Leveraging Jumpy Models for Planning and Fast Learning in Robotic Domains

In this paper we study the problem of learning multi-step dynamics prediction models (jumpy models) from unlabeled experience and their utility for fast inference of (high-level) plans in downstream tasks. In particular we propose to learn a jumpy model alongside a skill embedding space offline, from previously collected experience for which no labels or reward annotations are required. We then investigate several options of harnessing those learned components in combination with model-based planning or model-free reinforcement learning (RL) to speed up learning on downstream tasks. We conduct a set of experiments in the RGB-stacking environment, showing that planning with the learned skills and the associated model can enable zero-shot generalization to new tasks, and can further speed up training of policies via reinforcement learning. We specifically investigate the effect of temporal abstraction of the learned skills and jumpy model prediction and show that this combination can facilitate planning in long-horizon tasks.