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The Necessity of Average Rewards in Cooperative Multirobot Learning

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2002 by Poj Tangamchit, John Dolan, Pradeep Khosla

Learning can be an effective way for robot systems to deal with dynamic environments and changing task conditions. However, popular single-robot learning algorithms based on discounted rewards, such as Q learning, do not achieve cooperation (i.e., purposeful division of labor) when applied to task-level multirobot systems. A task-level system is defined as one performing a mission that is decomposed into subtasks shared among robots. In this paper, we demonstrate the superiority of average-reward-based learning such as the Monte Carlo algorithm for task-level multirobot systems, and suggest an explanation for this superiority.