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Learning Model-Based Vehicle-Relocation Decisions for Real-Time Ride-Sharing: Hybridizing Learning and Optimization

05/27/2021
by   Enpeng Yuan, et al.
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Large-scale ride-sharing systems combine real-time dispatching and routing optimization over a rolling time horizon with a model predictive control(MPC) component that relocates idle vehicles to anticipate the demand. The MPC optimization operates over a longer time horizon to compensate for the inherent myopic nature of the real-time dispatching. These longer time horizons are beneficial for the quality of the decisions but increase computational complexity. To address this computational challenge, this paper proposes a hybrid approach that combines machine learning and optimization. The machine-learning component learns the optimal solution to the MPC optimization on the aggregated level to overcome the sparsity and high-dimensionality of the MPC solutions. The optimization component transforms the machine-learning predictions back to the original granularity via a tractable transportation model. As a consequence, the original NP-hard MPC problem is reduced to a polynomial time prediction and optimization. Experimental results show that the hybrid approach achieves 27 MPC optimization, thanks to its ability to model a longer time horizon within the computational limits.

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