This paper addresses the problem of multi-agent pursuit, where slow pursuers cooperate to capture fast evaders in a confined environment with obstacles. Existing heuristic algorithms often lack expressive coordination strategies and are highly sensitive to task conditions, requiring extensive hyperparameter tuning. In contrast, reinforcement learning (RL) has been applied to this problem and is capable of obtaining cooperative pursuit strategies. However, RL-based methods face challenges in training for complex scenarios due to the vast amount of training data and limited adaptability to varying task conditions, such as different scene sizes, varying numbers and speeds of obstacles, and flexible speed ratios of the evader to the pursuer. In this work, we combine RL and curriculum learning to introduce a flexible solver for multiagent pursuit problems, named TaskFlex Solver (TFS), which is capable of solving multi-agent pursuit problems with diverse and dynamically changing task conditions in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional scenarios. TFS utilizes a curriculum learning method that constructs task distributions based on training progress, enhancing training efficiency and final performance. Our algorithm consists of two main components: the Task Evaluator, which evaluates task success rates and selects tasks of moderate difficulty to maintain a curriculum archive, and the Task Sampler, which constructs training distributions by sampling tasks from the curriculum archive to maximize policy improvement. Experiments show that TFS produces much stronger performance than baselines and achieves close to 100% capture rates in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional multi-agent pursuit problems with diverse and dynamically changing scenes. The project website is at https://sites.google.com/view/tfs-2023.
Neuroscience studies have shown that the human visual system utilizes high-level feedback information to guide lower-level perception, enabling adaptation to signals of different characteristics. In light of this, we propose Feedback multi-Level feature Extractor (Flex) to incorporate a similar mechanism for object detection. Flex refines feature selection based on image-wise and instance-level feedback information in response to image quality variation and classification uncertainty. Experimental results show that Flex offers consistent improvement to a range of existing SOTA methods on the challenging aerial object detection datasets including DOTA-v1.0, DOTA-v1.5, and HRSC2016. Although the design originates in aerial image detection, further experiments on MS COCO also reveal our module's efficacy in general detection models. Quantitative and qualitative analyses indicate that the improvements are closely related to image qualities, which match our motivation.
In this work, we introduce OmniDrones, an efficient and flexible platform tailored for reinforcement learning in drone control, built on Nvidia's Omniverse Isaac Sim. It employs a bottom-up design approach that allows users to easily design and experiment with various application scenarios on top of GPU-parallelized simulations. It also offers a range of benchmark tasks, presenting challenges ranging from single-drone hovering to over-actuated system tracking. In summary, we propose an open-sourced drone simulation platform, equipped with an extensive suite of tools for drone learning. It includes 4 drone models, 5 sensor modalities, 4 control modes, over 10 benchmark tasks, and a selection of widely used RL baselines. To showcase the capabilities of OmniDrones and to support future research, we also provide preliminary results on these benchmark tasks. We hope this platform will encourage further studies on applying RL to practical drone systems.
There is a recent trend of applying multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) to train an agent that can cooperate with humans in a zero-shot fashion without using any human data. The typical workflow is to first repeatedly run self-play (SP) to build a policy pool and then train the final adaptive policy against this pool. A crucial limitation of this framework is that every policy in the pool is optimized w.r.t. the environment reward function, which implicitly assumes that the testing partners of the adaptive policy will be precisely optimizing the same reward function as well. However, human objectives are often substantially biased according to their own preferences, which can differ greatly from the environment reward. We propose a more general framework, Hidden-Utility Self-Play (HSP), which explicitly models human biases as hidden reward functions in the self-play objective. By approximating the reward space as linear functions, HSP adopts an effective technique to generate an augmented policy pool with biased policies. We evaluate HSP on the Overcooked benchmark. Empirical results show that our HSP method produces higher rewards than baselines when cooperating with learned human models, manually scripted policies, and real humans. The HSP policy is also rated as the most assistive policy based on human feedback.
* The first two authors share equal contributions. This paper is
accepted by ICLR 2023
Despite the emerging progress of integrating evolutionary computation into reinforcement learning, the absence of a high-performance platform endowing composability and massive parallelism causes non-trivial difficulties for research and applications related to asynchronous commercial games. Here we introduce Lamarckian - an open-source platform featuring support for evolutionary reinforcement learning scalable to distributed computing resources. To improve the training speed and data efficiency, Lamarckian adopts optimized communication methods and an asynchronous evolutionary reinforcement learning workflow. To meet the demand for an asynchronous interface by commercial games and various methods, Lamarckian tailors an asynchronous Markov Decision Process interface and designs an object-oriented software architecture with decoupled modules. In comparison with the state-of-the-art RLlib, we empirically demonstrate the unique advantages of Lamarckian on benchmark tests with up to 6000 CPU cores: i) both the sampling efficiency and training speed are doubled when running PPO on Google football game; ii) the training speed is 13 times faster when running PBT+PPO on Pong game. Moreover, we also present two use cases: i) how Lamarckian is applied to generating behavior-diverse game AI; ii) how Lamarckian is applied to game balancing tests for an asynchronous commercial game.