RLang: A Declarative Language for Expression Prior Knowledge for Reinforcement Learning

Published in arXiv, 2022

Recommended citation: R Rodriguez-Sanchez, B Spiegel, J Wang, R Patel, S Tellex, G Konidaris. arXiv preprint arXiv:2208.06448 https://arxiv.org/abs/2208.06448

Communicating useful background knowledge to reinforcement learning (RL) agents is an important and effective method for accelerating learning. We introduce RLang, a domain-specific language (DSL) for communicating domain knowledge to an RL agent. Unlike other existing DSLs proposed by the RL community that ground to single elements of a decision-making formalism (e.g., the reward function or policy function), RLang can specify information about every element of a Markov decision process. We define precise syntax and grounding semantics for RLang, and provide a parser implementation that grounds RLang programs to an algorithm-agnostic partial world model and policy that can be exploited by an RL agent. We provide a series of example RLang programs, and demonstrate how different RL methods can exploit the resulting knowledge, including model-free and model-based tabular algorithms, hierarchical approaches, and deep RL algorithms (including both policy gradient and value-based methods).

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