2022-05-25

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We explore deep reinforcement learning methods for multi-agent domains. We begin by analyzing the difficulty of traditional algorithms in the multi-agent case: Q-learning is challenged by an inherent non-stationarity of the environment, while policy gradient suffers from a variance that increases as the number of agents grows. We then present an adaptation of actor-critic methods that considers action policies of other agents and is able to successfully learn policies that require complex multiagent coordination. Additionally, we introduce a training regimen utilizing an ensemble of policies for each agent that leads to more robust multi-agent policies. We show the strength of our approach compared to existing methods in cooperative as well as competitive scenarios, where agent populations are able to discover various physical and informational coordination strategies.
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2021-11-22

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2021-01-18
Cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) has achieved significant results, most notably by leveraging the representation-learning abilities of deep neural networks. However, large centralized approaches quickly become infeasible as the number of agents scale, and fully decentralized approaches can miss important opportunities for information sharing and coordination. Furthermore, not all agents are equal -- in some cases, individual agents may not even have the ability to send communication to other agents or explicitly model other agents. This paper considers the case where there is a single, powerful, \emph{central agent} that can observe the entire observation space, and there are multiple, low-powered \emph{local agents} that can only receive local observations and are not able to communicate with each other. The central agent's job is to learn what message needs to be sent to different local agents based on the global observations, not by centrally solving the entire problem and sending action commands, but by determining what additional information an individual agent should receive so that it can make a better decision. In this work we present our MARL algorithm \algo, describe where it would be most applicable, and implement it in the cooperative navigation and multi-agent walker domains. Empirical results show that 1) learned communication does indeed improve system performance, 2) results generalize to heterogeneous local agents, and 3) results generalize to different reward structures.
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2022-06-01
Current approaches to multi-agent cooperation rely heavily on centralized mechanisms or explicit communication protocols to ensure convergence. This paper studies the problem of distributed multi-agent learning without resorting to centralized components or explicit communication. It examines the use of distribution matching to facilitate the coordination of independent agents. In the proposed scheme, each agent independently minimizes the distribution mismatch to the corresponding component of a target visitation distribution. The theoretical analysis shows that under certain conditions, each agent minimizing its individual distribution mismatch allows the convergence to the joint policy that generated the target distribution. Further, if the target distribution is from a joint policy that optimizes a cooperative task, the optimal policy for a combination of this task reward and the distribution matching reward is the same joint policy. This insight is used to formulate a practical algorithm (DM$^2$), in which each individual agent matches a target distribution derived from concurrently sampled trajectories from a joint expert policy. Experimental validation on the StarCraft domain shows that combining (1) a task reward, and (2) a distribution matching reward for expert demonstrations for the same task, allows agents to outperform a naive distributed baseline. Additional experiments probe the conditions under which expert demonstrations need to be sampled to obtain the learning benefits.
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Reinforcement learning in multi-agent scenarios is important for real-world applications but presents challenges beyond those seen in singleagent settings. We present an actor-critic algorithm that trains decentralized policies in multiagent settings, using centrally computed critics that share an attention mechanism which selects relevant information for each agent at every timestep. This attention mechanism enables more effective and scalable learning in complex multiagent environments, when compared to recent approaches. Our approach is applicable not only to cooperative settings with shared rewards, but also individualized reward settings, including adversarial settings, as well as settings that do not provide global states, and it makes no assumptions about the action spaces of the agents. As such, it is flexible enough to be applied to most multi-agent learning problems.
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2022-10-09
Modern multi-agent reinforcement learning frameworks rely on centralized training and reward shaping to perform well. However, centralized training and dense rewards are not readily available in the real world. Current multi-agent algorithms struggle to learn in the alternative setup of decentralized training or sparse rewards. To address these issues, we propose a self-supervised intrinsic reward ELIGN - expectation alignment - inspired by the self-organization principle in Zoology. Similar to how animals collaborate in a decentralized manner with those in their vicinity, agents trained with expectation alignment learn behaviors that match their neighbors' expectations. This allows the agents to learn collaborative behaviors without any external reward or centralized training. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach across 6 tasks in the multi-agent particle and the complex Google Research football environments, comparing ELIGN to sparse and curiosity-based intrinsic rewards. When the number of agents increases, ELIGN scales well in all multi-agent tasks except for one where agents have different capabilities. We show that agent coordination improves through expectation alignment because agents learn to divide tasks amongst themselves, break coordination symmetries, and confuse adversaries. These results identify tasks where expectation alignment is a more useful strategy than curiosity-driven exploration for multi-agent coordination, enabling agents to do zero-shot coordination.
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2022-06-10

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2022-09-15

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2022-08-30

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2021-10-16

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2021-03-02

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2022-01-05

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2021-10-26

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2021-11-01

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2022-11-03
We consider the problem of multi-agent navigation and collision avoidance when observations are limited to the local neighborhood of each agent. We propose InforMARL, a novel architecture for multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) which uses local information intelligently to compute paths for all the agents in a decentralized manner. Specifically, InforMARL aggregates information about the local neighborhood of agents for both the actor and the critic using a graph neural network and can be used in conjunction with any standard MARL algorithm. We show that (1) in training, InforMARL has better sample efficiency and performance than baseline approaches, despite using less information, and (2) in testing, it scales well to environments with arbitrary numbers of agents and obstacles.
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2021-02-08

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2022-12-20
Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in remote environments often employ autonomous multi-robot systems that learn, plan, and execute a combination of local single-robot control actions, group primitives, and global mission-oriented coordination and collaboration. Often, SAR coordination strategies are manually designed by human experts who can remotely control the multi-robot system and enable semi-autonomous operations. However, in remote environments where connectivity is limited and human intervention is often not possible, decentralized collaboration strategies are needed for fully-autonomous operations. Nevertheless, decentralized coordination may be ineffective in adversarial environments due to sensor noise, actuation faults, or manipulation of inter-agent communication data. In this paper, we propose an algorithmic approach based on adversarial multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) that allows robots to efficiently coordinate their strategies in the presence of adversarial inter-agent communications. In our setup, the objective of the multi-robot team is to discover targets strategically in an obstacle-strewn geographical area by minimizing the average time needed to find the targets. It is assumed that the robots have no prior knowledge of the target locations, and they can interact with only a subset of neighboring robots at any time. Based on the centralized training with decentralized execution (CTDE) paradigm in MARL, we utilize a hierarchical meta-learning framework to learn dynamic team-coordination modalities and discover emergent team behavior under complex cooperative-competitive scenarios. The effectiveness of our approach is demonstrated on a collection of prototype grid-world environments with different specifications of benign and adversarial agents, target locations, and agent rewards.
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2021-11-10

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