TStarBot-X: An Open-Sourced and Comprehensive Study for Efficient League Training in StarCraft II Full Game

StarCraft, one of the most difficult esport games with long-standing history of professional tournaments, has attracted generations of players and fans, and also, intense attentions in artificial intelligence research. Recently, Google's DeepMind announced AlphaStar, a grandmaster level AI in StarCraft II that can play with humans using comparable action space and operations. In this paper, we introduce a new AI agent, named TStarBot-X, that is trained under orders of less computations and can play competitively with expert human players. TStarBot-X takes advantage of important techniques introduced in AlphaStar, and also benefits from substantial innovations including new league training methods, novel multi-agent roles, rule-guided policy search, stabilized policy improvement, lightweight neural network architecture, and importance sampling in imitation learning, etc. We show that with orders of less computation scale, a faithful reimplementation of AlphaStar's methods can not succeed and the proposed techniques are necessary to ensure TStarBot-X's competitive performance. We reveal all technical details that are complementary to those mentioned in AlphaStar, showing the most sensitive parts in league training, reinforcement learning and imitation learning that affect the performance of the agents. Most importantly, this is an open-sourced study that all codes and resources (including the trained model parameters) are publicly accessible via \url{https://github.com/tencent-ailab/tleague_projpage}. We expect this study could be beneficial for both academic and industrial future research in solving complex problems like StarCraft, and also, might provide a sparring partner for all StarCraft II players and other AI agents.

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