Towards Learning Multi-Agent Negotiations via Self-Play
authors Yichuan Charlie Tang
Making sophisticated, robust, and safe sequential decisions is at the heart of intelligent systems. This is especially critical for planning in complex multi-agent environments, where agents need to anticipate other agents' intentions and possible future actions. Traditional methods formulate the problem as a Markov Decision Process, but the solutions often rely on various assumptions and become brittle when presented with corner cases. In contrast, deep reinforcement learning (Deep RL) has been very effective at finding policies by simultaneously exploring, interacting, and learning from environments. Leveraging the powerful Deep RL paradigm, we demonstrate that an iterative procedure of self-play can create progressively more diverse environments, leading to the learning of sophisticated and robust multi-agent policies. We demonstrate this in a challenging multi-agent simulation of merging traffic, where agents must interact and negotiate with others in order to successfully merge on or off the road. While the environment starts off simple, we increase its complexity by iteratively adding an increasingly diverse set of agents to the agent "zoo" as training progresses. Qualitatively, we find that through self-play, our policies automatically learn interesting behaviors such as defensive driving, overtaking, yielding, and the use of signal lights to communicate intentions to other agents. In addition, quantitatively, we show a dramatic improvement of the success rate of merging maneuvers from 63% to over 98%.
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