AAAI Publications, Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Learning for Decentralized Control of Multiagent Systems in Large, Partially-Observable Stochastic Environments
Miao Liu, Christopher Amato, Emily P. Anesta, John Daniel Griffith, Jonathan P How

Last modified: 2016-03-03


Decentralized partially observable Markov decision processes (Dec-POMDPs) provide a general framework for multiagent sequential decision-making under uncertainty. Although Dec-POMDPs are typically intractable to solve for real-world problems, recent research on macro-actions (i.e., temporally-extended actions) has significantly increased the size of problems that can be solved. However, current methods assume the underlying Dec-POMDP model is known a priori or a full simulator is available during planning time. To accommodate more realistic scenarios, when such information is not available, this paper presents a policy-based reinforcement learning approach, which learns the agent policies based solely on trajectories generated by previous interaction with the environment (e.g., demonstrations). We show that our approach is able to generate valid macro-action controllers and develop an expectationmaximization (EM) algorithm (called Policy-based EM or PoEM), which has convergence guarantees for batch learning. Our experiments show PoEM is a scalable learning method that can learn optimal policies and improve upon hand-coded “expert” solutions.


Dec-POMDPs, Multiagent Planning, Reinforcement Learning, Mealy Machine, Macro Action

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