The Multi-Agent Pathfinding (MAPF) problem involves finding a set of conflict-free paths for a group of agents confined to a graph. In typical MAPF scenarios, the graph and the agents' starting and ending vertices are known beforehand, allowing the use of centralized planning algorithms. However, in this study, we focus on the decentralized MAPF setting, where the agents may observe the other agents only locally and are restricted in communications with each other. Specifically, we investigate the lifelong variant of MAPF, where new goals are continually assigned to the agents upon completion of previous ones. Drawing inspiration from the successful AlphaZero approach, we propose a decentralized multi-agent Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) method for MAPF tasks. Our approach utilizes the agent's observations to recreate the intrinsic Markov decision process, which is then used for planning with a tailored for multi-agent tasks version of neural MCTS. The experimental results show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art learnable MAPF solvers. The source code is available at https://github.com/AIRI-Institute/mats-lp.
Molecular conformation optimization is crucial to computer-aided drug discovery and materials design. Traditional energy minimization techniques rely on iterative optimization methods that use molecular forces calculated by a physical simulator (oracle) as anti-gradients. However, this is a computationally expensive approach that requires many interactions with a physical simulator. One way to accelerate this procedure is to replace the physical simulator with a neural network. Despite recent progress in neural networks for molecular conformation energy prediction, such models are prone to distribution shift, leading to inaccurate energy minimization. We find that the quality of energy minimization with neural networks can be improved by providing optimization trajectories as additional training data. Still, it takes around $5 \times 10^5$ additional conformations to match the physical simulator's optimization quality. In this work, we present the Gradual Optimization Learning Framework (GOLF) for energy minimization with neural networks that significantly reduces the required additional data. The framework consists of an efficient data-collecting scheme and an external optimizer. The external optimizer utilizes gradients from the energy prediction model to generate optimization trajectories, and the data-collecting scheme selects additional training data to be processed by the physical simulator. Our results demonstrate that the neural network trained with GOLF performs on par with the oracle on a benchmark of diverse drug-like molecules using $50$x less additional data.
Multi-agent Pathfinding (MAPF) problem generally asks to find a set of conflict-free paths for a set of agents confined to a graph and is typically solved in a centralized fashion. Conversely, in this work, we investigate the decentralized MAPF setting, when the central controller that posses all the information on the agents' locations and goals is absent and the agents have to sequientially decide the actions on their own without having access to a full state of the environment. We focus on the practically important lifelong variant of MAPF, which involves continuously assigning new goals to the agents upon arrival to the previous ones. To address this complex problem, we propose a method that integrates two complementary approaches: planning with heuristic search and reinforcement learning through policy optimization. Planning is utilized to construct and re-plan individual paths. We enhance our planning algorithm with a dedicated technique tailored to avoid congestion and increase the throughput of the system. We employ reinforcement learning to discover the collision avoidance policies that effectively guide the agents along the paths. The policy is implemented as a neural network and is effectively trained without any reward-shaping or external guidance. We evaluate our method on a wide range of setups comparing it to the state-of-the-art solvers. The results show that our method consistently outperforms the learnable competitors, showing higher throughput and better ability to generalize to the maps that were unseen at the training stage. Moreover our solver outperforms a rule-based one in terms of throughput and is an order of magnitude faster than a state-of-the-art search-based solver.
In this work we study a well-known and challenging problem of Multi-agent Pathfinding, when a set of agents is confined to a graph, each agent is assigned a unique start and goal vertices and the task is to find a set of collision-free paths (one for each agent) such that each agent reaches its respective goal. We investigate how to utilize Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) to solve the problem. Although MCTS was shown to demonstrate superior performance in a wide range of problems like playing antagonistic games (e.g. Go, Chess etc.), discovering faster matrix multiplication algorithms etc., its application to the problem at hand was not well studied before. To this end we introduce an original variant of MCTS, tailored to multi-agent pathfinding. The crux of our approach is how the reward, that guides MCTS, is computed. Specifically, we use individual paths to assist the agents with the the goal-reaching behavior, while leaving them freedom to get off the track if it is needed to avoid collisions. We also use a dedicated decomposition technique to reduce the branching factor of the tree search procedure. Empirically we show that the suggested method outperforms the baseline planning algorithm that invokes heuristic search, e.g. A*, at each re-planning step.
Many challenging reinforcement learning (RL) problems require designing a distribution of tasks that can be applied to train effective policies. This distribution of tasks can be specified by the curriculum. A curriculum is meant to improve the results of learning and accelerate it. We introduce Success Induced Task Prioritization (SITP), a framework for automatic curriculum learning, where a task sequence is created based on the success rate of each task. In this setting, each task is an algorithmically created environment instance with a unique configuration. The algorithm selects the order of tasks that provide the fastest learning for agents. The probability of selecting any of the tasks for the next stage of learning is determined by evaluating its performance score in previous stages. Experiments were carried out in the Partially Observable Grid Environment for Multiple Agents (POGEMA) and Procgen benchmark. We demonstrate that SITP matches or surpasses the results of other curriculum design methods. Our method can be implemented with handful of minor modifications to any standard RL framework and provides useful prioritization with minimal computational overhead.
* MICAI 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13612
Human intelligence can remarkably adapt quickly to new tasks and environments. Starting from a very young age, humans acquire new skills and learn how to solve new tasks either by imitating the behavior of others or by following provided natural language instructions. To facilitate research which can enable similar capabilities in machines, we made the following contributions (1) formalized the collaborative embodied agent using natural language task; (2) developed a tool for extensive and scalable data collection; and (3) collected the first dataset for interactive grounded language understanding.
* Interactive Learning for Natural Language Processing NeurIPS 2022
The adoption of pre-trained language models to generate action plans for embodied agents is a promising research strategy. However, execution of instructions in real or simulated environments requires verification of the feasibility of actions as well as their relevance to the completion of a goal. We propose a new method that combines a language model and reinforcement learning for the task of building objects in a Minecraft-like environment according to the natural language instructions. Our method first generates a set of consistently achievable sub-goals from the instructions and then completes associated sub-tasks with a pre-trained RL policy. The proposed method formed the RL baseline at the IGLU 2022 competition.
We introduce POGEMA (https://github.com/AIRI-Institute/pogema) a sandbox for challenging partially observable multi-agent pathfinding (PO-MAPF) problems . This is a grid-based environment that was specifically designed to be a flexible, tunable and scalable benchmark. It can be tailored to a variety of PO-MAPF, which can serve as an excellent testing ground for planning and learning methods, and their combination, which will allow us to move towards filling the gap between AI planning and learning.
We present the IGLU Gridworld: a reinforcement learning environment for building and evaluating language conditioned embodied agents in a scalable way. The environment features visual agent embodiment, interactive learning through collaboration, language conditioned RL, and combinatorically hard task (3d blocks building) space.
Human intelligence has the remarkable ability to adapt to new tasks and environments quickly. Starting from a very young age, humans acquire new skills and learn how to solve new tasks either by imitating the behavior of others or by following provided natural language instructions. To facilitate research in this direction, we propose IGLU: Interactive Grounded Language Understanding in a Collaborative Environment. The primary goal of the competition is to approach the problem of how to develop interactive embodied agents that learn to solve a task while provided with grounded natural language instructions in a collaborative environment. Understanding the complexity of the challenge, we split it into sub-tasks to make it feasible for participants. This research challenge is naturally related, but not limited, to two fields of study that are highly relevant to the NeurIPS community: Natural Language Understanding and Generation (NLU/G) and Reinforcement Learning (RL). Therefore, the suggested challenge can bring two communities together to approach one of the crucial challenges in AI. Another critical aspect of the challenge is the dedication to perform a human-in-the-loop evaluation as a final evaluation for the agents developed by contestants.
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2110.06536