Is Independent Learning All You Need in the StarCraft Multi-Agent Challenge?

Published in , 2020

Christian Schroeder de Witt, Tarun Gupta, Denys Makoviichuk, Viktor Makoviychuk, Philip HS Torr, Mingfei Sun, Shimon Whiteson

Abstract: Most recently developed approaches to cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning in the centralized training with decentralized execution setting involve estimating a centralized, joint value function. In this paper, we demonstrate that, despite its various theoretical shortcomings, Independent PPO (IPPO), a form of independent learning in which each agent simply estimates its local value function, can perform just as well as or better than state-of-the-art joint learning approaches on popular multi-agent benchmark suite SMAC with little hyperparameter tuning. We also compare IPPO to several variants; the results suggest that IPPO’s strong performance may be due to its robustness to some forms of environment nonstationarity.