Application of reinforcement learning for agent-based production scheduling

Application of reinforcement learning for agent-based production scheduling

Reinforcement learning (RL) has received some attention in recent years from agent-based researchers because it deals with the problem of how an autonomous agent can learn to select proper actions for achieving its goals through interacting with its environment. Although there have been several successful examples demonstrating the usefulness of RL, its application to manufacturing systems has not been fully explored yet. In this paper, Q-learning, a popular RL algorithm, is applied to a single machine dispatching rule selection problem. This paper investigates the application potential of Q-learning, a widely used RL algorithm to a dispatching rule selection problem on a single machine to determine if it can be used to enable a single machine agent to learn commonly accepted dispatching rules for three example cases in which the best dispatching rules have been previously defined. This study provided encouraging results that show the potential of RL for application to agent-based production scheduling. Reinforcement learning (RL) has received some attention in recent years from agent-based researchers because it deals with the problem of how an autonomous agent can learn to select proper actions for achieving its goals through interacting with its environment. Although there have been several successful examples demonstrating the usefulness of RL, its application to manufacturing systems has not been fully explored yet. In this paper, Q-learning, a popular RL algorithm, is applied to a single machine dispatching rule selection problem. This paper investigates the application potential of Q-learning, a widely used RL algorithm to a dispatching rule selection problem on a single machine to determine if it can be used to enable a single machine agent to learn commonly accepted dispatching rules for three example cases in which the best dispatching rules have been previously defined. This study provided encouraging results that show the potential of RL for application to agent-based production scheduling.