We present K-Means Batch Bayesian Optimization (KMBBO), a novel batch sampling algorithm for Bayesian Optimization (BO). KMBBO uses unsupervised learning to efficiently estimate peaks of the model acquisition function. We show in empirical experiments that our method outperforms the current state-of-the-art batch allocation algorithms on a variety of test problems including tuning of algorithm hyper-parameters and a challenging drug discovery problem. In order to accommodate the real-world problem of high dimensional data, we propose a modification to KMBBO by combining it with compressed sensing to project the optimization into a lower dimensional subspace. We demonstrate empirically that this 2-step method is competitive with algorithms where no dimensionality reduction has taken place.
This paper presents Acquisition Thompson Sampling (ATS), a novel algorithm for batch Bayesian Optimization (BO) based on the idea of sampling multiple acquisition functions from a stochastic process. We define this process through the dependency of the acquisition functions on a set of model parameters. ATS is conceptually simple, straightforward to implement and, unlike other batch BO methods, it can be employed to parallelize any sequential acquisition function. In order to improve performance for multi-modal tasks, we show that ATS can be combined with existing techniques in order to realize different explore-exploit trade-offs and take into account pending function evaluations. We present experiments on a variety of benchmark functions and on the hyper-parameter optimization of a popular gradient boosting tree algorithm. These demonstrate the competitiveness of our algorithm with two state-of-the-art batch BO methods, and its advantages to classical parallel Thompson Sampling for BO.
Optimization is becoming increasingly common in scientific and engineering domains. Oftentimes, these problems involve various levels of stochasticity or uncertainty in generating proposed solutions. Therefore, optimization in these scenarios must consider this stochasticity to properly guide the design of future experiments. Here, we adapt Bayesian optimization to handle uncertain outcomes, proposing a new framework called stochastic sampling Bayesian optimization (SSBO). We show that the bounds on expected regret for an upper confidence bound search in SSBO resemble those of earlier Bayesian optimization approaches, with added penalties due to the stochastic generation of inputs. Additionally, we adapt existing batch optimization techniques to properly limit the myopic decision making that can arise when selecting multiple instances before feedback. Finally, we show that SSBO techniques properly optimize a set of standard optimization problems as well as an applied problem inspired by bioengineering.
Bayesian optimization methods are often used to optimize unknown functions that are costly to evaluate. Typically, these methods sequentially select inputs to be evaluated one at a time based on a posterior over the unknown function that is updated after each evaluation. There are a number of effective sequential policies for selecting the individual inputs. In many applications, however, it is desirable to perform multiple evaluations in parallel, which requires selecting batches of multiple inputs to evaluate at once. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to batch Bayesian optimization, providing a policy for selecting batches of inputs with the goal of optimizing the function as efficiently as possible.
Bayesian optimisation is a popular, surrogate model-based approach for optimising expensive black-box functions. Given a surrogate model, the next location to expensively evaluate is chosen via maximisation of a cheap-to-query acquisition function. We present an $\epsilon$-greedy procedure for Bayesian optimisation in batch settings in which the black-box function can be evaluated multiple times in parallel. Our $\epsilon$-shotgun algorithm leverages the model's prediction, uncertainty, and the approximated rate of change of the landscape to determine the spread of batch solutions to be distributed around a putative location. The initial target location is selected either in an exploitative fashion on the mean prediction, or -- with probability $\epsilon$ -- from elsewhere in the design space. This results in locations that are more densely sampled in regions where the function is changing rapidly and in locations predicted to be good (i.e close to predicted optima), with more scattered samples in regions where the function is flatter and/or of poorer quality. We empirically evaluate the $\epsilon$-shotgun methods on a range of synthetic functions and two real-world problems, finding that they perform at least as well as state-of-the-art batch methods and in many cases exceed their performance.