GCExp: Goal-Conditioned Exploration for Object Goal Navigation

Gulshan Kumar∗12    N. Sai Shankar∗1    Himansu Didwania1    R.D. Roychoudhury3    Brojeshwar Bhowmick3    K. Madhava Krishna12   

1 Robotics Research Center    2 IIIT Hyderabad, India    3 TCS Research   

In this paper, we address the highly challenging problem of object goal navigation. The agent, in an unseen environment, has to perceive its surroundings to identify and navigate towards potential regions where the specified goal category can occur. Rather than developing goal driven exploration policies, we aim to adapt the existing exploration policies that maximize scene coverage to be goal-conditioned. Thus, we propose a standalone scene understanding module to identify potential regions where the goal occurs. We also propose Goal-Conditioned Exploration (GCExp), an algorithm that entails the integration of our novel scene understanding module with any existing exploration policy. We test our solution in photo-realistic simulation environments using stateof-the-art exploration policy, Active Neural Slam [1], and show improved performance over the same on every evaluation metric.