Dueling Posterior Sampling for Preference-Based Reinforcement Learning

Ellen Novoseller, Yibing Wei, Yanan Sui, Yisong Yue, Joel Burdick
Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), PMLR 124:1029-1038, 2020.

Abstract

In preference-based reinforcement learning (RL), an agent interacts with the environment while receiving preferences instead of absolute feedback. While there is increasing research activity in preference-based RL, the design of formal frameworks that admit tractable theoretical analysis remains an open challenge. Building upon ideas from preference-based bandit learning and posterior sampling in RL, we present DUELING POSTERIOR SAMPLING (DPS), which employs preference-based posterior sampling to learn both the system dynamics and the underlying utility function that governs the preference feedback. As preference feedback is provided on trajectories rather than individual state-action pairs, we develop a Bayesian approach for the credit assignment problem, translating preferences to a posterior distribution over state-action reward models. We prove an asymptotic Bayesian no-regret rate for DPS with a Bayesian linear regression credit assignment model. This is the first regret guarantee for preference-based RL to our knowledge. We also discuss possible avenues for extending the proof methodology to other credit assignment models. Finally, we evaluate the approach empirically, showing competitive performance against existing baselines.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v124-novoseller20a, title = {Dueling Posterior Sampling for Preference-Based Reinforcement Learning}, author = {Novoseller, Ellen and Wei, Yibing and Sui, Yanan and Yue, Yisong and Burdick, Joel}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI)}, pages = {1029--1038}, year = {2020}, editor = {Jonas Peters and David Sontag}, volume = {124}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, month = {03--06 Aug}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v124/novoseller20a/novoseller20a.pdf}, url = { http://proceedings.mlr.press/v124/novoseller20a.html }, abstract = {In preference-based reinforcement learning (RL), an agent interacts with the environment while receiving preferences instead of absolute feedback. While there is increasing research activity in preference-based RL, the design of formal frameworks that admit tractable theoretical analysis remains an open challenge. Building upon ideas from preference-based bandit learning and posterior sampling in RL, we present DUELING POSTERIOR SAMPLING (DPS), which employs preference-based posterior sampling to learn both the system dynamics and the underlying utility function that governs the preference feedback. As preference feedback is provided on trajectories rather than individual state-action pairs, we develop a Bayesian approach for the credit assignment problem, translating preferences to a posterior distribution over state-action reward models. We prove an asymptotic Bayesian no-regret rate for DPS with a Bayesian linear regression credit assignment model. This is the first regret guarantee for preference-based RL to our knowledge. We also discuss possible avenues for extending the proof methodology to other credit assignment models. Finally, we evaluate the approach empirically, showing competitive performance against existing baselines.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Dueling Posterior Sampling for Preference-Based Reinforcement Learning %A Ellen Novoseller %A Yibing Wei %A Yanan Sui %A Yisong Yue %A Joel Burdick %B Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI) %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2020 %E Jonas Peters %E David Sontag %F pmlr-v124-novoseller20a %I PMLR %P 1029--1038 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press/v124/novoseller20a.html %V 124 %X In preference-based reinforcement learning (RL), an agent interacts with the environment while receiving preferences instead of absolute feedback. While there is increasing research activity in preference-based RL, the design of formal frameworks that admit tractable theoretical analysis remains an open challenge. Building upon ideas from preference-based bandit learning and posterior sampling in RL, we present DUELING POSTERIOR SAMPLING (DPS), which employs preference-based posterior sampling to learn both the system dynamics and the underlying utility function that governs the preference feedback. As preference feedback is provided on trajectories rather than individual state-action pairs, we develop a Bayesian approach for the credit assignment problem, translating preferences to a posterior distribution over state-action reward models. We prove an asymptotic Bayesian no-regret rate for DPS with a Bayesian linear regression credit assignment model. This is the first regret guarantee for preference-based RL to our knowledge. We also discuss possible avenues for extending the proof methodology to other credit assignment models. Finally, we evaluate the approach empirically, showing competitive performance against existing baselines.
APA
Novoseller, E., Wei, Y., Sui, Y., Yue, Y. & Burdick, J.. (2020). Dueling Posterior Sampling for Preference-Based Reinforcement Learning. Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), in Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 124:1029-1038 Available from http://proceedings.mlr.press/v124/novoseller20a.html .

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