This is an old revision of the document! Agent-Agnostic Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement Learning

Providing Reinforcement Learning agents with expert advice can dramatically improve various aspects of learning. To this end, prior work has developed teaching protocols that enable agents to learn efficiently in complex environments. In many of these methods, the teacher’s guidance is tailored to agents with a particular representation or underlying learning scheme, offering effective but highly specialized teaching procedures. In this work, we introduce protocol programs, an agent-agnostic schema for Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement Learning. Our goal is to incorporate the beneficial properties of a human teacher into Reinforcement Learning without making strong assumptions about the inner workings of the agent. We show how to represent existing approaches such as action pruning, reward shaping, and training in simulation as special cases of our schema, and conduct preliminary experiments evaluating the effectiveness of protocols in simple domains. On Human Intellect and Machine Failures: Troubleshooting Integrative Machine Learning Systems

We study the problem of troubleshooting machine learning systems that rely on analytical pipelines of distinct components. Understanding and fixing errors that arise in such integrative systems is difficult as failures can occur at multiple points in the execution workflow. Moreover, errors can propagate, become amplified or be suppressed, making blame assignment difficult. We propose a human-in-the-loop methodology which leverages human intellect for troubleshooting system failures. The approach simulates potential component fixes through human computation tasks and measures the expected improvements in the holistic behavior of the system. The method provides guidance to designers about how they can best improve the system. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach on an automated image captioning system that has been pressed into real-world use. Cooperating with Machines

In contrast, less attention has been given to developing autonomous machines that establish mutually cooperative relationships with people who may not share the machine's preferences. A main challenge has been that human cooperation does not require sheer computational power, but rather relies on intuition [11], cultural norms [12], emotions and signals [13, 14, 15, 16], and pre-evolved dispositions toward cooperation [17], common-sense mechanisms that are difficult to encode in machines for arbitrary contexts. Here, we combine a state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithm with novel mechanisms for generating and acting on signals to produce a new learning algorithm that cooperates with people and other machines at levels that rival human cooperation in a variety of two-player repeated stochastic games. This is the first general-purpose algorithm that is capable, given a description of a previously unseen game environment, of learning to cooperate with people within short timescales in scenarios previously unanticipated by algorithm designers. This is achieved without complex opponent modeling or higher-order theories of mind, thus showing that flexible, fast, and general human-machine cooperation is computationally achievable using a non-trivial, but ultimately simple, set of algorithmic mechanisms. Online Graph Completion: Multivariate Signal Recovery in Computer Vision Shared Autonomy via Deep Reinforcement Learning

This paper is a proof of concept that illustrates the potential for deep reinforcement learning to enable flexible and practical assistive systems.