Emergent bartering behaviour in multi-agent reinforcement learning


Advances in artificial intelligence often stem from the development of new environments that abstract real-world situations into a form where research can be done conveniently. This paper contributes such an environment based on ideas inspired by elementary Microeconomics. Agents learn to produce resources in a spatially complex world, trade them with one another, and consume those that they prefer. We show that the emergent production, consumption, and pricing behaviours respond to environmental conditions in the directions predicted by supply and demand shifts in Microeconomics. We also demonstrate settings where the agents' emergent prices for goods vary over space, reflecting the local abundance of goods.