Reinforcement learning (RL) is a popular paradigm for addressing sequential decision tasks in which the agent has only limited environmental feedback. Despite many advances over the past three decades, learning in many domains still requires a large amount of interaction with the environment, which can be prohibitively expensive in realistic scenarios. To address this problem, transfer learning has been applied to reinforcement learning such that experience gained in one task can be leveraged when starting to learn the next, harder task. More recently, several lines of research have explored how tasks, or data samples themselves, can be sequenced into a curriculum for the purpose of learning a problem that may otherwise be too difficult to learn from scratch. In this article, we present a framework for curriculum learning (CL) in reinforcement learning, and use it to survey and classify existing CL methods in terms of their assumptions, capabilities, and goals. Finally, we use our framework to find open problems and suggest directions for future RL curriculum learning research.
A comprehensive artificial intelligence system needs to not only perceive the environment with different `senses' (e.g., seeing and hearing) but also infer the world's conditional (or even causal) relations and corresponding uncertainty. The past decade has seen major advances in many perception tasks such as visual object recognition and speech recognition using deep learning models. For higher-level inference, however, probabilistic graphical models with their Bayesian nature are still more powerful and flexible. In recent years, Bayesian deep learning has emerged as a unified probabilistic framework to tightly integrate deep learning and Bayesian models. In this general framework, the perception of text or images using deep learning can boost the performance of higher-level inference and in turn, the feedback from the inference process is able to enhance the perception of text or images. This survey provides a comprehensive introduction to Bayesian deep learning and reviews its recent applications on recommender systems, topic models, control, etc. Besides, we also discuss the relationship and differences between Bayesian deep learning and other related topics such as Bayesian treatment of neural networks.
The quest of `can machines think' and `can machines do what human do' are quests that drive the development of artificial intelligence. Although recent artificial intelligence succeeds in many data intensive applications, it still lacks the ability of learning from limited exemplars and fast generalizing to new tasks. To tackle this problem, one has to turn to machine learning, which supports the scientific study of artificial intelligence. Particularly, a machine learning problem called Few-Shot Learning (FSL) targets at this case. It can rapidly generalize to new tasks of limited supervised experience by turning to prior knowledge, which mimics human's ability to acquire knowledge from few examples through generalization and analogy. It has been seen as a test-bed for real artificial intelligence, a way to reduce laborious data gathering and computationally costly training, and antidote for rare cases learning. With extensive works on FSL emerging, we give a comprehensive survey for it. We first give the formal definition for FSL. Then we point out the core issues of FSL, which turns the problem from "how to solve FSL" to "how to deal with the core issues". Accordingly, existing works from the birth of FSL to the most recent published ones are categorized in a unified taxonomy, with thorough discussion of the pros and cons for different categories. Finally, we envision possible future directions for FSL in terms of problem setup, techniques, applications and theory, hoping to provide insights to both beginners and experienced researchers.
We survey research on self-driving cars published in the literature focusing on autonomous cars developed since the DARPA challenges, which are equipped with an autonomy system that can be categorized as SAE level 3 or higher. The architecture of the autonomy system of self-driving cars is typically organized into the perception system and the decision-making system. The perception system is generally divided into many subsystems responsible for tasks such as self-driving-car localization, static obstacles mapping, moving obstacles detection and tracking, road mapping, traffic signalization detection and recognition, among others. The decision-making system is commonly partitioned as well into many subsystems responsible for tasks such as route planning, path planning, behavior selection, motion planning, and control. In this survey, we present the typical architecture of the autonomy system of self-driving cars. We also review research on relevant methods for perception and decision making. Furthermore, we present a detailed description of the architecture of the autonomy system of the UFES's car, IARA. Finally, we list prominent autonomous research cars developed by technology companies and reported in the media.
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.
Deep learning has been shown successful in a number of domains, ranging from acoustics, images to natural language processing. However, applying deep learning to the ubiquitous graph data is non-trivial because of the unique characteristics of graphs. Recently, a significant amount of research efforts have been devoted to this area, greatly advancing graph analyzing techniques. In this survey, we comprehensively review different kinds of deep learning methods applied to graphs. We divide existing methods into three main categories: semi-supervised methods including Graph Neural Networks and Graph Convolutional Networks, unsupervised methods including Graph Autoencoders, and recent advancements including Graph Recurrent Neural Networks and Graph Reinforcement Learning. We then provide a comprehensive overview of these methods in a systematic manner following their history of developments. We also analyze the differences of these methods and how to composite different architectures. Finally, we briefly outline their applications and discuss potential future directions.
There is a recent large and growing interest in generative adversarial networks (GANs), which offer powerful features for generative modeling, density estimation, and energy function learning. GANs are difficult to train and evaluate but are capable of creating amazingly realistic, though synthetic, image data. Ideas stemming from GANs such as adversarial losses are creating research opportunities for other challenges such as domain adaptation. In this paper, we look at the field of GANs with emphasis on these areas of emerging research. To provide background for adversarial techniques, we survey the field of GANs, looking at the original formulation, training variants, evaluation methods, and extensions. Then we survey recent work on transfer learning, focusing on comparing different adversarial domain adaptation methods. Finally, we take a look forward to identify open research directions for GANs and domain adaptation, including some promising applications such as sensor-based human behavior modeling.
The reinforcement learning community has made great strides in designing algorithms capable of exceeding human performance on specific tasks. These algorithms are mostly trained one task at the time, each new task requiring to train a brand new agent instance. This means the learning algorithm is general, but each solution is not; each agent can only solve the one task it was trained on. In this work, we study the problem of learning to master not one but multiple sequential-decision tasks at once. A general issue in multi-task learning is that a balance must be found between the needs of multiple tasks competing for the limited resources of a single learning system. Many learning algorithms can get distracted by certain tasks in the set of tasks to solve. Such tasks appear more salient to the learning process, for instance because of the density or magnitude of the in-task rewards. This causes the algorithm to focus on those salient tasks at the expense of generality. We propose to automatically adapt the contribution of each task to the agent's updates, so that all tasks have a similar impact on the learning dynamics. This resulted in state of the art performance on learning to play all games in a set of 57 diverse Atari games. Excitingly, our method learned a single trained policy - with a single set of weights - that exceeds median human performance. To our knowledge, this was the first time a single agent surpassed human-level performance on this multi-task domain. The same approach also demonstrated state of the art performance on a set of 30 tasks in the 3D reinforcement learning platform DeepMind Lab.
This paper presents a new multi-objective deep reinforcement learning (MODRL) framework based on deep Q-networks. We propose the use of linear and non-linear methods to develop the MODRL framework that includes both single-policy and multi-policy strategies. The experimental results on two benchmark problems including the two-objective deep sea treasure environment and the three-objective mountain car problem indicate that the proposed framework is able to converge to the optimal Pareto solutions effectively. The proposed framework is generic, which allows implementation of different deep reinforcement learning algorithms in different complex environments. This therefore overcomes many difficulties involved with standard multi-objective reinforcement learning (MORL) methods existing in the current literature. The framework creates a platform as a testbed environment to develop methods for solving various problems associated with the current MORL. Details of the framework implementation can be referred to http://www.deakin.edu.au/~thanhthi/drl.htm.
Meta-learning is a powerful tool that builds on multi-task learning to learn how to quickly adapt a model to new tasks. In the context of reinforcement learning, meta-learning algorithms can acquire reinforcement learning procedures to solve new problems more efficiently by meta-learning prior tasks. The performance of meta-learning algorithms critically depends on the tasks available for meta-training: in the same way that supervised learning algorithms generalize best to test points drawn from the same distribution as the training points, meta-learning methods generalize best to tasks from the same distribution as the meta-training tasks. In effect, meta-reinforcement learning offloads the design burden from algorithm design to task design. If we can automate the process of task design as well, we can devise a meta-learning algorithm that is truly automated. In this work, we take a step in this direction, proposing a family of unsupervised meta-learning algorithms for reinforcement learning. We describe a general recipe for unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning, and describe an effective instantiation of this approach based on a recently proposed unsupervised exploration technique and model-agnostic meta-learning. We also discuss practical and conceptual considerations for developing unsupervised meta-learning methods. Our experimental results demonstrate that unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning effectively acquires accelerated reinforcement learning procedures without the need for manual task design, significantly exceeds the performance of learning from scratch, and even matches performance of meta-learning methods that use hand-specified task distributions.
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.