Deep learning-based model predictive control for real-time supply chain optimization
This paper presents a deep learning-based model predictive control (MPC) method for operational supply chain optimization in real time. The method follows an offline-online procedure. In the offline phase, the state-space model of a supply chain system is developed and the MPC problem for supply chain operation is formulated. Then, the MPC problem is solved for a set of initial states to obtain the corresponding optimal inputs. A deep neural network (DNN) is built and trained by using the optimal state-input pairs as training data to approximate the optimal MPC law. In the online phase, the DNN controller is employed to provide real-time decisions. In this paper, the MPC problem for supply chain operation is formulated as a mixed-integer linear program. A deep learning-based MPC method is proposed to accommodate time delays in the system. Moreover, a heuristic method is proposed for feasibility recovery with the binary decision variables taken into account. The training set for the DNN controller contains two subsets, one formed from MPC solutions corresponding to random initial states, and the other formed from optimal state-input pairs in closed-loop simulations. The deep learning-based MPC is validated via two case studies through closed-loop simulation. The first case study involves a linear MPC, and the second case study involves a more complicated mixed-integer linear MPC. Results show that deep learning-based MPC can achieve a high accuracy in approximating the MPC decisions and a significant reduction in the online computation time. Compared with MPC, the average performance loss of using deep learning-based MPC in the two cases is 0.43% and 1.8%, respectively.