Reinforcement learning approach for train rescheduling on a single-track railway

Optimal rail network infrastructure and rolling stock utilization can be achieved with use of different scheduling tools by extensive planning a long time before actual operations. The initial train timetable takes into account possible smaller disturbances, which can be compensated within the schedule. Bigger disruptions, such as accidents, rolling stock breakdown, prolonged passenger boarding, and changed speed limit cause delays that require train rescheduling. In this paper, the authors introduce a train rescheduling method based on reinforcement learning, and more specifically, Q-learning. The authors present here the Q-learning principles for train rescheduling, which consist of a learning agent and its actions, environment and its states, as well as rewards. The use of the proposed approach is first illustrated on a simple rescheduling problem comprising a single-lane track with three trains. The evaluation of the approach is performed on extensive set of experiments carried out on a real-world railway network in Slovenia. The empirical results show that Q-learning lead to rescheduling solutions that are at least equivalent and often superior to those of several basic rescheduling methods that do not rely on learning agents. The solutions are learned within reasonable computational time, a crucial factor for real-time applications.


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  • Accession Number: 01598163
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 15 2016 12:19PM