Collaborating Authors

An Efficient Deep Reinforcement Learning Model for Urban Traffic Control Machine Learning

Urban Traffic Control (UTC) plays an essential role in Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) but remains difficult. Since model-based UTC methods may not accurately describe the complex nature of traffic dynamics in all situations, model-free data-driven UTC methods, especially reinforcement learning (RL) based UTC methods, received increasing interests in the last decade. However, existing DL approaches did not propose an efficient algorithm to solve the complicated multiple intersections control problems whose state-action spaces are vast. To solve this problem, we propose a Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) algorithm that combines several tricks to master an appropriate control strategy within an acceptable time. This new algorithm relaxes the fixed traffic demand pattern assumption and reduces human invention in parameter tuning. Simulation experiments have shown that our method outperforms traditional rule-based approaches and has the potential to handle more complex traffic problems in the real world.

Reinforcement Learning-based Admission Control in Delay-sensitive Service Systems Artificial Intelligence

Ensuring quality of service (QoS) guarantees in service systems is a challenging task, particularly when the system is composed of more fine-grained services, such as service function chains. An important QoS metric in service systems is the end-to-end delay, which becomes even more important in delay-sensitive applications, where the jobs must be completed within a time deadline. Admission control is one way of providing end-to-end delay guarantee, where the controller accepts a job only if it has a high probability of meeting the deadline. In this paper, we propose a reinforcement learning-based admission controller that guarantees a probabilistic upper-bound on the end-to-end delay of the service system, while minimizes the probability of unnecessary rejections. Our controller only uses the queue length information of the network and requires no knowledge about the network topology or system parameters. Since long-term performance metrics are of great importance in service systems, we take an average-reward reinforcement learning approach, which is well suited to infinite horizon problems. Our evaluations verify that the proposed RL-based admission controller is capable of providing probabilistic bounds on the end-to-end delay of the network, without using system model information.

Learning-based vs Model-free Adaptive Control of a MAV under Wind Gust Artificial Intelligence

Navigation problems under unknown varying conditions are among the most important and well-studied problems in the control field. Classic model-based adaptive control methods can be applied only when a convenient model of the plant or environment is provided. Recent model-free adaptive control methods aim at removing this dependency by learning the physical characteristics of the plant and/or process directly from sensor feedback. Although there have been prior attempts at improving these techniques, it remains an open question as to whether it is possible to cope with real-world uncertainties in a control system that is fully based on either paradigm. We propose a conceptually simple learning-based approach composed of a full state feedback controller, tuned robustly by a deep reinforcement learning framework based on the Soft Actor-Critic algorithm. We compare it, in realistic simulations, to a model-free controller that uses the same deep reinforcement learning framework for the control of a micro aerial vehicle under wind gust. The results indicate the great potential of learning-based adaptive control methods in modern dynamical systems.

Microsoft's Xbox accessibility controller is available for pre-order


Microsoft's Adaptive Controller for the Xbox was designed with accessibility in mind. It brings the needs of people with disabilities to the forefront, ensuring that they can use their existing accessibility tools with a gamepad that was designed with them in mind, first and foremost. Today, Xbox announced that the $100 controller is now available for pre-order. The devices will ship in September. The Xbox Adaptive Controller is now available for pre-order.

Third-Person Visual Imitation Learning via Decoupled Hierarchical Controller

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study a generalized setup for learning from demonstration to build an agent that can manipulate novel objects in unseen scenarios by looking at only a single video of human demonstration from a third-person perspective. To accomplish this goal, our agent should not only learn to understand the intent of the demonstrated third-person video in its context but also perform the intended task in its environment configuration. Our central insight is to enforce this structure explicitly during learning by decoupling what to achieve (intended task) from how to perform it (controller). We propose a hierarchical setup where a high-level module learns to generate a series of first-person sub-goals conditioned on the third-person video demonstration, and a low-level controller predicts the actions to achieve those sub-goals. We show results on a real robotic platform using Baxter for the manipulation tasks of pouring and placing objects in a box.