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!

Abstract:Representation learning is a powerful tool that enables learning over large multitudes of agents or domains by enforcing that all agents operate on a shared set of learned features. However, many robotics or controls applications that would benefit from collaboration operate in settings with changing environments and goals, whereas most guarantees for representation learning are stated for static settings. Toward rigorously establishing the benefit of representation learning in dynamic settings, we analyze the regret of multi-task representation learning for linear-quadratic control. This setting introduces unique challenges. Firstly, we must account for and balance the $\textit{misspecification}$ introduced by an approximate representation. Secondly, we cannot rely on the parameter update schemes of single-task online LQR, for which least-squares often suffices, and must devise a novel scheme to ensure sufficient improvement. We demonstrate that for settings where exploration is "benign", the regret of any agent after $T$ timesteps scales as $\tilde O(\sqrt{T/H})$, where $H$ is the number of agents. In settings with "difficult" exploration, the regret scales as $\tilde{\mathcal O}(\sqrt{d_u d_\theta} \sqrt{T} + T^{3/4}/H^{1/5})$, where $d_x$ is the state-space dimension, $d_u$ is the input dimension, and $d_\theta$ is the task-specific parameter count. In both cases, by comparing to the minimax single-task regret $\tilde{\mathcal O}(\sqrt{d_x d_u^2}\sqrt{T})$, we see a benefit of a large number of agents. Notably, in the difficult exploration case, by sharing a representation across tasks, the effective task-specific parameter count can often be small $d_\theta < d_x d_u$. Lastly, we provide numerical validation of the trends we predict.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We explore a Federated Reinforcement Learning (FRL) problem where $N$ agents collaboratively learn a common policy without sharing their trajectory data. To date, existing FRL work has primarily focused on agents operating in the same or ``similar" environments. In contrast, our problem setup allows for arbitrarily large levels of environment heterogeneity. To obtain the optimal policy which maximizes the average performance across all potentially completely different environments, we propose two algorithms: FedSVRPG-M and FedHAPG-M. In contrast to existing results, we demonstrate that both FedSVRPG-M and FedHAPG-M, both of which leverage momentum mechanisms, can exactly converge to a stationary point of the average performance function, regardless of the magnitude of environment heterogeneity. Furthermore, by incorporating the benefits of variance-reduction techniques or Hessian approximation, both algorithms achieve state-of-the-art convergence results, characterized by a sample complexity of $\mathcal{O}\left(\epsilon^{-\frac{3}{2}}/N\right)$. Notably, our algorithms enjoy linear convergence speedups with respect to the number of agents, highlighting the benefit of collaboration among agents in finding a common policy.

Via

Abstract:Meta-learning methods typically learn tasks under the assumption that all tasks are equally important. However, this assumption is often not valid. In real-world applications, tasks can vary both in their importance during different training stages and in whether they contain noisy labeled data or not, making a uniform approach suboptimal. To address these issues, we propose the Data-Efficient and Robust Task Selection (DERTS) algorithm, which can be incorporated into both gradient and metric-based meta-learning algorithms. DERTS selects weighted subsets of tasks from task pools by minimizing the approximation error of the full gradient of task pools in the meta-training stage. The selected tasks are efficient for rapid training and robust towards noisy label scenarios. Unlike existing algorithms, DERTS does not require any architecture modification for training and can handle noisy label data in both the support and query sets. Analysis of DERTS shows that the algorithm follows similar training dynamics as learning on the full task pools. Experiments show that DERTS outperforms existing sampling strategies for meta-learning on both gradient-based and metric-based meta-learning algorithms in limited data budget and noisy task settings.

Via

Abstract:Federated reinforcement learning (FRL) has emerged as a promising paradigm for reducing the sample complexity of reinforcement learning tasks by exploiting information from different agents. However, when each agent interacts with a potentially different environment, little to nothing is known theoretically about the non-asymptotic performance of FRL algorithms. The lack of such results can be attributed to various technical challenges and their intricate interplay: Markovian sampling, linear function approximation, multiple local updates to save communication, heterogeneity in the reward functions and transition kernels of the agents' MDPs, and continuous state-action spaces. Moreover, in the on-policy setting, the behavior policies vary with time, further complicating the analysis. In response, we introduce FedSARSA, a novel federated on-policy reinforcement learning scheme, equipped with linear function approximation, to address these challenges and provide a comprehensive finite-time error analysis. Notably, we establish that FedSARSA converges to a policy that is near-optimal for all agents, with the extent of near-optimality proportional to the level of heterogeneity. Furthermore, we prove that FedSARSA leverages agent collaboration to enable linear speedups as the number of agents increases, which holds for both fixed and adaptive step-size configurations.

Via

Abstract:We investigate the problem of learning Linear Quadratic Regulators (LQR) in a multi-task, heterogeneous, and model-free setting. We characterize the stability and personalization guarantees of a Policy Gradient-based (PG) Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning (MAML) (Finn et al., 2017) approach for the LQR problem under different task-heterogeneity settings. We show that the MAML-LQR approach produces a stabilizing controller close to each task-specific optimal controller up to a task-heterogeneity bias for both model-based and model-free settings. Moreover, in the model-based setting, we show that this controller is achieved with a linear convergence rate, which improves upon sub-linear rates presented in existing MAML-LQR work. In contrast to existing MAML-LQR results, our theoretical guarantees demonstrate that the learned controller can efficiently adapt to unseen LQR tasks.

Via

Abstract:We investigate the problem of learning an $\epsilon$-approximate solution for the discrete-time Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) problem via a Stochastic Variance-Reduced Policy Gradient (SVRPG) approach. Whilst policy gradient methods have proven to converge linearly to the optimal solution of the model-free LQR problem, the substantial requirement for two-point cost queries in gradient estimations may be intractable, particularly in applications where obtaining cost function evaluations at two distinct control input configurations is exceptionally costly. To this end, we propose an oracle-efficient approach. Our method combines both one-point and two-point estimations in a dual-loop variance-reduced algorithm. It achieves an approximate optimal solution with only $O\left(\log\left(1/\epsilon\right)^{\beta}\right)$ two-point cost information for $\beta \in (0,1)$.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:A powerful concept behind much of the recent progress in machine learning is the extraction of common features across data from heterogeneous sources or tasks. Intuitively, using all of one's data to learn a common representation function benefits both computational effort and statistical generalization by leaving a smaller number of parameters to fine-tune on a given task. Toward theoretically grounding these merits, we propose a general setting of recovering linear operators $M$ from noisy vector measurements $y = Mx + w$, where the covariates $x$ may be both non-i.i.d. and non-isotropic. We demonstrate that existing isotropy-agnostic meta-learning approaches incur biases on the representation update, which causes the scaling of the noise terms to lose favorable dependence on the number of source tasks. This in turn can cause the sample complexity of representation learning to be bottlenecked by the single-task data size. We introduce an adaptation, $\texttt{De-bias & Feature-Whiten}$ ($\texttt{DFW}$), of the popular alternating minimization-descent (AMD) scheme proposed in Collins et al., (2021), and establish linear convergence to the optimal representation with noise level scaling down with the $\textit{total}$ source data size. This leads to generalization bounds on the same order as an oracle empirical risk minimizer. We verify the vital importance of $\texttt{DFW}$ on various numerical simulations. In particular, we show that vanilla alternating-minimization descent fails catastrophically even for iid, but mildly non-isotropic data. Our analysis unifies and generalizes prior work, and provides a flexible framework for a wider range of applications, such as in controls and dynamical systems.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Graph signal processing (GSP) has emerged as a powerful tool for practical network applications, including power system monitoring. By representing power system voltages as smooth graph signals, recent research has focused on developing GSP-based methods for state estimation, attack detection, and topology identification. Included, efficient methods have been developed for detecting false data injection (FDI) attacks, which until now were perceived as non-smooth with respect to the graph Laplacian matrix. Consequently, these methods may not be effective against smooth FDI attacks. In this paper, we propose a graph FDI (GFDI) attack that minimizes the Laplacian-based graph total variation (TV) under practical constraints. In addition, we develop a low-complexity algorithm that solves the non-convex GDFI attack optimization problem using ell_1-norm relaxation, the projected gradient descent (PGD) algorithm, and the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM). We then propose a protection scheme that identifies the minimal set of measurements necessary to constrain the GFDI output to high graph TV, thereby enabling its detection by existing GSP-based detectors. Our numerical simulations on the IEEE-57 bus test case reveal the potential threat posed by well-designed GSP-based FDI attacks. Moreover, we demonstrate that integrating the proposed protection design with GSP-based detection can lead to significant hardware cost savings compared to previous designs of protection methods against FDI attacks.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We address the problem of learning linear system models from observing multiple trajectories from different system dynamics. This framework encompasses a collaborative scenario where several systems seeking to estimate their dynamics are partitioned into clusters according to their system similarity. Thus, the systems within the same cluster can benefit from the observations made by the others. Considering this framework, we present an algorithm where each system alternately estimates its cluster identity and performs an estimation of its dynamics. This is then aggregated to update the model of each cluster. We show that under mild assumptions, our algorithm correctly estimates the cluster identities and achieves an approximate sample complexity that scales inversely with the number of systems in the cluster, thus facilitating a more efficient and personalized system identification process.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We initiate the study of federated reinforcement learning under environmental heterogeneity by considering a policy evaluation problem. Our setup involves $N$ agents interacting with environments that share the same state and action space but differ in their reward functions and state transition kernels. Assuming agents can communicate via a central server, we ask: Does exchanging information expedite the process of evaluating a common policy? To answer this question, we provide the first comprehensive finite-time analysis of a federated temporal difference (TD) learning algorithm with linear function approximation, while accounting for Markovian sampling, heterogeneity in the agents' environments, and multiple local updates to save communication. Our analysis crucially relies on several novel ingredients: (i) deriving perturbation bounds on TD fixed points as a function of the heterogeneity in the agents' underlying Markov decision processes (MDPs); (ii) introducing a virtual MDP to closely approximate the dynamics of the federated TD algorithm; and (iii) using the virtual MDP to make explicit connections to federated optimization. Putting these pieces together, we rigorously prove that in a low-heterogeneity regime, exchanging model estimates leads to linear convergence speedups in the number of agents.

Via