Many problems in Reinforcement Learning (RL) seek an optimal policy with large discrete multidimensional yet unordered action spaces; these include problems in randomized allocation of resources such as placements of multiple security resources and emergency response units, etc. A challenge in this setting is that the underlying action space is categorical (discrete and unordered) and large, for which existing RL methods do not perform well. Moreover, these problems require validity of the realized action (allocation); this validity constraint is often difficult to express compactly in a closed mathematical form. The allocation nature of the problem also prefers stochastic optimal policies, if one exists. In this work, we address these challenges by (1) applying a (state) conditional normalizing flow to compactly represent the stochastic policy -- the compactness arises due to the network only producing one sampled action and the corresponding log probability of the action, which is then used by an actor-critic method; and (2) employing an invalid action rejection method (via a valid action oracle) to update the base policy. The action rejection is enabled by a modified policy gradient that we derive. Finally, we conduct extensive experiments to show the scalability of our approach compared to prior methods and the ability to enforce arbitrary state-conditional constraints on the support of the distribution of actions in any state.
Language models trained on large-scale corpus often generate content that is harmful, toxic, or contrary to human preferences, making their alignment with human values a critical concern. Reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) with algorithms like PPO is a prevalent approach for alignment but is often complex, unstable, and resource-intensive. Recently, ranking-based alignment methods have emerged, offering stability and effectiveness by replacing the RL framework with supervised fine-tuning, but they are costly due to the need for annotated data. Considering that existing large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are already relatively well-aligned and cost-friendly, researchers have begun to align the language model with human preference from AI feedback. The common practices, which unidirectionally distill the instruction-following responses from LLMs, are constrained by their bottleneck. Thus we introduce CycleAlign to distill alignment capabilities from parameter-invisible LLMs (black-box) to a parameter-visible model (white-box) in an iterative manner. With in-context learning (ICL) as the core of the cycle, the black-box models are able to rank the model-generated responses guided by human-craft instruction and demonstrations about their preferences. During iterative interaction, the white-box models also have a judgment about responses generated by them. Consequently, the agreement ranking could be viewed as a pseudo label to dynamically update the in-context demonstrations and improve the preference ranking ability of black-box models. Through multiple interactions, the CycleAlign framework could align the white-box model with the black-box model effectively in a low-resource way. Empirical results illustrate that the model fine-tuned by CycleAlign remarkably exceeds existing methods, and achieves the state-of-the-art performance in alignment with human value.
In reinforcement learning (RL), there are two major settings for interacting with the environment: online and offline. Online methods explore the environment at significant time cost, and offline methods efficiently obtain reward signals by sacrificing exploration capability. We propose semi-offline RL, a novel paradigm that smoothly transits from offline to online settings, balances exploration capability and training cost, and provides a theoretical foundation for comparing different RL settings. Based on the semi-offline formulation, we present the RL setting that is optimal in terms of optimization cost, asymptotic error, and overfitting error bound. Extensive experiments show that our semi-offline approach is efficient and yields comparable or often better performance compared with state-of-the-art methods.
Realistic fine-grained multi-agent simulation of real-world complex systems is crucial for many downstream tasks such as reinforcement learning. Recent work has used generative models (GANs in particular) for providing high-fidelity simulation of real-world systems. However, such generative models are often monolithic and miss out on modeling the interaction in multi-agent systems. In this work, we take a first step towards building multiple interacting generative models (GANs) that reflects the interaction in real world. We build and analyze a hierarchical set-up where a higher-level GAN is conditioned on the output of multiple lower-level GANs. We present a technique of using feedback from the higher-level GAN to improve performance of lower-level GANs. We mathematically characterize the conditions under which our technique is impactful, including understanding the transfer learning nature of our set-up. We present three distinct experiments on synthetic data, time series data, and image domain, revealing the wide applicability of our technique.