To solve complex real-world problems with reinforcement learning, we cannot rely on manually specified reward functions. Instead, we can have humans communicate an objective to the agent directly. In this work, we combine two approaches to learning from human feedback: expert demonstrations and trajectory preferences. We train a deep neural network to model the reward function and use its predicted reward to train an DQN-based deep reinforcement learning agent on 9 Atari games. Our approach beats the imitation learning baseline in 7 games and achieves strictly superhuman performance on 2 games without using game rewards. Additionally, we investigate the goodness of fit of the reward model, present some reward hacking problems, and study the effects of noise in the human labels.
This paper addresses the difficulty of forecasting multiple financial time series (TS) conjointly using deep neural networks (DNN). We investigate whether DNN-based models could forecast these TS more efficiently by learning their representation directly. To this end, we make use of the dynamic factor graph (DFG) from that we enhance by proposing a novel variable-length attention-based mechanism to render it memory-augmented. Using this mechanism, we propose an unsupervised DNN architecture for multivariate TS forecasting that allows to learn and take advantage of the relationships between these TS. We test our model on two datasets covering 19 years of investment funds activities. Our experimental results show that our proposed approach outperforms significantly typical DNN-based and statistical models at forecasting their 21-day price trajectory.
When we humans look at a video of human-object interaction, we can not only infer what is happening but we can even extract actionable information and imitate those interactions. On the other hand, current recognition or geometric approaches lack the physicality of action representation. In this paper, we take a step towards a more physical understanding of actions. We address the problem of inferring contact points and the physical forces from videos of humans interacting with objects. One of the main challenges in tackling this problem is obtaining ground-truth labels for forces. We sidestep this problem by instead using a physics simulator for supervision. Specifically, we use a simulator to predict effects and enforce that estimated forces must lead to the same effect as depicted in the video. Our quantitative and qualitative results show that (a) we can predict meaningful forces from videos whose effects lead to accurate imitation of the motions observed, (b) by jointly optimizing for contact point and force prediction, we can improve the performance on both tasks in comparison to independent training, and (c) we can learn a representation from this model that generalizes to novel objects using few shot examples.
Active learning from demonstration allows a robot to query a human for specific types of input to achieve efficient learning. Existing work has explored a variety of active query strategies; however, to our knowledge, none of these strategies directly minimize the performance risk of the policy the robot is learning. Utilizing recent advances in performance bounds for inverse reinforcement learning, we propose a risk-aware active inverse reinforcement learning algorithm that focuses active queries on areas of the state space with the potential for large generalization error. We show that risk-aware active learning outperforms standard active IRL approaches on gridworld, simulated driving, and table setting tasks, while also providing a performance-based stopping criterion that allows a robot to know when it has received enough demonstrations to safely perform a task.
Deep reinforcement learning suggests the promise of fully automated learning of robotic control policies that directly map sensory inputs to low-level actions. However, applying deep reinforcement learning methods on real-world robots is exceptionally difficult, due both to the sample complexity and, just as importantly, the sensitivity of such methods to hyperparameters. While hyperparameter tuning can be performed in parallel in simulated domains, it is usually impractical to tune hyperparameters directly on real-world robotic platforms, especially legged platforms like quadrupedal robots that can be damaged through extensive trial-and-error learning. In this paper, we develop a stable variant of the soft actor-critic deep reinforcement learning algorithm that requires minimal hyperparameter tuning, while also requiring only a modest number of trials to learn multilayer neural network policies. This algorithm is based on the framework of maximum entropy reinforcement learning, and automatically trades off exploration against exploitation by dynamically and automatically tuning a temperature parameter that determines the stochasticity of the policy. We show that this method achieves state-of-the-art performance on four standard benchmark environments. We then demonstrate that it can be used to learn quadrupedal locomotion gaits on a real-world Minitaur robot, learning to walk from scratch directly in the real world in two hours of training.
This paper proposes a model-free Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm to synthesise policies for an unknown Markov Decision Process (MDP), such that a linear time property is satisfied. We convert the given property into a Limit Deterministic Buchi Automaton (LDBA), then construct a synchronized MDP between the automaton and the original MDP. According to the resulting LDBA, a reward function is then defined over the state-action pairs of the product MDP. With this reward function, our algorithm synthesises a policy whose traces satisfies the linear time property: as such, the policy synthesis procedure is "constrained" by the given specification. Additionally, we show that the RL procedure sets up an online value iteration method to calculate the maximum probability of satisfying the given property, at any given state of the MDP - a convergence proof for the procedure is provided. Finally, the performance of the algorithm is evaluated via a set of numerical examples. We observe an improvement of one order of magnitude in the number of iterations required for the synthesis compared to existing approaches.
Recent studies have shown the vulnerability of reinforcement learning (RL) models in noisy settings. The sources of noises differ across scenarios. For instance, in practice, the observed reward channel is often subject to noise (e.g., when observed rewards are collected through sensors), and thus observed rewards may not be credible as a result. Also, in applications such as robotics, a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) algorithm can be manipulated to produce arbitrary errors. In this paper, we consider noisy RL problems where observed rewards by RL agents are generated with a reward confusion matrix. We call such observed rewards as perturbed rewards. We develop an unbiased reward estimator aided robust RL framework that enables RL agents to learn in noisy environments while observing only perturbed rewards. Our framework draws upon approaches for supervised learning with noisy data. The core ideas of our solution include estimating a reward confusion matrix and defining a set of unbiased surrogate rewards. We prove the convergence and sample complexity of our approach. Extensive experiments on different DRL platforms show that policies based on our estimated surrogate reward can achieve higher expected rewards, and converge faster than existing baselines. For instance, the state-of-the-art PPO algorithm is able to obtain 67.5% and 46.7% improvements in average on five Atari games, when the error rates are 10% and 30% respectively.
We introduce an approach for deep reinforcement learning (RL) that improves upon the efficiency, generalization capacity, and interpretability of conventional approaches through structured perception and relational reasoning. It uses self-attention to iteratively reason about the relations between entities in a scene and to guide a model-free policy. Our results show that in a novel navigation and planning task called Box-World, our agent finds interpretable solutions that improve upon baselines in terms of sample complexity, ability to generalize to more complex scenes than experienced during training, and overall performance. In the StarCraft II Learning Environment, our agent achieves state-of-the-art performance on six mini-games -- surpassing human grandmaster performance on four. By considering architectural inductive biases, our work opens new directions for overcoming important, but stubborn, challenges in deep RL.
Existing multi-agent reinforcement learning methods are limited typically to a small number of agents. When the agent number increases largely, the learning becomes intractable due to the curse of the dimensionality and the exponential growth of agent interactions. In this paper, we present Mean Field Reinforcement Learning where the interactions within the population of agents are approximated by those between a single agent and the average effect from the overall population or neighboring agents; the interplay between the two entities is mutually reinforced: the learning of the individual agent's optimal policy depends on the dynamics of the population, while the dynamics of the population change according to the collective patterns of the individual policies. We develop practical mean field Q-learning and mean field Actor-Critic algorithms and analyze the convergence of the solution to Nash equilibrium. Experiments on Gaussian squeeze, Ising model, and battle games justify the learning effectiveness of our mean field approaches. In addition, we report the first result to solve the Ising model via model-free reinforcement learning methods.
Coherence plays a critical role in producing a high-quality summary from a document. In recent years, neural extractive summarization is becoming increasingly attractive. However, most of them ignore the coherence of summaries when extracting sentences. As an effort towards extracting coherent summaries, we propose a neural coherence model to capture the cross-sentence semantic and syntactic coherence patterns. The proposed neural coherence model obviates the need for feature engineering and can be trained in an end-to-end fashion using unlabeled data. Empirical results show that the proposed neural coherence model can efficiently capture the cross-sentence coherence patterns. Using the combined output of the neural coherence model and ROUGE package as the reward, we design a reinforcement learning method to train a proposed neural extractive summarizer which is named Reinforced Neural Extractive Summarization (RNES) model. The RNES model learns to optimize coherence and informative importance of the summary simultaneously. Experimental results show that the proposed RNES outperforms existing baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance in term of ROUGE on CNN/Daily Mail dataset. The qualitative evaluation indicates that summaries produced by RNES are more coherent and readable.
Recommender systems play a crucial role in mitigating the problem of information overload by suggesting users' personalized items or services. The vast majority of traditional recommender systems consider the recommendation procedure as a static process and make recommendations following a fixed strategy. In this paper, we propose a novel recommender system with the capability of continuously improving its strategies during the interactions with users. We model the sequential interactions between users and a recommender system as a Markov Decision Process (MDP) and leverage Reinforcement Learning (RL) to automatically learn the optimal strategies via recommending trial-and-error items and receiving reinforcements of these items from users' feedbacks. In particular, we introduce an online user-agent interacting environment simulator, which can pre-train and evaluate model parameters offline before applying the model online. Moreover, we validate the importance of list-wise recommendations during the interactions between users and agent, and develop a novel approach to incorporate them into the proposed framework LIRD for list-wide recommendations. The experimental results based on a real-world e-commerce dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.