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Parallel Predictive Entropy Search for Batch Global Optimization of Expensive Objective Functions
Amar Shah · Zoubin Ghahramani

Tue Dec 08 04:00 PM -- 08:59 PM (PST) @ 210 C #46 #None

We develop \textit{parallel predictive entropy search} (PPES), a novel algorithm for Bayesian optimization of expensive black-box objective functions. At each iteration, PPES aims to select a \textit{batch} of points which will maximize the information gain about the global maximizer of the objective. Well known strategies exist for suggesting a single evaluation point based on previous observations, while far fewer are known for selecting batches of points to evaluate in parallel. The few batch selection schemes that have been studied all resort to greedy methods to compute an optimal batch. To the best of our knowledge, PPES is the first non-greedy batch Bayesian optimization strategy. We demonstrate the benefit of this approach in optimization performance on both synthetic and real world applications, including problems in machine learning, rocket science and robotics.

Author Information

Amar Shah (Cambridge)
Zoubin Ghahramani (University of Cambridge)

Zoubin Ghahramani is Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Machine Learning Group. He studied computer science and cognitive science at the University of Pennsylvania, obtained his PhD from MIT in 1995, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. His academic career includes concurrent appointments as one of the founding members of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit in London, and as a faculty member of CMU's Machine Learning Department for over 10 years. His current research interests include statistical machine learning, Bayesian nonparametrics, scalable inference, probabilistic programming, and building an automatic statistician. He has held a number of leadership roles as programme and general chair of the leading international conferences in machine learning including: AISTATS (2005), ICML (2007, 2011), and NIPS (2013, 2014). In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

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