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Learning elementary movements jointly with a higher level task

Jens Kober; Jan Peters
In: 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2011), September 25-30, San Francisco, CA, USA, Pages 338-343, IEEE, 2011.


Many motor skills consist of many lower level elementary movements that need to be sequenced in order to achieve a task. In order to learn such a task, both the primitive movements as well as the higher-level strategy need to be acquired at the same time. In contrast, most learning approaches focus either on learning to combine a fixed set of options or to learn just single options. In this paper, we discuss a new approach that allows improving the performance of lower level actions while pursuing a higher level task. The presented approach is applicable to learning a wider range motor skills, but in this paper, we employ it for learning games where the player wants to improve his performance at the individual actions of the game while still performing well at the strategy level game. We propose to learn the lower level actions using Cost-regularized Kernel Regression and the higher level actions using a form of Policy Iteration. The two approaches are coupled by their transition probabilities. We evaluate the approach on a side-stall-style throwing game both in simulation and with a real BioRob.

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