Elastic Decision Transformer

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yueh-Hua Wu, Xiaolong Wang, Masashi Hamaya


This paper introduces Elastic Decision Transformer (EDT), a significant advancement over the existing Decision Transformer (DT) and its variants. Although DT purports to generate an optimal trajectory, empirical evidence suggests it struggles with trajectory stitching, a process involving the generation of an optimal or near-optimal trajectory from the best parts of a set of sub-optimal trajectories. The proposed EDT differentiates itself by facilitating trajectory stitching during action inference at test time, achieved by adjusting the history length maintained in DT. Further, the EDT optimizes the trajectory by retaining a longer history when the previous trajectory is optimal and a shorter one when it is sub-optimal, enabling it to "stitch" with a more optimal trajectory. Extensive experimentation demonstrates EDT's ability to bridge the performance gap between DT-based and Q Learning-based approaches. In particular, the EDT outperforms Q Learning-based methods in a multi-task regime on the D4RL locomotion benchmark and Atari games.