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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Balancing Rational and Other-Regarding Preferences in Cooperative-Competitive Environments

P. 1536-1538.
Ivanov D., Egorov V., Shpilman A.

Recent reinforcement learning studies extensively explore the interplay between cooperative and competitive behaviour in mixed environments. Unlike cooperative environments where agents strive towards a common goal, mixed environments are notorious for the conflicts of selfish and social interests. As a consequence, purely rational agents often struggle to maintain cooperation. A prevalent approach to induce cooperative behaviour is to assign additional rewards based on other agents' well-being. However, this approach suffers from the issue of multi-agent credit assignment, which can hinder performance. This issue is efficiently alleviated in cooperative setting with such state-of-the-art algorithms as QMIX and COMA. Still, when applied to mixed environments, these algorithms may result in unfair allocation of rewards. We propose BAROCCO, an extension of these algorithms capable to balance individual and social incentives. The mechanism behind BAROCCO is to train two distinct but interwoven components that jointly affect agents' decisions. We experimentally confirm the advantages of BAROCCO.