Keywords: deep reinforcement learning, ensemble methods, data sharing
TL;DR: We study the role and effect of data sharing between ensemble members in ensemble methods in deep reinforcement learning.
Abstract: This work studies a crucial but often overlooked element of ensemble methods in deep reinforcement learning: data sharing between ensemble members. We show that data sharing enables peer learning, a powerful learning process in which individual agents learn from each other's experience to significantly improve their performance. When given access to the experience of other ensemble members, even the worst agent can match or outperform the previously best agent, triggering a virtuous circle. However, we show that peer learning can be unstable when the agents' ability to learn is impaired due to overtraining on early data. We thus employ the recently proposed solution of periodic resets and show that it ensures effective peer learning. We perform extensive experiments on continuous control tasks from both dense states and pixels to demonstrate the strong effect of peer learning and its interaction with resets.