Autoencoder-Embedded Iterated Local Search for Energy-Minimized Task Schedules of Human–Cyber–Physical Systems

Cheng Ran Lin, Zheng Cai Cao, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This work considers a task scheduling problem with deadline constraints in human-cyber-physical systems. To find its energy-efficient schedules in a short time, an autoencoder-embedded iterated local search algorithm is proposed to solve it. Iterated local search is selected as a main scheduler. In order to handle real-time requirements and high computational load involved in the problem solution, a Long Short-Term Memory-based AutoEncoder model (LSTM-AE) is constructed to capture the relevant and complementary features of the considered problem. The model is used to find low-order and high-fit sub-solutions via unsupervised end-to-end learning, and generates promising solutions in an informative low-dimensional solution space. To further reduce computational burden, a two-stage optimization framework is constructed, which includes an off-line training phase and an online optimization one. The former trains LSTM-AE by using expert knowledge and historical data. The latter designs optimal resource allocation strategies to build a high-quality initial solution. Then, LSTM-AE-assisted local search operators are proposed and used to reform the initial solution and generate better ones. Various numerical experiments are performed to compare the proposed method with several classic heuristics and some recently-developed methods. The results show its superiority over them. <italic>Note to Practitioners</italic>&#x2014;In human-cyber-physical systems, a task scheduling problem is usually solved by using heuristics due to the limited computational resources. Nevertheless, fast dispatching rules tend to perform poorly. Meta-heuristics can find a relatively high-quality schedule but are time-consuming, especially for a population-based algorithm that requires to evaluate a fitness function for many candidate solutions at each iteration. To balance computational burden and solution quality, our idea is to combine machine-learning methods with meta-heuristics. Specially, we integrate a long short-term memory-based autoencoder model into iterated local search to improve the latter&#x2019;s optimization ability. The combination of meta-heuristics and machine learning techniques makes it possible to obtain a high-quality schedule for the concerned problems in a short time. Theoretic analysis and experimental results show that the proposed method well outperforms its competitive peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Job shop scheduling
  • Metaheuristics
  • Processor scheduling
  • Program processors
  • Schedules
  • Search problems
  • Task analysis
  • Task scheduling
  • autoencoder
  • energy minimization
  • human-cyber-physical systems
  • iterated local search
  • long short term memory
  • machine learning


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