Countering Feedback Delays in Multi-Agent Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)

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Zhengyuan Zhou, Panayotis Mertikopoulos, Nicholas Bambos, Peter W. Glynn, Claire Tomlin


We consider a model of game-theoretic learning based on online mirror descent (OMD) with asynchronous and delayed feedback information. Instead of focusing on specific games, we consider a broad class of continuous games defined by the general equilibrium stability notion, which we call λ-variational stability. Our first contribution is that, in this class of games, the actual sequence of play induced by OMD-based learning converges to Nash equilibria provided that the feedback delays faced by the players are synchronous and bounded. Subsequently, to tackle fully decentralized, asynchronous environments with (possibly) unbounded delays between actions and feedback, we propose a variant of OMD which we call delayed mirror descent (DMD), and which relies on the repeated leveraging of past information. With this modification, the algorithm converges to Nash equilibria with no feedback synchronicity assumptions and even when the delays grow superlinearly relative to the horizon of play.