Implementing Custom Wrappers#

In this tutorial we will describe how to implement your own custom wrappers. Wrappers are a great way to add functionality to your environments in a modular way. This will save you a lot of boilerplate code.

We will show how to create a wrapper by

Before following this tutorial, make sure to check out the docs of the gymnasium.wrappers module.

Inheriting from gymnasium.ObservationWrapper#

Observation wrappers are useful if you want to apply some function to the observations that are returned by an environment. If you implement an observation wrapper, you only need to define this transformation by implementing the gymnasium.ObservationWrapper.observation() method. Moreover, you should remember to update the observation space, if the transformation changes the shape of observations (e.g. by transforming dictionaries into numpy arrays, as in the following example).

Imagine you have a 2D navigation task where the environment returns dictionaries as observations with keys "agent_position" and "target_position". A common thing to do might be to throw away some degrees of freedom and only consider the position of the target relative to the agent, i.e. observation["target_position"] - observation["agent_position"]. For this, you could implement an observation wrapper like this:

import numpy as np
from gym import ActionWrapper, ObservationWrapper, RewardWrapper, Wrapper

import gymnasium as gym
from gymnasium.spaces import Box, Discrete

class RelativePosition(ObservationWrapper):
    def __init__(self, env):
        self.observation_space = Box(shape=(2,), low=-np.inf, high=np.inf)

    def observation(self, obs):
        return obs["target"] - obs["agent"]

Inheriting from gymnasium.ActionWrapper#

Action wrappers can be used to apply a transformation to actions before applying them to the environment. If you implement an action wrapper, you need to define that transformation by implementing gymnasium.ActionWrapper.action(). Moreover, you should specify the domain of that transformation by updating the action space of the wrapper.

Let’s say you have an environment with action space of type gymnasium.spaces.Box, but you would only like to use a finite subset of actions. Then, you might want to implement the following wrapper:

class DiscreteActions(ActionWrapper):
    def __init__(self, env, disc_to_cont):
        self.disc_to_cont = disc_to_cont
        self.action_space = Discrete(len(disc_to_cont))

    def action(self, act):
        return self.disc_to_cont[act]

if __name__ == "__main__":
    env = gym.make("LunarLanderContinuous-v2")
    wrapped_env = DiscreteActions(
        env, [np.array([1, 0]), np.array([-1, 0]), np.array([0, 1]), np.array([0, -1])]
    print(wrapped_env.action_space)  # Discrete(4)

Inheriting from gymnasium.RewardWrapper#

Reward wrappers are used to transform the reward that is returned by an environment. As for the previous wrappers, you need to specify that transformation by implementing the gymnasium.RewardWrapper.reward() method. Also, you might want to update the reward range of the wrapper.

Let us look at an example: Sometimes (especially when we do not have control over the reward because it is intrinsic), we want to clip the reward to a range to gain some numerical stability. To do that, we could, for instance, implement the following wrapper:

from typing import SupportsFloat

class ClipReward(RewardWrapper):
    def __init__(self, env, min_reward, max_reward):
        self.min_reward = min_reward
        self.max_reward = max_reward
        self.reward_range = (min_reward, max_reward)

    def reward(self, r: SupportsFloat) -> SupportsFloat:
        return np.clip(r, self.min_reward, self.max_reward)

Inheriting from gymnasium.Wrapper#

Sometimes you might need to implement a wrapper that does some more complicated modifications (e.g. modify the reward based on data in info or change the rendering behavior). Such wrappers can be implemented by inheriting from gymnasium.Wrapper.

  • You can set a new action or observation space by defining self.action_space or self.observation_space in __init__, respectively

  • You can set new metadata and reward range by defining self.metadata and self.reward_range in __init__, respectively

  • You can override gymnasium.Wrapper.step(), gymnasium.Wrapper.render(), gymnasium.Wrapper.close() etc.

If you do this, you can access the environment that was passed to your wrapper (which still might be wrapped in some other wrapper) by accessing the attribute env.

Let’s also take a look at an example for this case. Most MuJoCo environments return a reward that consists of different terms: For instance, there might be a term that rewards the agent for completing the task and one term that penalizes large actions (i.e. energy usage). Usually, you can pass weight parameters for those terms during initialization of the environment. However, Reacher does not allow you to do this! Nevertheless, all individual terms of the reward are returned in info, so let us build a wrapper for Reacher that allows us to weight those terms:

class ReacherRewardWrapper(Wrapper):
    def __init__(self, env, reward_dist_weight, reward_ctrl_weight):
        self.reward_dist_weight = reward_dist_weight
        self.reward_ctrl_weight = reward_ctrl_weight

    def step(self, action):
        obs, _, terminated, truncated, info = self.env.step(action)
        reward = (
            self.reward_dist_weight * info["reward_dist"]
            + self.reward_ctrl_weight * info["reward_ctrl"]
        return obs, reward, terminated, truncated, info