Keep CALM and explore: Language models for action generation in text-based games

Shunyu Yao, Rohan Rao, Matthew Hausknecht, Karthik Narasimhan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Text-based games present a unique challenge for autonomous agents to operate in natural language and handle enormous action spaces. In this paper, we propose the Contextual Action Language Model (CALM) to generate a compact set of action candidates at each game state. Our key insight is to train language models on human gameplay, where people demonstrate linguistic priors and a general game sense for promising actions conditioned on game history. We combine CALM with a reinforcement learning agent which re-ranks the generated action candidates to maximize in-game rewards. We evaluate our approach using the Jericho benchmark (Hausknecht et al., 2019a), on games unseen by CALM during training. Our method obtains a 69% relative improvement in average game score over the previous state-of-the-art model. Surprisingly, on half of these games, CALM is competitive with or better than other models that have access to ground truth admissible actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2020 - 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages8736-8754
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781952148606
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Nov 16 2020Nov 20 2020

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2020 - 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/16/2011/20/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Keep CALM and explore: Language models for action generation in text-based games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this