GAIG Game AI Research Group @ QMUL

Teaching on a Budget in Multi-agent Deep Reinforcement Learning


Abstract

Deep Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms can solve complex sequential decision tasks successfully. However, they have a major drawback of having poor sample efficiency which can often be tackled by knowledge reuse. In Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) this drawback becomes worse, but at the same time, a new set of opportunities to leverage knowledge are also presented through agent interactions. One promising approach among these is peer-to-peer action advising through a teacher-student framework. Despite being introduced for single-agent RL originally, recent studies show that it can also be applied to multi-agent scenarios with promising empirical results. However, studies in this line of research are currently very limited. In this paper, we propose heuristics-based action advising techniques in cooperative decentralised MARL, using a nonlinear function approximation based task-level policy. By adopting Random Network Distillation technique, we devise a measurement for agents to assess their knowledge in any given state and be able to initiate the teacher-student dynamics with no prior role assumptions. Experimental results in a gridworld environment show that such an approach may indeed be useful and needs to be further investigated.

Cite this work

@inproceedings{ilhan2019teaching,
author= {Ilhan, Ercument and Gow, Jeremy and Perez-Liebana, Diego},
title= {{Teaching on a Budget in Multi-agent Deep Reinforcement Learning}},
year= {2019},
booktitle= {{IEEE Conference on Games (COG)}},
pages= {1--8},
abstract= {Deep Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms can solve complex sequential decision tasks successfully. However, they have a major drawback of having poor sample efficiency which can often be tackled by knowledge reuse. In Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) this drawback becomes worse, but at the same time, a new set of opportunities to leverage knowledge are also presented through agent interactions. One promising approach among these is peer-to-peer action advising through a teacher-student framework. Despite being introduced for single-agent RL originally, recent studies show that it can also be applied to multi-agent scenarios with promising empirical results. However, studies in this line of research are currently very limited. In this paper, we propose heuristics-based action advising techniques in cooperative decentralised MARL, using a nonlinear function approximation based task-level policy. By adopting Random Network Distillation technique, we devise a measurement for agents to assess their knowledge in any given state and be able to initiate the teacher-student dynamics with no prior role assumptions. Experimental results in a gridworld environment show that such an approach may indeed be useful and needs to be further investigated.},
}

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