Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Third International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Monte-Carlo Expectation Maximization for Dec-POMDPs / 397
Feng Wu, Shlomo Zilberstein, Nicholas R. Jennings

We address two significant drawbacks of state-of-the-art solvers of decentralized POMDPs (DEC-POMDPs): the reliance on complete knowledge of the model and limited scalability as the complexity of the domain grows. We extend a recently proposed approach for solving DEC-POMDPs via a reduction to the maximum likelihood problem, which in turn can be solved using EM. We introduce a model-free version of this approach that employs Monte-Carlo EM(MCEM). While a naive implementation of MCEM is inadequate in multi-agent settings, we introduce several improvements in sampling that produce high-quality results on a variety of DEC-POMDP benchmarks, including large problems with thousands of agents.