Decentralized Policy OptimizationDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 22 Oct 2023Submitted to ICLR 2023Readers: Everyone
Keywords: multi-agent reinforcement learning
Abstract: The study of decentralized learning or independent learning in cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning has a history of decades. Recently empirical studies show that independent PPO (IPPO) can obtain good performance, close to or even better than the methods of centralized training with decentralized execution, in several benchmarks. However, decentralized actor-critic with convergence guarantee is still open. In this paper, we propose decentralized policy optimization (DPO), a decentralized actor-critic algorithm with monotonic improvement and convergence guarantee. We derive a novel decentralized surrogate for policy optimization such that the monotonic improvement of joint policy can be guaranteed by each agent independently optimizing the surrogate. In practice, this decentralized surrogate can be realized by two adaptive coefficients for policy optimization at each agent. Empirically, we compare DPO with IPPO in a variety of cooperative multi-agent tasks, covering discrete and continuous action spaces, and fully and partially observable environments. The results show DPO outperforms IPPO in most tasks, which can be the evidence for our theoretical results.
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TL;DR: A principled algorithm for fully decentralized policy optimization
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