Exploiting Locality of Interaction in Network Distributed POMDPs

Yoonheui Kim, Ranjit Nair, Pradeep Varakantham, Milind Tambe, Makoto Yokoo

In many real-world multiagent applications such as distributed sensor nets, a network of agents is formed based on each agent’s limited interactions with a small number of neighbors. While distributed POMDPs capture the real-world uncertainty in multiagent domains, they fail to exploit such locality of interaction. Distributed constraint optimization (DCOP) captures the locality of interaction but fails to capture planning under uncertainty. In previous work, we presented a model synthesized from distributed POMDPs and DCOPs, called Networked Distributed POMDPs (ND-POMDPs). Also, we presented LID-JESP (locally interacting distributed joint equilibrium-based search for policies: a distributed policy generation algorithm based on DBA (distributed breakout algorithm). In this paper, we present a stochastic variation of the LID-JESP that is based on DSA (distributed stochastic algorithm) that allows neighboring agents to change their policies in the same cycle. Through detailed experiments, we show how this can result in speedups without a large difference in solution quality.We also introduce a technique called hyper-linkbased decomposition that allows us to exploit locality of interaction further, resulting in faster run times for both LID-JESP and its stochastic variant without any loss in solution quality.

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