Shared dynamics learning for large-scale traveling salesman problem

Yunqiu Xu, Meng Fang, Ling Chen, Yali Du, Gangyan Xu, Chengqi Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, we study generalization in reinforcement learning for traveling salesman problem (TSP). While efforts have been made for designing deep reinforcement learning-based solvers to achieve near optimal results in small tasks, it is still an open problem to apply such solvers to larger-scale tasks by retaining performance. In this research, we learn the shared dynamics in TSP environments based on multi-task learning, which can be generalized to new tasks. To accurately estimate such dynamics, we consider leveraging the node visitation information. Besides designing RL-based models to attentively aggregate the visitation information during decision making, we propose a scheduled data utilization strategy to stabilize learning with various problem sizes. The experimental result shows that our model achieves improved generalizability for unseen larger TSPs in both zero-shot and few-shot settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102005
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Few-shot learning
  • Multi-task learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Traveling salesman problem
  • Zero-shot learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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