Semi-supervised Learning From Demonstration Through Program Synthesis: An Inspection Robot Case Study

Simón C. Smith
(The University of Edinburgh)
Subramanian Ramamoorthy
(The University of Edinburgh)

Semi-supervised learning improves the performance of supervised machine learning by leveraging methods from unsupervised learning to extract information not explicitly available in the labels. Through the design of a system that enables a robot to learn inspection strategies from a human operator, we present a hybrid semi-supervised system capable of learning interpretable and verifiable models from demonstrations. The system induces a controller program by learning from immersive demonstrations using sequential importance sampling. These visual servo controllers are parametrised by proportional gains and are visually verifiable through observation of the position of the robot in the environment. Clustering and effective particle size filtering allows the system to discover goals in the state space. These goals are used to label the original demonstration for end-to-end learning of behavioural models. The behavioural models are used for autonomous model predictive control and scrutinised for explanations. We implement causal sensitivity analysis to identify salient objects and generate counterfactual conditional explanations. These features enable decision making interpretation and post hoc discovery of the causes of a failure. The proposed system expands on previous approaches to program synthesis by incorporating repellers in the attribution prior of the sampling process. We successfully learn the hybrid system from an inspection scenario where an unmanned ground vehicle has to inspect, in a specific order, different areas of the environment. The system induces an interpretable computer program of the demonstration that can be synthesised to produce novel inspection behaviours. Importantly, the robot successfully runs the synthesised program on an unseen configuration of the environment while presenting explanations of its autonomous behaviour.

In Rafael C. Cardoso, Angelo Ferrando, Daniela Briola, Claudio Menghi and Tobias Ahlbrecht: Proceedings of the First Workshop on Agents and Robots for reliable Engineered Autonomy (AREA 2020), Virtual event, 4th September 2020, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 319, pp. 81–101.
Published: 23rd July 2020.

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