Collaborating Authors

Coordination-driven learning in multi-agent problem spaces Artificial Intelligence

We discuss the role of coordination as a direct learning objective in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) domains. To this end, we present a novel means of quantifying coordination in multi-agent systems, and discuss the implications of using such a measure to optimize coordinated agent policies. This concept has important implications for adversary-aware RL, which we take to be a sub-domain of multi-agent learning.

Learning through Probing: a decentralized reinforcement learning architecture for social dilemmas Artificial Intelligence

Multi-agent reinforcement learning has received significant interest in recent years notably due to the advancements made in deep reinforcement learning which have allowed for the developments of new architectures and learning algorithms. Using social dilemmas as the training ground, we present a novel learning architecture, Learning through Probing (LTP), where agents utilize a probing mechanism to incorporate how their opponent's behavior changes when an agent takes an action. We use distinct training phases and adjust rewards according to the overall outcome of the experiences accounting for changes to the opponents behavior. We introduce a parameter η to determine the significance of these future changes to opponent behavior. When applied to the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, LTP agents demonstrate that they can learn to cooperate with each other, achieving higher average cumulative rewards than other reinforcement learning methods while also maintaining good performance in playing against static agents that are present in Axelrod tournaments. We compare this method with traditional reinforcement learning algorithms and agent-tracking techniques to highlight key differences and potential applications. We also draw attention to the differences between solving games and societal-like interactions and analyze the training of Q-learning agents in makeshift societies. This is to emphasize how cooperation may emerge in societies and demonstrate this using environments where interactions with opponents are determined through a random encounter format of the iterated prisoner's dilemma.


AAAI Conferences

Nearly 20% of total energy consumption in the United States is accounted for in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Smart sensing and adaptive energy management agents can greatly decrease the energy usage of HVAC systems in many building applications, for example by enabling the operator to shut off HVAC to unoccupied rooms. We implement a multimodal sensor agent that is nonintrusive and low-cost, combining information such as motion detection, CO2 reading, sound level, ambient light,and door state sensing. We show that in our live test bed at the USC campus, these sensor agents can be used to accurately estimate the number of occupants in each room using machine learning techniques, and that these techniques can also be applied to predict future occupancy by creating agent models of the occupants. These predictions will be used by control agents to enable the HVAC system increase its efficiency by continuously adapting to occupancy forecasts of each room.

AI is moving mainstream, but are users ready to trust it yet?


When DeepMind's AlphaGo defeated South Korean master Lee Se-dol, it was a historic stride for AI. The depth of this development, coupled with higher computing power and cheaper data storage, is moving AI into the mainstream. Perhaps the most popular application of AI today comes in the form of virtual assistants and bots, or "agents" as my good friend Shivon defines them. An agent can schedule your meetings, manage your finances, book your travels, order your meals, and more. And even though these agents are typically focused on one specific task, it's remarkable to consider how much progress we have made outsourcing mundane work for a fraction of the cost.

How AI is Revolutionizing the IT Support Role Ayehu


Over the past several decades, the role of IT support has evolved from basic plug-and-play transactions to handling much more complex tasks and workflows. Unfortunately, the pace of technological change and demand for faster, more accurate and more seamless service has also evolved – in many cases, beyond what human agents are capable of. Furthermore, support teams are being hindered by antiquated processes and technology silos, preventing them from realizing their true value. That's why more and more organizations are turning to emerging capabilities, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, to help supplement and enhance the IT support role. AI tools, like intelligent chatbots and virtual support agents, have already proven highly effective in facilitating greater efficiency and superior end-user service.