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The Improvement on Reinforcement Learning for SCM by the Agent Policy Mapping

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4 Author(s)
Ruoying Sun ; Beijing Information Science & Technology University, BeiSiHuanZhongLu 35, Beijing 100101, CHINA. ; Gang Zhao ; Chen Li ; Shoji Tatsumi

The reinforcement learning (RL) is an efficient and popular way for solving problems that an agent has no knowledge about the environment a priori, which owns two characteristics: trial-and-error and delayed rewards. An RL agent must derive an optimal policy by directly interacting with the environment and getting the information about the environment. Supply chain management (SCM) is a challenging problem for the agent-based electronic business. Some proposed RL methods perform better than traditional tools for dynamic problem solving in SCM. It realizes on-line learning and performs efficiently in some applications, but RL agent reacts worse than some heuristic methods to sudden changes in SCM demand since the trial-and-error characteristic of RL is time-consuming in practice. By surveying an efficient policy transition mechanism in RL about how to mapping existing policies in the previous task to a new policies in a changed task, this paper proposes a novel RL agent based SCM system that decreases learning time of the RL agent to a dynamic environment. As the result, the RL agent derives the maximal profit using RL technique as jobs coming with a stable distribution. Further, the RL agent makes the optimal procurement satisfying the requirement of sudden changes in the supply chain network by the policy transition mechanism

Published in:

IECON 2006 - 32nd Annual Conference on IEEE Industrial Electronics

Date of Conference:

6-10 Nov. 2006