Model-based gym environments for limit order book trading

Joseph Jerome, Leandro Sanchez-Betancourt, Rahul Savani, Martin Herdegen

Within the mathematical finance literature there is a rich catalogue of mathematical models for studying algorithmic trading problems -- such as market-making and optimal execution -- in limit order books. This paper introduces \mbtgym, a Python module that provides a suite of gym environments for training reinforcement learning (RL) agents to solve such model-based trading problems. The module is set up in an extensible way to allow the combination of different aspects of different models. It supports highly efficient implementations of vectorized environments to allow faster training of RL agents. In this paper, we motivate the challenge of using RL to solve such model-based limit order book problems in mathematical finance, we explain the design of our gym environment, and then demonstrate its use in solving standard and non-standard problems from the literature. Finally, we lay out a roadmap for further development of our module, which we provide as an open source repository on GitHub so that it can serve as a focal point for RL research in model-based algorithmic trading.

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