*《Stabilizing Transformers for Reinforcement Learning》E Parisotto, H. F Song, J W. Rae, R Pascanu, C Gulcehre, S M. Jayakumar, M Jaderberg, R L Kaufman, A Clark, S Noury, M M. Botvinick, N Heess, R Hadsell [DeepMind] (2019)

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强化学习(RL)是机器学习的一个领域,与软件代理应如何在环境中采取行动以最大化累积奖励的概念有关。除了监督学习和非监督学习外,强化学习是三种基本的机器学习范式之一。 强化学习与监督学习的不同之处在于,不需要呈现带标签的输入/输出对,也不需要显式纠正次优动作。相反,重点是在探索(未知领域)和利用(当前知识)之间找到平衡。 该环境通常以马尔可夫决策过程(MDP)的形式陈述,因为针对这种情况的许多强化学习算法都使用动态编程技术。经典动态规划方法和强化学习算法之间的主要区别在于,后者不假设MDP的确切数学模型,并且针对无法采用精确方法的大型MDP。

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题目

深度残差强化学习,Deep Residual Reinforcement Learning

关键字

强化学习,残差算法,机器学习

简介

我们在无模型和基于模型的强化学习设置中重新研究残差算法。 我们建议使用双向目标网络技术来稳定残差算法,从而产生DDPG的残差版本,该版本明显优于DeepMind Control Suite基准测试中的原始DDPG。 此外,我们发现残差算法是解决基于模型的规划中分布不匹配问题的有效方法。 与现有的TD(k)方法相比,我们的基于残差的方法对模型的假设更弱,并且性能提升更大。

作者

Shangtong Zhang, Wendelin Boehmer, Shimon Whiteson,来自牛津大学

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Recently, deep multiagent reinforcement learning (MARL) has become a highly active research area as many real-world problems can be inherently viewed as multiagent systems. A particularly interesting and widely applicable class of problems is the partially observable cooperative multiagent setting, in which a team of agents learns to coordinate their behaviors conditioning on their private observations and commonly shared global reward signals. One natural solution is to resort to the centralized training and decentralized execution paradigm. During centralized training, one key challenge is the multiagent credit assignment: how to allocate the global rewards for individual agent policies for better coordination towards maximizing system-level's benefits. In this paper, we propose a new method called Q-value Path Decomposition (QPD) to decompose the system's global Q-values into individual agents' Q-values. Unlike previous works which restrict the representation relation of the individual Q-values and the global one, we leverage the integrated gradient attribution technique into deep MARL to directly decompose global Q-values along trajectory paths to assign credits for agents. We evaluate QPD on the challenging StarCraft II micromanagement tasks and show that QPD achieves the state-of-the-art performance in both homogeneous and heterogeneous multiagent scenarios compared with existing cooperative MARL algorithms.

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Transformer is a popularly used neural network architecture, especially for language understanding. We introduce an extended and unified architecture which can be used for tasks involving a variety of modalities like image, text, videos, etc. We propose a spatio-temporal cache mechanism that enables learning spatial dimension of the input in addition to the hidden states corresponding to the temporal input sequence. The proposed architecture further enables a single model to support tasks with multiple input modalities as well as asynchronous multi-task learning, thus we refer to it as OmniNet. For example, a single instance of OmniNet can concurrently learn to perform the tasks of part-of-speech tagging, image captioning, visual question answering and video activity recognition. We demonstrate that training these four tasks together results in about three times compressed model while retaining the performance in comparison to training them individually. We also show that using this neural network pre-trained on some modalities assists in learning an unseen task. This illustrates the generalization capacity of the self-attention mechanism on the spatio-temporal cache present in OmniNet.

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Eligibility traces are an effective technique to accelerate reinforcement learning by smoothly assigning credit to recently visited states. However, their online implementation is incompatible with modern deep reinforcement learning algorithms, which rely heavily on i.i.d. training data and offline learning. We utilize an efficient, recursive method for computing {\lambda}-returns offline that can provide the benefits of eligibility traces to any value-estimation or actor-critic method. We demonstrate how our method can be combined with DQN, DRQN, and A3C to greatly enhance the learning speed of these algorithms when playing Atari 2600 games, even under partial observability. Our results indicate several-fold improvements to sample efficiency on Seaquest and Q*bert. We expect similar results for other algorithms and domains not considered here, including those with continuous actions.

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Despite deep reinforcement learning has recently achieved great successes, however in multiagent environments, a number of challenges still remain. Multiagent reinforcement learning (MARL) is commonly considered to suffer from the problem of non-stationary environments and exponentially increasing policy space. It would be even more challenging to learn effective policies in circumstances where the rewards are sparse and delayed over long trajectories. In this paper, we study Hierarchical Deep Multiagent Reinforcement Learning (hierarchical deep MARL) in cooperative multiagent problems with sparse and delayed rewards, where efficient multiagent learning methods are desperately needed. We decompose the original MARL problem into hierarchies and investigate how effective policies can be learned hierarchically in synchronous/asynchronous hierarchical MARL frameworks. Several hierarchical deep MARL architectures, i.e., Ind-hDQN, hCom and hQmix, are introduced for different learning paradigms. Moreover, to alleviate the issues of sparse experiences in high-level learning and non-stationarity in multiagent settings, we propose a new experience replay mechanism, named as Augmented Concurrent Experience Replay (ACER). We empirically demonstrate the effects and efficiency of our approaches in several classic Multiagent Trash Collection tasks, as well as in an extremely challenging team sports game, i.e., Fever Basketball Defense.

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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.

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This work considers the problem of provably optimal reinforcement learning for episodic finite horizon MDPs, i.e. how an agent learns to maximize his/her long term reward in an uncertain environment. The main contribution is in providing a novel algorithm --- Variance-reduced Upper Confidence Q-learning (vUCQ) --- which enjoys a regret bound of $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{HSAT} + H^5SA)$, where the $T$ is the number of time steps the agent acts in the MDP, $S$ is the number of states, $A$ is the number of actions, and $H$ is the (episodic) horizon time. This is the first regret bound that is both sub-linear in the model size and asymptotically optimal. The algorithm is sub-linear in that the time to achieve $\epsilon$-average regret for any constant $\epsilon$ is $O(SA)$, which is a number of samples that is far less than that required to learn any non-trivial estimate of the transition model (the transition model is specified by $O(S^2A)$ parameters). The importance of sub-linear algorithms is largely the motivation for algorithms such as $Q$-learning and other "model free" approaches. vUCQ algorithm also enjoys minimax optimal regret in the long run, matching the $\Omega(\sqrt{HSAT})$ lower bound. Variance-reduced Upper Confidence Q-learning (vUCQ) is a successive refinement method in which the algorithm reduces the variance in $Q$-value estimates and couples this estimation scheme with an upper confidence based algorithm. Technically, the coupling of both of these techniques is what leads to the algorithm enjoying both the sub-linear regret property and the asymptotically optimal regret.

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This paper presents a safety-aware learning framework that employs an adaptive model learning method together with barrier certificates for systems with possibly nonstationary agent dynamics. To extract the dynamic structure of the model, we use a sparse optimization technique, and the resulting model will be used in combination with control barrier certificates which constrain feedback controllers only when safety is about to be violated. Under some mild assumptions, solutions to the constrained feedback-controller optimization are guaranteed to be globally optimal, and the monotonic improvement of a feedback controller is thus ensured. In addition, we reformulate the (action-)value function approximation to make any kernel-based nonlinear function estimation method applicable. We then employ a state-of-the-art kernel adaptive filtering technique for the (action-)value function approximation. The resulting framework is verified experimentally on a brushbot, whose dynamics is unknown and highly complex.

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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.

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