Bliek, Laurens, Verstraete, Hans R. G. W., Verhaegen, Michel, Wahls, Sander

This paper analyzes DONE, an online optimization algorithm that iteratively minimizes an unknown function based on costly and noisy measurements. The algorithm maintains a surrogate of the unknown function in the form of a random Fourier expansion (RFE). The surrogate is updated whenever a new measurement is available, and then used to determine the next measurement point. The algorithm is comparable to Bayesian optimization algorithms, but its computational complexity per iteration does not depend on the number of measurements. We derive several theoretical results that provide insight on how the hyper-parameters of the algorithm should be chosen. The algorithm is compared to a Bayesian optimization algorithm for a benchmark problem and three applications, namely, optical coherence tomography, optical beam-forming network tuning, and robot arm control. It is found that the DONE algorithm is significantly faster than Bayesian optimization in the discussed problems, while achieving a similar or better performance.

Bliek, Laurens, Verwer, Sicco, de Weerdt, Mathijs

When a black-box optimization objective can only be evaluated with costly or noisy measurements, most standard optimization algorithms are unsuited to find the optimal solution. Specialized algorithms that deal with exactly this situation make use of surrogate models. These models are usually continuous and smooth, which is beneficial for continuous optimization problems, but not necessarily for combinatorial problems. However, by choosing the basis functions of the surrogate model in a certain way, we show that it can be guaranteed that the optimal solution of the surrogate model is integer. This approach outperforms random search, simulated annealing and one Bayesian optimization algorithm on the problem of finding robust routes for a noise-perturbed traveling salesman benchmark problem, with similar performance as another Bayesian optimization algorithm, and outperforms all compared algorithms on a convex binary optimization problem with a large number of variables.

Schneider, Philipp-Immanuel, Hammerschmidt, Martin, Zschiedrich, Lin, Burger, Sven

Optical scatterometry is a method to measure the size and shape of periodic micro- or nanostructures on surfaces. For this purpose the geometry parameters of the structures are obtained by reproducing experimental measurement results through numerical simulations. We compare the performance of Bayesian optimization to different local minimization algorithms for this numerical optimization problem. Bayesian optimization uses Gaussian-process regression to find promising parameter values. We examine how pre-computed simulation results can be used to train the Gaussian process and to accelerate the optimization.

Many methods exist for function optimization, such as randomly sampling the variable search space, called random search, or systematically evaluating samples in a grid across the search space, called grid search. More principled methods are able to learn from sampling the space so that future samples are directed toward the parts of the search space that are most likely to contain the extrema. A directed approach to global optimization that uses probability is called Bayesian Optimization. Take my free 7-day email crash course now (with sample code). Click to sign-up and also get a free PDF Ebook version of the course.

Parallel surrogate optimization algorithms have proven to be efficient methods for solving expensive noisy optimization problems. In this work we develop a new parallel surrogate optimization algorithm (ProSRS), using a novel tree-based "zoom strategy" to improve the efficiency of the algorithm. We prove that if ProSRS is run for sufficiently long, with probability converging to one there will be at least one point among all the evaluations that will be arbitrarily close to the global minimum. We compare our algorithm to several state-of-the-art Bayesian optimization algorithms on a suite of standard benchmark functions and two real machine learning hyperparameter-tuning problems. We find that our algorithm not only achieves significantly faster optimization convergence, but is also 1-4 orders of magnitude cheaper in computational cost.