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Learning to Optimize Industry-Scale Dynamic Pickup and Delivery Problems

05/27/2021
by   Xijun Li, et al.
6

The Dynamic Pickup and Delivery Problem (DPDP) is aimed at dynamically scheduling vehicles among multiple sites in order to minimize the cost when delivery orders are not known a priori. Although DPDP plays an important role in modern logistics and supply chain management, state-of-the-art DPDP algorithms are still limited on their solution quality and efficiency. In practice, they fail to provide a scalable solution as the numbers of vehicles and sites become large. In this paper, we propose a data-driven approach, Spatial-Temporal Aided Double Deep Graph Network (ST-DDGN), to solve industry-scale DPDP. In our method, the delivery demands are first forecast using spatial-temporal prediction method, which guides the neural network to perceive spatial-temporal distribution of delivery demand when dispatching vehicles. Besides, the relationships of individuals such as vehicles are modelled by establishing a graph-based value function. ST-DDGN incorporates attention-based graph embedding with Double DQN (DDQN). As such, it can make the inference across vehicles more efficiently compared with traditional methods. Our method is entirely data driven and thus adaptive, i.e., the relational representation of adjacent vehicles can be learned and corrected by ST-DDGN from data periodically. We have conducted extensive experiments over real-world data to evaluate our solution. The results show that ST-DDGN reduces 11.27 cost on average over the strong baselines, including the heuristic algorithm deployed in our UAT (User Acceptance Test) environment and a variety of vanilla DRL methods. We are due to fully deploy our solution into our online logistics system and it is estimated that millions of USD logistics cost can be saved per year.

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