TY - GEN

T1 - Learning 2-opt Heuristics for the Traveling Salesman Problem via Deep Reinforcement Learning

AU - de O. da Costa, Paulo R.

AU - Rhuggenaath, Jason

AU - Zhang, Yingqian

AU - Akcay, Alp

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Recent works using deep learning to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) have focused on learning construction heuristics. Such approaches find TSP solutions of good quality but require additional procedures such as beam search and sampling to improve solutions and achieve state-of-the-art performance. However, few studies have focused on improvement heuristics, where a given solution is improved until reaching a near-optimal one. In this work, we propose to learn a local search heuristic based on 2-opt operators via deep reinforcement learning. We propose a policy gradient algorithm to learn a stochastic policy that selects 2-opt operations given a current solution. Moreover, we introduce a policy neural network that leverages a pointing attention mechanism, which unlike previous works, can be easily extended to more general k-opt moves. Our results show that the learned policies can improve even over random initial solutions and approach near-optimal solutions at a faster rate than previous state-of-the-art deep learning methods.

AB - Recent works using deep learning to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) have focused on learning construction heuristics. Such approaches find TSP solutions of good quality but require additional procedures such as beam search and sampling to improve solutions and achieve state-of-the-art performance. However, few studies have focused on improvement heuristics, where a given solution is improved until reaching a near-optimal one. In this work, we propose to learn a local search heuristic based on 2-opt operators via deep reinforcement learning. We propose a policy gradient algorithm to learn a stochastic policy that selects 2-opt operations given a current solution. Moreover, we introduce a policy neural network that leverages a pointing attention mechanism, which unlike previous works, can be easily extended to more general k-opt moves. Our results show that the learned policies can improve even over random initial solutions and approach near-optimal solutions at a faster rate than previous state-of-the-art deep learning methods.

M3 - Conference contribution

T3 - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research

SP - 465

EP - 480

BT - Proceedings of The 12th Asian Conference on Machine Learning

PB - PMLR

ER -