Reinforcement Learning for Unified Allocation and Patrolling in Signaling Games with Uncertainty

Published in "In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems (pp. 1353–1361)"
Aravind Venugopal , Elizabeth Bondi , Harshavardhan Kamarthi , Keval Dholakia , B Ravindran , Milind Tambe

Green Security Games (GSGs) have been successfully used in the protection of valuable resources such as fisheries, forests and wildlife. While real-world deployment involves both resource allocation and subsequent coordinated patrolling with communication and real-time, uncertain information, previous game models do not fully address both of these stages simultaneously. Furthermore, adopting existing solution strategies is difficult since they do not scale well for larger, more complex variants of the game models. We therefore first propose a novel GSG model that combines defender allocation, patrolling, real-time drone notification to human patrollers, and drones sending warning signals to attackers. The model further incorporates uncertainty for real-time decision-making within a team of drones and human patrollers. Second, we present CombSGPO, a novel and scalable algorithm based on reinforcement learning, to compute a defender strategy for this game model. CombSGPO performs policy search over a multi-dimensional, discrete action space to compute an allocation strategy that is best suited to a best-response patrolling strategy for the defender, learnt by training a multi-agent Deep Q-Network. We show via experiments that CombSGPO converges to better strategies and is more scalable than comparable approaches. Third, we provide a detailed analysis of the coordination and signaling behavior learnt by CombSGPO, showing group formation between defender resources and patrolling formations based on signaling and notifications between resources. Importantly, we find that strategic signaling emerges in the final learnt strategy. Finally, we perform experiments to evaluate these strategies under different levels of uncertainty.