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Balancing Safety and Exploitability in Opponent Modeling

Zhikun Wang; Abdeslam Boularias; Katharina Mülling; Jan Peters
In: Wolfram Burgard; Dan Roth (Hrsg.). Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2011), August 7-11, San Francisco, California, USA, AAAI Press, 2011.


Opponent modeling is a critical mechanism in repeated games. It allows a player to adapt its strategy in order to better respond to the presumed preferences of his opponents. We introduce a new modeling technique that adaptively balances exploitability and risk reduction. An opponent’s strategy is modeled with a set of possible strategies that contain the actual strategy with a high probability. The algorithm is safe as the expected payoff is above the minimax payoff with a high probability, and can exploit the opponents’ preferences when sufficient observations have been obtained. We apply them to normal-form games and stochastic games with a finite number of stages. The performance of the proposed approach is first demonstrated on repeated rock-paper-scissors games. Subsequently, the approach is evaluated in a human-robot table-tennis setting where the robot player learns to prepare to return a served ball. By modeling the human players, the robot chooses a forehand, backhand or middle preparation pose before they serve. The learned strategies can exploit the opponent’s preferences, leading to a higher rate of successful returns.

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