Online Decision Transformer

International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)


Recent work has shown that offline reinforcement learning (RL) can be formulated as a sequence modeling problem (Chen et al., 2021; Janner et al., 2021) and solved via approaches similar to large-scale language modeling. However, any practical instantiation of RL also involves an online component, where policies pretrained on passive offline datasets are finetuned via task-specific interactions with the environment. We propose Online Decision Transformers (ODT), an RL algorithm based on sequence modeling that blends offline pretraining with online finetuning in a unified framework. Our framework uses sequence-level entropy regularizers in conjunction with autoregressive modeling objectives for sample-efficient exploration and finetuning. Empirically, we show that ODT is competitive with the state-of-the-art in absolute performance on the D4RL benchmark but shows much more significant gains during the finetuning procedure.

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