Comprehensible context-driven text game playing

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDTiCal
CR# 689
This event is open to the public.
NL Seminar
Xusen Yin
Video Recording:

Abstract: In order to train a computer agent to play a text-based computer game, we must represent each hidden state of the game. A Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model running over observed texts is a common choice for state construction. However, a normal Deep Q-learning Network (DQN) for such an agent requires millions of steps of training or more to converge. As such, an LSTM-based DQN can take tens of days to finish the training process. Though we can use a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) as a text-encoder to construct states much faster than the LSTM, doing so without an understanding of the syntactic context of the words being analyzed can slow convergence. In this paper, we use a fast CNN to encode position- and syntax-oriented structures extracted from observed texts as states. We additionally augment the reward signal in a universal and practical manner. Together, we show that our improvements can not only speed up the process by one order of magnitude but also learn a superior agent.

Bio:Xusen Yin is a 3rd-year Ph.D. student in USC/ISI, advised by Dr. Jonathan May.

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