A Survey of Learning in Multiagent Environments: Dealing with Non-Stationarity
The key challenge in multiagent learning is learning a best response to the behaviour of other agents, which may be non-stationary: if the other agents adapt their strategy as well, the learning target moves. Disparate streams of research have approached non-stationarity from several angles, which make a variety of implicit assumptions that make it hard to keep an overview of the state of the art and to validate the innovation and significance of new works. This survey presents a coherent overview of work that addresses opponent-induced non-stationarity with tools from game theory, reinforcement learning and multi-armed bandits. Further, we reflect on the principle approaches how algorithms model and cope with this non-stationarity, arriving at a new framework and five categories (in increasing order of sophistication): ignore, forget, respond to target models, learn models, and theory of mind. A wide range of state-of-the-art algorithms is classified into a taxonomy, using these categories and key characteristics of the environment (e.g., observability) and adaptation behaviour of the opponents (e.g., smooth, abrupt). To clarify even further we present illustrative variations of one domain, contrasting the strengths and limitations of each category. Finally, we discuss in which environments the different approaches yield most merit, and point to promising avenues of future research.