Learning Structured Communication for Multi-agent Reinforcement LearningDownload PDF

25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • Keywords: Learning to communicate, Multi-agent reinforcement learning, Hierarchical communication network
  • Abstract: Learning to cooperate is crucial for many practical large-scale multi-agent applications. In this work, we consider an important collaborative task, in which agents learn to efficiently communicate with each other under a multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) setting. Despite the fact that there has been a number of existing works along this line, achieving global cooperation at scale is still challenging. In particular, most of the existing algorithms suffer from issues such as scalability and high communication complexity, in the sense that when the agent population is large, it can be difficult to extract effective information for high-performance MARL. In contrast, the proposed algorithmic framework, termed Learning Structured Communication (LSC), is not only scalable but also communication high-qualitative (learning efficient). The key idea is to allow the agents to dynamically learn a hierarchical communication structure, while under such a structure the graph neural network (GNN) is used to efficiently extract useful information to be exchanged between the neighboring agents. A number of new techniques are proposed to tightly integrate the communication structure learning, GNN optimization and MARL tasks. Extensive experiments are performed to demonstrate that, the proposed LSC framework enjoys high communication efficiency, scalability and global cooperation capability.
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