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Partially Observable Multi-agent RL with (Quasi-)Efficiency: The Blessing of Information Sharing

Xiangyu Liu · Kaiqing Zhang

Exhibit Hall 1 #739


We study provable multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) in the general framework of partially observable stochastic games (POSGs). To circumvent the known hardness results and the use of computationally intractable oracles, we propose to leverage the potential information-sharing among agents, a standard practice in empirical MARL and a common model for multi-agent control systems with communications. We first establish several computation complexity results to justify the necessity of information-sharing, as well as the observability assumption that has enabled quasi-efficient single-agent RL with partial observations, for computational efficiency in solving POSGs. We then propose to further approximate the shared common information to construct an approximate model of the POSG, in which planning an approximate equilibrium (in terms of solving the original POSG) can be quasi-efficient, i.e., of quasi-polynomial-time, under the aforementioned assumptions. Furthermore, we develop a partially observable MARL algorithm that is both statistically and computationally quasi-efficient. We hope our study can open up the possibilities of leveraging and even designing different information structures, for developing both sample- and computation-efficient partially observable MARL.

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