Multi-agent reinforcement learning to unify order-matching and vehicle-repositioning in ride-hailing services

The popularity of ride-hailing platforms has significantly improved travel efficiency by providing convenient and personalized transportation services. Designing an effective ride-hailing service generally needs to address two tasks: order matching that assigns orders to available vehicles and proactive vehicle repositioning that deploys idle vehicles to potentially high-demand regions. Recent studies have intensively utilized deep reinforcement learning to solve the two tasks by learning an optimal dispatching strategy. However, most of them generate actions for the two tasks independently, neglecting the interactions between the two tasks and the communications among multiple drivers. To this end, this paper provides an approach based on multi-agent deep reinforcement learning where the two tasks are modeled as a unified Markov decision process, and the colossal state space and competition among drivers are addressed. Additionally, a modifiable agent-specific state representation is proposed to facilitate knowledge transferring and improve computing efficiency. We evaluate our approach on a public taxi order dataset collected in Chengdu, China, where a variable number of simulated vehicles are tested. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms seven existing baselines, reducing passenger rejection rate, driver idle time and improving total driver income.

Graphical Abstract of proposed framework

How to cite

Xu M, Yue P, Yu F, et al. Multi-agent reinforcement learning to unify order-matching and vehicle-repositioning in ride-hailing services[J]. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 2023, 37(2): 380-402.

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