16 papers co-authored by Amii researchers featured at NeurIPS 2022

Amii is proud to share the work of our researchers that will be presented at the thirty-sixth annual Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) conference, a hybrid conference held online and in New Orleans from Nov 28 - Dec 9, 2022.

First started in 1987, NeurIPS has grown into a premier conference on machine learning and cognitive neuroscience. Every year, it draws researchers from many different disciplines, including information theory, computer vision and linguistics.

This year, 19 papers co-authored by Amii Fellows, Canada CIFAR AI Chairs and early-stage researchers were accepted at NeurIPS, in addition to workshops and competitions.

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Doubly-Asynchronous Value Iteration: Making Value Iteration Asynchronous in Actions

Tian Tian · Kenny Young · Richard Sutton

Value iteration (VI) is a foundational dynamic programming method, important for learning and planning in optimal control and reinforcement learning. VI proceeds in batches, where the update to the value of each state must be completed before the next batch of updates can begin. Completing a single batch is prohibitively expensive if the state space is large, rendering VI impractical for many applications. Asynchronous VI helps to address the large state space problem by updating one state at a time, in-place and in an arbitrary order. However, Asynchronous VI still requires a maximization over the entire action space, making it impractical for domains with large action space. To address this issue, we propose doubly-asynchronous value iteration (DAVI), a new algorithm that generalizes the idea of asynchrony from states to states and actions. More concretely, DAVI maximizes over a sampled subset of actions that can be of any user-defined size. This simple approach of using sampling to reduce computation maintains similarly appealing theoretical properties to VI without the need to wait for a full sweep through the entire action space in each update. In this paper, we show DAVI converges to the optimal value function with probability one, converges at a near-geometric rate with probability 1 −δ, and returns a near-optimal policy in computation time that nearly matches a previously established bound for VI. We also empirically demonstrate DAVI's effectiveness in several experiments.

MultiScan: Scalable RGBD scanning for 3D environments with articulated objects

Yongsen Mao · Yiming Zhang · Hanxiao Jiang · Angel Chang · Manolis Savva

We introduce MultiScan, a scalable RGBD dataset construction pipeline leveraging commodity mobile devices to scan indoor scenes with articulated objects and web-based semantic annotation interfaces to efficiently annotate object and part semantics and part mobility parameters. We use this pipeline to collect 230 scans of 108 indoor scenes containing 9458 objects and 4331 parts. The resulting MultiScan dataset provides RGBD streams with per-frame camera poses, textured 3D surface meshes, richly annotated part-level and object-level semantic labels, and part mobility parameters. We validate our dataset on instance segmentation and part mobility estimation tasks and benchmark methods for these tasks from prior work. Our experiments show that part segmentation and mobility estimation in real 3D scenes remain challenging despite recent progress in 3D object segmentation.

Conformalized Fairness via Quantile Regression

Meichen Liu · Lei Ding · Dengdeng Yu · Wulong Liu · Linglong Kong · Bei Jiang

Algorithmic fairness has received increased attention in socially sensitive domains. While rich literature on mean fairness has been established, research on quantile fairness remains sparse but vital. To fulfill great needs and advocate the significance of quantile fairness, we propose a novel framework to learn a real-valued quantile function under the fairness requirement of Demographic Parity with respect to sensitive attributes, such as race or gender, and thereby derive a reliable fair prediction interval. Using optimal transport and functional synchronization techniques, we establish theoretical guarantees of distribution-free coverage and exact fairness for the induced prediction interval constructed by fair quantiles. A hands-on pipeline is provided to incorporate flexible quantile regressions with an efficient fairness adjustment post-processing algorithm. We demonstrate the superior empirical performance of this approach on several benchmark datasets. Our results show the model’s ability to uncover the mechanism underlying the fairness-accuracy trade-off in a wide range of societal and medical applications.

Identification, Amplification and Measurement: A bridge to Gaussian Differential Privacy

Yi Liu · Ke Sun · Bei Jiang · Linglong Kong

Gaussian differential privacy (GDP) is a single-parameter family of privacy notions that provides coherent guarantees to avoid the exposure of sensitive individual information. Despite the extra interpretability and tighter bounds under composition GDP provides, many widely used mechanisms (e.g., the Laplace mechanism) inherently provide GDP guarantees but often fail to take advantage of this new framework because their privacy guarantees were derived under a different background. In this paper, we study the asymptotic properties of privacy profiles and develop a simple criterion to identify algorithms with GDP properties. We propose an efficient method for GDP algorithms to narrow down possible values of an optimal privacy measurement, μ, with an arbitrarily small and quantifiable margin of error. For non GDP algorithms, we provide a post-processing procedure that can amplify existing privacy guarantees to meet the GDP condition. As applications, we compare two single-parameter families of privacy notions, ϵ-DP, and μ-GDP, and show that all ϵ-DP algorithms are intrinsically also GDP. Lastly, we show that the combination of our measurement process and the composition theorem of GDP is a powerful and convenient tool to handle compositions compared to the traditional standard and advanced composition theorems.

Teacher Forcing Recovers Reward Functions for Text Generation

Yongchang Hao · Yuxin Liu · Lili Mou

Reinforcement learning (RL) has been widely used in text generation to alleviate the exposure bias issue or to utilize non-parallel datasets. The reward function plays an important role in making RL training successful. However, previous reward functions are typically task-specific and sparse, restricting the use of RL. In our work, we propose a task-agnostic approach that derives a step-wise reward function directly from a model trained with teacher forcing. We additionally propose a simple modification to stabilize the RL training on non-parallel datasets with our induced reward function. Empirical results show that our method outperforms self-training and reward regression methods on several text generation tasks, confirming the effectiveness of our reward function.

On the Global Convergence Rates of Decentralized Softmax Gradient Play in Markov Potential Games

Runyu Zhang · Jincheng Mei · Bo Dai · Dale Schuurmans· Na Li

Softmax policy gradient is a popular algorithm for policy optimization in single-agent reinforcement learning, particularly since projection is not needed for each gradient update. However, in multi-agent systems, the lack of central coordination introduces significant additional difficulties in the convergence analysis. Even for a stochastic game with identical interest, there can be multiple Nash Equilibria (NEs), which disables proof techniques that rely on the existence of a unique global optimum. Moreover, the softmax parameterization introduces non-NE policies with zero gradient, making it difficult for gradient-based algorithms in seeking NEs. In this paper, we study the finite time convergence of decentralized softmax gradient play in a special form of game, Markov Potential Games (MPGs), which includes the identical interest game as a special case. We investigate both gradient play and natural gradient play, with and without log-barrier regularization. The established convergence rates for the unregularized cases contain a trajectory-dependent constant that can be \emph{arbitrarily large}, whereas the log-barrier regularization overcomes this drawback, with the cost of slightly worse dependence on other factors such as the action set size. An empirical study on an identical interest matrix game confirms the theoretical findings.

A Character-Level Length-Control Algorithm for Non-Autoregressive Sentence Summarization

Puyuan Liu · Xiang Zhang · Lili Mou

Sentence summarization aims at compressing a long sentence into a short one that keeps the main gist, and has extensive real-world applications such as headline generation. In previous work, researchers have developed various approaches to improve the ROUGE score, which is the main evaluation metric for summarization, whereas controlling the summary length has not drawn much attention. In our work, we address a new problem of explicit character-level length control for summarization, and propose a dynamic programming algorithm based on the Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) model. Results show that our approach not only achieves higher ROUGE scores but also yields more complete sentences.

Chain of Thought Prompting Elicits Reasoning in Large Language Models

Jason Wei · Xuezhi Wang · Dale Schuurmans · Maarten Bosma · brian ichter · Fei Xia · Ed Chi · Quoc V Le · Denny Zhou

We explore how generating a chain of thought---a series of intermediate reasoning steps---significantly improves the ability of large language models to perform complex reasoning. In particular, we show how such reasoning abilities emerge naturally in sufficiently large language models via a simple method called chain of thought prompting, where a few chain of thought demonstrations are provided as exemplars in prompting. Experiments on three large language models show that chain of thought prompting improves performance on a range of arithmetic, commonsense, and symbolic reasoning tasks. The empirical gains can be striking. For instance, prompting a 540B-parameter language model with just eight chain of thought exemplars achieves state-of-the-art accuracy on the GSM8K benchmark of math word problems, surpassing even finetuned GPT-3 with a verifier.

The Role of Baselines in Policy Gradient Optimization

Jincheng Mei · Wesley Chung · Valentin Thomas · Bo Dai · Csaba Szepesvari · Dale Schuurmans

We study the effect of baselines in on-policy stochastic policy gradient optimization, and close the gap between the theory and practice of policy optimization methods. Our first contribution is to show that the \emph{state value} baseline allows on-policy stochastic \emph{natural} policy gradient (NPG) to converge to a globally optimal policy at an O(1/t) rate, which was not previously known. The analysis relies on two novel findings: the expected progress of the NPG update satisfies a stochastic version of the non-uniform \L{}ojasiewicz (N\L{}) inequality, and with probability 1 the state value baseline prevents the optimal action's probability from vanishing, thus ensuring sufficient exploration. Importantly, these results provide a new understanding of the role of baselines in stochastic policy gradient: by showing that the variance of natural policy gradient estimates remains unbounded with or without a baseline, we find that variance reduction \emph{cannot} explain their utility in this setting. Instead, the analysis reveals that the primary effect of the value baseline is to \textbf{reduce the aggressiveness of the updates} rather than their variance. That is, we demonstrate that a finite variance is \emph{not necessary} for almost sure convergence of stochastic NPG, while controlling update aggressiveness is both necessary and sufficient. Additional experimental results verify these theoretical findings.

Optimal Scaling for Locally Balanced Proposals in Discrete Spaces

Haoran Sun · Hanjun Dai · Dale Schuurmans

Optimal scaling has been well studied for Metropolis-Hastings (M-H) algorithms in continuous spaces, but a similar understanding has been lacking in discrete spaces. Recently, a family of locally balanced proposals (LBP) for discrete spaces has been proved to be asymptotically optimal, but the question of optimal scaling has remained open. In this paper, we establish, for the first time, that the efficiency of M-H in discrete spaces can also be characterized by an asymptotic acceptance rate that is independent of the target distribution. Moreover, we verify, both theoretically and empirically, that the optimal acceptance rates for LBP and random walk Metropolis (RWM) are 0.574 and 0.234 respectively. These results also help establish that LBP is asymptotically O(N23) more efficient than RWM with respect to model dimension N. Knowledge of the optimal acceptance rate allows one to automatically tune the neighborhood size of a proposal distribution in a discrete space, directly analogous to step-size control in continuous spaces. We demonstrate empirically that such adaptive M-H sampling can robustly improve sampling in a variety of target distributions in discrete spaces, including training deep energy-based models.

A Simple Decentralized Cross-Entropy Method

Zichen Zhang · Jun Jin · Martin Jagersand · Jun Luo · Dale Schuurmans

Cross-Entropy Method (CEM) is commonly used for planning in model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) where a centralized approach is typically utilized to update the sampling distribution based on only the top-k operations' results on samples. In this paper, we show that such a centralized approach makes CEM vulnerable to local optima, thus impairing its sample efficiency. To tackle this issue, we propose Decentralized CEM (DecentCEM), a simple but effective improvement over classical CEM, by using an ensemble of CEM instances running independently from one another, and each performing a local improvement of its own sampling distribution. We provide both theoretical and empirical analysis to demonstrate the effectiveness of this simple decentralized approach. We empirically show that, compared to the classical centralized approach using either a single or even a mixture of Gaussian distributions, our DecentCEM finds the global optimum much more consistently thus improves the sample efficiency. Furthermore, we plug in our DecentCEM in the planning problem of MBRL, and evaluate our approach in several continuous control environments, with comparison to the state-of-art CEM based MBRL approaches (PETS and POPLIN). Results show sample efficiency improvement by simply replacing the classical CEM module with our DecentCEM module, while only sacrificing a reasonable amount of computational cost. Lastly, we conduct ablation studies for more in-depth analysis.

Chain of Thought Imitation with Procedure Cloning

Mengjiao (Sherry) Yang · Dale Schuurmans· Pieter Abbeel · Ofir Nachum

Imitation learning aims to extract high-performance policies from logged demonstrations of expert behavior. It is common to frame imitation learning as a supervised learning problem in which one fits a function approximator to the input-output mapping exhibited by the logged demonstrations (input observations to output actions). While the framing of imitation learning as a supervised input-output learning problem allows for applicability in a wide variety of settings, it is also an overly simplistic view of the problem in situations where the expert demonstrations provide much richer insight into expert behavior. For example, applications such as path navigation, robot manipulation, and strategy games acquire expert demonstrations via planning, search, or some other multi-step algorithm, revealing not just the output action to be imitated but also the procedure for how to determine this action. While these intermediate computations may use tools not available to the agent during inference (e.g., environment simulators), they are nevertheless informative as a way to explain an expert’s mapping of state to actions. To properly leverage expert procedure information without relying on the privileged tools the expert may have used to perform the procedure, we propose procedure cloning, which applies supervised sequence prediction to imitate the complete series of expert computations. This way, procedure cloning learns not only what to do (i.e., the output action), but how and why to do it (i.e., the procedure). Through empirical analysis on navigation, simulated robotic manipulation, and game-playing environments, we show that imitating the intermediate computations of an expert’s behavior enables procedure cloning to learn policies exhibiting significant generalization to unseen environment configurations, including those configurations for which running the expert’s procedure directly is infeasible.

Evaluating Graph Generative Models with Contrastively Learned Features

Hamed Shirzad · Kaveh Hassani · Danica J. Sutherland

A wide range of models have been proposed for Graph Generative Models, necessitating effective methods to evaluate their quality. So far, most techniques use either traditional metrics based on subgraph counting, or the representations of randomly initialized Graph Neural Networks (GNNs). We propose using representations from constrastively trained GNNs, rather than random GNNs, and show this gives more reliable evaluation metrics. Neither traditional approaches nor GNN-based approaches dominate the other, however: we give examples of graphs that each approach is unable to distinguish. We demonstrate that Graph Substructure Networks (GSNs), which in a way combine both approaches, are better at distinguishing the distances between graph datasets.

A Non-Asymptotic Moreau Envelope Theory for High-Dimensional Generalized Linear Models

Lijia Zhou · Frederic Koehler · Pragya Sur · Danica J. Sutherland · Nati Srebro

We prove a new generalization bound that shows for any class of linear predictors in Gaussian space, the Rademacher complexity of the class and the training error under any continuous loss ℓ can control the test error under all Moreau envelopes of the loss ℓ. We use our finite-sample bound to directly recover the “optimistic rate” of Zhou et al. (2021) for linear regression with the square loss, which is known to be tight for minimal ℓ2-norm interpolation, but we also handle more general settings where the label is generated by a potentially misspecified multi-index model. The same argument can analyze noisy interpolation of max-margin classifiers through the squared hinge loss, and establishes consistency results in spiked-covariance settings. More generally, when the loss is only assumed to be Lipschitz, our bound effectively improves Talagrand’s well-known contraction lemma by a factor of two, and we prove uniform convergence of interpolators (Koehler et al. 2021) for all smooth, non-negative losses. Finally, we show that application of our generalization bound using localized Gaussian width will generally be sharp for empirical risk minimizers, establishing a non-asymptotic Moreau envelope theory for generalization that applies outside of proportional scaling regimes, handles model misspecification, and complements existing asymptotic Moreau envelope theories for M-estimation.

Bandit Theory and Thompson Sampling-Guided Directed Evolution for Sequence Optimization

Hui Yuan · Chengzhuo Ni · Huazheng Wang · Xuezhou Zhang · Le Cong · Csaba Szepesvari · Mengdi Wang

Directed Evolution (DE), a landmark wet-lab method originated in 1960s, enables discovery of novel protein designs via evolving a population of candidate sequences. Recent advances in biotechnology has made it possible to collect high-throughput data, allowing the use of machine learning to map out a protein's sequence-to-function relation. There is a growing interest in machine learning-assisted DE for accelerating protein optimization. Yet the theoretical understanding of DE, as well as the use of machine learning in DE, remains limited.In this paper, we connect DE with the bandit learning theory and make a first attempt to study regret minimization in DE. We propose a Thompson Sampling-guided Directed Evolution (TS-DE) framework for sequence optimization, where the sequence-to-function mapping is unknown and querying a single value is subject to costly and noisy measurements. TS-DE updates a posterior of the function based on collected measurements. It uses a posterior-sampled function estimate to guide the crossover recombination and mutation steps in DE. In the case of a linear model, we show that TS-DE enjoys a Bayesian regret of order O~(d2MT), where d is feature dimension, M is population size and T is number of rounds. This regret bound is nearly optimal, confirming that bandit learning can provably accelerate DE. It may have implications for more general sequence optimization and evolutionary algorithms.

Confident Approximate Policy Iteration for Efficient Local Planning in q(π)-realizable MDPs

Gellért Weisz · András György · Csaba Szepesvari

We consider approximate dynamic programming in γ-discounted Markov decision processes and apply it to approximate planning with linear value-function approximation. Our first contribution is a new variant of Approximate Policy Iteration (API), called Confident Approximate Policy Iteration (CAPI), which computes a deterministic stationary policy with an optimal error bound scaling linearly with the product of the effective horizon H and the worst-case approximation error ϵ of the action-value functions of stationary policies. This improvement over API (whose error scales with H2) comes at the price of an H-fold increase in memory cost. Unlike Scherrer and Lesner [2012], who recommended computing a non-stationary policy to achieve a similar improvement (with the same memory overhead), we are able to stick to stationary policies. This allows for our second contribution, the application of CAPI to planning with local access to a simulator and d-dimensional linear function approximation. As such, we design a planning algorithm that applies CAPI to obtain a sequence of policies with successively refined accuracies on a dynamically evolving set of states. The algorithm outputs an O~(dHϵ)-optimal policy after issuing O~(dH(4)/ϵ(2)) queries to the simulator, simultaneously achieving the optimal accuracy bound and the best known query complexity bound, while earlier algorithms in the literature achieve only one of them. This query complexity is shown to be tight in all parameters except H. These improvements come at the expense of a mild (polynomial) increase in memory and computational costs of both the algorithm and its output policy.

Near-Optimal Sample Complexity Bounds for Constrained MDPs

Sharan Vaswani · Lin Yang · Csaba Szepesvari

In contrast to the advances in characterizing the sample complexity for solving Markov decision processes (MDPs), the optimal statistical complexity for solving constrained MDPs (CMDPs) remains unknown. We resolve this question by providing minimax upper and lower bounds on the sample complexity for learning near-optimal policies in a discounted CMDP with access to a generative model (simulator). In particular, we design a model-based algorithm that addresses two settings: (i) relaxed feasibility, where small constraint violations are allowed, and (ii) strict feasibility, where the output policy is required to satisfy the constraint. For (i), we prove that our algorithm returns an ϵ-optimal policy with probability 1−δ, by making O~(SAlog⁡(1/δ)(1−γ)3ϵ2) queries to the generative model, thus matching the sample-complexity for unconstrained MDPs. For (ii), we show that the algorithm's sample complexity is upper-bounded by A log O~(SAlog⁡(1/δ)(1−γ)5ϵ2ζ2) where ζ is the problem-dependent Slater constant that characterizes the size of the feasible region. Finally, we prove a matching lower-bound for the strict feasibility setting, thus obtaining the first near minimax optimal bounds for discounted CMDPs. Our results show that learning CMDPs is as easy as MDPs when small constraint violations are allowed, but inherently more difficult when we demand zero constraint violation.

Sample-Efficient Reinforcement Learning of Partially Observable Markov Games

Qinghua Liu · Csaba Szepesvari · Chi Jin

This paper considers the challenging tasks of Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) under partial observability, where each agent only sees her own individual observations and actions that reveal incomplete information about the underlying state of system. This paper studies these tasks under the general model of multiplayer general-sum Partially Observable Markov Games (POMGs), which is significantly larger than the standard model of Imperfect Information Extensive-Form Games (IIEFGs). We identify a rich subclass of POMGs---weakly revealing POMGs---in which sample-efficient learning is tractable. In the self-play setting, we prove that a simple algorithm combining optimism and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) is sufficient to find approximate Nash equilibria, correlated equilibria, as well as coarse correlated equilibria of weakly revealing POMGs, in a polynomial number of samples when the number of agents is small. In the setting of playing against adversarial opponents, we show that a variant of our optimistic MLE algorithm is capable of achieving sublinear regret when being compared against the optimal maximin policies. To our best knowledge, this work provides the first line of sample-efficient results for learning POMGs.

On Batch Teaching with Sample Complexity Bounded by VCD

Farnam Mansouri · Hans Simon · Adish Singla · Sandra Zilles

In machine teaching, a concept is represented by (and inferred from) a small number of labeled examples. Various teaching models in the literature cast the interaction between teacher and learner in a way to obtain a small complexity (in terms of the number of examples required for teaching a concept) while obeying certain constraints that are meant to prevent unfair collusion between teacher and learner. In recent years, one major research goal has been to show interesting relationships between teaching complexity and the VC-dimension (VCD). So far, the only interesting relationship known from batch teaching settings is an upper bound quadratic in the VCD, on a parameter called recursive teaching dimension. The only known upper bound on teaching complexity that is linear in VCD was obtained in a model of teaching with sequences rather than batches. This paper is the first to provide an upper bound of VCD on a batch teaching complexity parameter. This parameter, called STDmin, is introduced here as a model of teaching that intuitively incorporates a notion of importance'' of an example for a concept. In designing the STDmin teaching model, we argue that the standard notion of collusion-freeness from the literature may be inadequate for certain applications; we hence propose three desirable properties of teaching complexity and demonstrate that they are satisfied by STDmin.


Second Workshop on Efficient Natural Language and Speech Processing (ENLSP-II)

Mehdi Rezagholizadeh · Peyman Passban · Yue Dong · Lili Mou · Pascal Poupart · Ali Ghodsi · Qun Liu

The second version of the Efficient Natural Language and Speech Processing (ENLSP-II) workshop focuses on fundamental and challenging problems to make natural language and speech processing (especially pre-trained models) more efficient in terms of Data, Model, Training, and Inference. The workshop program offers an interactive platform for gathering different experts and talents from academia and industry through invited talks, panel discussion, paper submissions, reviews, interactive posters, oral presentations and a mentorship program. This will be a unique opportunity to address the efficiency issues of current models, build connections, exchange ideas and brainstorm solutions, and foster future collaborations. The topics of this workshop can be of interest for people working on general machine learning, deep learning, optimization, theory and NLP & Speech applications.

Deep Reinforcement Learning Workshop

Karol Hausman · Qi Zhang · Matthew Taylor · Martha White · Suraj Nair · Manan Tomar · Risto Vuorio · Ted Xiao · Zeyu Zheng

In recent years, the use of deep neural networks as function approximators has enabled researchers to extend reinforcement learning techniques to solve increasingly complex control tasks. The emerging field of deep reinforcement learning has led to remarkable empirical results in rich and varied domains like robotics, strategy games, and multi-agent interactions. This workshop will bring together researchers working at the intersection of deep learning and reinforcement learning, and it will help interested researchers outside of the field gain a high-level view about the current state of the art and potential directions for future contributions.

Reinforcement Learning for Real Life (RL4RealLife) Workshop

Yuxi Li · Emma Brunskill · Minmin Chen · Omer Gottesman · Lihong Li · Yao Liu · Zhiwei Tony Qin · Matthew Taylor

Discover how to improve the adoption of RL in practice, by discussing key research problems, SOTA, and success stories, insights, lessons, practical RL algorithms, practical issues, and applications with leading experts from both academia and industry @ NeurIPS 2022 RL4RealLife workshop.


Habitat Rearrangement Challenge

Andrew Szot · Karmesh Yadav · Alexander Clegg · Vincent-Pierre Berges · Aaron Gokaslan · Angel Chang · Manolis Savva · Zsolt Kira · Dhruv Batra

We propose the Habitat Rearrangement Challenge. Specifically, a virtual robot (Fetch mobile manipulator) is spawned in a previously unseen simulation environment and asked to rearrange objects from initial to desired positions -- picking/placing objects from receptacles (counter, sink, sofa, table), opening/closing containers (drawers, fridges) as necessary. The robot operates entirely from onboard sensing -- head- and arm-mounted RGB-D cameras, proprioceptive joint-position sensors (for the arm), and egomotion sensors (for the mobile base) -- and may not access any privileged state information (no prebuilt maps, no 3D models of rooms or objects, no physically-implausible sensors providing knowledge of mass, friction, articulation of containers). This is a challenging embodied AI task involving embodied perception, mobile manipulation, sequential decision making in long-horizon tasks, and (potentially) deep reinforcement and imitation learning. Developing such embodied intelligent systems is a goal of deep scientific and societal value, including practical applications in home assistant robots.

Driving SMARTS

Amir Rasouli · Matthew Taylor · Iuliia Kotseruba · Tianpei Yang · Randolph Goebel · Soheil Mohamad Alizadeh Shabestary · Montgomery Alban · Florian Shkurti · Liam Paull

Driving SMARTS is a regular competition aiming to tackle problems caused by the distribution shift in dynamic interaction contexts that are prevalent in real-world autonomous driving (AD). The proposed competition is designed to support methodologically diverse solutions, such as reinforcement learning (RL) and offline learning methods, using a combination of naturalistic AD data and open-source simulation platform SMARTS. The two-track structure allows focusing on different aspects of the distribution shift. Track 1 is open to any method and will give ML researchers with different backgrounds an opportunity to solve a real-world autonomous driving challenge. Track 2 is designed for strictly offline learning methods. Therefore, direct comparisons can be made between different methods with the aim to identify new promising research directions. The proposed setup consists of 1) real-world AD data replayed in simulation to ensure fidelity of the scenarios, 2) framework accommodating diverse methods for solving the problem, and 3) two baselines: random and RL-based. As such it provides a unique opportunity for the principled investigation into various aspects of autonomous vehicle deployment.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks 6A-4

Angel Chang

Lightning Talks 1B-4

Lili Mou

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