Large Sequence Models for Sequential Decision-Making: A Survey


Transformer architectures have facilitated the development of large-scale and general-purpose sequence models for prediction tasks in natural language processing and computer vision, e.g., GPT-3 and Swin Transformer. Although originally designed for prediction problems, it is natural to inquire about their suitability for sequential decision-making and reinforcement learning problems, which are typically beset by longstanding issues involving sample efficiency, credit assignment, and partial observability. In recent years, sequence models, especially the Transformer, have attracted increasing interest in the RL communities, spawning numerous approaches with notable effectiveness and generalizability. This survey presents a comprehensive overview of recent works aimed at solving sequential decision-making tasks with sequence models such as the Transformer, by discussing the connection between sequential decision-making and sequence modeling, and categorizing them based on the way they utilize the Transformer. Moreover, this paper puts forth various potential avenues for future research intending to improve the effectiveness of large sequence models for sequential decisionmaking, encompassing theoretical foundations, network architectures, algorithms, and efficient training systems.

Frontiers of Computer Science (FCS)