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Deep Reinforcement Learning 3

Moderator: Raymond Yeh

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Tue 20 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT

Cooperative Exploration for Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning

Iou-Jen Liu · Unnat Jain · Raymond Yeh · Alex Schwing

Exploration is critical for good results in deep reinforcement learning and has attracted much attention. However, existing multi-agent deep reinforcement learning algorithms still use mostly noise-based techniques. Very recently, exploration methods that consider cooperation among multiple agents have been developed. However, existing methods suffer from a common challenge: agents struggle to identify states that are worth exploring, and hardly coordinate exploration efforts toward those states. To address this shortcoming, in this paper, we propose cooperative multi-agent exploration (CMAE): agents share a common goal while exploring. The goal is selected from multiple projected state spaces by a normalized entropy-based technique. Then, agents are trained to reach the goal in a coordinated manner. We demonstrate that CMAE consistently outperforms baselines on various tasks, including a sparse-reward version of multiple-particle environment (MPE) and the Starcraft multi-agent challenge (SMAC).

Tue 20 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

A Deep Reinforcement Learning Approach to Marginalized Importance Sampling with the Successor Representation

Scott Fujimoto · David Meger · Doina Precup

Marginalized importance sampling (MIS), which measures the density ratio between the state-action occupancy of a target policy and that of a sampling distribution, is a promising approach for off-policy evaluation. However, current state-of-the-art MIS methods rely on complex optimization tricks and succeed mostly on simple toy problems. We bridge the gap between MIS and deep reinforcement learning by observing that the density ratio can be computed from the successor representation of the target policy. The successor representation can be trained through deep reinforcement learning methodology and decouples the reward optimization from the dynamics of the environment, making the resulting algorithm stable and applicable to high-dimensional domains. We evaluate the empirical performance of our approach on a variety of challenging Atari and MuJoCo environments.

Tue 20 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

Learning to Weight Imperfect Demonstrations

Yunke Wang · Chang Xu · Bo Du · Honglak Lee

This paper investigates how to weight imperfect expert demonstrations for generative adversarial imitation learning (GAIL). The agent is expected to perform behaviors demonstrated by experts. But in many applications, experts could also make mistakes and their demonstrations would mislead or slow the learning process of the agent. Recently, existing methods for imitation learning from imperfect demonstrations mostly focus on using the preference or confidence scores to distinguish imperfect demonstrations. However, these auxiliary information needs to be collected with the help of an oracle, which is usually hard and expensive to afford in practice. In contrast, this paper proposes a method of learning to weight imperfect demonstrations in GAIL without imposing extensive prior information. We provide a rigorous mathematical analysis, presenting that the weights of demonstrations can be exactly determined by combining the discriminator and agent policy in GAIL. Theoretical analysis suggests that with the estimated weights the agent can learn a better policy beyond those plain expert demonstrations. Experiments in the Mujoco and Atari environments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms baseline methods in handling imperfect expert demonstrations.

Tue 20 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

DouZero: Mastering DouDizhu with Self-Play Deep Reinforcement Learning

Daochen Zha · Jingru Xie · Wenye Ma · Sheng Zhang · Xiangru Lian · Xia Hu · Ji Liu

Games are abstractions of the real world, where artificial agents learn to compete and cooperate with other agents. While significant achievements have been made in various perfect- and imperfect-information games, DouDizhu (a.k.a. Fighting the Landlord), a three-player card game, is still unsolved. DouDizhu is a very challenging domain with competition, collaboration, imperfect information, large state space, and particularly a massive set of possible actions where the legal actions vary significantly from turn to turn. Unfortunately, modern reinforcement learning algorithms mainly focus on simple and small action spaces, and not surprisingly, are shown not to make satisfactory progress in DouDizhu. In this work, we propose a conceptually simple yet effective DouDizhu AI system, namely DouZero, which enhances traditional Monte-Carlo methods with deep neural networks, action encoding, and parallel actors. Starting from scratch in a single server with four GPUs, DouZero outperformed all the existing DouDizhu AI programs in days of training and was ranked the first in the Botzone leaderboard among 344 AI agents. Through building DouZero, we show that classic Monte-Carlo methods can be made to deliver strong results in a hard domain with a complex action space. The code and an online demo are released at with the hope that this insight could motivate future work.

Tue 20 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

MURAL: Meta-Learning Uncertainty-Aware Rewards for Outcome-Driven Reinforcement Learning

Kevin Li · Abhishek Gupta · Ashwin D Reddy · Vitchyr Pong · Aurick Zhou · Justin Yu · Sergey Levine

Exploration in reinforcement learning is, in general, a challenging problem. A common technique to make learning easier is providing demonstrations from a human supervisor, but such demonstrations can be expensive and time-consuming to acquire. In this work, we study a more tractable class of reinforcement learning problems defined simply by examples of successful outcome states, which can be much easier to provide while still making the exploration problem more tractable. In this problem setting, the reward function can be obtained automatically by training a classifier to categorize states as successful or not. However, as we will show, this requires the classifier to make uncertainty-aware predictions that are very difficult using standard techniques for training deep networks. To address this, we propose a novel mechanism for obtaining calibrated uncertainty based on an amortized technique for computing the normalized maximum likelihood (NML) distribution, leveraging tools from meta-learning to make this distribution tractable. We show that the resulting algorithm has a number of intriguing connections to both count-based exploration methods and prior algorithms for learning reward functions, while also providing more effective guidance towards the goal. We demonstrate that our algorithm solves a number of challenging navigation and robotic manipulation tasks which prove difficult or impossible for prior methods.

Tue 20 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

RRL: Resnet as representation for Reinforcement Learning

Rutav Shah · Vikash Kumar

The ability to autonomously learn behaviors via direct interactions in uninstrumented environments can lead to generalist robots capable of enhancing productivity or providing care in unstructured settings like homes. Such uninstrumented settings warrant operations only using the robot’s proprioceptive sensor such as onboard cameras, joint encoders, etc which can be challenging for policy learning owing to the high dimensionality and partial observability issues. We propose RRL: Resnet as representation for Reinforcement Learning – a straightforward yet effective approach that can learn complex behaviors directly from proprioceptive inputs. RRL fuses features extracted from pre-trained Resnet into the standard reinforcement learning pipeline and delivers results comparable to learning directly from the state. In a simulated dexterous manipulation benchmark, where the state of the art methods fails to make significant progress, RRL delivers contact rich behaviors. The appeal of RRL lies in its simplicity in bringing together progress from the fields of Representation Learning, Imitation Learning, and Reinforcement Learning. Its effectiveness in learning behaviors directly from visual inputs with performance and sample efficiency matching learning directly from the state, even in complex high dimensional domains, is far from obvious.

Tue 20 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT

SCC: an efficient deep reinforcement learning agent mastering the game of StarCraft II

Xiangjun Wang · Junxiao SONG · Penghui Qi · Peng Peng · Zhenkun Tang · Wei Zhang · Weimin Li · Xiongjun Pi · Jujie He · Chao Gao · Haitao Long · Quan Yuan

AlphaStar, the AI that reaches GrandMaster level in StarCraft II, is a remarkable milestone demonstrating what deep reinforcement learning can achieve in complex Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. However, the complexities of the game, algorithms and systems, and especially the tremendous amount of computation needed are big obstacles for the community to conduct further research in this direction. We propose a deep reinforcement learning agent, StarCraft Commander (SCC). With order of magnitude less computation, it demonstrates top human performance defeating GrandMaster players in test matches and top professional players in a live event. Moreover, it shows strong robustness to various human strategies and discovers novel strategies unseen from human plays. In this paper, we’ll share the key insights and optimizations on efficient imitation learning and reinforcement learning for StarCraft II full game.

Tue 20 July 19:50 - 19:55 PDT