Tesauro, Gerald


Hybrid Reinforcement Learning with Expert State Sequences

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Existing imitation learning approaches often require that the complete demonstration data, including sequences of actions and states, are available. In this paper, we consider a more realistic and difficult scenario where a reinforcement learning agent only has access to the state sequences of an expert, while the expert actions are unobserved. We propose a novel tensor-based model to infer the unobserved actions of the expert state sequences. The policy of the agent is then optimized via a hybrid objective combining reinforcement learning and imitation learning. We evaluated our hybrid approach on an illustrative domain and Atari games. The empirical results show that (1) the agents are able to leverage state expert sequences to learn faster than pure reinforcement learning baselines, (2) our tensor-based action inference model is advantageous compared to standard deep neural networks in inferring expert actions, and (3) the hybrid policy optimization objective is robust against noise in expert state sequences.


Learning Hierarchical Teaching in Cooperative Multiagent Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Heterogeneous knowledge naturally arises among different agents in cooperative multiagent reinforcement learning. As such, learning can be greatly improved if agents can effectively pass their knowledge on to other agents. Existing work has demonstrated that peer-to-peer knowledge transfer, a process referred to as action advising, improves team-wide learning. In contrast to previous frameworks that advise at the level of primitive actions, we aim to learn high-level teaching policies that decide when and what high-level action (e.g., sub-goal) to advise a teammate. We introduce a new learning to teach framework, called hierarchical multiagent teaching (HMAT). The proposed framework solves difficulties faced by prior work on multiagent teaching when operating in domains with long horizons, delayed rewards, and continuous states/actions by leveraging temporal abstraction and deep function approximation. Our empirical evaluations show that HMAT accelerates team-wide learning progress in difficult environments that are more complex than those explored in previous work. HMAT also learns teaching policies that can be transferred to different teammates/tasks and can even teach teammates with heterogeneous action spaces.


Learning Abstract Options

Neural Information Processing Systems

Building systems that autonomously create temporal abstractions from data is a key challenge in scaling learning and planning in reinforcement learning. One popular approach for addressing this challenge is the options framework (Sutton et al., 1999). However, only recently in (Bacon et al., 2017) was a policy gradient theorem derived for online learning of general purpose options in an end to end fashion. In this work, we extend previous work on this topic that only focuses on learning a two-level hierarchy including options and primitive actions to enable learning simultaneously at multiple resolutions in time. We achieve this by considering an arbitrarily deep hierarchy of options where high level temporally extended options are composed of lower level options with finer resolutions in time. We extend results from (Bacon et al., 2017) and derive policy gradient theorems for a deep hierarchy of options. Our proposed hierarchical option-critic architecture is capable of learning internal policies, termination conditions, and hierarchical compositions over options without the need for any intrinsic rewards or subgoals. Our empirical results in both discrete and continuous environments demonstrate the efficiency of our framework.


Dialog-based Interactive Image Retrieval

Neural Information Processing Systems

Existing methods for interactive image retrieval have demonstrated the merit of integrating user feedback, improving retrieval results. However, most current systems rely on restricted forms of user feedback, such as binary relevance responses, or feedback based on a fixed set of relative attributes, which limits their impact. In this paper, we introduce a new approach to interactive image search that enables users to provide feedback via natural language, allowing for more natural and effective interaction. We formulate the task of dialog-based interactive image retrieval as a reinforcement learning problem, and reward the dialog system for improving the rank of the target image during each dialog turn. To mitigate the cumbersome and costly process of collecting human-machine conversations as the dialog system learns, we train our system with a user simulator, which is itself trained to describe the differences between target and candidate images. The efficacy of our approach is demonstrated in a footwear retrieval application. Experiments on both simulated and real-world data show that 1) our proposed learning framework achieves better accuracy than other supervised and reinforcement learning baselines and 2) user feedback based on natural language rather than pre-specified attributes leads to more effective retrieval results, and a more natural and expressive communication interface.


Dialog-based Interactive Image Retrieval

Neural Information Processing Systems

Existing methods for interactive image retrieval have demonstrated the merit of integrating user feedback, improving retrieval results. However, most current systems rely on restricted forms of user feedback, such as binary relevance responses, or feedback based on a fixed set of relative attributes, which limits their impact. In this paper, we introduce a new approach to interactive image search that enables users to provide feedback via natural language, allowing for more natural and effective interaction. We formulate the task of dialog-based interactive image retrieval as a reinforcement learning problem, and reward the dialog system for improving the rank of the target image during each dialog turn. To mitigate the cumbersome and costly process of collecting human-machine conversations as the dialog system learns, we train our system with a user simulator, which is itself trained to describe the differences between target and candidate images. The efficacy of our approach is demonstrated in a footwear retrieval application. Experiments on both simulated and real-world data show that 1) our proposed learning framework achieves better accuracy than other supervised and reinforcement learning baselines and 2) user feedback based on natural language rather than pre-specified attributes leads to more effective retrieval results, and a more natural and expressive communication interface.


Learning Abstract Options

Neural Information Processing Systems

Building systems that autonomously create temporal abstractions from data is a key challenge in scaling learning and planning in reinforcement learning. One popular approach for addressing this challenge is the options framework [29]. However, only recently in [1] was a policy gradient theorem derived for online learning of general purpose options in an end to end fashion. In this work, we extend previous work on this topic that only focuses on learning a two-level hierarchy including options and primitive actions to enable learning simultaneously at multiple resolutions in time. We achieve this by considering an arbitrarily deep hierarchy of options where high level temporally extended options are composed of lower level options with finer resolutions in time. We extend results from [1] and derive policy gradient theorems for a deep hierarchy of options. Our proposed hierarchical option-critic architecture is capable of learning internal policies, termination conditions, and hierarchical compositions over options without the need for any intrinsic rewards or subgoals. Our empirical results in both discrete and continuous environments demonstrate the efficiency of our framework.


Learning to Learn without Forgetting By Maximizing Transfer and Minimizing Interference

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Lack of performance when it comes to continual learning over non-stationary distributions of data remains a major challenge in scaling neural network learning to more human realistic settings. In this work we propose a new conceptualization of the continual learning problem in terms of a temporally symmetric trade-off between transfer and interference that can be optimized by enforcing gradient alignment across examples. We then propose a new algorithm, Meta-Experience Replay (MER), that directly exploits this view by combining experience replay with optimization based meta-learning. This method learns parameters that make interference based on future gradients less likely and transfer based on future gradients more likely. We conduct experiments across continual lifelong supervised learning benchmarks and non-stationary reinforcement learning environments demonstrating that our approach consistently outperforms recently proposed baselines for continual learning. Our experiments show that the gap between the performance of MER and baseline algorithms grows both as the environment gets more non-stationary and as the fraction of the total experiences stored gets smaller.


Learning Abstract Options

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Building systems that autonomously create temporal abstractions from data is a key challenge in scaling learning and planning in reinforcement learning. One popular approach for addressing this challenge is the options framework (Sutton et al., 1999). However, only recently in (Bacon et al., 2017) was a policy gradient theorem derived for online learning of general purpose options in an end to end fashion. In this work, we extend previous work on this topic that only focuses on learning a two-level hierarchy including options and primitive actions to enable learning simultaneously at multiple resolutions in time. We achieve this by considering an arbitrarily deep hierarchy of options where high level temporally extended options are composed of lower level options with finer resolutions in time. We extend results from (Bacon et al., 2017) and derive policy gradient theorems for a deep hierarchy of options. Our proposed hierarchical option-critic architecture is capable of learning internal policies, termination conditions, and hierarchical compositions over options without the need for any intrinsic rewards or subgoals. Our empirical results in both discrete and continuous environments demonstrate the efficiency of our framework.


Learning to Teach in Cooperative Multiagent Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We present a framework and algorithm for peer-to-peer teaching in cooperative multiagent reinforcement learning. Our algorithm, Learning to Coordinate and Teach Reinforcement (LeCTR), trains advising policies by using students' learning progress as a teaching reward. Agents using LeCTR learn to assume the role of a teacher or student at the appropriate moments, exchanging action advice to accelerate the entire learning process. Our algorithm supports teaching heterogeneous teammates, advising under communication constraints, and learns both what and when to advise. LeCTR is demonstrated to outperform the final performance and rate of learning of prior teaching methods on multiple benchmark domains. To our knowledge, this is the first approach for learning to teach in a multiagent setting.


Evidence Aggregation for Answer Re-Ranking in Open-Domain Question Answering

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

A popular recent approach to answering open-domain questions is to first search for question-related passages and then apply reading comprehension models to extract answers. Existing methods usually extract answers from single passages independently. But some questions require a combination of evidence from across different sources to answer correctly. In this paper, we propose two models which make use of multiple passages to generate their answers. Both use an answer-reranking approach which reorders the answer candidates generated by an existing state-of-the-art QA model. We propose two methods, namely, strength-based re-ranking and coverage-based re-ranking, to make use of the aggregated evidence from different passages to better determine the answer. Our models have achieved state-of-the-art results on three public open-domain QA datasets: Quasar-T, SearchQA and the open-domain version of TriviaQA, with about 8 percentage points of improvement over the former two datasets.