Abstract: Imitation Learning (IL) is a popular paradigm for training agents to achieve complicated goals by leveraging expert behavior, rather than dealing with the hardships of designing a correct reward function. With the environment modeled as a Markov Decision Process (MDP), most of the existing IL algorithms are contingent on the availability of expert demonstrations in the same MDP as the one in which a new imitator policy is to be learned. This is uncharacteristic of many real-life scenarios where discrepancies between the expert and the imitator MDPs are common, especially in the transition dynamics function. Furthermore, obtaining expert actions may be costly or infeasible, making the recent trend towards state-only IL (where expert demonstrations constitute only states or observations) ever so promising. Building on recent adversarial imitation approaches that are motivated by the idea of divergence minimization, we present a new state-only IL algorithm in this paper. It divides the overall optimization objective into two subproblems by introducing an indirection step and solves the subproblems iteratively. We show that our algorithm is particularly effective when there is a transition dynamics mismatch between the expert and imitator MDPs, while the baseline IL methods suffer from performance degradation. To analyze this, we construct several interesting MDPs by modifying the configuration parameters for the MuJoCo locomotion tasks from OpenAI Gym.

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