Liam C. MacDermed, Charles L. Isbell
This paper presents four major results towards solving decentralized partially observable Markov decision problems (DecPOMDPs) culminating in an algorithm that outperforms all existing algorithms on all but one standard infinite-horizon benchmark problems. (1) We give an integer program that solves collaborative Bayesian games (CBGs). The program is notable because its linear relaxation is very often integral. (2) We show that a DecPOMDP with bounded belief can be converted to a POMDP (albeit with actions exponential in the number of beliefs). These actions correspond to strategies of a CBG. (3) We present a method to transform any DecPOMDP into a DecPOMDP with bounded beliefs (the number of beliefs is a free parameter) using optimal (not lossless) belief compression. (4) We show that the combination of these results opens the door for new classes of DecPOMDP algorithms based on previous POMDP algorithms. We choose one such algorithm, point-based valued iteration, and modify it to produce the first tractable value iteration method for DecPOMDPs which outperforms existing algorithms.