Deceptive Reinforcement Learning for Privacy-Preserving Planning

Zhengshang Liu, Yue Yang, Tim Miller, Peta Masters

In this paper, we study the problem of deceptive reinforcement learning to preserve the privacy of a reward function. Reinforcement learning is the problem of finding a behaviour policy based on rewards received from exploratory behaviour. A key ingredient in reinforcement learning is a reward function, which determines how much reward (negative or positive) is given and when. However, in some situations, we may want to keep a reward function private; that is, to make it difficult for an observer to determine the reward function used. We define the problem of privacy-preserving reinforcement learning, and present two models for solving it. These models are based on dissimulation -- a form of deception that `hides the truth'. We evaluate our models both computationally and via human behavioural experiments. Results show that the resulting policies are indeed deceptive, and that participants can determine the true reward function less reliably than that of an honest agent.

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