Robotics: Science and Systems XIX

Investigating the Impact of Experience on a User's Ability to Perform Hierarchical Abstraction

Nina M Moorman, Nakul Gopalan, Aman Singh, Erin Botti, Mariah Schrum, Chuxuan Yang, Lakshmi Seelam, Matthew Gombolay


The field of Learning from Demonstration enables end-users, who are not robotics experts, to shape robot behavior. However, using human demonstrations to teach robots to solve long-horizon problems by leveraging the hierarchical structure of the task is still an unsolved problem. Prior work has yet to show that human users can provide sufficient demonstrations in novel domains without showing the demonstrators explicit teaching strategies for each domain. In this work, we investigate whether non-expert demonstrators can generalize robot teaching strategies to provide necessary and sufficient demonstrations to robots zero-shot in novel domains. We find that increasing participant experience with providing demonstrations improves their demonstration's degree of sub-task abstraction (p<.001), teaching efficiency (p<.001), and sub-task redundancy (p<.05) in novel domains, allowing generalization in robot teaching. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that non-expert demonstrators can transfer knowledge from a series of training experiences to novel domains without the need for explicit instruction, such that they can provide necessary and sufficient demonstrations when programming robots to complete task and motion planning problems.



    AUTHOR    = {Nina M Moorman AND Nakul Gopalan AND Aman Singh AND Erin Botti AND Mariah Schrum AND Chuxuan Yang AND Lakshmi Seelam AND Matthew Gombolay}, 
    TITLE     = {{Investigating the Impact of Experience on a User's Ability to Perform Hierarchical Abstraction}}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2023}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Daegu, Republic of Korea}, 
    MONTH     = {July}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2023.XIX.004}