A game-theoretic approach to multi-agent trust region optimization


Trust region methods are widely applied in single-agent reinforcement learning problems due to their monotonic performance-improvement guarantee at every iteration. Nonetheless, when applied in multi-agent settings, the guarantee of trust region methods no longer holds because an agent’s payoff is also affected by other agents’ adaptive behaviors. To tackle this problem, we conduct a game-theoretical analysis in the policy space, and propose a multi-agent trust region learning method (MATRL), which enables trust region optimization for multi-agent learning. Specifically, MATRL finds a stable improvement direction that is guided by the solution concept of Nash equilibrium at the meta-game level. We derive the monotonic improvement guarantee in multi-agent settings and show the local convergence of MATRL to stable fixed points in differential games. To test our method, we evaluate MATRL in both discrete and continuous multiplayer general-sum games including checker and switch grid worlds, multi-agent MuJoCo, and Atari games. Results suggest that MATRL significantly outperforms strong multi-agent reinforcement learning baselines.

International Conference on Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI 2022)