Learning to combine control at the level of joint torques with longer-term goal-directed behavior is a long-standing challenge for physically embodied artificial agents. Intelligent behavior in the physical world unfolds across multiple spatial and temporal scales: Although movements are ultimately executed at the level of instantaneous muscle tensions or joint torques, they must be selected to serve goals that are defined on much longer time scales and that often involve complex interactions with the environment and other agents. Recent research has demonstrated the potential of learning-based approaches applied to the respective problems of complex movement, long-term planning, and multiagent coordination. However, their integration traditionally required the design and optimization of independent subsystems and remains challenging. In this work, we tackled the integration of motor control and long-horizon decision-making in the context of simulated humanoid football, which requires agile motor control and multiagent coordination. We optimized teams of agents to play simulated football via reinforcement learning, constraining the solution space to that of plausible movements learned using human motion capture data. They were trained to maximize several environment rewards and to imitate pretrained football-specific skills if doing so led to improved performance. The result is a team of coordinated humanoid football players that exhibit complex behavior at different scales, quantified by a range of analysis and statistics, including those used in real-world sport analytics. Our work constitutes a complete demonstration of learned integrated decision-making at multiple scales in a multiagent setting.
Liu, S., Lever, G., Wang, Z., Merel, J., Eslami, S. M. A., Hennes, D., … Heess, N. (2022). From motor control to team play in simulated humanoid football. Science Robotics, 7(69). https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abo0235