[NeurIPS 2020] Energy-based Surprise Minimization for Multi-Agent Value Factorization

NeurIPS 2020

[NeurIPS 2020] Energy-based Surprise Minimization for Multi-Agent Value Factorization

Nov 08, 2020
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Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) has demonstrated significant success in training decentralised policies in a centralised manner by making use of value factorization methods. However, addressing surprise across spurious states and approximation bias remain open problems for multi-agent settings. We introduce the Energy-based MIXer (EMIX), an algorithm which minimizes surprise utilizing the energy across agents. Our contributions are threefold; (1) EMIX introduces a novel surprise minimization technique across multiple agents in the case of multi-agent partially-observable settings. (2) EMIX highlights the first practical use of energy functions in MARL (to our knowledge) with theoretical guarantees and experiment validations of the energy operator. Lastly, (3) EMIX presents a novel technique for addressing overestimation bias across agents in MARL. When evaluated on a range of challenging StarCraft II micromanagement scenarios, EMIX demonstrates consistent state-of-the-art performance for multi-agent surprise minimization. Moreover, our ablation study highlights the necessity of the energy-based scheme and the need for elimination of overestimation bias in MARL.

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