Reinforcement learning for decision-making in a business simulator Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2012

start page

  • 935

end page

  • 960


  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0219-6220


  • Business simulators are powerful tools for both supporting the decision-making process of business managers as well as for business education. An example is SIMBA (SIMulator for Business Administration), a powerful simulator which is currently used as a web-based platform for business education in different institutions. In this paper, we propose the application of reinforcement learning (RL) for the creation of intelligent agents that can manage virtual companies in SIMBA. This application is not trivial, given the particular intrinsic characteristics of SIMBA: it is a generalized domain where hundreds of parameters modify the domain behavior; it is a multi-agent domain where both cooperation and competition among different agents can coexist; it is required to set dozens of continuous decision variables for a given business decision, which is made only after the study of hundreds of continuous variables. We will demonstrate empirically that all these challenges can be overcome through the use of RL, showing results for different learning scenarios.