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Deep Reinforcement Learning Guided Improvement Heuristic for Job Shop Scheduling

Cong Zhang · Zhiguang Cao · Wen Song · Yaoxin Wu · Jie Zhang

Halle B #207
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Recent studies in using deep reinforcement learning (DRL) to solve Job-shop scheduling problems (JSSP) focus on construction heuristics. However, their performance is still far from optimality, mainly because the underlying graph representation scheme is unsuitable for modelling partial solutions at each construction step. This paper proposes a novel DRL-guided improvement heuristic for solving JSSP, where graph representation is employed to encode complete solutions. We design a Graph-Neural-Network-based representation scheme, consisting of two modules to effectively capture the information of dynamic topology and different types of nodes in graphs encountered during the improvement process. To speed up solution evaluation during improvement, we present a novel message-passing mechanism that can evaluate multiple solutions simultaneously. We prove that the computational complexity of our method scales linearly with problem size. Experiments on classic benchmarks show that the improvement policy learned by our method outperforms state-of-the-art DRL-based methods by a large margin.

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