Reinforcement Learning

Towards Characterizing Divergence in Deep Q-Learning Artificial Intelligence

The most common failure algorithms for control, employs three techniques mode is divergence, where the Q-function approximator collectively known as the'deadly triad' in learns to ascribe unrealistically high values to state-action reinforcement learning: bootstrapping, off-policy pairs, in turn destroying the quality of the greedy control learning, and function approximation. Prior work policy derived from Q (van Hasselt et al., 2018). Divergence has demonstrated that together these can lead to in DQL is often attributed to three components common divergence in Q-learning algorithms, but the conditions to all DQL algorithms, which are collectively considered under which divergence occurs are not the'deadly triad' of reinforcement learning (Sutton, 1988; well-understood. In this note, we give a simple Sutton & Barto, 2018): analysis based on a linear approximation to the Q-value updates, which we believe provides insight - function approximation, in this case the use of deep into divergence under the deadly triad. The neural networks, central point in our analysis is to consider when the leading order approximation to the deep-Q - off-policy learning, the use of data collected on one update is or is not a contraction in the sup norm.

Reinforcing Classical Planning for Adversary Driving Scenarios Artificial Intelligence

Adversary scenarios in driving, where the other vehicles may make mistakes or have a competing or malicious intent, have to be studied not only for our safety but also for addressing the concerns from public in order to push the technology forward. Classical planning solutions for adversary driving do not exist so far, especially when the vehicles do not communicate their intent. Given recent success in solving hard problems in artificial intelligence (AI), it is worth studying the potential of reinforcement learning for safety driving in adversary settings. In most recent reinforcement learning applications, there is a deep neural networks that maps an input state to an optimal policy over primitive actions. However, learning a policy over primitive actions is very difficult and inefficient. On the other hand, the knowledge already learned in classical planning methods should be inherited and reused. In order to take advantage of reinforcement learning good at exploring the action space for safety and classical planning skill models good at handling most driving scenarios, we propose to learn a policy over an action space of primitive actions augmented with classical planning methods. We show two advantages by doing so. First, training this reinforcement learning agent is easier and faster than training the primitive-action agent. Second, our new agent outperforms the primitive-action reinforcement learning agent, human testers as well as the classical planning methods that our agent queries as skills.

Batch Policy Learning under Constraints Artificial Intelligence

When learning policies for real-world domains, two important questions arise: (i) how to efficiently use pre-collected off-policy, non-optimal behavior data; and (ii) how to mediate among different competing objectives and constraints. We thus study the problem of batch policy learning under multiple constraints, and offer a systematic solution. We first propose a flexible meta-algorithm that admits any batch reinforcement learning and online learning procedure as subroutines. We then present a specific algorithmic instantiation and provide performance guarantees for the main objective and all constraints. To certify constraint satisfaction, we propose a new and simple method for off-policy policy evaluation (OPE) and derive PAC-style bounds. Our algorithm achieves strong empirical results in different domains, including in a challenging problem of simulated car driving subject to multiple constraints such as lane keeping and smooth driving. We also show experimentally that our OPE method outperforms other popular OPE techniques on a standalone basis, especially in a high-dimensional setting.

Like Animals, AI Is Learning From Experience


Trial and error is one of the most fundamental learning strategies employed by animals, and we're increasingly using it to teach intelligent machines too. Boosting the flow of ideas between biologists and computer scientists studying the approach could solve mysteries in animal cognition and help develop powerful new algorithms, say researchers. Some of the most exciting recent developments in AI, in particular those coming out of Google DeepMind, have relied heavily on reinforcement learning. This refers to a machine learning approach in which agents learn to use feedback from their environment to choose actions that maximize rewards. Much of the inspiration for the earliest reinforcement learning algorithms came from rules developed to describe the learning behavior of animals, and the deep neural networks more recent approaches rely on also have roots in biology.

Hyper-Parameter Sweep on AlphaZero General Artificial Intelligence

Since AlphaGo and AlphaGo Zero have achieved breakground successes in the game of Go, the programs have been generalized to solve other tasks. Subsequently, AlphaZero was developed to play Go, Chess and Shogi. In the literature, the algorithms are explained well. However, AlphaZero contains many parameters, and for neither AlphaGo, AlphaGo Zero nor AlphaZero, there is sufficient discussion about how to set parameter values in these algorithms. Therefore, in this paper, we choose 12 parameters in AlphaZero and evaluate how these parameters contribute to training. We focus on three objectives~(training loss, time cost and playing strength). For each parameter, we train 3 models using 3 different values~(minimum value, default value, maximum value). We use the game of play 6$\times$6 Othello, on the AlphaZeroGeneral open source re-implementation of AlphaZero. Overall, experimental results show that different values can lead to different training results, proving the importance of such a parameter sweep. We categorize these 12 parameters into time-sensitive parameters and time-friendly parameters. Moreover, through multi-objective analysis, this paper provides an insightful basis for further hyper-parameter optimization.

Efficient Off-Policy Meta-Reinforcement Learning via Probabilistic Context Variables Artificial Intelligence

Deep reinforcement learning algorithms require large amounts of experience to learn an individual task. While in principle meta-reinforcement learning (meta-RL) algorithms enable agents to learn new skills from small amounts of experience, several major challenges preclude their practicality. Current methods rely heavily on on-policy experience, limiting their sample efficiency. The also lack mechanisms to reason about task uncertainty when adapting to new tasks, limiting their effectiveness in sparse reward problems. In this paper, we address these challenges by developing an off-policy meta-RL algorithm that disentangles task inference and control. In our approach, we perform online probabilistic filtering of latent task variables to infer how to solve a new task from small amounts of experience. This probabilistic interpretation enables posterior sampling for structured and efficient exploration. We demonstrate how to integrate these task variables with off-policy RL algorithms to achieve both meta-training and adaptation efficiency. Our method outperforms prior algorithms in sample efficiency by 20-100X as well as in asymptotic performance on several meta-RL benchmarks.

Truly Proximal Policy Optimization Artificial Intelligence

Proximal policy optimization (PPO) is one of the most successful deep reinforcement learning methods, achieving state-of-the-art performance across a wide range of challenging tasks. However, its optimization behavior is still far from being fully understood. In this paper, we show that PPO could neither strictly restrict the probability ratio as it devotes nor enforce a well-defined trust region constraint, which means that it may still suffer from the risk of performance instability. To address this issue, we present an enhanced PPO method, named Trust Region-based PPO with Rollback (TR-PPO-RB). Two critical improvements are made in our method: 1) it adopts a new clipping function to support a rollback behavior to restrict the ratio between the new policy and the old one; 2) the triggering condition for clipping is replaced with a trust region-based one, which is theoretically justified according to the trust region theorem. It seems, by adhering more truly to the "proximal" property - restricting the policy within the trust region, the new algorithm improves the original PPO on both stability and sample efficiency.

Diversity-Promoting Deep Reinforcement Learning for Interactive Recommendation Artificial Intelligence

Interactive recommendation that models the explicit interactions between users and the recommender system has attracted a lot of research attentions in recent years. Most previous interactive recommendation systems only focus on optimizing recommendation accuracy while overlooking other important aspects of recommendation quality, such as the diversity of recommendation results. In this paper, we propose a novel recommendation model, named \underline{D}iversity-promoting \underline{D}eep \underline{R}einforcement \underline{L}earning (D$^2$RL), which encourages the diversity of recommendation results in interaction recommendations. More specifically, we adopt a Determinantal Point Process (DPP) model to generate diverse, while relevant item recommendations. A personalized DPP kernel matrix is maintained for each user, which is constructed from two parts: a fixed similarity matrix capturing item-item similarity, and the relevance of items dynamically learnt through an actor-critic reinforcement learning framework. We performed extensive offline experiments as well as simulated online experiments with real world datasets to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model.

ROS2Learn: a reinforcement learning framework for ROS 2 Artificial Intelligence

We propose a novel framework for Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) in modular robotics to train a robot directly from joint states, using traditional robotic tools. We use an state-of-the-art implementation of the Proximal Policy Optimization, Trust Region Policy Optimization and Actor-Critic Kronecker-Factored Trust Region algorithms to learn policies in four different Modular Articulated Robotic Arm (MARA) environments. We support this process using a framework that communicates with typical tools used in robotics, such as Gazebo and Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2). We evaluate several algorithms in modular robots with an empirical study in simulation.

Deep Reinforcement Learning with Decorrelation Artificial Intelligence

Learning an effective representation for high-dimensional data is a challenging problem in reinforcement learning (RL). Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) such as Deep Q networks (DQN) achieves remarkable success in computer games by learning deeply encoded representation from convolution networks. In this paper, we propose a simple yet very effective method for representation learning with DRL algorithms. Our key insight is that features learned by DRL algorithms are highly correlated, which interferes with learning. By adding a regularized loss that penalizes correlation in latent features (with only slight computation), we decorrelate features represented by deep neural networks incrementally. On 49 Atari games, with the same regularization factor, our decorrelation algorithms perform $70\%$ in terms of human-normalized scores, which is $40\%$ better than DQN. In particular, ours performs better than DQN on 39 games with 4 close ties and lost only slightly on $6$ games. Empirical results also show that the decorrelation method applies to Quantile Regression DQN (QR-DQN) and significantly boosts performance. Further experiments on the losing games show that our decorelation algorithms can win over DQN and QR-DQN with a fined tuned regularization factor.