Boosting Studies of Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning on Google Research Football Environment: the Past, Present, and Future

22 Sep 2023  ·  Yan Song, He Jiang, Haifeng Zhang, Zheng Tian, Weinan Zhang, Jun Wang ·

Even though Google Research Football (GRF) was initially benchmarked and studied as a single-agent environment in its original paper, recent years have witnessed an increasing focus on its multi-agent nature by researchers utilizing it as a testbed for Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL). However, the absence of standardized environment settings and unified evaluation metrics for multi-agent scenarios hampers the consistent understanding of various studies. Furthermore, the challenging 5-vs-5 and 11-vs-11 full-game scenarios have received limited thorough examination due to their substantial training complexities. To address these gaps, this paper extends the original environment by not only standardizing the environment settings and benchmarking cooperative learning algorithms across different scenarios, including the most challenging full-game scenarios, but also by discussing approaches to enhance football AI from diverse perspectives and introducing related research tools. Specifically, we provide a distributed and asynchronous population-based self-play framework with diverse pre-trained policies for faster training, two football-specific analytical tools for deeper investigation, and an online leaderboard for broader evaluation. The overall expectation of this work is to advance the study of Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning on Google Research Football environment, with the ultimate goal of benefiting real-world sports beyond virtual games.

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