Value-Decomposition Networks For Cooperative Multi-Agent Learning

We study the problem of cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning with a

single joint reward signal. This class of learning problems is difficult because of

the often large combined action and observation spaces. In the fully centralized

and decentralized approaches, we find the problem of spurious rewards and a

phenomenon we call the “lazy agent” problem, which arises due to partial observability.

We address these problems by training individual agents with a novel value

decomposition network architecture, which learns to decompose the team value

function into agent-wise value functions. We perform an experimental evaluation

across a range of partially-observable multi-agent domains and show that learning

such value-decompositions leads to superior results, in particular when combined

with weight sharing, role information and information channels.

Authors' notes