A Goal-Based Movement Model for Continuous Multi-Agent Tasks

Journal Article

Despite increasing attention paid to the need for fast, scalable methods to analyze next-generation neuroscience data, comparatively little attention has been paid to the development of similar methods for behavioral analysis. Just as the volume and complexity of brain data have grown, behavioral paradigms in systems neuroscience have likewise become more naturalistic and less constrained, necessitating an increase in the flexibility and scalability of the models used to study them. In particular, key assumptions made in the analysis of typical decision paradigms --- optimality; analytic tractability; discrete, low-dimensional action spaces --- may be untenable in richer tasks. Here, using the case of a two-player, real-time, continuous strategic game as an example, we show how the use of modern machine learning methods allows us to relax each of these assumptions. Following an inverse reinforcement learning approach, we are able to succinctly characterize the joint distribution over players' actions via a generative model that allows us to simulate realistic game play. We compare simulated play from a number of generative time series models and show that ours successfully resists mode collapse while generating trajectories with the rich variability of real behavior. Together, these methods offer a rich class of models for the analysis of continuous action tasks at the single-trial level.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Iqbal, S; Pearson, J

Published Date

  • February 23, 2017