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SMU MITB Student Presents Groundbreaking Research on Police Patrol Scheduling at LION17 Conference

When it comes to police patrols, striking a balance between having police presence in the community and being prompt to emergency response is crucial but challenging. Wong Songhan, a Master of IT in Business (MITB) Artificial Intelligence student, took on this complex problem in his research capstone project titled “Dynamic Police Patrol Scheduling with Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning”.

Supervised by Prof Lau Hoong Chuin and guided by PhD student Mr Waldy Joe, Songhan developed an innovative solution using the Asynchronous Proximal Policy Optimization-based (APPO) actor-critic method. This approach allowed him to dynamically reschedule existing patrol plans by learning a set of prescribed dispatch rules. The result not only reduces computational training time, but it also improved the effectiveness of planned police patrols.

Songhan’s research paper was met with resounding success, as it was accepted for publication at the 17th Learning and Intelligent Optimisation Conference (LION17), an interdisciplinary conference that brought together experts in operational research, machine learning and related fields. To support his participation, Songhan also received a partial scholarship by SMU MITB to attend the conference which took place in early June 2023 in Nice, France.

Reflecting on his experience, Songhan shared, “Presenting my work at a leading AI conference was a fulfilling and rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to learn from leading experts and colleagues working in the field, gaining valuable insights into the latest developments in the application of machine learning to operational research problems. It's an exciting time to witness the rapid advancement of AI!”


Songhan also made the most of his trip by exploring the beautiful sights of Nice and the southern French Riviera, including Menton, Monaco, Antibes, and Cannes. He exclaimed, “I absolutely loved the scenery, food, culture and people there. I can now understand why this region is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations!”

Songhan expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Prof. Lau and his mentor, Dr Waldy Joe for their unwavering guidance and support throughout his research journey. He credits them for their invaluable contributions to his success.

Songhan’s achievement is a testament to the exceptional quality of research emerging from SMU MITB programme, and we take immense pride in his accomplishments. Congratulations Songhan, continue to make meaningful impact in your field!