By the same authors

Theoretical Considerations of Potential-Based Reward Shaping for Multi-Agent Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Publication details

Title of host publicationThe 10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
DatePublished - May 2011
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)0-9826571-5-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-9826571-5-7


Potential-based reward shaping has previously been proven
to both be equivalent to Q-table initialisation and guarantee
policy invariance in single-agent reinforcement learning.
The method has since been used in multi-agent reinforcement
learning without consideration of whether the theoretical
equivalence and guarantees hold. This paper extends
the existing proofs to similar results in multi-agent systems,
providing the theoretical background to explain the success
of previous empirical studies. Specically, it is proven
that the equivalence to Q-table initialisation remains and
the Nash Equilibria of the underlying stochastic game are
not modied. Furthermore, we demonstrate empirically that
potential-based reward shaping eects exploration and,
consequentially, can alter the joint policy converged upon.

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