RODE: Learning Roles to Decompose Multi-Agent TasksDownload PDF

Published: 12 Jan 2021, Last Modified: 22 Oct 2023ICLR 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning, Role-Based Learning, Hierarchical Multi-Agent Learning, Multi-Agent Transfer Learning
Abstract: Role-based learning holds the promise of achieving scalable multi-agent learning by decomposing complex tasks using roles. However, it is largely unclear how to efficiently discover such a set of roles. To solve this problem, we propose to first decompose joint action spaces into restricted role action spaces by clustering actions according to their effects on the environment and other agents. Learning a role selector based on action effects makes role discovery much easier because it forms a bi-level learning hierarchy: the role selector searches in a smaller role space and at a lower temporal resolution, while role policies learn in significantly reduced primitive action-observation spaces. We further integrate information about action effects into the role policies to boost learning efficiency and policy generalization. By virtue of these advances, our method (1) outperforms the current state-of-the-art MARL algorithms on 9 of the 14 scenarios that comprise the challenging StarCraft II micromanagement benchmark and (2) achieves rapid transfer to new environments with three times the number of agents. Demonstrative videos can be viewed at
One-sentence Summary: We propose a scalable role-based multi-agent learning method which effectively discovers roles based on joint action space decomposition according to action effects, establishing a new state of the art on the StarCraft multi-agent benchmark.
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