Decentralized TD Tracking with Linear Function Approximation and its Finite-Time Analysis

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Gang Wang, Songtao Lu, Georgios Giannakis, Gerald Tesauro, Jian Sun


<p>The present contribution deals with decentralized policy evaluation in multi-agent Markov decision processes using temporal-difference (TD) methods with linear function approximation for scalability. The agents cooperate to estimate the value function of such a process by observing continual state transitions of a shared environment over the graph of interconnected nodes (agents), along with locally private rewards. Different from existing consensus-type TD algorithms, the approach here develops a simple decentralized TD tracker by wedding TD learning with gradient tracking techniques. The non-asymptotic properties of the novel TD tracker are established for both independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) as well as Markovian transitions through a unifying multistep Lyapunov analysis. In contrast to the prior art, the novel algorithm forgoes the limiting error bounds on the number of agents, which endows it with performance comparable to that of centralized TD methods that are the sharpest known to date.</p>