A Deep Reinforcement Learning Approach for Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem with Drone

by   Aigerim Bogyrbayeva, et al.
Suleyman Demirel University
University of South Florida

Reinforcement learning has recently shown promise in learning quality solutions in many combinatorial optimization problems. In particular, the attention-based encoder-decoder models show high effectiveness on various routing problems, including the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). Unfortunately, they perform poorly for the TSP with Drone (TSP-D), requiring routing a heterogeneous fleet of vehicles in coordination – a truck and a drone. In TSP-D, the two vehicles are moving in tandem and may need to wait at a node for the other vehicle to join. State-less attention-based decoder fails to make such coordination between vehicles. We propose an attention encoder-LSTM decoder hybrid model, in which the decoder's hidden state can represent the sequence of actions made. We empirically demonstrate that such a hybrid model improves upon a purely attention-based model for both solution quality and computational efficiency. Our experiments on the min-max Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (mmCVRP) also confirm that the hybrid model is more suitable for coordinated routing of multiple vehicles than the attention-based model.


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