Policy gradient methods are often applied to reinforcement learning in continuous multiagent games. These methods perform local search in the joint-action space, and as we show, they are susceptable to a game-theoretic pathology known as relative overgeneralization. To resolve this issue, we propose Multiagent Soft Q-learning, which can be seen as the analogue of applying Q-learning to continuous controls. We compare our method to MADDPG, a state-of-the-art approach, and show that our method achieves better coordination in multiagent cooperative tasks, converging to better local optima in the joint action space.

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Recently, deep multiagent reinforcement learning (MARL) has become a highly active research area as many real-world problems can be inherently viewed as multiagent systems. A particularly interesting and widely applicable class of problems is the partially observable cooperative multiagent setting, in which a team of agents learns to coordinate their behaviors conditioning on their private observations and commonly shared global reward signals. One natural solution is to resort to the centralized training and decentralized execution paradigm. During centralized training, one key challenge is the multiagent credit assignment: how to allocate the global rewards for individual agent policies for better coordination towards maximizing system-level's benefits. In this paper, we propose a new method called Q-value Path Decomposition (QPD) to decompose the system's global Q-values into individual agents' Q-values. Unlike previous works which restrict the representation relation of the individual Q-values and the global one, we leverage the integrated gradient attribution technique into deep MARL to directly decompose global Q-values along trajectory paths to assign credits for agents. We evaluate QPD on the challenging StarCraft II micromanagement tasks and show that QPD achieves the state-of-the-art performance in both homogeneous and heterogeneous multiagent scenarios compared with existing cooperative MARL algorithms.

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Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved many recent successes, yet experiment turn-around time remains a key bottleneck in research and in practice. We investigate how to optimize existing deep RL algorithms for modern computers, specifically for a combination of CPUs and GPUs. We confirm that both policy gradient and Q-value learning algorithms can be adapted to learn using many parallel simulator instances. We further find it possible to train using batch sizes considerably larger than are standard, without negatively affecting sample complexity or final performance. We leverage these facts to build a unified framework for parallelization that dramatically hastens experiments in both classes of algorithm. All neural network computations use GPUs, accelerating both data collection and training. Our results include using an entire DGX-1 to learn successful strategies in Atari games in mere minutes, using both synchronous and asynchronous algorithms.

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Deep reinforcement learning suggests the promise of fully automated learning of robotic control policies that directly map sensory inputs to low-level actions. However, applying deep reinforcement learning methods on real-world robots is exceptionally difficult, due both to the sample complexity and, just as importantly, the sensitivity of such methods to hyperparameters. While hyperparameter tuning can be performed in parallel in simulated domains, it is usually impractical to tune hyperparameters directly on real-world robotic platforms, especially legged platforms like quadrupedal robots that can be damaged through extensive trial-and-error learning. In this paper, we develop a stable variant of the soft actor-critic deep reinforcement learning algorithm that requires minimal hyperparameter tuning, while also requiring only a modest number of trials to learn multilayer neural network policies. This algorithm is based on the framework of maximum entropy reinforcement learning, and automatically trades off exploration against exploitation by dynamically and automatically tuning a temperature parameter that determines the stochasticity of the policy. We show that this method achieves state-of-the-art performance on four standard benchmark environments. We then demonstrate that it can be used to learn quadrupedal locomotion gaits on a real-world Minitaur robot, learning to walk from scratch directly in the real world in two hours of training.

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This paper tackles a new problem setting: reinforcement learning with pixel-wise rewards (pixelRL) for image processing. After the introduction of the deep Q-network, deep RL has been achieving great success. However, the applications of deep RL for image processing are still limited. Therefore, we extend deep RL to pixelRL for various image processing applications. In pixelRL, each pixel has an agent, and the agent changes the pixel value by taking an action. We also propose an effective learning method for pixelRL that significantly improves the performance by considering not only the future states of the own pixel but also those of the neighbor pixels. The proposed method can be applied to some image processing tasks that require pixel-wise manipulations, where deep RL has never been applied. We apply the proposed method to three image processing tasks: image denoising, image restoration, and local color enhancement. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method achieves comparable or better performance, compared with the state-of-the-art methods based on supervised learning.

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Despite deep reinforcement learning has recently achieved great successes, however in multiagent environments, a number of challenges still remain. Multiagent reinforcement learning (MARL) is commonly considered to suffer from the problem of non-stationary environments and exponentially increasing policy space. It would be even more challenging to learn effective policies in circumstances where the rewards are sparse and delayed over long trajectories. In this paper, we study Hierarchical Deep Multiagent Reinforcement Learning (hierarchical deep MARL) in cooperative multiagent problems with sparse and delayed rewards, where efficient multiagent learning methods are desperately needed. We decompose the original MARL problem into hierarchies and investigate how effective policies can be learned hierarchically in synchronous/asynchronous hierarchical MARL frameworks. Several hierarchical deep MARL architectures, i.e., Ind-hDQN, hCom and hQmix, are introduced for different learning paradigms. Moreover, to alleviate the issues of sparse experiences in high-level learning and non-stationarity in multiagent settings, we propose a new experience replay mechanism, named as Augmented Concurrent Experience Replay (ACER). We empirically demonstrate the effects and efficiency of our approaches in several classic Multiagent Trash Collection tasks, as well as in an extremely challenging team sports game, i.e., Fever Basketball Defense.

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We consider the exploration-exploitation trade-off in reinforcement learning and we show that an agent imbued with a risk-seeking utility function is able to explore efficiently, as measured by regret. The parameter that controls how risk-seeking the agent is can be optimized exactly, or annealed according to a schedule. We call the resulting algorithm K-learning and show that the corresponding K-values are optimistic for the expected Q-values at each state-action pair. The K-values induce a natural Boltzmann exploration policy for which the `temperature' parameter is equal to the risk-seeking parameter. This policy achieves an expected regret bound of $\tilde O(L^{3/2} \sqrt{S A T})$, where $L$ is the time horizon, $S$ is the number of states, $A$ is the number of actions, and $T$ is the total number of elapsed time-steps. This bound is only a factor of $L$ larger than the established lower bound. K-learning can be interpreted as mirror descent in the policy space, and it is similar to other well-known methods in the literature, including Q-learning, soft-Q-learning, and maximum entropy policy gradient, and is closely related to optimism and count based exploration methods. K-learning is simple to implement, as it only requires adding a bonus to the reward at each state-action and then solving a Bellman equation. We conclude with a numerical example demonstrating that K-learning is competitive with other state-of-the-art algorithms in practice.

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Existing multi-agent reinforcement learning methods are limited typically to a small number of agents. When the agent number increases largely, the learning becomes intractable due to the curse of the dimensionality and the exponential growth of agent interactions. In this paper, we present Mean Field Reinforcement Learning where the interactions within the population of agents are approximated by those between a single agent and the average effect from the overall population or neighboring agents; the interplay between the two entities is mutually reinforced: the learning of the individual agent's optimal policy depends on the dynamics of the population, while the dynamics of the population change according to the collective patterns of the individual policies. We develop practical mean field Q-learning and mean field Actor-Critic algorithms and analyze the convergence of the solution to Nash equilibrium. Experiments on Gaussian squeeze, Ising model, and battle games justify the learning effectiveness of our mean field approaches. In addition, we report the first result to solve the Ising model via model-free reinforcement learning methods.

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This work considers the problem of provably optimal reinforcement learning for episodic finite horizon MDPs, i.e. how an agent learns to maximize his/her long term reward in an uncertain environment. The main contribution is in providing a novel algorithm --- Variance-reduced Upper Confidence Q-learning (vUCQ) --- which enjoys a regret bound of $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{HSAT} + H^5SA)$, where the $T$ is the number of time steps the agent acts in the MDP, $S$ is the number of states, $A$ is the number of actions, and $H$ is the (episodic) horizon time. This is the first regret bound that is both sub-linear in the model size and asymptotically optimal. The algorithm is sub-linear in that the time to achieve $\epsilon$-average regret for any constant $\epsilon$ is $O(SA)$, which is a number of samples that is far less than that required to learn any non-trivial estimate of the transition model (the transition model is specified by $O(S^2A)$ parameters). The importance of sub-linear algorithms is largely the motivation for algorithms such as $Q$-learning and other "model free" approaches. vUCQ algorithm also enjoys minimax optimal regret in the long run, matching the $\Omega(\sqrt{HSAT})$ lower bound. Variance-reduced Upper Confidence Q-learning (vUCQ) is a successive refinement method in which the algorithm reduces the variance in $Q$-value estimates and couples this estimation scheme with an upper confidence based algorithm. Technically, the coupling of both of these techniques is what leads to the algorithm enjoying both the sub-linear regret property and the asymptotically optimal regret.

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We consider the multi-agent reinforcement learning setting with imperfect information in which each agent is trying to maximize its own utility. The reward function depends on the hidden state (or goal) of both agents, so the agents must infer the other players' hidden goals from their observed behavior in order to solve the tasks. We propose a new approach for learning in these domains: Self Other-Modeling (SOM), in which an agent uses its own policy to predict the other agent's actions and update its belief of their hidden state in an online manner. We evaluate this approach on three different tasks and show that the agents are able to learn better policies using their estimate of the other players' hidden states, in both cooperative and adversarial settings.

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In this paper, an interference-aware path planning scheme for a network of cellular-connected unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is proposed. In particular, each UAV aims at achieving a tradeoff between maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing both wireless latency and the interference level caused on the ground network along its path. The problem is cast as a dynamic game among UAVs. To solve this game, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm, based on echo state network (ESN) cells, is proposed. The introduced deep ESN architecture is trained to allow each UAV to map each observation of the network state to an action, with the goal of minimizing a sequence of time-dependent utility functions. Each UAV uses ESN to learn its optimal path, transmission power level, and cell association vector at different locations along its path. The proposed algorithm is shown to reach a subgame perfect Nash equilibrium (SPNE) upon convergence. Moreover, an upper and lower bound for the altitude of the UAVs is derived thus reducing the computational complexity of the proposed algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme achieves better wireless latency per UAV and rate per ground user (UE) while requiring a number of steps that is comparable to a heuristic baseline that considers moving via the shortest distance towards the corresponding destinations. The results also show that the optimal altitude of the UAVs varies based on the ground network density and the UE data rate requirements and plays a vital role in minimizing the interference level on the ground UEs as well as the wireless transmission delay of the UAV.

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