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Jordi Grau-Moya, Grégoire Delétang, Markus Kunesch, Tim Genewein, Elliot Catt, Kevin Li, Anian Ruoss, Chris Cundy, Joel Veness, Jane Wang(+4 more)

Meta-training agents with memory has been shown to culminate in Bayes-optimal agents, which casts Bayes-optimality as the implicit solution to a numerical optimization problem rather than an explicit modeling assumption. Bayes-optimal agents are risk-neutral, since they solely attune to the expected return, and ambiguity-neutral, since they act in new situations as if the uncertainty were known. This is in contrast to risk-sensitive agents, which additionally exploit the higher-order moments of the return, and ambiguity-sensitive agents, which act differently when recognizing situations in which they lack knowledge. Humans are also known to be averse to ambiguity and sensitive to risk in ways that aren't Bayes-optimal, indicating that such sensitivity can confer advantages, especially in safety-critical situations. How can we extend the meta-learning protocol to generate risk- and ambiguity-sensitive agents? The goal of this work is to fill this gap in the literature by showing that risk- and ambiguity-sensitivity also emerge as the result of an optimization problem using modified meta-training algorithms, which manipulate the experience-generation process of the learner. We empirically test our proposed meta-training algorithms on agents exposed to foundational classes of decision-making experiments and demonstrate that they become sensitive to risk and ambiguity.

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Rob Brekelmans, Tim Genewein, Jordi Grau-Moya, Grégoire Delétang, Markus Kunesch, Shane Legg, Pedro Ortega

Policy regularization methods such as maximum entropy regularization are widely used in reinforcement learning to improve the robustness of a learned policy. In this paper, we show how this robustness arises from hedging against worst-case perturbations of the reward function, which are chosen from a limited set by an imagined adversary. Using convex duality, we characterize this robust set of adversarial reward perturbations under KL and alpha-divergence regularization, which includes Shannon and Tsallis entropy regularization as special cases. Importantly, generalization guarantees can be given within this robust set. We provide detailed discussion of the worst-case reward perturbations, and present intuitive empirical examples to illustrate this robustness and its relationship with generalization. Finally, we discuss how our analysis complements and extends previous results on adversarial reward robustness and path consistency optimality conditions.

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Julien Perolat, Remi Munos, Jean-Baptiste Lespiau, Shayegan Omidshafiei, Mark Rowland, Pedro Ortega, Neil Burch, Thomas Anthony, David Balduzzi, Bart De Vylder(+3 more)

In this paper we investigate the Follow the Regularized Leader dynamics in sequential imperfect information games (IIG). We generalize existing results of Poincar\'e recurrence from normal-form games to zero-sum two-player imperfect information games and other sequential game settings. We then investigate how adapting the reward (by adding a regularization term) of the game can give strong convergence guarantees in monotone games. We continue by showing how this reward adaptation technique can be leveraged to build algorithms that converge exactly to the Nash equilibrium. Finally, we show how these insights can be directly used to build state-of-the-art model-free algorithms for zero-sum two-player Imperfect Information Games (IIG).

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Ishita Dasgupta, Jane Wang, Silvia Chiappa, Jovana Mitrovic, Pedro Ortega, David Raposo, Edward Hughes, Peter Battaglia, Matthew Botvinick, Zeb Kurth-Nelson

Discovering and exploiting the causal structure in the environment is a crucial challenge for intelligent agents. Here we explore whether causal reasoning can emerge via meta-reinforcement learning. We train a recurrent network with model-free reinforcement learning to solve a range of problems that each contain causal structure. We find that the trained agent can perform causal reasoning in novel situations in order to obtain rewards. The agent can select informative interventions, draw causal inferences from observational data, and make counterfactual predictions. Although established formal causal reasoning algorithms also exist, in this paper we show that such reasoning can arise from model-free reinforcement learning, and suggest that causal reasoning in complex settings may benefit from the more end-to-end learning-based approaches presented here. This work also offers new strategies for structured exploration in reinforcement learning, by providing agents with the ability to perform -- and interpret -- experiments.

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