TL;DR: We train a bot that places first in a no-press Diplomacy tournament with humans by using human-data-regularized reinforcement learning and planning
Abstract: No-press Diplomacy is a complex strategy game involving both cooperation and competition that has served as a benchmark for multi-agent AI research. While self-play reinforcement learning has resulted in numerous successes in purely adversarial games like chess, Go, and poker, self-play alone is insufficient for achieving optimal performance in domains involving cooperation with humans. We address this shortcoming by first introducing a planning algorithm we call DiL-piKL that regularizes a reward-maximizing policy toward a human imitation-learned policy. We prove that this is a no-regret learning algorithm under a modified utility function. We then show that DiL-piKL can be extended into a self-play reinforcement learning algorithm we call RL-DiL-piKL that provides a model of human play while simultaneously training an agent that responds well to this human model. We used RL-DiL-piKL to train an agent we name Diplodocus. In a 200-game no-press Diplomacy tournament involving 62 human participants spanning skill levels from beginner to expert, two Diplodocus agents both achieved a higher average score than all other participants who played more than two games, and ranked first and third according to an Elo ratings model.
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