Is Conditional Generative Modeling all you need for Decision-Making?

1 Improbable AI Lab 2 MIT

*indicates equal contribution.
ICLR 2023 (Oral Talk)


Recent improvements in conditional generative modeling have made it possible to generate high-quality images from language descriptions alone. We investigate whether these methods can directly address the problem of sequential decision-making. We view decision-making not through the lens of reinforcement learning (RL), but rather through conditional generative modeling. To our surprise, we find that our formulation leads to policies that can outperform existing offline RL approaches across standard benchmarks. By modeling a policy as a return-conditional diffusion model, we illustrate how we may circumvent the need for dynamic programming and subsequently eliminate many of the complexities that come with traditional offline RL. We further demonstrate the advantages of modeling policies as conditional diffusion models by considering two other conditioning variables: constraints and skills. Conditioning on a single constraint or skill during training leads to behaviors at test-time that can satisfy several constraints together or demonstrate a composition of skills. Our results illustrate that conditional generative modeling is a powerful tool for decision-making.

Decision Diffuser

Results Overview

Constraint Satisfaction

Combining Stacking Constraints

Combining Rearrangement Constraints

'NOT' constraints in Stacking and Rearrangement


Infeasible constraints lead to incoherent behavior

Skill Composition

Individual Quadruped Gaits

Composing Quadruped Gaits

Naive Skill Composition via sum of conditioning variables


Anurag Ajay


Yilun Du


Abhi Gupta


Joshua Tenenbaum


Tommi Jaakkola


Pulkit Agrawal



                title={Is Conditional Generative Modeling all you need for Decision Making?},
                author={Anurag Ajay and Yilun Du and Abhi Gupta and Joshua B. Tenenbaum and Tommi S. Jaakkola and Pulkit Agrawal},
                booktitle={The Eleventh International Conference on Learning Representations },

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