Deep Reinforcement Learning for Inventory Control: A Roadmap
28 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2021 Last revised: 6 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 7, 2021
Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) has shown great potential for sequential decision-making, including early developments in inventory control. Yet, the abundance of choices that come with designing a DRL algorithm, combined with the intense computational effort to tune and evaluate each choice, may hamper their application in practice. This paper describes the key design choices of DRL algorithms to facilitate their implementation in inventory control. We also shed light on possible future research avenues that may elevate the current state-of-the-art of DRL applications for inventory control and broaden their scope by leveraging and improving on the structural policy insights within inventory research. Our discussion and roadmap may also spur future research in other domains within operations management.
Keywords: inventory management, machine learning, reinforcement learning, neural networks
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