Semantically Aligned Task Decomposition in Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

18 May 2023  ·  Wenhao Li, Dan Qiao, Baoxiang Wang, Xiangfeng Wang, Bo Jin, Hongyuan Zha ·

The difficulty of appropriately assigning credit is particularly heightened in cooperative MARL with sparse reward, due to the concurrent time and structural scales involved. Automatic subgoal generation (ASG) has recently emerged as a viable MARL approach inspired by utilizing subgoals in intrinsically motivated reinforcement learning. However, end-to-end learning of complex task planning from sparse rewards without prior knowledge, undoubtedly requires massive training samples. Moreover, the diversity-promoting nature of existing ASG methods can lead to the "over-representation" of subgoals, generating numerous spurious subgoals of limited relevance to the actual task reward and thus decreasing the sample efficiency of the algorithm. To address this problem and inspired by the disentangled representation learning, we propose a novel "disentangled" decision-making method, Semantically Aligned task decomposition in MARL (SAMA), that prompts pretrained language models with chain-of-thought that can suggest potential goals, provide suitable goal decomposition and subgoal allocation as well as self-reflection-based replanning. Additionally, SAMA incorporates language-grounded RL to train each agent's subgoal-conditioned policy. SAMA demonstrates considerable advantages in sample efficiency compared to state-of-the-art ASG methods, as evidenced by its performance on two challenging sparse-reward tasks, Overcooked and MiniRTS.

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