Multiagent Reinforcement Learning for Autonomous Routing and Pickup Problem with Adaptation to Variable Demand


Daniel Garces, Sushmita Bhattacharya, Stephanie Gil, and Dimitri Bertsekas. In Preparation. “Multiagent Reinforcement Learning for Autonomous Routing and Pickup Problem with Adaptation to Variable Demand.” In ICRA. Philadelphia, PA. Publisher's Version


We derive a learning framework to generate routing/pickup policies for a fleet of vehicles tasked with servicing stochastically appearing requests on a city map. We focus on policies that 1) give rise to coordination amongst the vehicles, thereby reducing wait times for servicing requests, 2) are non-myopic, considering a-priori unknown potential future requests, and 3) can adapt to changes in the underlying demand distribution. Specifically, we are interested in adapting to fluctuations of actual demand conditions in urban environments, such as on-peak vs. off-peak hours. We achieve this through a combination of (i) online play, a lookahead optimization method that improves the performance of rollout methods via an approximate policy iteration step, and (ii) an offline approximation scheme that allows for adapting to changes in the underlying demand model. In particular, we achieve adaptivity of our learned policy to different demand distributions by quantifying a region of validity using the q-valid radius of a Wasserstein Ambiguity Set. We propose a mechanism for switching the originally trained offline approximation when the current demand is outside the original validity region. In this case, we propose to use an offline architecture, trained on a historical demand model that is closer to the current demand in terms of Wasserstein distance. We learn routing and pickup policies over real taxicab requests in downtown San Francisco with high variability between on-peak and off-peak hours, demonstrating the ability of our method to adapt to real fluctuation in demand distributions. Our numerical results demonstrate that our method outperforms rollout-based reinforcement learning, as well as several benchmarks based on classical methods from the field of operations research.
Last updated on 12/01/2022