Learning Fairness in Multi-Agent Systems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Jiechuan Jiang, Zongqing Lu


<p>Fairness is essential for human society, contributing to stability and productivity. Similarly, fairness is also the key for many multi-agent systems. Taking fairness into multi-agent learning could help multi-agent systems become both efficient and stable. However, learning efficiency and fairness simultaneously is a complex, multi-objective, joint-policy optimization. To tackle these difficulties, we propose FEN, a novel hierarchical reinforcement learning model. We first decompose fairness for each agent and propose fair-efficient reward that each agent learns its own policy to optimize. To avoid multi-objective conflict, we design a hierarchy consisting of a controller and several sub-policies, where the controller maximizes the fair-efficient reward by switching among the sub-policies that provides diverse behaviors to interact with the environment. FEN can be trained in a fully decentralized way, making it easy to be deployed in real-world applications. Empirically, we show that FEN easily learns both fairness and efficiency and significantly outperforms baselines in a variety of multi-agent scenarios.</p>