Reinforcement learning has recently been studied in various fields and also used to optimally control IoT devices supporting the expansion of Internet connection beyond the usual standard devices. In this paper, we try to allow multiple reinforcement learning agents to learn optimal control policy on their own IoT devices of the same type but with slightly different dynamics. For such multiple IoT devices, there is no guarantee that an agent who interacts only with one IoT device and learns the optimal control policy will also control another IoT device well. Therefore, we may need to apply independent reinforcement learning to each IoT device individually, which requires a costly or time-consuming effort. To solve this problem, we propose a new federated reinforcement learning architecture where each agent working on its independent IoT device shares their learning experience (i.e., the gradient of loss function) with each other, and transfers a mature policy model parameters into other agents. They accelerate its learning process by using mature parameters. We incorporate the actor–critic proximal policy optimization (Actor–Critic PPO) algorithm into each agent in the proposed collaborative architecture and propose an efficient procedure for the gradient sharing and the model transfer. Using multiple rotary inverted pendulum devices interconnected via a network switch, we demonstrate that the proposed federated reinforcement learning scheme can effectively facilitate the learning process for multiple IoT devices and that the learning speed can be faster if more agents are involved.
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