Benchmarking Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning Algorithms in Cooperative Tasks

Part of Proceedings of the Neural Information Processing Systems Track on Datasets and Benchmarks 1 (NeurIPS Datasets and Benchmarks 2021)

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Georgios Papoudakis, Filippos Christianos, Lukas Schäfer, Stefano Albrecht


Multi-agent deep reinforcement learning (MARL) suffers from a lack of commonly-used evaluation tasks and criteria, making comparisons between approaches difficult. In this work, we provide a systematic evaluation and comparison of three different classes of MARL algorithms (independent learning, centralised multi-agent policy gradient, value decomposition) in a diverse range of cooperative multi-agent learning tasks. Our experiments serve as a reference for the expected performance of algorithms across different learning tasks, and we provide insights regarding the effectiveness of different learning approaches. We open-source EPyMARL, which extends the PyMARL codebase to include additional algorithms and allow for flexible configuration of algorithm implementation details such as parameter sharing. Finally, we open-source two environments for multi-agent research which focus on coordination under sparse rewards.