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Oral
Bayesian Optimization with Gradients
Jian Wu · Matthias Poloczek · Andrew Wilson · Peter Frazier

Tue Dec 11:10 AM -- 11:25 AM PST @ Hall C

Bayesian optimization has shown success in global optimization of expensive-to-evaluate multimodal objective functions. However, unlike most optimization methods, Bayesian optimization typically does not use derivative information. In this paper we show how Bayesian optimization can exploit derivative information to find good solutions with fewer objective function evaluations. In particular, we develop a novel Bayesian optimization algorithm, the derivative-enabled knowledge-gradient (dKG), which is one-step Bayes-optimal, asymptotically consistent, and provides greater one-step value of information than in the derivative-free setting. dKG accommodates noisy and incomplete derivative information, comes in both sequential and batch forms, and can optionally reduce the computational cost of inference through automatically selected retention of a single directional derivative. We also compute the dKG acquisition function and its gradient using a novel fast discretization-free technique. We show dKG provides state-of-the-art performance compared to a wide range of optimization procedures with and without gradients, on benchmarks including logistic regression, deep learning, kernel learning, and k-nearest neighbors.

Author Information

Jian Wu (AQR Capital Management)
Matthias Poloczek (Cornell University)
Andrew Wilson (Cornell University)
Peter Frazier (Cornell / Uber)

Peter Frazier is an Associate Professor in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University, and a Staff Data Scientist at Uber. He received a Ph.D. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University in 2009. His research is at the intersection of machine learning and operations research, focusing on Bayesian optimization, multi-armed bandits, active learning, and Bayesian nonparametric statistics. He is an associate editor for Operations Research, ACM TOMACS, and IISE Transactions, and is the recipient of an AFOSR Young Investigator Award and an NSF CAREER Award.

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