Learn to Design the Heuristics for Vehicle Routing Problem [article]

Lei Gao, Mingxiang Chen, Qichang Chen, Ganzhong Luo, Nuoyi Zhu, Zhixin Liu
2020 arXiv   pre-print
This paper presents an approach to learn the local-search heuristics that iteratively improves the solution of Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). A local-search heuristics is composed of a destroy operator that destructs a candidate solution, and a following repair operator that rebuilds the destructed one into a new one. The proposed neural network, as trained through actor-critic framework, consists of an encoder in form of a modified version of Graph Attention Network where node embeddings and
more » ... ge embeddings are integrated, and a GRU-based decoder rendering a pair of destroy and repair operators. Experiment results show that it outperforms both the traditional heuristics algorithms and the existing neural combinatorial optimization for VRP on medium-scale data set, and is able to tackle the large-scale data set (e.g., over 400 nodes) which is a considerable challenge in this area. Moreover, the need for expertise and handcrafted heuristics design is eliminated due to the fact that the proposed network learns to design the heuristics with a better performance. Our implementation is available online.
arXiv:2002.08539v1 fatcat:yvq3aob7dbhj7oi67okueu5hai