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Robust Lane Change Decision Making for Autonomous Vehicles: An Observation Adversarial Reinforcement Learning Approach
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  • Xiangkun He ,
  • Haohan Yang ,
  • Zhongxu Hu ,
  • Chen Lv
Xiangkun He
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Haohan Yang
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Zhongxu Hu
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Reinforcement learning holds the promise of allowing autonomous vehicles to learn complex decision making behaviors through interacting with other traffic participants. However, many real-world driving tasks involve unpredictable perception errors or measurement noises which may mislead an autonomous vehicle into making unsafe decisions, even cause catastrophic failures. In light of these risks, to ensure safety under perception uncertainty, autonomous vehicles are required to be able to cope with the worst case observation perturbations. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel observation adversarial reinforcement learning approach for robust lane change decision making of autonomous vehicles. A constrained observation-robust Markov decision process is presented to model lane change decision making behaviors of autonomous vehicles under policy constraints and observation uncertainties.  Meanwhile, a black-box attack technique based on Bayesian optimization is implemented to approximate the optimal adversarial observation perturbations efficiently. Furthermore, a constrained observation-robust actor-critic algorithm is advanced to optimize autonomous driving lane change policies while keeping the variations of the policies attacked by the optimal adversarial observation perturbations within bounds. Finally, the robust lane change decision making approach is evaluated in three stochastic mixed traffic flows based on different densities. The results demonstrate that the proposed method can not only enhance the performance of an autonomous vehicle but also improve the robustness of lane change policies against adversarial observation perturbations.
Jan 2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles volume 8 issue 1 on pages 184-193. 10.1109/TIV.2022.3165178