Decentralised Learning in Systems with Many, Many Strategic Agents

David Mguni, Joel Jennings, Enrique Munoz de Cote

Although multi-agent reinforcement learning can tackle systems of strategically interacting entities, it currently fails in scalability and lacks rigorous convergence guarantees. Crucially, learning in multi-agent systems can become intractable due to the explosion in the size of the state-action space as the number of agents increases. In this paper, we propose a method for computing closed-loop optimal policies in multi-agent systems that scales independently of the number of agents. This allows us to show, for the first time, successful convergence to optimal behaviour in systems with an unbounded number of interacting adaptive learners. Studying the asymptotic regime of N-player stochastic games, we devise a learning protocol that is guaranteed to converge to equilibrium policies even when the number of agents is extremely large. Our method is model-free and completely decentralised so that each agent need only observe its local state information and its realised rewards. We validate these theoretical results by showing convergence to Nash-equilibrium policies in applications from economics and control theory with thousands of strategically interacting agents.

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