There are few environments as unforgiving as the ocean. Its unpredictable weather patterns and limitations in terms of communications have left large swaths of the ocean unexplored and shrouded in mystery. "The ocean is a fascinating environment with a number of current challenges like microplastics, algae blooms, coral bleaching, and rising temperatures," says Wim van Rees, the ABS Career Development Professor at MIT. "At the same time, the ocean holds countless opportunities -- from aquaculture to energy harvesting and exploring the many ocean creatures we haven't discovered yet." Ocean engineers and mechanical engineers, like van Rees, are using advances in scientific computing to address the ocean's many challenges, and seize its opportunities. These researchers are developing technologies to better understand our oceans, and how both organisms and human-made vehicles can move within them, from the micro scale to the macro scale.
We present AutoOED, an Optimal Experiment Design platform powered with automated machine learning to accelerate the discovery of optimal solutions. The platform solves multi-objective optimization problems in time- and data-efficient manner by automatically guiding the design of experiments to be evaluated. To automate the optimization process, we implement several multi-objective Bayesian optimization algorithms with state-of-the-art performance. AutoOED is open-source and written in Python. The codebase is modular, facilitating extensions and tailoring the code, serving as a testbed for machine learning researchers to easily develop and evaluate their own multi-objective Bayesian optimization algorithms. An intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) is provided to visualize and guide the experiments for users with little or no experience with coding, machine learning, or optimization. Furthermore, a distributed system is integrated to enable parallelized experimental evaluations by independent workers in remote locations. The platform is available at https://autooed.org.