Preference Transformer: Modeling Human Preferences using Transformers for RL

ICLR 2023(2023)

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Preference-based reinforcement learning (RL) provides a framework to train agents using human preferences between two behaviors. However, preference-based RL has been challenging to scale since it requires a large amount of human feedback to learn a reward function aligned with human intent. In this paper, we present Preference Transformer, a neural architecture that models human preferences using transformers. Unlike prior approaches assuming human judgment is based on the Markovian rewards which contribute to the decision equally, we introduce a new preference model based on the weighted sum of non-Markovian rewards. We then design the proposed preference model using a transformer architecture that stacks causal and bidirectional self-attention layers. We demonstrate that Preference Transformer can solve a variety of control tasks using real human preferences, while prior approaches fail to work. We also show that Preference Transformer can induce a well-specified reward and attend to critical events in the trajectory by automatically capturing the temporal dependencies in human decision-making.
preference-based reinforcement learning,human-in-the-loop reinforcement learning,deep reinforcement learning
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