MIXRTs: Toward Interpretable Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning via Mixing Recurrent Soft Decision Trees

Zichuan Liu, Yuanyang Zhu, Zhi Wang, Chunlin Chen

Multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) recently has achieved tremendous success in a wide range of fields. However, with a black-box neural network architecture, existing MARL methods make decisions in an opaque fashion that hinders humans from understanding the learned knowledge and how input observations influence decisions. Our solution is MIXing Recurrent soft decision Trees (MIXRTs), a novel interpretable architecture that can represent explicit decision processes via the root-to-leaf path of decision trees. We introduce a novel recurrent structure in soft decision trees to address partial observability, and estimate joint action values via linearly mixing outputs of recurrent trees based on local observations only. Theoretical analysis shows that MIXRTs guarantees the structural constraint with additivity and monotonicity in factorization. We evaluate MIXRTs on a range of challenging StarCraft II tasks. Experimental results show that our interpretable learning framework obtains competitive performance compared to widely investigated baselines, and delivers more straightforward explanations and domain knowledge of the decision processes.

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