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Automated algorithm design using proximal policy optimisation with identified features

Yi, Wenjie; Qu, Rong; Jiao, Licheng

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Wenjie Yi

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Professor of Computer Science

Licheng Jiao


Automated algorithm design is attracting considerable recent research attention in solving complex combinatorial optimisation problems, due to that most metaheuristics may be particularly effective at certain problems or certain instances of the same problem but perform poorly at others. Within a general algorithm design framework, this study investigates reinforcement learning on the automated design of metaheuristic algorithms. Two groups of features, namely search-dependent and instance-dependent features, are firstly identified to represent the search space of algorithm design to support effective reinforcement learning on the new task of algorithm design. With these key features, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning technique, namely proximal policy optimisation, is employed to automatically combine the basic algorithmic components within the general framework to develop effective metaheuristics. Patterns of the best designed algorithm, in particular the utilisation and transition of algorithmic components, are investigated. Experimental results on the capacitated vehicle routing problem with time windows benchmark dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the identified features in assisting automated algorithm design with the proposed reinforcement learning model.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 28, 2022
Publication Date Apr 15, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 29, 2023
Journal Expert Systems with Applications
Print ISSN 0957-4174
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 216
Article Number 119461
Keywords Artificial Intelligence; Computer Science Applications; General Engineering
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