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Compositional Conservatism: A Transductive Approach in Offline Reinforcement Learning

Yeda Song · Dongwook Lee · Gunhee Kim

Halle B #192
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Offline reinforcement learning (RL) is a compelling framework for learning optimal policies from past experiences without additional interaction with the environment. Nevertheless, offline RL inevitably faces the problem of distributional shifts, where the states and actions encountered during policy execution may not be in the training dataset distribution. A common solution involves incorporating conservatism into the policy or the value function to safeguard against uncertainties and unknowns. In this work, we focus on achieving the same objectives of conservatism but from a different perspective. We propose COmpositional COnservatism with Anchor-seeking (COCOA) for offline RL, an approach that pursues conservatism in a compositional manner on top of the transductive reparameterization (Netanyahu et al., 2023), which decomposes the input variable (the state in our case) into an anchor and its difference from the original input. Our COCOA seeks both in-distribution anchors and differences by utilizing the learned reverse dynamics model, encouraging conservatism in the compositional input space for the policy or value function. Such compositional conservatism is independent of and agnostic to the prevalent behavioral conservatism in offline RL. We apply COCOA to four state-of-the-art offline RL algorithms and evaluate them on the D4RL benchmark, where COCOA generally improves the performance of each algorithm. The code is available at

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