Cooperative Multi-agent Attentional Communication for Large-scale Task Space

Qijie Zou, Youkun Hu* (Corresponding Author), Dewei Yi, Bing Gao, Jing Qin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the rapid development of mobile robots, they have begun to be widely used in industrial manufac- turing, logistics scheduling, intelligent medical and other fields. For large-scale task space, the communi- cation between multi-agent is the key to affect cooperation productivity, and agents can coordinate more effectively with the help of dynamic communication. However, the traditional communication mechanism uses simple message aggregation and broadcast, and in some cases lacks the distinction of the importance of information. Multi-agent deep reinforcement learning (MDRL) is valid to solve the problem of infor- mational coordination strategies. However, how different messages affect each agent's decision-making process remains a challenging task for large-scale task. To solve this problem, we propose IMANet (Im- port Message Attention Network), It divides the decision-making process into two sub-stages: communi- cation and action, where communication is considered to be part of the environment. First, an attention mechanism based on query vectors is introduced. The correlation between the query vector agent's own information and the current state information of other agents is estimated, and then the results are used to distinguish the importance of information from other agents. Second, LSTM network is used as the unit controller for each agent, and individual rewards are used to guide the agent training after communication. Finally, IMANet is evaluated on tasks on challenging multi-agent platforms, Predator and Prey (PP) and Traffic junction. The results show that IMANet can improve the efficiency of learning and training, espe- cially when applied to large-scale task space, with a success rate 12% higher than CommNet in baseline
Original languageEnglish
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jan 2022


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