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Yang Yu

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Efficient Human-AI Coordination via Preparatory Language-based Convention

Nov 01, 2023
Cong Guan, Lichao Zhang, Chunpeng Fan, Yichen Li, Feng Chen, Lihe Li, Yunjia Tian, Lei Yuan, Yang Yu

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Developing intelligent agents capable of seamless coordination with humans is a critical step towards achieving artificial general intelligence. Existing methods for human-AI coordination typically train an agent to coordinate with a diverse set of policies or with human models fitted from real human data. However, the massively diverse styles of human behavior present obstacles for AI systems with constrained capacity, while high quality human data may not be readily available in real-world scenarios. In this study, we observe that prior to coordination, humans engage in communication to establish conventions that specify individual roles and actions, making their coordination proceed in an orderly manner. Building upon this observation, we propose employing the large language model (LLM) to develop an action plan (or equivalently, a convention) that effectively guides both human and AI. By inputting task requirements, human preferences, the number of agents, and other pertinent information into the LLM, it can generate a comprehensive convention that facilitates a clear understanding of tasks and responsibilities for all parties involved. Furthermore, we demonstrate that decomposing the convention formulation problem into sub-problems with multiple new sessions being sequentially employed and human feedback, will yield a more efficient coordination convention. Experimental evaluations conducted in the Overcooked-AI environment, utilizing a human proxy model, highlight the superior performance of our proposed method compared to existing learning-based approaches. When coordinating with real humans, our method achieves better alignment with human preferences and an average performance improvement of 15% compared to the state-of-the-art.

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AdaptSSR: Pre-training User Model with Augmentation-Adaptive Self-Supervised Ranking

Oct 24, 2023
Yang Yu, Qi Liu, Kai Zhang, Yuren Zhang, Chao Song, Min Hou, Yuqing Yuan, Zhihao Ye, Zaixi Zhang, Sanshi Lei Yu

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User modeling, which aims to capture users' characteristics or interests, heavily relies on task-specific labeled data and suffers from the data sparsity issue. Several recent studies tackled this problem by pre-training the user model on massive user behavior sequences with a contrastive learning task. Generally, these methods assume different views of the same behavior sequence constructed via data augmentation are semantically consistent, i.e., reflecting similar characteristics or interests of the user, and thus maximizing their agreement in the feature space. However, due to the diverse interests and heavy noise in user behaviors, existing augmentation methods tend to lose certain characteristics of the user or introduce noisy behaviors. Thus, forcing the user model to directly maximize the similarity between the augmented views may result in a negative transfer. To this end, we propose to replace the contrastive learning task with a new pretext task: Augmentation-Adaptive SelfSupervised Ranking (AdaptSSR), which alleviates the requirement of semantic consistency between the augmented views while pre-training a discriminative user model. Specifically, we adopt a multiple pairwise ranking loss which trains the user model to capture the similarity orders between the implicitly augmented view, the explicitly augmented view, and views from other users. We further employ an in-batch hard negative sampling strategy to facilitate model training. Moreover, considering the distinct impacts of data augmentation on different behavior sequences, we design an augmentation-adaptive fusion mechanism to automatically adjust the similarity order constraint applied to each sample based on the estimated similarity between the augmented views. Extensive experiments on both public and industrial datasets with six downstream tasks verify the effectiveness of AdaptSSR.

* Accepted by NeurIPS 2023 
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ReMax: A Simple, Effective, and Efficient Reinforcement Learning Method for Aligning Large Language Models

Oct 17, 2023
Ziniu Li, Tian Xu, Yushun Zhang, Yang Yu, Ruoyu Sun, Zhi-Quan Luo

Alignment is of critical importance for training large language models (LLMs). The predominant strategy to address this is through Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF), where PPO serves as the de-facto algorithm. Yet, PPO is known to suffer from computational inefficiency, which is a challenge that this paper aims to address. We identify three important properties in RLHF tasks: fast simulation, deterministic transitions, and trajectory-level rewards, which are not leveraged in PPO. Based on such observations, we develop a new algorithm tailored for RLHF, called ReMax. The algorithm design of ReMax is built on a celebrated algorithm REINFORCE but is equipped with a new variance-reduction technique. Our method has three-fold advantages over PPO: first, ReMax is simple to implement and removes many hyper-parameters in PPO, which are scale-sensitive and laborious to tune. Second, ReMax saves about 50% memory usage in principle. As a result, PPO runs out-of-memory when fine-tuning a Llama2 (7B) model on 8xA100-40GB GPUs, whereas ReMax can afford training. This memory improvement is achieved by removing the value model in PPO. Third, based on our calculations, we find that even assuming PPO can afford the training of Llama2 (7B), it would still run about 2x slower than ReMax. This is due to the computational overhead of the value model, which does not exist in ReMax. Importantly, the above computational improvements do not sacrifice the performance. We hypothesize these advantages can be maintained in larger-scaled models. Our implementation of ReMax is available at

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Imitator Learning: Achieve Out-of-the-Box Imitation Ability in Variable Environments

Oct 09, 2023
Xiong-Hui Chen, Junyin Ye, Hang Zhao, Yi-Chen Li, Haoran Shi, Yu-Yan Xu, Zhihao Ye, Si-Hang Yang, Anqi Huang, Kai Xu, Zongzhang Zhang, Yang Yu

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Imitation learning (IL) enables agents to mimic expert behaviors. Most previous IL techniques focus on precisely imitating one policy through mass demonstrations. However, in many applications, what humans require is the ability to perform various tasks directly through a few demonstrations of corresponding tasks, where the agent would meet many unexpected changes when deployed. In this scenario, the agent is expected to not only imitate the demonstration but also adapt to unforeseen environmental changes. This motivates us to propose a new topic called imitator learning (ItorL), which aims to derive an imitator module that can on-the-fly reconstruct the imitation policies based on very limited expert demonstrations for different unseen tasks, without any extra adjustment. In this work, we focus on imitator learning based on only one expert demonstration. To solve ItorL, we propose Demo-Attention Actor-Critic (DAAC), which integrates IL into a reinforcement-learning paradigm that can regularize policies' behaviors in unexpected situations. Besides, for autonomous imitation policy building, we design a demonstration-based attention architecture for imitator policy that can effectively output imitated actions by adaptively tracing the suitable states in demonstrations. We develop a new navigation benchmark and a robot environment for \topic~and show that DAAC~outperforms previous imitation methods \textit{with large margins} both on seen and unseen tasks.

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Reward-Consistent Dynamics Models are Strongly Generalizable for Offline Reinforcement Learning

Oct 09, 2023
Fan-Ming Luo, Tian Xu, Xingchen Cao, Yang Yu

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Learning a precise dynamics model can be crucial for offline reinforcement learning, which, unfortunately, has been found to be quite challenging. Dynamics models that are learned by fitting historical transitions often struggle to generalize to unseen transitions. In this study, we identify a hidden but pivotal factor termed dynamics reward that remains consistent across transitions, offering a pathway to better generalization. Therefore, we propose the idea of reward-consistent dynamics models: any trajectory generated by the dynamics model should maximize the dynamics reward derived from the data. We implement this idea as the MOREC (Model-based Offline reinforcement learning with Reward Consistency) method, which can be seamlessly integrated into previous offline model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) methods. MOREC learns a generalizable dynamics reward function from offline data, which is subsequently employed as a transition filter in any offline MBRL method: when generating transitions, the dynamics model generates a batch of transitions and selects the one with the highest dynamics reward value. On a synthetic task, we visualize that MOREC has a strong generalization ability and can surprisingly recover some distant unseen transitions. On 21 offline tasks in D4RL and NeoRL benchmarks, MOREC improves the previous state-of-the-art performance by a significant margin, i.e., 4.6% on D4RL tasks and 25.9% on NeoRL tasks. Notably, MOREC is the first method that can achieve above 95% online RL performance in 6 out of 12 D4RL tasks and 3 out of 9 NeoRL tasks.

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Improve the efficiency of deep reinforcement learning through semantic exploration guided by natural language

Sep 21, 2023
Zhourui Guo, Meng Yao, Yang Yu, Qiyue Yin

Reinforcement learning is a powerful technique for learning from trial and error, but it often requires a large number of interactions to achieve good performance. In some domains, such as sparse-reward tasks, an oracle that can provide useful feedback or guidance to the agent during the learning process is really of great importance. However, querying the oracle too frequently may be costly or impractical, and the oracle may not always have a clear answer for every situation. Therefore, we propose a novel method for interacting with the oracle in a selective and efficient way, using a retrieval-based approach. We assume that the interaction can be modeled as a sequence of templated questions and answers, and that there is a large corpus of previous interactions available. We use a neural network to encode the current state of the agent and the oracle, and retrieve the most relevant question from the corpus to ask the oracle. We then use the oracle's answer to update the agent's policy and value function. We evaluate our method on an object manipulation task. We show that our method can significantly improve the efficiency of RL by reducing the number of interactions needed to reach a certain level of performance, compared to baselines that do not use the oracle or use it in a naive way.

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ACT: Empowering Decision Transformer with Dynamic Programming via Advantage Conditioning

Sep 12, 2023
Chenxiao Gao, Chenyang Wu, Mingjun Cao, Rui Kong, Zongzhang Zhang, Yang Yu

Decision Transformer (DT), which employs expressive sequence modeling techniques to perform action generation, has emerged as a promising approach to offline policy optimization. However, DT generates actions conditioned on a desired future return, which is known to bear some weaknesses such as the susceptibility to environmental stochasticity. To overcome DT's weaknesses, we propose to empower DT with dynamic programming. Our method comprises three steps. First, we employ in-sample value iteration to obtain approximated value functions, which involves dynamic programming over the MDP structure. Second, we evaluate action quality in context with estimated advantages. We introduce two types of advantage estimators, IAE and GAE, which are suitable for different tasks. Third, we train an Advantage-Conditioned Transformer (ACT) to generate actions conditioned on the estimated advantages. Finally, during testing, ACT generates actions conditioned on a desired advantage. Our evaluation results validate that, by leveraging the power of dynamic programming, ACT demonstrates effective trajectory stitching and robust action generation in spite of the environmental stochasticity, outperforming baseline methods across various benchmarks. Additionally, we conduct an in-depth analysis of ACT's various design choices through ablation studies.

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Hide and Seek (HaS): A Lightweight Framework for Prompt Privacy Protection

Sep 06, 2023
Yu Chen, Tingxin Li, Huiming Liu, Yang Yu

Numerous companies have started offering services based on large language models (LLM), such as ChatGPT, which inevitably raises privacy concerns as users' prompts are exposed to the model provider. Previous research on secure reasoning using multi-party computation (MPC) has proven to be impractical for LLM applications due to its time-consuming and communication-intensive nature. While lightweight anonymization techniques can protect private information in prompts through substitution or masking, they fail to recover sensitive data replaced in the LLM-generated results. In this paper, we expand the application scenarios of anonymization techniques by training a small local model to de-anonymize the LLM's returned results with minimal computational overhead. We introduce the HaS framework, where "H(ide)" and "S(eek)" represent its two core processes: hiding private entities for anonymization and seeking private entities for de-anonymization, respectively. To quantitatively assess HaS's privacy protection performance, we propose both black-box and white-box adversarial models. Furthermore, we conduct experiments to evaluate HaS's usability in translation and classification tasks. The experimental findings demonstrate that the HaS framework achieves an optimal balance between privacy protection and utility.

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Sensiverse: A dataset for ISAC study

Aug 26, 2023
Jiajin Luo, Baojian Zhou, Yang Yu, Ping Zhang, Xiaohui Peng, Jianglei Ma, Peiying Zhu, Jianmin Lu, Wen Tong

In order to address the lack of applicable channel models for ISAC research and evaluation, we release Sensiverse, a dataset that can be used for ISAC research. In this paper, we present the method of generating Sensiverse, including the acquisition and formatting of the 3D scene models, the generation of the channel data and associations with Tx/Rx deployment. The file structure and usage of the dataset are also described, and finally the use of the dataset is illustrated with examples through the evaluation of use cases such as 3D environment reconstruction and moving targets.

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