Dataset Reset Policy Optimization for RLHF

Reinforcement Learning (RL) from Human Preference-based feedback is a popular paradigm for fine-tuning generative models, which has produced impressive models such as GPT-4 and Claude3 Opus. This framework often consists of two steps: learning a reward model from an offline preference dataset followed by running online RL to optimize the learned reward model. In this work, leveraging the idea of reset, we propose a new RLHF algorithm with provable guarantees. Motivated by the fact that offline preference dataset provides informative states (i.e., data that is preferred by the labelers), our new algorithm, Dataset Reset Policy Optimization (DR-PO), integrates the existing offline preference dataset into the online policy training procedure via dataset reset: it directly resets the policy optimizer to the states in the offline dataset, instead of always starting from the initial state distribution. In theory, we show that DR-PO learns to perform at least as good as any policy that is covered by the offline dataset under general function approximation with finite sample complexity. In experiments, we demonstrate that on both the TL;DR summarization and the Anthropic Helpful Harmful (HH) dataset, the generation from DR-PO is better than that from Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO) and Direction Preference Optimization (DPO), under the metric of GPT4 win-rate. Code for this work can be found at

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