Option-Critic in Cooperative Multi-agent Systems

In this paper, we investigate learning temporal abstractions in cooperative multi-agent systems, using the options framework (Sutton et al, 1999). First, we address the planning problem for the decentralized POMDP represented by the multi-agent system, by introducing a \emph{common information approach}. We use the notion of \emph{common beliefs} and broadcasting to solve an equivalent centralized POMDP problem. Then, we propose the Distributed Option Critic (DOC) algorithm, which uses centralized option evaluation and decentralized intra-option improvement. We theoretically analyze the asymptotic convergence of DOC and build a new multi-agent environment to demonstrate its validity. Our experiments empirically show that DOC performs competitively against baselines and scales with the number of agents.

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