Dynamic Scheduling Method for Job-Shop Manufacturing Systems by Deep Reinforcement Learning with Proximal Policy Optimization

Ming Zhang*, Yang Lu, Youxi Hu, Nasser Amaitik, Yuchun Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the rapid development of Industrial 4.0, the modern manufacturing system has been experiencing profoundly digital transformation. The development of new technologies helps to improve the efficiency of production and the quality of products. However, for the increasingly complex production systems, operational decision making encounters more challenges in terms of having sustainable manufacturing to satisfy customers and markets’ rapidly changing demands. Nowadays, rule-based heuristic approaches are widely used for scheduling management in production systems, which, however, significantly depends on the expert domain knowledge. In this way, the efficiency of decision making could not be guaranteed nor meet the dynamic scheduling requirement in the job-shop manufacturing environment. In this study, we propose using deep reinforcement learning (DRL) methods to tackle the dynamic scheduling problem in the job-shop manufacturing system with unexpected machine failure. The proximal policy optimization (PPO) algorithm was used in the DRL framework to accelerate the learning process and improve performance. The proposed method was testified within a real-world dynamic production environment, and it performs better compared with the state-of-the-art methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5177
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

Funding: This research was funded by RECLAIM project “Remanufacturing and Refurbishment
Large Industrial Equipment” and received funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869884.


  • Artificial neural networks
  • Deep reinforcement learning
  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Industry 4.0
  • Manufacturing sustainability


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