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MiniHack the Planet: A Sandbox for Open-Ended Reinforcement Learning Research
Mikayel Samvelyan · Robert Kirk · Vitaly Kurin · Jack Parker-Holder · Minqi Jiang · Eric Hambro · Fabio Petroni · Heinrich Kuttler · Edward Grefenstette · Tim Rocktäschel

Progress in deep reinforcement learning (RL) is heavily driven by the availability of challenging benchmarks used for training agents. However, benchmarks that are widely adopted by the community are not explicitly designed for evaluating specific capabilities of RL methods. While there exist environments for assessing particular open problems in RL (such as exploration, transfer learning, unsupervised environment design, or even language-assisted RL), it is generally difficult to extend these to richer, more complex environments once research goes beyond proof-of-concept results. We present MiniHack, a powerful sandbox framework for easily designing novel RL environments. MiniHack is a one-stop shop for RL experiments with environments ranging from small rooms to complex, procedurally generated worlds. By leveraging the full set of entities and environment dynamics from NetHack, one of the richest grid-based video games, MiniHack allows designing custom RL testbeds that are fast and convenient to use. With this sandbox framework, novel environments can be designed easily, either using a human-readable description language or a simple Python interface. In addition to a variety of RL tasks and baselines, MiniHack can wrap existing RL benchmarks and provide ways to seamlessly add additional complexity.

Author Information

Mikayel Samvelyan (University College London)
Robert Kirk (University College London)

I’m Robert Kirk, a PhD Student at UCL DARK Lab in the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence supervised by Tim Rocktäschel and Ed Grefenstette. I’m an aspiring effective altruist and rationalist. I’m interested in reinforcement learning, meta learning, natural language processing, interpretability and deep learning (and all the combinations thereof).

Vitaly Kurin (University of Oxford)
Jack Parker-Holder (University of Oxford)
Minqi Jiang (UCL & FAIR)
Eric Hambro (Facebook AI Research)
Fabio Petroni (Facebook AI Research)
Heinrich Kuttler (FAIR)
Edward Grefenstette (Facebook AI Research & University College London)
Tim Rocktäschel (Facebook AI Research)

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