Effective exploration is crucial to discovering optimal strategies for multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) in complex coordination tasks. Existing methods mainly utilize intrinsic rewards to enable committed exploration or use role-based learning for decomposing joint action spaces instead of directly conducting a collective search in the entire action-observation space. However, they often face challenges obtaining specific joint action sequences to reach successful states in long-horizon tasks. To address this limitation, we propose Imagine, Initialize, and Explore (IIE), a novel method that offers a promising solution for efficient multi-agent exploration in complex scenarios. IIE employs a transformer model to imagine how the agents reach a critical state that can influence each other's transition functions. Then, we initialize the environment at this state using a simulator before the exploration phase. We formulate the imagination as a sequence modeling problem, where the states, observations, prompts, actions, and rewards are predicted autoregressively. The prompt consists of timestep-to-go, return-to-go, influence value, and one-shot demonstration, specifying the desired state and trajectory as well as guiding the action generation. By initializing agents at the critical states, IIE significantly increases the likelihood of discovering potentially important under-explored regions. Despite its simplicity, empirical results demonstrate that our method outperforms multi-agent exploration baselines on the StarCraft Multi-Agent Challenge (SMAC) and SMACv2 environments. Particularly, IIE shows improved performance in the sparse-reward SMAC tasks and produces more effective curricula over the initialized states than other generative methods, such as CVAE-GAN and diffusion models.
* The 38th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Due to the representation limitation of the joint Q value function, multi-agent reinforcement learning methods with linear value decomposition (LVD) or monotonic value decomposition (MVD) suffer from relative overgeneralization. As a result, they can not ensure optimal consistency (i.e., the correspondence between individual greedy actions and the maximal true Q value). In this paper, we derive the expression of the joint Q value function of LVD and MVD. According to the expression, we draw a transition diagram, where each self-transition node (STN) is a possible convergence. To ensure optimal consistency, the optimal node is required to be the unique STN. Therefore, we propose the greedy-based value representation (GVR), which turns the optimal node into an STN via inferior target shaping and further eliminates the non-optimal STNs via superior experience replay. In addition, GVR achieves an adaptive trade-off between optimality and stability. Our method outperforms state-of-the-art baselines in experiments on various benchmarks. Theoretical proofs and empirical results on matrix games demonstrate that GVR ensures optimal consistency under sufficient exploration.
* arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:2112.04454
As the first session-level Chinese dataset, CHASE contains two separate parts, i.e., 2,003 sessions manually constructed from scratch (CHASE-C), and 3,456 sessions translated from English SParC (CHASE-T). We find the two parts are highly discrepant and incompatible as training and evaluation data. In this work, we present SeSQL, yet another large-scale session-level text-to-SQL dataset in Chinese, consisting of 5,028 sessions all manually constructed from scratch. In order to guarantee data quality, we adopt an iterative annotation workflow to facilitate intense and in-time review of previous-round natural language (NL) questions and SQL queries. Moreover, by completing all context-dependent NL questions, we obtain 27,012 context-independent question/SQL pairs, allowing SeSQL to be used as the largest dataset for single-round multi-DB text-to-SQL parsing. We conduct benchmark session-level text-to-SQL parsing experiments on SeSQL by employing three competitive session-level parsers, and present detailed analysis.
Conversational search systems, such as Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, provide a new search paradigm where users are allowed, via natural language dialogues, to communicate with search systems. Evaluating such systems is very challenging since search results are presented in the format of natural language sentences. Given the unlimited number of possible responses, collecting relevance assessments for all the possible responses is infeasible. In this paper, we propose POSSCORE, a simple yet effective automatic evaluation method for conversational search. The proposed embedding-based metric takes the influence of part of speech (POS) of the terms in the response into account. To the best knowledge, our work is the first to systematically demonstrate the importance of incorporating syntactic information, such as POS labels, for conversational search evaluation. Experimental results demonstrate that our metrics can correlate with human preference, achieving significant improvements over state-of-the-art baseline metrics.
Conversational search systems, such as Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, enable users to interact with search systems in multiple rounds through natural language dialogues. Evaluating such systems is very challenging given that any natural language responses could be generated, and users commonly interact for multiple semantically coherent rounds to accomplish a search task. Although prior studies proposed many evaluation metrics, the extent of how those measures effectively capture user preference remains to be investigated. In this paper, we systematically meta-evaluate a variety of conversational search metrics. We specifically study three perspectives on those metrics: (1) reliability: the ability to detect "actual" performance differences as opposed to those observed by chance; (2) fidelity: the ability to agree with ultimate user preference; and (3) intuitiveness: the ability to capture any property deemed important: adequacy, informativeness, and fluency in the context of conversational search. By conducting experiments on two test collections, we find that the performance of different metrics varies significantly across different scenarios whereas consistent with prior studies, existing metrics only achieve a weak correlation with ultimate user preference and satisfaction. METEOR is, comparatively speaking, the best existing single-turn metric considering all three perspectives. We also demonstrate that adapted session-based evaluation metrics can be used to measure multi-turn conversational search, achieving moderate concordance with user satisfaction. To our knowledge, our work establishes the most comprehensive meta-evaluation for conversational search to date.