Abstract

This paper applies reinforcement learning to train a predator to hunt multiple prey, which are able to reproduce, in a 2D simulation. It is shown that, using methods of curriculum learning, long-term reward discounting and stacked observations, a reinforcement-learning-based predator can achieve an economic strategy: Only hunt when there is still prey left to reproduce in order to maintain the population. Hence, purely selfish goals are sufficient to motivate a reinforcement learning agent for long-term planning and keeping a certain balance with its environment by not depleting its resources. While a comparably simple reinforcement learning algorithm achieves such behavior in the present scenario, providing a suitable amount of past and predictive information turns out to be crucial for the training success.

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