A Visual Communication Map for Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning

by   Ngoc Duy Nguyen, et al.

Multi-agent learning distinctly poses significant challenges in the effort to allocate a concealed communication medium. Agents receive thorough knowledge from the medium to determine subsequent actions in a distributed nature. Apparently, the goal is to leverage the cooperation of multiple agents to achieve a designated objective efficiently. Recent studies typically combine a specialized neural network with reinforcement learning to enable communication between agents. This approach, however, limits the number of agents or necessitates the homogeneity of the system. In this paper, we have proposed a more scalable approach that not only deals with a great number of agents but also enables collaboration between dissimilar functional agents and compatibly combined with any deep reinforcement learning methods. Specifically, we create a global communication map to represent the status of each agent in the system visually. The visual map and the environmental state are fed to a shared-parameter network to train multiple agents concurrently. Finally, we select the Asynchronous Advantage Actor-Critic (A3C) algorithm to demonstrate our proposed scheme, namely Visual communication map for Multi-agent A3C (VMA3C). Simulation results show that the use of visual communication map improves the performance of A3C regarding learning speed, reward achievement, and robustness in multi-agent problems.


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