Emergent Coordination Through Competition

Siqi Liu, Guy Lever, Josh Merel, Saran Tunyasuvunakool, Nicolas Heess, Thore Graepel

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: We study the emergence of cooperative behaviors in reinforcement learning agents by introducing a challenging competitive multi-agent soccer environment with continuous simulated physics. We demonstrate that decentralized, population-based training with co-play can lead to a progression in agents' behaviors: from random, to simple ball chasing, and finally showing evidence of cooperation. Our study highlights several of the challenges encountered in large scale multi-agent training in continuous control. In particular, we demonstrate that the automatic optimization of simple shaping rewards, not themselves conducive to co-operative behavior, can lead to long-horizon team behavior. We further apply an evaluation scheme, grounded by game theoretic principals, that can assess agent performance in the absence of pre-defined evaluation tasks or human baselines.
  • Keywords: Multi-agent learning, Reinforcement Learning
  • TL;DR: We introduce a new MuJoCo soccer environment for continuous multi-agent reinforcement learning research, and show that population-based training of independent reinforcement learners can learn cooperative behaviors
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