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The NetHack Learning Environment
Heinrich Küttler · Nantas Nardelli · Alexander Miller · Roberta Raileanu · Marco Selvatici · Edward Grefenstette · Tim Rocktäschel

Thu Dec 10 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 5 #1500

Progress in Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms goes hand-in-hand with the development of challenging environments that test the limits of current methods. While existing RL environments are either sufficiently complex or based on fast simulation, they are rarely both. Here, we present the NetHack Learning Environment (NLE), a scalable, procedurally generated, stochastic, rich, and challenging environment for RL research based on the popular single-player terminal-based roguelike game, NetHack. We argue that NetHack is sufficiently complex to drive long-term research on problems such as exploration, planning, skill acquisition, and language-conditioned RL, while dramatically reducing the computational resources required to gather a large amount of experience. We compare NLE and its task suite to existing alternatives, and discuss why it is an ideal medium for testing the robustness and systematic generalization of RL agents. We demonstrate empirical success for early stages of the game using a distributed Deep RL baseline and Random Network Distillation exploration, alongside qualitative analysis of various agents trained in the environment. NLE is open source and available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/nle.

Author Information

Heinrich Küttler (Facebook AI Research)
Nantas Nardelli (University of Oxford)
Alexander Miller (Facebook AI Research)
Roberta Raileanu (NYU)
Marco Selvatici (Imperial College London)
Edward Grefenstette (Facebook AI Research & University College London)
Tim Rocktäschel (University College London, Facebook AI Research)

Tim Rocktäschel is a Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research (FAIR) London and a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL). At UCL, he is a member of the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the UCL Natural Language Processing group. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Whiteson Research Lab, a Stipendiary Lecturer in Computer Science at Hertford College, and a Junior Research Fellow in Computer Science at Jesus College, at the University of Oxford. Tim obtained his Ph.D. in the Machine Reading group at University College London under the supervision of Sebastian Riedel. He received a Google Ph.D. Fellowship in Natural Language Processing in 2017 and a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Scholarship in 2013. In Summer 2015, he worked as a Research Intern at Google DeepMind. In 2012, he obtained his Diploma (equivalent to M.Sc) in Computer Science from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Between 2010 and 2012, he worked as Student Assistant and in 2013 as Research Assistant in the Knowledge Management in Bioinformatics group at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Tim's research focuses on sample-efficient and interpretable machine learning models that learn from world, domain, and commonsense knowledge in symbolic and textual form. His work is at the intersection of deep learning, reinforcement learning, natural language processing, program synthesis, and formal logic.

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