Date of Original Version

4-2011

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Sequential prediction problems such as imitation learning, where future observations depend on previous predictions (actions), violate the common i.i.d. assumptions made in statistical learning. This leads to poor performance in theory and often in practice. Some recent approaches (Daumé III et al., 2009; Ross and Bagnell, 2010) provide stronger guarantees in this setting, but remain somewhat unsatisfactory as they train either non-stationary or stochastic policies and require a large number of iterations. In this paper, we propose a new iterative algorithm, which trains a stationary deterministic policy, that can be seen as a no regret algorithm in an online learning setting. We show that any such no regret algorithm, combined with additional reduction assumptions, must find a policy with good performance under the distribution of observations it induces in such sequential settings. We demonstrate that this new approach outperforms previous approaches on two challenging imitation learning problems and a benchmark sequence labeling problem.

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Published In

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Geoffrey Gordon, David Dunson, and Miroslav Dudík, eds. JMLR W&CP, 15.