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Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning: Using Macro Actions to Learn a Mating Task
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, Centre for Autonomous Systems, CAS.
ATR Computational Neuroscience Labs, Japan.
ATR Computational Neuroscience Labs, Japan.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, Centre for Autonomous Systems, CAS.
2004 (English)In: 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS); Sendai, 2004, 3164-3169 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Standard reinforcement learning methods are inefficient and often inadequate for learning cooperative multi-agent tasks. For these kinds of tasks the behavior of one agent strongly depends on dynamic interaction with other agents, not only with the interaction with a static environment as in standard reinforcement learning. The success of the learning is therefore coupled to the agents' ability to predict the other agents' behaviors. In this study we try to overcome this problem by adding a few simple macro actions, actions that are extended in time for more than one time step. The macro actions improve the learning by making search of the state space more effective and thereby making the behavior more predictable for the other agent. In this study we have considered a cooperative mating task, which is the first step towards our aim to perform embodied evolution, where the evolutionary selection process is an integrated part of the task. We show, in simulation and hardware, that in the case of learning without macro actions, the agents fail to learn a meaningful behavior. In contrast, for the learning with macro action the agents learn a good mating behavior in reasonable time, in both simulation and hardware.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. 3164-3169 p.
Keyword [en]
Approximation theory; Autonomous agents; Computer simulation; Mathematical models; Multi agent systems; Parameter estimation; Problem solving
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7565Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-14044273146ISBN: 0780384636 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7565DiVA: diva2:12631
Conference
2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS); Sendai; 28 Sept. - 2 Oct. 2004
Note
QC 20100706Available from: 2007-10-23 Created: 2007-10-23 Last updated: 2010-07-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Embodied Evolution of Learning Ability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embodied Evolution of Learning Ability
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Embodied evolution is a methodology for evolutionary robotics that mimics the distributed, asynchronous, and autonomous properties of biological evolution. The evaluation, selection, and reproduction are carried out by cooperation and competition of the robots, without any need for human intervention. An embodied evolution framework is therefore well suited to study the adaptive learning mechanisms for artificial agents that share the same fundamental constraints as biological agents: self-preservation and self-reproduction.

The main goal of the research in this thesis has been to develop a framework for performing embodied evolution with a limited number of robots, by utilizing time-sharing of subpopulations of virtual agents inside each robot. The framework integrates reproduction as a directed autonomous behavior, and allows for learning of basic behaviors for survival by reinforcement learning. The purpose of the evolution is to evolve the learning ability of the agents, by optimizing meta-properties in reinforcement learning, such as the selection of basic behaviors, meta-parameters that modulate the efficiency of the learning, and additional and richer reward signals that guides the learning in the form of shaping rewards. The realization of the embodied evolution framework has been a cumulative research process in three steps: 1) investigation of the learning of a cooperative mating behavior for directed autonomous reproduction; 2) development of an embodied evolution framework, in which the selection of pre-learned basic behaviors and the optimization of battery recharging are evolved; and 3) development of an embodied evolution framework that includes meta-learning of basic reinforcement learning behaviors for survival, and in which the individuals are evaluated by an implicit and biologically inspired fitness function that promotes reproductive ability. The proposed embodied evolution methods have been validated in a simulation environment of the Cyber Rodent robot, a robotic platform developed for embodied evolution purposes. The evolutionarily obtained solutions have also been transferred to the real robotic platform.

The evolutionary approach to meta-learning has also been applied for automatic design of task hierarchies in hierarchical reinforcement learning, and for co-evolving meta-parameters and potential-based shaping rewards to accelerate reinforcement learning, both in regards to finding initial solutions and in regards to convergence to robust policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. vi, 61 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2007:16
Keyword
Embodied Evolution, Evolutionary Robotics, Reinforcement Learning, Shaping Rewards, Meta-parameters, Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4515 (URN)978-91-7178-787-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-11-12, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100706Available from: 2007-10-23 Created: 2007-10-23 Last updated: 2010-09-21Bibliographically approved

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