Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning for Online Food Delivery with Location Privacy Preservation




Abahussein, Suleiman
Ye, Dayong
Zhu, Congcong
Cheng, Zishuo
Siddique, Umer
Shen, Sheng

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Online food delivery services today are considered an essential service that gets significant attention worldwide. Many companies and individuals are involved in this field as it offers good income and numerous jobs to the community. In this research, we consider the problem of online food delivery services and how we can increase the number of received orders by couriers and thereby increase their income. Multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) is employed to guide the couriers to areas with high demand for food delivery requests. A map of the city is divided into small grids, and each grid represents a small area of the city that has different demand for online food delivery orders. The MARL agent trains and learns which grid has the highest demand and then selects it. Thus, couriers can get more food delivery orders and thereby increase long-term income. While increasing the number of received orders is important, protecting customer location is also essential. Therefore, the Protect User Location Method (PULM) is proposed in this research in order to protect customer location information. The PULM injects differential privacy (DP) Laplace noise based on two parameters: city area size and customer frequency of online food delivery orders. We use two datasets—Shenzhen, China, and Iowa, USA—to demonstrate the results of our experiments. The results show an increase in the number of received orders in the Shenzhen and Iowa City datasets. We also show the similarity and data utility of courier trajectories after we use our obfuscation (PULM) method.




Information 14 (11): 597 (2023)