Breaking the Curse of Dimensionality in Multiagent State Space: A Unified Agent Permutation Framework

10 Mar 2022  ·  Xiaotian Hao, Hangyu Mao, Weixun Wang, Yaodong Yang, Dong Li, Yan Zheng, Zhen Wang, Jianye Hao ·

The state space in Multiagent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) grows exponentially with the agent number. Such a curse of dimensionality results in poor scalability and low sample efficiency, inhibiting MARL for decades. To break this curse, we propose a unified agent permutation framework that exploits the permutation invariance (PI) and permutation equivariance (PE) inductive biases to reduce the multiagent state space. Our insight is that permuting the order of entities in the factored multiagent state space does not change the information. Specifically, we propose two novel implementations: a Dynamic Permutation Network (DPN) and a Hyper Policy Network (HPN). The core idea is to build separate entity-wise PI input and PE output network modules to connect the entity-factored state space and action space in an end-to-end way. DPN achieves such connections by two separate module selection networks, which consistently assign the same input module to the same input entity (guarantee PI) and assign the same output module to the same entity-related output (guarantee PE). To enhance the representation capability, HPN replaces the module selection networks of DPN with hypernetworks to directly generate the corresponding module weights. Extensive experiments in SMAC, Google Research Football and MPE validate that the proposed methods significantly boost the performance and the learning efficiency of existing MARL algorithms. Remarkably, in SMAC, we achieve 100% win rates in almost all hard and super-hard scenarios (never achieved before).

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