SeqGAN: Sequence Generative Adversarial Nets with Policy Gradient


  • Lantao Yu Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Weinan Zhang Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Jun Wang University College London
  • Yong Yu Shanghai Jiao Tong University



Generative Adversarial Nets, Deep Learning, Unsupervised Learning, Reinforcement Learning


As a new way of training generative models, Generative Adversarial Net (GAN) that uses a discriminative model to guide the training of the generative model has enjoyed considerable success in generating real-valued data. However, it has limitations when the goal is for generating sequences of discrete tokens. A major reason lies in that the discrete outputs from the generative model make it difficult to pass the gradient update from the discriminative model to the generative model. Also, the discriminative model can only assess a complete sequence, while for a partially generated sequence, it is non-trivial to balance its current score and the future one once the entire sequence has been generated. In this paper, we propose a sequence generation framework, called SeqGAN, to solve the problems. Modeling the data generator as a stochastic policy in reinforcement learning (RL), SeqGAN bypasses the generator differentiation problem by directly performing gradient policy update. The RL reward signal comes from the GAN discriminator judged on a complete sequence, and is passed back to the intermediate state-action steps using Monte Carlo search. Extensive experiments on synthetic data and real-world tasks demonstrate significant improvements over strong baselines.




How to Cite

Yu, L., Zhang, W., Wang, J., & Yu, Y. (2017). SeqGAN: Sequence Generative Adversarial Nets with Policy Gradient. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 31(1).