Despite their potential in real-world applications, multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) algorithms often suffer from high sample complexity. To address this issue, we present a novel model-based MARL algorithm, BiLL (Bi-Level Latent Variable Model-based Learning), that learns a bi-level latent variable model from high-dimensional inputs. At the top level, the model learns latent representations of the global state, which encode global information relevant to behavior learning. At the bottom level, it learns latent representations for each agent, given the global latent representations from the top level. The model generates latent trajectories to use for policy learning. We evaluate our algorithm on complex multi-agent tasks in the challenging SMAC and Flatland environments. Our algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art model-free and model-based baselines in sample efficiency, including on two extremely challenging Super Hard SMAC maps.
To facilitate research in the direction of fine-tuning foundation models from human feedback, we held the MineRL BASALT Competition on Fine-Tuning from Human Feedback at NeurIPS 2022. The BASALT challenge asks teams to compete to develop algorithms to solve tasks with hard-to-specify reward functions in Minecraft. Through this competition, we aimed to promote the development of algorithms that use human feedback as channels to learn the desired behavior. We describe the competition and provide an overview of the top solutions. We conclude by discussing the impact of the competition and future directions for improvement.
We aim to understand how people assess human likeness in navigation produced by people and artificially intelligent (AI) agents in a video game. To this end, we propose a novel AI agent with the goal of generating more human-like behavior. We collect hundreds of crowd-sourced assessments comparing the human-likeness of navigation behavior generated by our agent and baseline AI agents with human-generated behavior. Our proposed agent passes a Turing Test, while the baseline agents do not. By passing a Turing Test, we mean that human judges could not quantitatively distinguish between videos of a person and an AI agent navigating. To understand what people believe constitutes human-like navigation, we extensively analyze the justifications of these assessments. This work provides insights into the characteristics that people consider human-like in the context of goal-directed video game navigation, which is a key step for further improving human interactions with AI agents.
Randomly masking and predicting word tokens has been a successful approach in pre-training language models for a variety of downstream tasks. In this work, we observe that the same idea also applies naturally to sequential decision-making, where many well-studied tasks like behavior cloning, offline reinforcement learning, inverse dynamics, and waypoint conditioning correspond to different sequence maskings over a sequence of states, actions, and returns. We introduce the UniMASK framework, which provides a unified way to specify models which can be trained on many different sequential decision-making tasks. We show that a single UniMASK model is often capable of carrying out many tasks with performance similar to or better than single-task models. Additionally, after fine-tuning, our UniMASK models consistently outperform comparable single-task models. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/micahcarroll/uniMASK.
Many recent breakthroughs in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) require the use of deep neural networks, which are challenging for human experts to interpret and understand. On the other hand, existing work on interpretable RL has shown promise in extracting more interpretable decision tree-based policies, but only in the single-agent setting. To fill this gap, we propose the first set of interpretable MARL algorithms that extract decision-tree policies from neural networks trained with MARL. The first algorithm, IVIPER, extends VIPER, a recent method for single-agent interpretable RL, to the multi-agent setting. We demonstrate that IVIPER can learn high-quality decision-tree policies for each agent. To better capture coordination between agents, we propose a novel centralized decision-tree training algorithm, MAVIPER. MAVIPER jointly grows the trees of each agent by predicting the behavior of the other agents using their anticipated trees, and uses resampling to focus on states that are critical for its interactions with other agents. We show that both algorithms generally outperform the baselines and that MAVIPER-trained agents achieve better-coordinated performance than IVIPER-trained agents on three different multi-agent particle-world environments.
Randomly masking and predicting word tokens has been a successful approach in pre-training language models for a variety of downstream tasks. In this work, we observe that the same idea also applies naturally to sequential decision making, where many well-studied tasks like behavior cloning, offline RL, inverse dynamics, and waypoint conditioning correspond to different sequence maskings over a sequence of states, actions, and returns. We introduce the FlexiBiT framework, which provides a unified way to specify models which can be trained on many different sequential decision making tasks. We show that a single FlexiBiT model is simultaneously capable of carrying out many tasks with performance similar to or better than specialized models. Additionally, we show that performance can be further improved by fine-tuning our general model on specific tasks of interest.
We held the first-ever MineRL Benchmark for Agents that Solve Almost-Lifelike Tasks (MineRL BASALT) Competition at the Thirty-fifth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021). The goal of the competition was to promote research towards agents that use learning from human feedback (LfHF) techniques to solve open-world tasks. Rather than mandating the use of LfHF techniques, we described four tasks in natural language to be accomplished in the video game Minecraft, and allowed participants to use any approach they wanted to build agents that could accomplish the tasks. Teams developed a diverse range of LfHF algorithms across a variety of possible human feedback types. The three winning teams implemented significantly different approaches while achieving similar performance. Interestingly, their approaches performed well on different tasks, validating our choice of tasks to include in the competition. While the outcomes validated the design of our competition, we did not get as many participants and submissions as our sister competition, MineRL Diamond. We speculate about the causes of this problem and suggest improvements for future iterations of the competition.
Reinforcement learning competitions advance the field by providing appropriate scope and support to develop solutions toward a specific problem. To promote the development of more broadly applicable methods, organizers need to enforce the use of general techniques, the use of sample-efficient methods, and the reproducibility of the results. While beneficial for the research community, these restrictions come at a cost -- increased difficulty. If the barrier for entry is too high, many potential participants are demoralized. With this in mind, we hosted the third edition of the MineRL ObtainDiamond competition, MineRL Diamond 2021, with a separate track in which we permitted any solution to promote the participation of newcomers. With this track and more extensive tutorials and support, we saw an increased number of submissions. The participants of this easier track were able to obtain a diamond, and the participants of the harder track progressed the generalizable solutions in the same task.
Explainable reinforcement learning (XRL) is an emerging subfield of explainable machine learning that has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The goal of XRL is to elucidate the decision-making process of learning agents in sequential decision-making settings. In this survey, we propose a novel taxonomy for organizing the XRL literature that prioritizes the RL setting. We overview techniques according to this taxonomy. We point out gaps in the literature, which we use to motivate and outline a roadmap for future work.
The last decade has seen a significant increase of interest in deep learning research, with many public successes that have demonstrated its potential. As such, these systems are now being incorporated into commercial products. With this comes an additional challenge: how can we build AI systems that solve tasks where there is not a crisp, well-defined specification? While multiple solutions have been proposed, in this competition we focus on one in particular: learning from human feedback. Rather than training AI systems using a predefined reward function or using a labeled dataset with a predefined set of categories, we instead train the AI system using a learning signal derived from some form of human feedback, which can evolve over time as the understanding of the task changes, or as the capabilities of the AI system improve. The MineRL BASALT competition aims to spur forward research on this important class of techniques. We design a suite of four tasks in Minecraft for which we expect it will be hard to write down hardcoded reward functions. These tasks are defined by a paragraph of natural language: for example, "create a waterfall and take a scenic picture of it", with additional clarifying details. Participants must train a separate agent for each task, using any method they want. Agents are then evaluated by humans who have read the task description. To help participants get started, we provide a dataset of human demonstrations on each of the four tasks, as well as an imitation learning baseline that leverages these demonstrations. Our hope is that this competition will improve our ability to build AI systems that do what their designers intend them to do, even when the intent cannot be easily formalized. Besides allowing AI to solve more tasks, this can also enable more effective regulation of AI systems, as well as making progress on the value alignment problem.