CIRL: Controllable Imitative Reinforcement Learning for Vision-based Self-driving

Xiaodan Liang, Tairui Wang, Luona Yang, Eric Xing ; Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018, pp. 584-599


Autonomous urban driving navigation with complex multi-agent dynamics is under-explored due to the difficulty of learning an optimal driving policy. The traditional modular pipeline heavily relies on hand-designed rules and the pre-processing perception system while the supervised learning-based models are limited by the accessibility of extensive human experience. We present a general and principled Controllable Imitative Reinforcement Learning (CIRL) approach which successfully makes the driving agent achieve higher success rates based on only vision inputs in a high-fidelity car simulator. To alleviate the low exploration efficiency for large continuous action space that often prohibits the use of classical RL on challenging real tasks, our CIRL explores over a reasonably constrained action space guided by encoded experiences that imitate human demonstrations, building upon Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient (DDPG). Moreover, we propose to specialize adaptive policies and steering-angle reward designs for different control signals (i.e. follow, straight, turn right, turn left) based on the shared representations to improve the model capability in tackling with diverse cases. Extensive experiments on CARLA driving benchmark demonstrate that CIRL substantially outperforms all previous methods in terms of the percentage of successfully completed episodes on a variety of goal-directed driving tasks. We also show its superior generalization capability in unseen environments. To our knowledge, this is the first successful case of the learned driving policy by reinforcement learning in the high-fidelity simulator, which performs better than supervised imitation learning.

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Liang, Xiaodan and Wang, Tairui and Yang, Luona and Xing, Eric},
title = {CIRL: Controllable Imitative Reinforcement Learning for Vision-based Self-driving},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV)},
month = {September},
year = {2018}