Abstract— A core capability of robots is to reason about mul- tiple objects under uncertainty. Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) provide a means of reasoning under uncertainty for sequential decision making, but are computationally intractable in large domains. In this paper, we propose Object-Oriented POMDPs (OO-POMDPs), which represent the state and observation spaces in terms of classes and objects. The structure afforded by OO-POMDPs support a factorization of the agent’s belief into independent object distributions, which enables the size of the belief to scale linearly versus exponentially in the number of objects. We formulate a novel Multi-Object Search (MOS) task as an OO-POMDP for mobile robotics domains in which the agent must find the locations of multiple objects. Our solution exploits the structure of OO-POMDPs by featuring human language to selectively update the belief at task onset. Using this structure, we develop a new algorithm for efficiently solving OO-POMDPs: Object- Oriented Partially Observable Monte-Carlo Planning (OO- POMCP). We show that OO-POMCP with grounded language commands is sufficient for solving challenging MOS tasks both in simulation and on a physical mobile robot.
Sampling Networks and Aggregate Simulation for Online POMDP Planning
The paper introduces a new algorithm for planning in partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDP) based on the idea of aggregate simulation. The algorithm uses product distributions to approximate the belief state and shows how to build a representation graph of an approximate action-value function over belief space. The graph captures the result of simulating the model in aggregate under independence assumptions, giving a symbolic representation of the value function. The algorithm supports large observation spaces using sampling networks, a representation of the process of sampling values of observations, which is integrated into the graph representation. Following previous work in MDPs this approach enables action selection in POMDPs through gradient optimization over the graph representation. This approach complements recent algorithms for POMDPs which are based on particle representations of belief states and an explicit search for action selection. Our approach enables scaling to large factored action spaces in addition to large state spaces and observation spaces. An experimental evaluation demonstrates that the algorithm provides excellent performance relative to state of the art in large POMDP problems.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Advances in neural information processing systems
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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