Lenient multi-agent deep reinforcement learning
Much of the success of single agent deep reinforcement learning (DRL) in recent years can be attributed to the use of experience replay memories (ERM), which allow Deep Q-Networks (DQNs) to be trained efficiently through sampling stored state transitions. However, care is required when using ERMs for multi-agent deep reinforcement learning (MA-DRL), as stored transitions can become outdated because agents update their policies in parallel . In this work we apply leniency  to MA-DRL. Lenient agents map state-action pairs to decaying temperature values that control the amount of leniency applied towards negative policy updates that are sampled from the ERM. This introduces optimism in the value-function update, and has been shown to facilitate cooperation in tabular fully-cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning problems. We evaluate our Lenient-DQN (LDQN) empirically against the related Hysteretic-DQN (HDQN) algorithm  as well as a modified version we call scheduled-HDQN, that uses average reward learning near terminal states. Evaluations take place in extended variations of the Coordinated Multi-Agent Object Transportation Problem (CMOTP)  which include fully-cooperative sub-tasks and stochastic rewards. We find that LDQN agents are more likely to converge to the optimal policy in a stochastic reward CMOTP compared to standard and scheduled-HDQN agents.