TensorForce: A Guide to a TensorFlow-Based Reinforcement Learning Framework

Reinforcement learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that focuses on training agents to make decisions and take actions within an environment to maximize a specified cumulative reward. TensorFlow, an open-source machine learning framework developed by Google, has become one of the most popular tools for building and training deep learning models. In this article, we will explore TensorForce, a reinforcement learning framework built on top of TensorFlow.

What is TensorForce?

TensorForce is an open-source library that provides a framework for developing and training reinforcement learning models using TensorFlow. It provides a high-level API that simplifies the process of building and training agents for various reinforcement learning problems. With TensorForce, developers can easily define their reinforcement learning environments, specify the actions and observations available to the agent, and train the agent to optimize its performance over time.

Why choose TensorForce?

TensorForce offers several advantages that make it a preferred choice for building reinforcement learning models:

1. Integration with TensorFlow

As TensorForce is built on top of TensorFlow, users benefit from all the robustness and scalability that TensorFlow provides. This includes access to a wide range of prebuilt TensorFlow operations, support for GPUs, and integration with other TensorFlow tools and libraries.

2. Flexibility and Customization

TensorForce allows developers to easily define the structure of their reinforcement learning models using a combination of TensorFlow and Python code. This provides flexibility to customize the models according to specific requirements, making it easy to experiment with different architectures and techniques.

3. Modular Design

TensorForce has a modular design that allows users to easily swap components and extend the functionality of the framework. This makes it easy to incorporate new algorithms, environments, and agents into the existing framework.

4. Support for High-Dimensional Inputs

Many reinforcement learning problems involve high-dimensional inputs, such as images or sensor data. TensorForce provides support for handling and processing such inputs efficiently, making it suitable for a wide range of real-world applications.

Getting Started with TensorForce


To get started with TensorForce, you first need to install the library. You can install TensorForce using pip, the Python package manager:

pip install tensorforce

Defining an Environment

Before training an agent, you need to define the environment in which the agent will operate. An environment defines the states, actions, and rewards of a particular problem. TensorForce supports a variety of prebuilt environments, such as OpenAI Gym and Unity ML-Agents, or you can define your custom environment.

Defining an Agent

Once you have defined the environment, you can define an agent that will interact with the environment and learn from its experiences. TensorForce offers a range of built-in agent classes, such as Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO), Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient (DDPG), and Dynamic Reinforcement Learning from Demonstrations (DQfD).

Training the Agent

After defining the environment and the agent, you can start training the agent by running the training loop. During the training process, the agent interacts with the environment, observes the state of the environment, takes actions based on its policy, and receives rewards for its actions. TensorForce provides a simple API to run the training loop and monitor the agent’s progress.

Use Cases of TensorForce

TensorForce has been successfully used in various real-world applications to solve complex reinforcement learning problems. Some of the popular use cases of TensorForce include:

1. Robot Control

TensorForce has been used to train robots for tasks such as grasping objects, learning to navigate in complex environments, and performing manipulation tasks. The flexibility and scalability of TensorForce make it suitable for training robots with high-dimensional sensory inputs.

2. Game Playing

Reinforcement learning has been widely used to train agents for playing games, such as Atari games and board games. TensorForce provides a convenient framework for developing game-playing agents and implementing state-of-the-art algorithms.

3. Autonomous Vehicles

TensorForce can be used to train autonomous vehicles to navigate through complex traffic scenarios and make decisions in real-time. The combination of TensorFlow and reinforcement learning allows researchers to develop models that can handle high-dimensional visual inputs and make complex decisions in dynamic environments.


TensorForce is a powerful reinforcement learning framework built on top of TensorFlow. It provides a high-level API, integration with TensorFlow, flexibility for customization, and support for high-dimensional inputs. With TensorForce, developers can easily build and train reinforcement learning models for a wide range of applications. Whether it’s robot control, game playing, or autonomous vehicles, TensorForce offers a convenient framework to tackle complex reinforcement learning problems.