Jin, Ming, Damianou, Andreas, Abbeel, Pieter, Spanos, Costas

We propose a new approach to inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) based on the deep Gaussian process (deep GP) model, which is capable of learning complicated reward structures with few demonstrations. Our model stacks multiple latent GP layers to learn abstract representations of the state feature space, which is linked to the demonstrations through the Maximum Entropy learning framework. Incorporating the IRL engine into the nonlinear latent structure renders existing deep GP inference approaches intractable. To tackle this, we develop a non-standard variational approximation framework which extends previous inference schemes. This allows for approximate Bayesian treatment of the feature space and guards against overfitting. Carrying out representation and inverse reinforcement learning simultaneously within our model outperforms state-of-the-art approaches, as we demonstrate with experiments on standard benchmarks ("object world","highway driving") and a new benchmark ("binary world").

Mendez, Jorge Armando Mendez, Shivkumar, Shashank, Eaton, Eric

Methods for learning from demonstration (LfD) have shown success in acquiring behavior policies by imitating a user. However, even for a single task, LfD may require numerous demonstrations. For versatile agents that must learn many tasks via demonstration, this process would substantially burden the user if each task were learned in isolation. To address this challenge, we introduce the novel problem of lifelong learning from demonstration, which allows the agent to continually build upon knowledge learned from previously demonstrated tasks to accelerate the learning of new tasks, reducing the amount of demonstrations required. As one solution to this problem, we propose the first lifelong learning approach to inverse reinforcement learning, which learns consecutive tasks via demonstration, continually transferring knowledge between tasks to improve performance.

Mendez, Jorge Armando Mendez, Shivkumar, Shashank, Eaton, Eric

Roa-Vicens, Jacobo, Chtourou, Cyrine, Filos, Angelos, Rullan, Francisco, Gal, Yarin, Silva, Ricardo

Multi-agent learning is a promising method to simulate aggregate competitive behaviour in finance. Learning expert agents' reward functions through their external demonstrations is hence particularly relevant for subsequent design of realistic agent-based simulations. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) aims at acquiring such reward functions through inference, allowing to generalize the resulting policy to states not observed in the past. This paper investigates whether IRL can infer such rewards from agents within real financial stochastic environments: limit order books (LOB). We introduce a simple one-level LOB, where the interactions of a number of stochastic agents and an expert trading agent are modelled as a Markov decision process. We consider two cases for the expert's reward: either a simple linear function of state features; or a complex, more realistic non-linear function. Given the expert agent's demonstrations, we attempt to discover their strategy by modelling their latent reward function using linear and Gaussian process (GP) regressors from previous literature, and our own approach through Bayesian neural networks (BNN). While the three methods can learn the linear case, only the GP-based and our proposed BNN methods are able to discover the non-linear reward case. Our BNN IRL algorithm outperforms the other two approaches as the number of samples increases. These results illustrate that complex behaviours, induced by non-linear reward functions amid agent-based stochastic scenarios, can be deduced through inference, encouraging the use of inverse reinforcement learning for opponent-modelling in multi-agent systems.

Arora, Saurabh, Doshi, Prashant

Inverse reinforcement learning is the problem of inferring the reward function of an observed agent, given its policy or behavior. Researchers perceive IRL both as a problem and as a class of methods. By categorically surveying the current literature in IRL, this article serves as a reference for researchers and practitioners in machine learning to understand the challenges of IRL and select the approaches best suited for the problem on hand. The survey formally introduces the IRL problem along with its central challenges which include accurate inference, generalizability, correctness of prior knowledge, and growth in solution complexity with problem size. The article elaborates how the current methods mitigate these challenges. We further discuss the extensions of traditional IRL methods: (i) inaccurate and incomplete perception, (ii) incomplete model, (iii) multiple rewards, and (iv) non-linear reward functions. This discussion concludes with some broad advances in the research area and currently open research questions.