Transfer learning is an effective approach for adapting an autonomous agent to a new target task by transferring knowledge learned from the previously learned source task. The major problem with traditional transfer learning is that it only focuses on optimizing learning performance on the target task. Thus, the performance on the target task may be improved in exchange for the deterioration of the source task’s performance, resulting in an agent that is not able to revisit the earlier task. Therefore, transfer learning methods are still far from being comparable with the learning capability of humans, as humans can perform well on both source and new target tasks. In order to address this limitation, a task adaptation method for imitation learning is proposed in this paper. Being inspired by the idea of repetition learning in neuroscience, the proposed adaptation method enables the agent to repeatedly review the learned knowledge of the source task, while learning the new knowledge of the target task. This ensures that the learning performance on the target task is high, while the deterioration of the learning performance on the source task is small. A comprehensive evaluation over several simulated tasks with varying difficulty levels shows that the proposed method can provide high and consistent performance on both source and target tasks, outperforming existing transfer learning methods.
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