Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Oral 1B

Halle A 7

Moderator: Katja Hofmann

Tue 7 May 1 a.m. PDT — 1:45 a.m. PDT


Chat is not available.

Tue 7 May 1:00 - 1:15 PDT

A Real-World WebAgent with Planning, Long Context Understanding, and Program Synthesis

Izzeddin Gur · Hiroki Furuta · Austin Huang · Mustafa Safdari · Yutaka Matsuo · Douglas Eck · Aleksandra Faust

Pre-trained large language models (LLMs) have recently achieved better generalization and sample efficiency in autonomous web automation.However, the performance on real-world websites has still suffered from (1) open domainness, (2) limited context length, and (3) lack of inductive bias on HTML.We introduce WebAgent, an LLM-driven agent that learns from self-experience to complete tasks on real websites following natural language instructions.WebAgent plans ahead by decomposing instructions into canonical sub-instructions, summarizes long HTML documents into task-relevant snippets, and acts on websites via Python programs generated from those.We design WebAgent with Flan-U-PaLM, for grounded code generation, and HTML-T5, new pre-trained LLMs for long HTML documents using local and global attention mechanisms and a mixture of long-span denoising objectives, for planning and summarization.We empirically demonstrate that our modular recipe improves the success on real websites by over 50%, and that HTML-T5 is the best model to solve various HTML understanding tasks; achieving 18.7% higher success rate than the prior method on MiniWoB web automation benchmark, and SoTA performance on Mind2Web, an offline task planning evaluation.

Tue 7 May 1:15 - 1:30 PDT

ASID: Active Exploration for System Identification in Robotic Manipulation

Marius Memmel · Andrew Wagenmaker · Chuning Zhu · Dieter Fox · Abhishek Gupta

Model-free control strategies such as reinforcement learning have shown the ability to learn control strategies without requiring an accurate model or simulator of the world. While this is appealing due to the lack of modeling requirements, such methods can be sample inefficient, making them impractical in many real-world domains. On the other hand, model-based control techniques leveraging accurate simulators can circumvent these challenges and use a large amount of cheap simulation data to learn controllers that can effectively transfer to the real world. The challenge with such model-based techniques is the requirement for an extremely accurate simulation, requiring both the specification of appropriate simulation assets and physical parameters. This requires considerable human effort to design for every environment being considered. In this work, we propose a learning system that can leverage a small amount of real-world data to autonomously refine a simulation model and then plan an accurate control strategy that can be deployed in the real world. Our approach critically relies on utilizing an initial (possibly inaccurate) simulator to design effective exploration policies that, when deployed in the real world, collect high-quality data. We demonstrate the efficacy of this paradigm in identifying articulation, mass, and other physical parameters in several challenging robotic manipulation tasks, and illustrate that only a small amount of real-world data can allow for effective sim-to-real transfer.

Tue 7 May 1:30 - 1:45 PDT

Outstanding Paper
Learning Interactive Real-World Simulators

Sherry Yang · Yilun Du · Seyed Ghasemipour · Jonathan Tompson · Leslie Kaelbling · Dale Schuurmans · Pieter Abbeel

Generative models trained on internet data have revolutionized how text, image, and video content can be created. Perhaps the next milestone for generative models is to simulate realistic experience in response to actions taken by humans, robots, and other interactive agents. Applications of a real-world simulator range from controllable content creation in games and movies, to training embodied agents purely in simulation that can be directly deployed in the real world. We explore the possibility of learning a universal simulator (UniSim) of real-world interaction through generative modeling. We first make the important observation that natural datasets available for learning a real-world simulator are often rich along different axes (e.g., abundant objects in image data, densely sampled actions in robotics data, and diverse movements in navigation data). With careful orchestration of diverse datasets, each providing a different aspect of the overall experience, UniSim can emulate how humans and agents interact with the world by simulating the visual outcome of both high-level instructions such as “open the drawer” and low-level controls such as “move by x,y” from otherwise static scenes and objects. There are numerous use cases for such a real-world simulator. As an example, we use UniSim to train both high-level vision-language planners and low-level reinforcement learning policies, each of which exhibit zero-shot real-world transfer after training purely in a learned real-world simulator. We also show that other types of intelligence such as video captioning models can benefit from training with simulated experience in UniSim, opening up even wider applications.