ICLR 2023

Relative Behavioral Attributes: Filling the Gap between Symbolic Goal Specification and Reward Learning from Human Preferences

Lin Guan,  Karthik Valmeekam,   Subbarao Kambhampati

School of Computing & AI,  Arizona State University


Paper   |  Code

Supplementary Video


Generating complex behaviors that satisfy the preferences of non-expert users is a crucial requirement on AI agents. Interactive reward learning from trajectory comparisons is one way to allow non-expert users to convey complex objectives by expressing preferences over short clips of agent behaviors. Even though this parametric method can encode complex tacit knowledge present in the underlying tasks, it implicitly assumes that the human is unable to provide richer feedback than binary preference labels, leading to intolerably high feedback complexity and poor user experience. While providing a detailed symbolic closed-form specification of the objectives might be tempting, it is not always feasible even for an expert user. However, in most cases, humans are aware of how the agent should change its behavior along meaningful axes to fulfill their underlying purpose, even if they are not able to fully specify task objectives symbolically. Using this as motivation, we introduce the notion of Relative Behavioral Attributes, which allows the users to tweak the agent behavior through symbolic concepts (e.g., increasing the softness or speed of agents' movement). We propose two practical methods that can learn to model any kind of behavioral attributes from ordered behavior clips. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on four tasks with nine different behavioral attributes, showing that once the attributes are learned, end users can produce desirable agent behaviors relatively effortlessly, by providing feedback just around ten times. This is over an order of magnitude less than that required by the popular learning-from-human-preferences baselines.