StarCraft II is one of the most challenging simulated reinforcement learning environments; it is partially observable, stochastic, multi-agent, and mastering StarCraft II requires strategic planning over long time horizons with real-time low-level execution. It also has an active professional competitive scene. StarCraft II is uniquely suited for advancing offline RL algorithms, both because of its challenging nature and because Blizzard has released a massive dataset of millions of StarCraft II games played by human players. This paper leverages that and establishes a benchmark, called AlphaStar Unplugged, introducing unprecedented challenges for offline reinforcement learning. We define a dataset (a subset of Blizzard's release), tools standardizing an API for machine learning methods, and an evaluation protocol. We also present baseline agents, including behavior cloning, offline variants of actor-critic and MuZero. We improve the state of the art of agents using only offline data, and we achieve 90% win rate against previously published AlphaStar behavior cloning agent.
Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning (HRL) allows interactive agents to decompose complex problems into a hierarchy of sub-tasks. Higher-level tasks can invoke the solutions of lower-level tasks as if they were primitive actions. In this work, we study the utility of hierarchical decompositions for learning an appropriate way to interact with a complex interface. Specifically, we train HRL agents that can interface with applications in a simulated Android device. We introduce a Hierarchical Distributed Deep Reinforcement Learning architecture that learns (1) subtasks corresponding to simple finger gestures, and (2) how to combine these gestures to solve several Android tasks. Our approach relies on goal conditioning and can be used more generally to convert any base RL agent into an HRL agent. We use the AndroidEnv environment to evaluate our approach. For the experiments, the HRL agent uses a distributed version of the popular DQN algorithm to train different components of the hierarchy. While the native action space is completely intractable for simple DQN agents, our architecture can be used to establish an effective way to interact with different tasks, significantly improving the performance of the same DQN agent over different levels of abstraction.
Language modelling provides a step towards intelligent communication systems by harnessing large repositories of written human knowledge to better predict and understand the world. In this paper, we present an analysis of Transformer-based language model performance across a wide range of model scales -- from models with tens of millions of parameters up to a 280 billion parameter model called Gopher. These models are evaluated on 152 diverse tasks, achieving state-of-the-art performance across the majority. Gains from scale are largest in areas such as reading comprehension, fact-checking, and the identification of toxic language, but logical and mathematical reasoning see less benefit. We provide a holistic analysis of the training dataset and model's behaviour, covering the intersection of model scale with bias and toxicity. Finally we discuss the application of language models to AI safety and the mitigation of downstream harms.
We introduce RLDS (Reinforcement Learning Datasets), an ecosystem for recording, replaying, manipulating, annotating and sharing data in the context of Sequential Decision Making (SDM) including Reinforcement Learning (RL), Learning from Demonstrations, Offline RL or Imitation Learning. RLDS enables not only reproducibility of existing research and easy generation of new datasets, but also accelerates novel research. By providing a standard and lossless format of datasets it enables to quickly test new algorithms on a wider range of tasks. The RLDS ecosystem makes it easy to share datasets without any loss of information and to be agnostic to the underlying original format when applying various data processing pipelines to large collections of datasets. Besides, RLDS provides tools for collecting data generated by either synthetic agents or humans, as well as for inspecting and manipulating the collected data. Ultimately, integration with TFDS facilitates the sharing of RL datasets with the research community.
The ability to combine known skills to create new ones may be crucial in the solution of complex reinforcement learning problems that unfold over extended periods. We argue that a robust way of combining skills is to define and manipulate them in the space of pseudo-rewards (or "cumulants"). Based on this premise, we propose a framework for combining skills using the formalism of options. We show that every deterministic option can be unambiguously represented as a cumulant defined in an extended domain. Building on this insight and on previous results on transfer learning, we show how to approximate options whose cumulants are linear combinations of the cumulants of known options. This means that, once we have learned options associated with a set of cumulants, we can instantaneously synthesise options induced by any linear combination of them, without any learning involved. We describe how this framework provides a hierarchical interface to the environment whose abstract actions correspond to combinations of basic skills. We demonstrate the practical benefits of our approach in a resource management problem and a navigation task involving a quadrupedal simulated robot.
We introduce AndroidEnv, an open-source platform for Reinforcement Learning (RL) research built on top of the Android ecosystem. AndroidEnv allows RL agents to interact with a wide variety of apps and services commonly used by humans through a universal touchscreen interface. Since agents train on a realistic simulation of an Android device, they have the potential to be deployed on real devices. In this report, we give an overview of the environment, highlighting the significant features it provides for research, and we present an empirical evaluation of some popular reinforcement learning agents on a set of tasks built on this platform.