Shared Experience Actor-Critic for Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Filippos Christianos, Lukas Schäfer, Stefano Albrecht


Exploration in multi-agent reinforcement learning is a challenging problem, especially in environments with sparse rewards. We propose a general method for efficient exploration by sharing experience amongst agents. Our proposed algorithm, called shared Experience Actor-Critic(SEAC), applies experience sharing in an actor-critic framework by combining the gradients of different agents. We evaluate SEAC in a collection of sparse-reward multi-agent environments and find that it consistently outperforms several baselines and state-of-the-art algorithms by learning in fewer steps and converging to higher returns. In some harder environments, experience sharing makes the difference between learning to solve the task and not learning at all.