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Deep Reinforcement Learning for Demand Driven Services in Logistics and Transportation Systems: A Survey

by   Zefang Zong, et al.
Tsinghua University

Recent technology development brings the booming of numerous new Demand-Driven Services (DDS) into urban lives, including ridesharing, on-demand delivery, express systems and warehousing. In DDS, a service loop is an elemental structure, including its service worker, the service providers and corresponding service targets. The service workers should transport either humans or parcels from the providers to the target locations. Various planning tasks within DDS can thus be classified into two individual stages: 1) Dispatching, which is to form service loops from demand/supply distributions, and 2)Routing, which is to decide specific serving orders within the constructed loops. Generating high-quality strategies in both stages is important to develop DDS but faces several challenging. Meanwhile, deep reinforcement learning (DRL) has been developed rapidly in recent years. It is a powerful tool to solve these problems since DRL can learn a parametric model without relying on too many problem-based assumptions and optimize long-term effect by learning sequential decisions. In this survey, we first define DDS, then highlight common applications and important decision/control problems within. For each problem, we comprehensively introduce the existing DRL solutions, and further summarize them in We also introduce open simulation environments for development and evaluation of DDS applications. Finally, we analyze remaining challenges and discuss further research opportunities in DRL solutions for DDS.


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