Robust multi-agent reinforcement learning with model uncertainty

Kaiqing Zhang, Tao Sun, Yunzhe Tao, Sahika Genc, Sunil Mallya, Tamer Basar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this work, we study the problem of multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) with model uncertainty, which is referred to as robust MARL. This is naturally motivated by some multi-agent applications where each agent may not have perfectly accurate knowledge of the model, e.g., all the reward functions of other agents. Little a priori work on MARL has accounted for such uncertainties, neither in problem formulation nor in algorithm design. In contrast, we model the problem as a robust Markov game, where the goal of all agents is to find policies such that no agent has the incentive to deviate, i.e., reach some equilibrium point, which is also robust to the possible uncertainty of the MARL model. We first introduce the solution concept of robust Nash equilibrium in our setting, and develop a Q-learning algorithm to find such equilibrium policies, with convergence guarantees under certain conditions. In order to handle possibly enormous state-action spaces in practice, we then derive the policy gradients for robust MARL, and develop an actor-critic algorithm with function approximation. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms several baseline MARL methods that do not account for the model uncertainty, in several standard but uncertain cooperative and competitive MARL environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2020
Event34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2020Dec 12 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust multi-agent reinforcement learning with model uncertainty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this