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Attention-Guided Contrastive Role Representations for Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning

Zican Hu · Zongzhang Zhang · Huaxiong Li · Chunlin Chen · Hongyu Ding · Zhi Wang

Halle B #274
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Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Real-world multi-agent tasks usually involve dynamic team composition with the emergence of roles, which should also be a key to efficient cooperation in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Drawing inspiration from the correlation between roles and agent's behavior patterns, we propose a novel framework of Attention-guided COntrastive Role representation learning for MARL (ACORM) to promote behavior heterogeneity, knowledge transfer, and skillful coordination across agents. First, we introduce mutual information maximization to formalize role representation learning, derive a contrastive learning objective, and concisely approximate the distribution of negative pairs. Second, we leverage an attention mechanism to prompt the global state to attend to learned role representations in value decomposition, implicitly guiding agent coordination in a skillful role space to yield more expressive credit assignment. Experiments on challenging StarCraft II micromanagement and Google research football tasks demonstrate the state-of-the-art performance of our method and its advantages over existing approaches. Our code is available at

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