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Yang Cai, Constantinos Daskalakis, Haipeng Luo, Chen-Yu Wei, Weiqiang Zheng

While Online Gradient Descent and other no-regret learning procedures are known to efficiently converge to coarse correlated equilibrium in games where each agent's utility is concave in their own strategy, this is not the case when the utilities are non-concave, a situation that is common in machine learning applications where the agents' strategies are parameterized by deep neural networks, or the agents' utilities are computed by a neural network, or both. Indeed, non-concave games present a host of game-theoretic and optimization challenges: (i) Nash equilibria may fail to exist; (ii) local Nash equilibria exist but are intractable; and (iii) mixed Nash, correlated, and coarse correlated equilibria have infinite support in general, and are intractable. To sidestep these challenges we propose a new solution concept, termed $(\varepsilon, \Phi(\delta))$-local equilibrium, which generalizes local Nash equilibrium in non-concave games, as well as (coarse) correlated equilibrium in concave games. Importantly, we show that two instantiations of this solution concept capture the convergence guarantees of Online Gradient Descent and no-regret learning, which we show efficiently converge to this type of equilibrium in non-concave games with smooth utilities.

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Mengxiao Zhang, Haipeng Luo

Contextual multinomial logit (MNL) bandits capture many real-world assortment recommendation problems such as online retailing/advertising. However, prior work has only considered (generalized) linear value functions, which greatly limits its applicability. Motivated by this fact, in this work, we consider contextual MNL bandits with a general value function class that contains the ground truth, borrowing ideas from a recent trend of studies on contextual bandits. Specifically, we consider both the stochastic and the adversarial settings, and propose a suite of algorithms, each with different computation-regret trade-off. When applied to the linear case, our results not only are the first ones with no dependence on a certain problem-dependent constant that can be exponentially large, but also enjoy other advantages such as computational efficiency, dimension-free regret bounds, or the ability to handle completely adversarial contexts and rewards.

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Mengxiao Zhang, Yuheng Zhang, Haipeng Luo, Paul Mineiro

Bandits with feedback graphs are powerful online learning models that interpolate between the full information and classic bandit problems, capturing many real-life applications. A recent work by Zhang et al. (2023) studies the contextual version of this problem and proposes an efficient and optimal algorithm via a reduction to online regression. However, their algorithm crucially relies on seeing the feedback graph before making each decision, while in many applications, the feedback graph is uninformed, meaning that it is either only revealed after the learner makes her decision or even never fully revealed at all. This work develops the first contextual algorithm for such uninformed settings, via an efficient reduction to online regression over both the losses and the graphs. Importantly, we show that it is critical to learn the graphs using log loss instead of squared loss to obtain favorable regret guarantees. We also demonstrate the empirical effectiveness of our algorithm on a bidding application using both synthetic and real-world data.

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Yang Cai, Haipeng Luo, Chen-Yu Wei, Weiqiang Zheng

We study policy optimization algorithms for computing correlated equilibria in multi-player general-sum Markov Games. Previous results achieve $O(T^{-1/2})$ convergence rate to a correlated equilibrium and an accelerated $O(T^{-3/4})$ convergence rate to the weaker notion of coarse correlated equilibrium. In this paper, we improve both results significantly by providing an uncoupled policy optimization algorithm that attains a near-optimal $\tilde{O}(T^{-1})$ convergence rate for computing a correlated equilibrium. Our algorithm is constructed by combining two main elements (i) smooth value updates and (ii) the optimistic-follow-the-regularized-leader algorithm with the log barrier regularizer.

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Yang Cai, Gabriele Farina, Julien Grand-Clément, Christian Kroer, Chung-Wei Lee, Haipeng Luo, Weiqiang Zheng

Algorithms based on regret matching, specifically regret matching$^+$ (RM$^+$), and its variants are the most popular approaches for solving large-scale two-player zero-sum games in practice. Unlike algorithms such as optimistic gradient descent ascent, which have strong last-iterate and ergodic convergence properties for zero-sum games, virtually nothing is known about the last-iterate properties of regret-matching algorithms. Given the importance of last-iterate convergence for numerical optimization reasons and relevance as modeling real-word learning in games, in this paper, we study the last-iterate convergence properties of various popular variants of RM$^+$. First, we show numerically that several practical variants such as simultaneous RM$^+$, alternating RM$^+$, and simultaneous predictive RM$^+$, all lack last-iterate convergence guarantees even on a simple $3\times 3$ game. We then prove that recent variants of these algorithms based on a smoothing technique do enjoy last-iterate convergence: we prove that extragradient RM$^{+}$ and smooth Predictive RM$^+$ enjoy asymptotic last-iterate convergence (without a rate) and $1/\sqrt{t}$ best-iterate convergence. Finally, we introduce restarted variants of these algorithms, and show that they enjoy linear-rate last-iterate convergence.

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Mengxiao Zhang, Haipeng Luo

We study online learning in contextual pay-per-click auctions where at each of the $T$ rounds, the learner receives some context along with a set of ads and needs to make an estimate on their click-through rate (CTR) in order to run a second-price pay-per-click auction. The learner's goal is to minimize her regret, defined as the gap between her total revenue and that of an oracle strategy that always makes perfect CTR predictions. We first show that $\sqrt{T}$-regret is obtainable via a computationally inefficient algorithm and that it is unavoidable since our algorithm is no easier than the classical multi-armed bandit problem. A by-product of our results is a $\sqrt{T}$-regret bound for the simpler non-contextual setting, improving upon a recent work of [Feng et al., 2023] by removing the inverse CTR dependency that could be arbitrarily large. Then, borrowing ideas from recent advances on efficient contextual bandit algorithms, we develop two practically efficient contextual auction algorithms: the first one uses the exponential weight scheme with optimistic square errors and maintains the same $\sqrt{T}$-regret bound, while the second one reduces the problem to online regression via a simple epsilon-greedy strategy, albeit with a worse regret bound. Finally, we conduct experiments on a synthetic dataset to showcase the effectiveness and superior performance of our algorithms.

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Haipeng Luo, Qingfeng Sun, Can Xu, Pu Zhao, Jianguang Lou, Chongyang Tao, Xiubo Geng, Qingwei Lin, Shifeng Chen, Dongmei Zhang

Large language models (LLMs), such as GPT-4, have shown remarkable performance in natural language processing (NLP) tasks, including challenging mathematical reasoning. However, most existing open-source models are only pre-trained on large-scale internet data and without math-related optimization. In this paper, we present WizardMath, which enhances the mathematical reasoning abilities of Llama-2, by applying our proposed Reinforcement Learning from Evol-Instruct Feedback (RLEIF) method to the domain of math. Through extensive experiments on two mathematical reasoning benchmarks, namely GSM8k and MATH, we reveal the extraordinary capabilities of our model. WizardMath surpasses all other open-source LLMs by a substantial margin. Furthermore, our model even outperforms ChatGPT-3.5, Claude Instant-1, PaLM-2 and Minerva on GSM8k, simultaneously surpasses Text-davinci-002, PaLM-1 and GPT-3 on MATH. More details and model weights are public at https://github.com/nlpxucan/WizardLM and https://huggingface.co/WizardLM.

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Tiancheng Jin, Junyan Liu, Chloé Rouyer, William Chang, Chen-Yu Wei, Haipeng Luo

Existing online learning algorithms for adversarial Markov Decision Processes achieve ${O}(\sqrt{T})$ regret after $T$ rounds of interactions even if the loss functions are chosen arbitrarily by an adversary, with the caveat that the transition function has to be fixed. This is because it has been shown that adversarial transition functions make no-regret learning impossible. Despite such impossibility results, in this work, we develop algorithms that can handle both adversarial losses and adversarial transitions, with regret increasing smoothly in the degree of maliciousness of the adversary. More concretely, we first propose an algorithm that enjoys $\widetilde{{O}}(\sqrt{T} + C^{\textsf{P}})$ regret where $C^{\textsf{P}}$ measures how adversarial the transition functions are and can be at most ${O}(T)$. While this algorithm itself requires knowledge of $C^{\textsf{P}}$, we further develop a black-box reduction approach that removes this requirement. Moreover, we also show that further refinements of the algorithm not only maintains the same regret bound, but also simultaneously adapts to easier environments (where losses are generated in a certain stochastically constrained manner as in Jin et al. [2021]) and achieves $\widetilde{{O}}(U + \sqrt{UC^{\textsf{L}}} + C^{\textsf{P}})$ regret, where $U$ is some standard gap-dependent coefficient and $C^{\textsf{L}}$ is the amount of corruption on losses.

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Gabriele Farina, Julien Grand-Clément, Christian Kroer, Chung-Wei Lee, Haipeng Luo

Regret Matching+ (RM+) and its variants are important algorithms for solving large-scale games. However, a theoretical understanding of their success in practice is still a mystery. Moreover, recent advances on fast convergence in games are limited to no-regret algorithms such as online mirror descent, which satisfy stability. In this paper, we first give counterexamples showing that RM+ and its predictive version can be unstable, which might cause other players to suffer large regret. We then provide two fixes: restarting and chopping off the positive orthant that RM+ works in. We show that these fixes are sufficient to get $O(T^{1/4})$ individual regret and $O(1)$ social regret in normal-form games via RM+ with predictions. We also apply our stabilizing techniques to clairvoyant updates in the uncoupled learning setting for RM+ and prove desirable results akin to recent works for Clairvoyant online mirror descent. Our experiments show the advantages of our algorithms over vanilla RM+-based algorithms in matrix and extensive-form games.

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