Dynamic On-Demand Crowdshipping Using Heuristics-Embedded and Constrained Deep Reinforcement Learning
Transportation Center (PSR), UC ITS Statewide Transportation Research Program (STRP), UC ITS Resilient and
Innovative Mobility Initiative (RIMI), and NSF Smart and Connected Communities Project (NSF S&CC)
University of Illinois Chicago
Abstract: Crowdsourced parcel delivery, or crowdshipping, has emerged recently as a crucial component of city logistics and an attractive alternative to conventional van/truck-based delivery. By employing ordinary people (termed crowdsourcees) who use spare time to perform pickup and delivery by walking, biking, or driving personal cars as opposed to using company-owned vans or trucks, crowdshipping helps reduce shipping cost and freight traffic-related congestion, parking demand, energy use, and emissions, all of which contribute to more sustainable urban communities. In this talk, I will present my group’s recent research in heuristics-embedded and constrained deep reinforcement learning (DRL) to tackle the key problem of crowdsourcee-shipping request assignment in a dynamic on-demand crowdshipping environment. By comparing the proposed approach with conventional heuristic methods, benchmarking the results against global optimality, and testing result sensitivity to demand pattern variations, we demonstrate superior performance of the approach in solution quality, computational efficiency, and robustness, and thus potential for practical implementation.
Prof. Bo Zou is an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is currently also a visiting associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Zou’s recent research interest has been on technology innovations that are happening and reshaping human and freight mobility. His research has received funding support from the World Bank, NSF, NASA, DOT, DOE, the American Public Transportation Association, and state and city government agencies. Prof. Zou serves a number of roles in the transportation research community, including as an associate editor of Transportation Letters, an editorial board member of Transportation Research Part B/C/E, and the editorial board lead of TRB Freight Transportation Planning and Logistics (AT015) Committee. Prof. Zou received Ph.D. in transportation engineering from UC Berkeley, M.S. in transportation planning and management from Tsinghua University, Diplôme d’Ingénieur from Ecole Centrale Nantes, and B.E. in civil engineering from Tsinghua University.