an inner-loop MDP solver, and even non-Bayesian methods that do themselves scale often require extensive interaction with the environment to perform well, being inappropriate for high stakes or costly applications such as healthcare. In this paper we introduce our method, Approximate Variational Reward Imitation Learning (AVRIL), that addresses both of these issues by jointly learning an approximate posterior distribution over the reward that scales to arbitrarily complicated state spaces alongside an appropriate policy in a completely offline manner through a variational approach to said latent reward. Applying our method to real medical data alongside classic control simulations, we demonstrate Bayesian reward inference in environments beyond the scope of current methods, as well as task performance competitive with focused offline imitation learning algorithms.