ForeSI: Success-Aware Visual Navigation Agent

Mahdi Kazemi Moghaddam, Ehsan Abbasnejad, Qi Wu, Javen Qinfeng Shi, Anton Van Den Hengel; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2022, pp. 691-700


In this work, we present a method to improve the efficiency and robustness of the previous model-free Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms for the task of object-goal visual navigation. Despite achieving state-of-the-art results, one of the major drawbacks of those approaches is the lack of a forward model that informs the agent about the potential consequences of its actions, i.e., being model-free. In this work, we augment the model-free RL with such a forward model that can predict a representation of a future state, from the beginning of a navigation episode, if the episode were to be successful. Furthermore, in order for efficient training, we develop an algorithm to integrate a replay buffer into the model-free RL that alternates between training the policy and the forward model. We call our agent ForeSI; ForeSI is trained to imagine a future latent state that leads to success. By explicitly imagining such a state, during the navigation, our agent is able to take better actions leading to two main advantages: first, in the absence of an object detector, ForeSI presents a more robust policy, i.e., it leads to about 5% absolute improvement on the Success Rate (SR); second, when combined with an off-the-shelf object detector to help better distinguish the target object, our method leads to about 3% absolute improvement on the SR and about 2% absolute improvement on Success weighted by inverse Path Length (SPL), i.e., presents higher efficiency.

Related Material

[pdf] [supp]
@InProceedings{Moghaddam_2022_WACV, author = {Moghaddam, Mahdi Kazemi and Abbasnejad, Ehsan and Wu, Qi and Shi, Javen Qinfeng and Van Den Hengel, Anton}, title = {ForeSI: Success-Aware Visual Navigation Agent}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2022}, pages = {691-700} }