Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free add-on: code for papers everywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

Canzhe Zhao, Ruofeng Yang, Baoxiang Wang, Xuezhou Zhang, Shuai Li

In this work, we study the low-rank MDPs with adversarially changed losses in the full-information feedback setting. In particular, the unknown transition probability kernel admits a low-rank matrix decomposition \citep{REPUCB22}, and the loss functions may change adversarially but are revealed to the learner at the end of each episode. We propose a policy optimization-based algorithm POLO, and we prove that it attains the $\widetilde{O}(K^{\frac{5}{6}}A^{\frac{1}{2}}d\ln(1+M)/(1-\gamma)^2)$ regret guarantee, where $d$ is rank of the transition kernel (and hence the dimension of the unknown representations), $A$ is the cardinality of the action space, $M$ is the cardinality of the model class, and $\gamma$ is the discounted factor. Notably, our algorithm is oracle-efficient and has a regret guarantee with no dependence on the size of potentially arbitrarily large state space. Furthermore, we also prove an $\Omega(\frac{\gamma^2}{1-\gamma} \sqrt{d A K})$ regret lower bound for this problem, showing that low-rank MDPs are statistically more difficult to learn than linear MDPs in the regret minimization setting. To the best of our knowledge, we present the first algorithm that interleaves representation learning, exploration, and exploitation to achieve the sublinear regret guarantee for RL with nonlinear function approximation and adversarial losses.

Via

Canzhe Zhao, Yanjie Ze, Jing Dong, Baoxiang Wang, Shuai Li

Communication lays the foundation for cooperation in human society and in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Humans also desire to maintain their privacy when communicating with others, yet such privacy concern has not been considered in existing works in MARL. To this end, we propose the \textit{differentially private multi-agent communication} (DPMAC) algorithm, which protects the sensitive information of individual agents by equipping each agent with a local message sender with rigorous $(\epsilon, \delta)$-differential privacy (DP) guarantee. In contrast to directly perturbing the messages with predefined DP noise as commonly done in privacy-preserving scenarios, we adopt a stochastic message sender for each agent respectively and incorporate the DP requirement into the sender, which automatically adjusts the learned message distribution to alleviate the instability caused by DP noise. Further, we prove the existence of a Nash equilibrium in cooperative MARL with privacy-preserving communication, which suggests that this problem is game-theoretically learnable. Extensive experiments demonstrate a clear advantage of DPMAC over baseline methods in privacy-preserving scenarios.

Via

Jing Dong, Jingyu Wu, Siwei Wang, Baoxiang Wang, Wei Chen

The congestion game is a powerful model that encompasses a range of engineering systems such as traffic networks and resource allocation. It describes the behavior of a group of agents who share a common set of $F$ facilities and take actions as subsets with $k$ facilities. In this work, we study the online formulation of congestion games, where agents participate in the game repeatedly and observe feedback with randomness. We propose CongestEXP, a decentralized algorithm that applies the classic exponential weights method. By maintaining weights on the facility level, the regret bound of CongestEXP avoids the exponential dependence on the size of possible facility sets, i.e., $\binom{F}{k} \approx F^k$, and scales only linearly with $F$. Specifically, we show that CongestEXP attains a regret upper bound of $O(kF\sqrt{T})$ for every individual player, where $T$ is the time horizon. On the other hand, exploiting the exponential growth of weights enables CongestEXP to achieve a fast convergence rate. If a strict Nash equilibrium exists, we show that CongestEXP can converge to the strict Nash policy almost exponentially fast in $O(F\exp(-t^{1-\alpha}))$, where $t$ is the number of iterations and $\alpha \in (1/2, 1)$.

Via

Fang Kong, Jize Xie, Baoxiang Wang, Tao Yao, Shuai Li

We study online influence maximization (OIM) under a new model of decreasing cascade (DC). This model is a generalization of the independent cascade (IC) model by considering the common phenomenon of market saturation. In DC, the chance of an influence attempt being successful reduces with previous failures. The effect is neglected by previous OIM works under IC and linear threshold models. We propose the DC-UCB algorithm to solve this problem, which achieves a regret bound of the same order as the state-of-the-art works on the IC model. Extensive experiments on both synthetic and real datasets show the effectiveness of our algorithm.

Via

Wenhao Li, Dan Qiao, Baoxiang Wang, Xiangfeng Wang, Bo Jin, Hongyuan Zha

The difficulty of appropriately assigning credit is particularly heightened in cooperative MARL with sparse reward, due to the concurrent time and structural scales involved. Automatic subgoal generation (ASG) has recently emerged as a viable MARL approach inspired by utilizing subgoals in intrinsically motivated reinforcement learning. However, end-to-end learning of complex task planning from sparse rewards without prior knowledge, undoubtedly requires massive training samples. Moreover, the diversity-promoting nature of existing ASG methods can lead to the "over-representation" of subgoals, generating numerous spurious subgoals of limited relevance to the actual task reward and thus decreasing the sample efficiency of the algorithm. To address this problem and inspired by the disentangled representation learning, we propose a novel "disentangled" decision-making method, Semantically Aligned task decomposition in MARL (SAMA), that prompts pretrained language models with chain-of-thought that can suggest potential goals, provide suitable goal decomposition and subgoal allocation as well as self-reflection-based replanning. Additionally, SAMA incorporates language-grounded RL to train each agent's subgoal-conditioned policy. SAMA demonstrates considerable advantages in sample efficiency compared to state-of-the-art ASG methods, as evidenced by its performance on two challenging sparse-reward tasks, Overcooked and MiniRTS.

Via

Yue Lin, Wenhao Li, Hongyuan Zha, Baoxiang Wang

Reinforcement learning (RL) mimics how humans and animals interact with the environment. The setting is somewhat idealized because, in actual tasks, other agents in the environment have their own goals and behave adaptively to the ego agent. To thrive in those environments, the agent needs to influence other agents so their actions become more helpful and less harmful. Research in computational economics distills two ways to influence others directly: by providing tangible goods (mechanism design) and by providing information (information design). This work investigates information design problems for a group of RL agents. The main challenges are two-fold. One is the information provided will immediately affect the transition of the agent trajectories, which introduces additional non-stationarity. The other is the information can be ignored, so the sender must provide information that the receivers are willing to respect. We formulate the Markov signaling game, and develop the notions of signaling gradient and the extended obedience constraints that address these challenges. Our algorithm is efficient on various mixed-motive tasks and provides further insights into computational economics. Our code is available at https://github.com/YueLin301/InformationDesignMARL.

Via

Wenhao Li, Baoxiang Wang, Shanchao Yang, Hongyuan Zha

Enhancing the diversity of policies is beneficial for robustness, exploration, and transfer in reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, we aim to seek diverse policies in an under-explored setting, namely RL tasks with structured action spaces with the two properties of composability and local dependencies. The complex action structure, non-uniform reward landscape, and subtle hyperparameter tuning due to the properties of structured actions prevent existing approaches from scaling well. We propose a simple and effective RL method, Diverse Policy Optimization (DPO), to model the policies in structured action space as the energy-based models (EBM) by following the probabilistic RL framework. A recently proposed novel and powerful generative model, GFlowNet, is introduced as the efficient, diverse EBM-based policy sampler. DPO follows a joint optimization framework: the outer layer uses the diverse policies sampled by the GFlowNet to update the EBM-based policies, which supports the GFlowNet training in the inner layer. Experiments on ATSC and Battle benchmarks demonstrate that DPO can efficiently discover surprisingly diverse policies in challenging scenarios and substantially outperform existing state-of-the-art methods.

Via

Fang Kong, Xiangcheng Zhang, Baoxiang Wang, Shuai Li

Learning Markov decision processes (MDP) in an adversarial environment has been a challenging problem. The problem becomes even more challenging with function approximation, since the underlying structure of the loss function and transition kernel are especially hard to estimate in a varying environment. In fact, the state-of-the-art results for linear adversarial MDP achieve a regret of $\tilde{O}(K^{6/7})$ ($K$ denotes the number of episodes), which admits a large room for improvement. In this paper, we investigate the problem with a new view, which reduces linear MDP into linear optimization by subtly setting the feature maps of the bandit arms of linear optimization. This new technique, under an exploratory assumption, yields an improved bound of $\tilde{O}(K^{4/5})$ for linear adversarial MDP without access to a transition simulator. The new view could be of independent interest for solving other MDP problems that possess a linear structure.

Via

Qi Tian, Kun Kuang, Furui Liu, Baoxiang Wang

Offline multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) aims to learn effective multi-agent policies from pre-collected datasets, which is an important step toward the deployment of multi-agent systems in real-world applications. However, in practice, each individual behavior policy that generates multi-agent joint trajectories usually has a different level of how well it performs. e.g., an agent is a random policy while other agents are medium policies. In the cooperative game with global reward, one agent learned by existing offline MARL often inherits this random policy, jeopardizing the performance of the entire team. In this paper, we investigate offline MARL with explicit consideration on the diversity of agent-wise trajectories and propose a novel framework called Shared Individual Trajectories (SIT) to address this problem. Specifically, an attention-based reward decomposition network assigns the credit to each agent through a differentiable key-value memory mechanism in an offline manner. These decomposed credits are then used to reconstruct the joint offline datasets into prioritized experience replay with individual trajectories, thereafter agents can share their good trajectories and conservatively train their policies with a graph attention network (GAT) based critic. We evaluate our method in both discrete control (i.e., StarCraft II and multi-agent particle environment) and continuous control (i.e, multi-agent mujoco). The results indicate that our method achieves significantly better results in complex and mixed offline multi-agent datasets, especially when the difference of data quality between individual trajectories is large.

Via

Jing Dong, Jingwei Li, Baoxiang Wang, Jingzhao Zhang

Reinforcement learning (RL) has exceeded human performance in many synthetic settings such as video games and Go. However, real-world deployment of end-to-end RL models is less common, as RL models can be very sensitive to slight perturbation of the environment. The robust Markov decision process (MDP) framework -- in which the transition probabilities belong to an uncertainty set around a nominal model -- provides one way to develop robust models. While previous analysis shows RL algorithms are effective assuming access to a generative model, it remains unclear whether RL can be efficient under a more realistic online setting, which requires a careful balance between exploration and exploitation. In this work, we consider online robust MDP by interacting with an unknown nominal system. We propose a robust optimistic policy optimization algorithm that is provably efficient. To address the additional uncertainty caused by an adversarial environment, our model features a new optimistic update rule derived via Fenchel conjugates. Our analysis establishes the first regret bound for online robust MDPs.

Via