We consider the problem of multi-objective (MO) blackbox optimization using expensive function evaluations, where the goal is to approximate the true Pareto-set of solutions by minimizing the number of function evaluations. For example, in hardware design optimization, we need to find the designs that trade-off performance, energy, and area overhead using expensive simulations. We propose a novel approach referred to as Max-value Entropy Search for Multi-objective Optimization (MESMO) to solve this problem. MESMO employs an output-space entropy based acquisition function to efficiently select the sequence of inputs for evaluation for quickly uncovering high-quality solutions. We also provide theoretical analysis to characterize the efficacy of MESMO.
Student-$t$ processes have recently been proposed as an appealing alternative non-parameteric function prior. They feature enhanced flexibility and predictive variance. In this work the use of Student-$t$ processes are explored for multi-objective Bayesian optimization. In particular, an analytical expression for the hypervolume-based probability of improvement is developed for independent Student-$t$ process priors of the objectives. Its effectiveness is shown on a multi-objective optimization problem which is known to be difficult with traditional Gaussian processes.
Multi-objective optimization aims at finding trade-off solutions to conflicting objectives. These constitute the Pareto optimal set. In the context of expensive-to-evaluate functions, it is impossible and often non-informative to look for the entire set. As an end-user would typically prefer a certain part of the objective space, we modify the Bayesian multi-objective optimization algorithm which uses Gaussian Processes to maximize the Expected Hypervolume Improvement, to focus the search in the preferred region. The cumulated effects of the Gaussian Processes and the targeting strategy lead to a particularly efficient convergence to the desired part of the Pareto set. To take advantage of parallel computing, a multi-point extension of the targeting criterion is proposed and analyzed.
This work presents PESMOC, Predictive Entropy Search for Multi-objective Bayesian Optimization with Constraints, an information-based strategy for the simultaneous optimization of multiple expensive-to-evaluate black-box functions under the presence of several constraints. PESMOC can hence be used to solve a wide range of optimization problems. Iteratively, PESMOC chooses an input location on which to evaluate the objective functions and the constraints so as to maximally reduce the entropy of the Pareto set of the corresponding optimization problem. The constraints considered in PESMOC are assumed to have similar properties to those of the objective functions in typical Bayesian optimization problems. That is, they do not have a known expression (which prevents gradient computation), their evaluation is considered to be very expensive, and the resulting observations may be corrupted by noise. These constraints arise in a plethora of expensive black-box optimization problems. We carry out synthetic experiments to illustrate the effectiveness of PESMOC, where we sample both the objectives and the constraints from a Gaussian process prior. The results obtained show that PESMOC is able to provide better recommendations with a smaller number of evaluations than a strategy based on random search.
In reinforcement learning (RL), an autonomous agent learns to perform complex tasks by maximizing an exogenous reward signal while interacting with its environment. In real-world applications, test conditions may differ substantially from the training scenario and, therefore, focusing on pure reward maximization during training may lead to poor results at test time. In these cases, it is important to trade-off between performance and robustness while learning a policy. While several results exist for robust, model-based RL, the model-free case has not been widely investigated. In this paper, we cast the robust, model-free RL problem as a multi-objective optimization problem. To quantify the robustness of a policy, we use delay margin and gain margin, two robustness indicators that are common in control theory. We show how these metrics can be estimated from data in the model-free setting. We use multi-objective Bayesian optimization (MOBO) to solve efficiently this expensive-to-evaluate, multi-objective optimization problem. We show the benefits of our robust formulation both in sim-to-real and pure hardware experiments to balance a Furuta pendulum.