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Learning to search with MCTSnets
Arthur Guez · Theophane Weber · Ioannis Antonoglou · Karen Simonyan · Oriol Vinyals · Daan Wierstra · Remi Munos · David Silver

Wed Jul 11 02:20 AM -- 02:30 AM (PDT) @ Victoria

Planning problems are among the most important and well-studied problems in artificial intelligence. They are most typically solved by tree search algorithms that simulate ahead into the future, evaluate future states, and back-up those evaluations to the root of a search tree. Among these algorithms, Monte-Carlo tree search (MCTS) is one of the most general, powerful and widely used. A typical implementation of MCTS uses cleverly designed rules, optimised to the particular characteristics of the domain. These rules control where the simulation traverses, what to evaluate in the states that are reached, and how to back-up those evaluations. In this paper we instead learn where, what and how to search. Our architecture, which we call an MCTSnet, incorporates simulation-based search inside a neural network, by expanding, evaluating and backing-up a vector embedding. The parameters of the network are trained end-to-end using gradient-based optimisation. When applied to small searches in the well-known planning problem Sokoban, the learned search algorithm significantly outperformed MCTS baselines.

Author Information

Arthur Guez (Google DeepMind)
Theo Weber (DeepMind)
Ioannis Antonoglou (Deepmind)
Karen Simonyan (DeepMind)
Oriol Vinyals (DeepMind)

Oriol Vinyals is a Research Scientist at Google. He works in deep learning with the Google Brain team. Oriol holds a Ph.D. in EECS from University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters degree from University of California, San Diego. He is a recipient of the 2011 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. He was an early adopter of the new deep learning wave at Berkeley, and in his thesis he focused on non-convex optimization and recurrent neural networks. At Google Brain he continues working on his areas of interest, which include artificial intelligence, with particular emphasis on machine learning, language, and vision.

Daan Wierstra (Google DeepMind)
Remi Munos (DeepMind)
David Silver (Google DeepMind)

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