Compositionality and Modularity for Robot Learning
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Compositionality and Modularity for Robot Learning


Humans are remarkably proficient at decomposing and recombiningconcepts they have learned. In contrast, while deep learning-based methods have been shown to fit large datasets and out-perform humans at some tasks, they often fail when presented with conditions even just slightly outside of the distribution they were trained on. In particular, machine learning models fail at compositional generalization, where the model would need to predict how concepts fit together without having seen that exact combination during training. This thesis proposes several learning-based methods that take advantage of the compositional structure of tasks and shows how they perform better than black-box models when presented with novel compositions of previously seen subparts. The first type of method is to directly decompose neural network into separate modules that are trained jointly in varied combinations. The second type of method is to learn representations of tasks and objects that obey arithmetic properties such that tasks representations can be summed or subtracted to indicate their composition or decomposition. We show results in diverse domains including games, simulated environments, and real robots.

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