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Continuously Discovering Novel Strategies via Reward-Switching Policy Optimization

Zihan Zhou · Wei Fu · Bingliang Zhang · Yi Wu

Keywords: [ multi-agent reinforcement learning ] [ deep reinforcement learning ]


We present Reward-Switching Policy Optimization (RSPO), a paradigm to discover diverse strategies in complex RL environments by iteratively finding novel policies that are both locally optimal and sufficiently different from existing ones. To encourage the learning policy to consistently converge towards a previously undiscovered local optimum, RSPO switches between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards via a trajectory-based novelty measurement during the optimization process. When a sampled trajectory is sufficiently distinct, RSPO performs standard policy optimization with extrinsic rewards. For trajectories with high likelihood under existing policies, RSPO utilizes an intrinsic diversity reward to promote exploration. Experiments show that RSPO is able to discover a wide spectrum of strategies in a variety of domains, ranging from single-agent particle-world tasks and MuJoCocontinuous control to multi-agent stag-hunt games and StarCraftII challenges.

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