BehaviorTree.js

A JavaScript implementation of Behavior Trees, useful when developing AI behaviors in games.

Website:https://github.com/Calamari/BehaviorTree.js

BehaviorTree.js

A JavaScript implementation of Behavior Trees. They are useful for implementing AIs. If you need more information about Behavior Trees, look on GameDevAI, there is a nice video about Behavior Trees from Alex Champandard. There is also a nice read of Björn Knafla explaining how explaining how Behavior Trees work.

Features

  • The needed: Sequences, Selectors, Tasks
  • The extended: Decorators

Installation

If you use npm:

npm install behaviortree

or using yarn:

yarn add behaviortree

Dependencies?

This package has no own dependencies.

How to use

Creating a simple Task

A task is a simple Node (to be precise a leaf node), which takes care of all the dirty work in it's run method, which returns either true, false, or "running". For clarity, and to be flexible, please use the provided exported constants for those return values (SUCCESS, FAILURE, RUNNING).

Each method of your task receives the blackboard, which you assign when instantiating the BehaviorTree. A blackboard is basically a object, which holds data and methods all the task need to perform their work and to communicate with the world.

import { Task, SUCCESS } from 'behaviortree'
const myTask = new Task({
  // (optional) this function is called directly before the run method
  // is called. It allows you to setup things before starting to run
  // Beware: if task is resumed after calling this.running(), start is not called.
  start: function(blackboard) { blackboard.isStarted = true; },

  // (optional) this function is called directly after the run method
  // is completed with either this.success() or this.fail(). It allows you to clean up
  // things, after you run the task.
  end: function(blackboard) { blackboard.isStarted = false; },

  // This is the meat of your task. The run method does everything you want it to do.
  run: function(blackboard) {
    return SUCCESS
  }
})

The methods:

  • start - Called before run is called. But not if task is resuming after ending with this.running()
  • end - Called after run is called. But not if task finished with this.running()
  • run - Contains the main things you want the task to do

Creating a Sequence

A Sequence will call every of it's subnodes one after each other until one node fails (returns FAILURE) or all nodes were called. If one node calls fails the Sequence will return FAILURE itself, else it will call SUCCESS.

import { Sequence } from 'behaviortree'
const mySequence = new Sequence({
  nodes: [
    // here comes in a list of nodes (Tasks, Sequences or Priorities)
    // as objects or as registered strings
  ]
})

Creating a priority selector

A Selector calls every node in it's list until one node returns SUCCESS, then itself returns as success. If none of it's subnode calls SUCCESS the selector returns FAILURE.

import { Selector } from 'behaviortree'
const mySelector = new Selector({
  nodes: [
    // here comes in a list of nodes (Tasks, Sequences or Priorities)
    // as objects or as registered strings
  ]
})

Creating a Random Selector

A Random selector just calls one of its subnode randomly, if that returns RUNNING, it will be called again on next run.

import { Random } from 'behaviortree'
const mySelector = new Random({
  nodes: [
    // here comes in a list of nodes (Tasks, Sequences or Priorities)
    // as objects or as registered strings
  ]
})

Creating a BehaviorTree instance

Creating an instance of a behavior tree is fairly simple. Just instantiate the BehaviorTree class and specify the shape of the tree, using the nodes mentioned above and the blackboard the nodes can use.

import BehaviorTree from 'behaviortree'
var bTree = new BehaviorTree({
  tree: mySelector,
  blackboard: {}
})

Run through the BehaviorTree

The blackboard you specified will be passed into every start(), end() and run() method as first argument. You can use it, to let the behavior tree know, on which object (e.g. artificial player) it is running, let it interact with the world or hold bits of state if you need. To run the tree, you can call step() whenever you have time for some AI calculations in your game loop.

bTree.step()

Using a lookup table for your tasks

BehaviorTree is coming with a internal registry in which you can register tasks and later reference them in your nodes by their names, that you choose. This is really handy, if you need the same piece of behavior in multiple trees, or want to separate the defining of tasks and the construction of the trees.

// Register a task:
BehaviorTree.register('testtask', myTask);
// Or register a sequence or priority:
BehaviorTree.register('test sequence', mySequence)

Which you now can simply refer to in your nodes, like:

import { Selector } from 'behaviortree'
const mySelector = new Selector({
  nodes: [
    'my awesome task',
    'another awe# task to do'
  ]
})

Using the registry has one more benefit, for simple Tasks with only one run method, there is a short way to write those:

BehaviorTree.register('testtask', (blackboard) => {
  console.log('I am doing stuff')
  return SUCCESS
});

Now putting it all together

And now an example of how all could work together.

import BehaviorTree, { Sequence, Task, SUCCESS, FAILURE } from 'behaviortree'
BehaviorTree.register('bark', new Task({
  run: function(dog) {
    dog.bark()
    return SUCCESS
  }
}))

const tree = new Sequence({
    nodes: [
      'bark',
      new Task({
        run: function(dog) {
          dog.randomlyWalk()
          return SUCCESS
        }
      }),
      'bark',
      new Task({
        run: function(dog) {
          if (dog.standBesideATree()) {
            dog.liftALeg()
            dog.pee()
            return SUCCESS
          } else {
            return FAILURE
          }
        }
      }),

    ]
  })
});

const dog = new Dog(/*...*/); // the nasty details of a dog are omitted

const bTree = new BehaviorTree({
  tree: tree,
  blackboard: dog
})

// The "game" loop:
setInterval(function() {
  bTree.step();
}, 1000/60)

In this example the following happens: each pass on the setInterval (our game loop), the dog barks – we implemented this with a registered node, because we do this twice – then it walks randomly around, then it barks again and then if it find's itself standing beside a tree it pees on the tree.

Decorators

Every node can also be a Decorator, which wraps a regular (or another decorated) node and either control their value or calling, add some conditions or do something with their returned state. In the src/decorators directory you'll find some already implemented decorators for inspiration or use, like an InvertDecorator which negates the return value of the decorated node or a CooldownDecorator which ensures the node is only called once within a cool down time period.

const decoratedSequence = new InvertDecorator({
  node: 'awesome sequence doing stuff'
})

Creating own Decorators

To create an own decorator. You simple need a class that extends the Decorator class and overrides the decorate method. Simply look within the src/decorators sub folder to check some reference implementations.

Beware that you cannot simple instantiate the Decorator class and pass in the decorate methods as a blueprint as a dynamically decorator, because the way things works right now.

Importing BehaviorTree defintions from JSON files

There is a BehaviorTreeImporter class defined that can be used to fill a BehaviorTree instance out of a JSON definition for a tree. A definition structure looks like this:

{
  "type": "selector",
  "name": "the root",
  "nodes": [
    {
      "type": "ifEnemyInSight",
      "name": "handling enemies",
      "node": { "type": "walk", "name": "go to enemy" }
    },
    {
      "type": "cooldown",
      "name": "jumping around",
      "cooldown": 1,
      "node": { "type": "jump", "name": "jump up" }
    },
    { "type": "idle", "name": "doing nothing" }
  ]
}

Through the type property, the importer looks up Decorators, Selectors, Sequences and your own defined classes from an internal type definition as well as tasks from the BehaviorTree registry, and returns an object, that can be used as tree within the BehaviorTree constructor.

Debugging option

If you call the step-method with the debug parameter set to true, the state of your last call will be available as lastRunData property. But don't do this on a production environment, because the work that is don there is simply not needed for regular evaluation.

bTree.step({ debug: true });
console.log(bTree.lastRunData)

Contributing

You want to contribute? If you have some ideas or critics, just open an issue, here on GitHub. If you want to get your hands dirty, you can fork this repository. But note: If you write code, don't forget to write tests. And then make a pull request. I'll be happy to see what's coming.

Running tests

Tests are done with jest, and I use yarn to manage packages and lock versions.

yarn
yarn test

Version history

  • 2.0.0 - Complete ES7 rewrite and improvement on ways it works and how it can be used
  • 1.0.4 - Fix resuming in priority nodes
  • 1.0.3 - Removed a useless console.log statement
  • 1.0.2 - Supporting NodeJS now. Bumped to 1.0.2 because of NPM package
  • 0.9.2 - Added AlwaysSucceedDecorator and AlwaysFailDecorator
  • 0.9.1 - Fixed run method in Decorator
  • 0.9.0 - Added Decorators and the InvertDecorator
  • 0.8.0 - Added the Random Selector
  • 0.7.0 - first functional complete release

MIT License

Copyright (C) 2013-2018 Georg Tavonius

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.