Keywords: text world, text game, natural language processing, survey
TL;DR: A survey of using Text Worlds (virtual worlds rendered using text) as a research paradigm in NLP, including a discussion of motivations, simulators, environments, common agent architectures, modeling progress, and contemporary problems/limitations.
Abstract: Text Worlds are virtual environments for embodied agents that, unlike 2D or 3D environments, are rendered exclusively using textual descriptions. These environments offer an alternative to higher-fidelity 3D environments due to their low barrier to entry, providing the ability to study semantics, compositional inference, and other high-level tasks with rich action spaces while controlling for perceptual input. This systematic survey outlines recent developments in tooling, environments, and agent modeling for Text Worlds, while examining recent trends in knowledge graphs, common sense reasoning, transfer learning of Text World performance to higher-fidelity environments, as well as near-term development targets that, once achieved, make Text Worlds an attractive general research paradigm for natural language processing.