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INRIA Saclay - Ile de France

Authors:Kouki Wakita, Fuyuki Hane, Takeshi Sekiguchi, Shigehito Shimizu, Shinji Mitani, Youhei Akimoto, Atsuo Maki

Abstract:In order to understand the appropriate field of view (FOV) size of celestial automatic navigation systems for surface ships, we investigate the variations of measurement accuracy of star position and probability of successful star identification with respect to FOV, focusing on the decreasing number of observable star magnitudes and the presence of physically covered stars in marine environments. The results revealed that, although a larger FOV reduces the measurement accuracy of star positions, it increases the number of observable objects and thus improves the probability of star identification using subgraph isomorphism-based methods. It was also found that, although at least four objects need to be observed for accurate identification, four objects may not be sufficient for wider FOVs. On the other hand, from the point of view of celestial navigation systems, a decrease in the measurement accuracy leads to a decrease in positioning accuracy. Therefore, it was found that maximizing the FOV is required for celestial automatic navigation systems as long as the desired positioning accuracy can be ensured. Furthermore, it was found that algorithms incorporating more than four observed celestial objects are required to achieve highly accurate star identification over a wider FOV.

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Abstract:The majority of theoretical analyses of evolutionary algorithms in the discrete domain focus on binary optimization algorithms, even though black-box optimization on the categorical domain has a lot of practical applications. In this paper, we consider a probabilistic model-based algorithm using the family of categorical distributions as its underlying distribution and set the sample size as two. We term this specific algorithm the categorical compact genetic algorithm (ccGA). The ccGA can be considered as an extension of the compact genetic algorithm (cGA), which is an efficient binary optimization algorithm. We theoretically analyze the dependency of the number of possible categories $K$, the number of dimensions $D$, and the learning rate $\eta$ on the runtime. We investigate the tail bound of the runtime on two typical linear functions on the categorical domain: categorical OneMax (COM) and KVal. We derive that the runtimes on COM and KVal are $O(\sqrt{D} \ln (DK) / \eta)$ and $\Theta(D \ln K/ \eta)$ with high probability, respectively. Our analysis is a generalization for that of the cGA on the binary domain.

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Abstract:The covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) is one of the most successful methods for solving continuous black-box optimization problems. A practically useful aspect of the CMA-ES is that it can be used without hyperparameter tuning. However, the hyperparameter settings still have a considerable impact on performance, especially for difficult tasks, such as solving multimodal or noisy problems. This study comprehensively explores the impact of learning rate on the CMA-ES performance and demonstrates the necessity of a small learning rate by considering ordinary differential equations. Thereafter, it discusses the setting of an ideal learning rate. Based on these discussions, we develop a novel learning rate adaptation mechanism for the CMA-ES that maintains a constant signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, we investigate the behavior of the CMA-ES with the proposed learning rate adaptation mechanism through numerical experiments, and compare the results with those obtained for the CMA-ES with a fixed learning rate and with population size adaptation. The results show that the CMA-ES with the proposed learning rate adaptation works well for multimodal and/or noisy problems without extremely expensive learning rate tuning.

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Abstract:In black-box optimization, noise in the objective function is inevitable. Noise disrupts the ranking of candidate solutions in comparison-based optimization, possibly deteriorating the search performance compared with a noiseless scenario. Explicit averaging takes the sample average of noisy objective function values and is widely used as a simple and versatile noise-handling technique. Although it is suitable for various applications, it is ineffective if the mean is not finite. We theoretically reveal that explicit averaging has a negative effect on the estimation of ground-truth rankings when assuming stably distributed noise without a finite mean. Alternatively, sign averaging is proposed as a simple but robust noise-handling technique. We theoretically prove that the sign averaging estimates the order of the medians of the noisy objective function values of a pair of points with arbitrarily high probability as the number of samples increases. Its advantages over explicit averaging and its robustness are also confirmed through numerical experiments.

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Abstract:In recent years, Large Language Models (LLMs) have witnessed a remarkable surge in prevalence, altering the landscape of natural language processing and machine learning. One key factor in improving the performance of LLMs is alignment with humans achieved with Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF), as for many LLMs such as GPT-4, Bard, etc. In addition, recent studies are investigating the replacement of human feedback with feedback from other LLMs named Reinforcement Learning from AI Feedback (RLAIF). We examine the biases that come along with evaluating LLMs with other LLMs and take a closer look into verbosity bias -- a bias where LLMs sometimes prefer more verbose answers even if they have similar qualities. We see that in our problem setting, GPT-4 prefers longer answers more than humans. We also propose a metric to measure this bias.

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Abstract:A concept-based classifier can explain the decision process of a deep learning model by human-understandable concepts in image classification problems. However, sometimes concept-based explanations may cause false positives, which misregards unrelated concepts as important for the prediction task. Our goal is to find the statistically significant concept for classification to prevent misinterpretation. In this study, we propose a method using a deep learning model to learn the image concept and then using the Knockoff samples to select the important concepts for prediction by controlling the False Discovery Rate (FDR) under a certain value. We evaluate the proposed method in our synthetic and real data experiments. Also, it shows that our method can control the FDR properly while selecting highly interpretable concepts to improve the trustworthiness of the model.

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Abstract:The covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) is one of the most successful methods for solving black-box continuous optimization problems. One practically useful aspect of the CMA-ES is that it can be used without hyperparameter tuning. However, the hyperparameter settings still have a considerable impact, especially for difficult tasks such as solving multimodal or noisy problems. In this study, we investigate whether the CMA-ES with default population size can solve multimodal and noisy problems. To perform this investigation, we develop a novel learning rate adaptation mechanism for the CMA-ES, such that the learning rate is adapted so as to maintain a constant signal-to-noise ratio. We investigate the behavior of the CMA-ES with the proposed learning rate adaptation mechanism through numerical experiments, and compare the results with those obtained for the CMA-ES with a fixed learning rate. The results demonstrate that, when the proposed learning rate adaptation is used, the CMA-ES with default population size works well on multimodal and/or noisy problems, without the need for extremely expensive learning rate tuning.

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Abstract:In this study, we consider a continuous min--max optimization problem $\min_{x \in \mathbb{X} \max_{y \in \mathbb{Y}}}f(x,y)$ whose objective function is a black-box. We propose a novel approach to minimize the worst-case objective function $F(x) = \max_{y} f(x,y)$ directly using a covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) in which the rankings of solution candidates are approximated by our proposed worst-case ranking approximation (WRA) mechanism. We develop two variants of WRA combined with CMA-ES and approximate gradient ascent as numerical solvers for the inner maximization problem. Numerical experiments show that our proposed approach outperforms several existing approaches when the objective function is a smooth strongly convex--concave function and the interaction between $x$ and $y$ is strong. We investigate the advantages of the proposed approach for problems where the objective function is not limited to smooth strongly convex--concave functions. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is demonstrated in the robust berthing control problem with uncertainty.ngly convex--concave functions. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is demonstrated in the robust berthing control problem with uncertainty.

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Abstract:We investigate policy transfer using image-to-semantics translation to mitigate learning difficulties in vision-based robotics control agents. This problem assumes two environments: a simulator environment with semantics, that is, low-dimensional and essential information, as the state space, and a real-world environment with images as the state space. By learning mapping from images to semantics, we can transfer a policy, pre-trained in the simulator, to the real world, thereby eliminating real-world on-policy agent interactions to learn, which are costly and risky. In addition, using image-to-semantics mapping is advantageous in terms of the computational efficiency to train the policy and the interpretability of the obtained policy over other types of sim-to-real transfer strategies. To tackle the main difficulty in learning image-to-semantics mapping, namely the human annotation cost for producing a training dataset, we propose two techniques: pair augmentation with the transition function in the simulator environment and active learning. We observed a reduction in the annotation cost without a decline in the performance of the transfer, and the proposed approach outperformed the existing approach without annotation.

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Abstract:Automation of berthing maneuvers in shipping is a pressing issue as the berthing maneuver is one of the most stressful tasks seafarers undertake. Berthing control problems are often tackled via tracking a predefined trajectory or path. Maintaining a tracking error of zero under an uncertain environment is impossible; the tracking controller is nonetheless required to bring vessels close to desired berths. The tracking controller must prioritize the avoidance of tracking errors that may cause collisions with obstacles. This paper proposes a training method based on reinforcement learning for a trajectory tracking controller that reduces the probability of collisions with static obstacles. Via numerical simulations, we show that the proposed method reduces the probability of collisions during berthing maneuvers. Furthermore, this paper shows the tracking performance in a model experiment.

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