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Game up with OpenAI Gym Reinforcement Learning

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon

Reinforcement learning is currently one of the foremost promising methods in machine learning and deep learning. OpenAI Gym is one of the foremost popular toolkits for implementing reinforcement learning simulation environments. Here’s a fast overview of the key terminology around OpenAI Gym.

Introduction to reinforcement learning and OpenAI Gym – O'Reilly


What is OpenAI Gym

The gym is an open-source library that gives a simple setup and toolkit comprising a good range of simulated environments. The range of these simulated environments varies from easiest pong to toughest physics-based gaming engines. These environments allow you to quickly found out and train your reinforcement learning algorithms.

The Gym also can be used as a benchmark for reinforcement learning algorithms. Each environment within the OpenAI Gym toolkit contains a version that’s useful for comparing and reproducing results when testing algorithms. In order to perform reinforcement learning, the environments use their episode-based settings, where the experience of an agent is actually further divided into a sequence of episodes. This toolkit also provides a typical API for interacting with the environments associated with reinforcement learning. It’s also compatible with other computational libraries, like TensorFlow. For performing different categories of tasks, the initial release of the OpenAI Gym come across 1000 environments.

Key Terminology

To understand OpenAI Gym and use it efficiently for reinforcement learning, it’s crucial to understand key concepts.

Reinforcement Learning

Before diving into OpenAI Gym, it’s essential to know the fundamentals of reinforcement learning. In reinforcement learning, an agent takes a sequence of actions in an uncertain and sometimes complex environment to maximize a gift function. Essentially, it’s an approach for creating appropriate decisions during a game-like environment that maximizes rewards and minimizes penalties. Feedback from its actions and knowledge allows the agent to find out the foremost appropriate action by trial and error. Generally, reinforcement learning involves the subsequent steps:

  1. Observing the environment

  2. Strategy based decision formulation

  3. Actions

  4. Receiving a reward or penalty

  5. Learning from the past mistakes, in order to improve decision making

  6. The process is iterated till an optimal strategy is achieved

For example, the most profitable job of a self-driving car is their passenger’s safety by ensuring speed limits and obeying traffic rules. The agent (imaginary driver) is motivated by a reward; to maximize passenger safety and learn from its experiences within the environment. Rewards for proper actions and penalties for incorrect actions are designed and decided. To make sure the agent follows the regulation and traffic rules, a number of the points that will be considered are:

  • The agent should receive a positive reward for successfully maintaining the regulation as this is often essential for passenger safety.

  • The agent should be penalized if it exceeds the specified regulation or runs a lightweight. for instance, the agent can get a rather negative reward for moving the car before the countdown ends (the traffic light remains red).


In Reinforcement learning, an agent is an entity that decides on what action to require supported the rewards and punishments. to form a choice, the agent is allowed to use observations from the environment. Typically it expects the present state to be provided by the environment and for that state to possess a Markov property. Then it processes that state employing a policy function that decides what action to require. In short, the agent describes the way to run a reinforcement learning algorithm during a Gym environment. The agent can either contain an algorithm or provide the mixing required for an algorithm and therefore the OpenAI Gym environment. Environment

In Gym, an environment may be a simulation that represents the task or game that an agent operates in. When an agent acts because of the environment, it receives observations from the environment that consists of a gift for this action. The reason behind giving a reward is the acknowledgment of good or bad actions. The observation tells the agent what’s his next state within the environment. Thus by trial and error, the agent tries to work out the optimal behavior within the environment to hold out his task within the absolute best way. You would possibly want to look at the expansive list of environments available within the Gym toolkit. A number of the well-known environments in Gym are:

Algorithmic: These environments perform computations like learning to repeat a sequence.

import gym
envm = gym.make('Copy-v0') #Copy is only used as an example of the Algorithmic environment.

Atari: The Atari environment consists of a good range of classic Atari video games. it’s been a big part of reinforcement learning research. You’ll install the dependencies via:

pip install -e ‘.[atari]’ (you have to make sure that CMake is properly installed) and only after that follow the below commands:

import gym
envm = gym.make('SpaceInvaders-v0') #Space invaders is only used as an example of Atari.

Output-click here

The above-declared codes allow you to install atari-py, which allows you to automatically compile the Arcade Learning Environment(ALE). However, you need to remember that this process takes a while to complete.


Box2d: Box2d is a 2D physics engine. In order to install it you can use pip install -e ‘.[box2d]’, then follow the commands below:

import gym
envm = gym.make('LunarLander-v2') #LunarLander is only used as an example of Box2d.


Output- check here


Classic control: Mainly from reinforcement learning literature, different classic controls for small-scale reinforcement learning tasks are provided here.

You will need to run pip install -e ‘.[classic_control]‘ in order to enable rendering and then run the codes below:

import gym
envm = gym.make(‘CartPole-v0’) #CartPole is only used as an example.

Output-click to see

MuJoCo: MuJoCo is dedicated as a physics engine. The purpose of its design is most accurate and faster robot simulation. It is proprietary software. However, free trial licenses of MuJoCo are available. You can take help from the mujoco-py, to set it up. You have to run pip install -e ‘.[mujoco]’, in case you did not complete the entire installation, and then follow the commands below:

import gym
envm = gym.make('Humanoid-v2') #Humanoid is used as an example of MuJoCo.env.reset()

Output-Click Here

Robotics: Usually these environments use MuJoCo for rendering. You have to run pip install -e ‘.[robotics]’ first and only then try the commands below:

import gym
envm = gym.make('HandManipulateBlock-v0') #HandManipulateBlock is just an example.

Output-check here

Toy text: This environment is text-based. Moreover, to install and get started, you do not need any extra dependency. You can just follow the commands below for the Toy text.

import gym
envm = gym.make('FrozenLake-v0') #FrozenLake is just an example.

Output-click to see


Observations of the OpenAI Gym

Observations of the OpenAI GymIf you would like your reinforcement learning tasks to perform better than they might by just taking random actions at every step, you ought to know what actions are available within the environment. These includes:

Observation (object): The observation of the environment is represented by environment-specific objects.

Reward (float): Reward is some kind of feedback to the agent. The first aim of the agent is to maximize the sum of the reward, and therefore the reward signal indicates the agent’s performance at any given step. for instance, within the Atari game, the reward signal may result in +1 for every instance of a rise in the score, or -1 when the score decreases.

Done (boolean): This is often mainly used once you are required to reset the environment. during this process, most of the tasks are divided into well-defined objects, and True is that the indicator of the terminated episode. for instance, within the Atari Pong game, if you lost the ball, the episode is terminated and you receive “Done=True”.

Info: This is often useful for debugging purposes. For instance, during the training phase of the model, there could be raw probabilities about when the environment’s state changed the last time. However, you want to remember that the official evaluation of the agent cannot use this for learning. To start the process you need to call the reset() function, which returns an initial observation.

Learn more about reinforcement learning

There’s quite a lot that you simply can do with reinforcement learning — whether it’s associated with video games or not. The core skills are often used across a spread of purposes, from stock trading and finance to cybersecurity and art. No matter your application, there’s always a use for reinforcement learning. For learning more about Reinforcement learning, click here. Feel free to put your inputs in the comment box!

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