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Poster
Learning Search Space Partition for Black-box Optimization using Monte Carlo Tree Search
Linnan Wang · Rodrigo Fonseca · Yuandong Tian

Wed Dec 09 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 3 #896

High dimensional black-box optimization has broad applications but remains a challenging problem to solve. Given a set of samples xi, yi, building a global model (like Bayesian Optimization (BO)) suffers from the curse of dimensionality in the high-dimensional search space, while a greedy search may lead to sub-optimality. By recursively splitting the search space into regions with high/low function values, recent works like LaNAS shows good performance in Neural Architecture Search (NAS), reducing the sample complexity empirically. In this paper, we coin LA-MCTS that extends LaNAS to other domains. Unlike previous approaches, LA-MCTS learns the partition of the search space using a few samples and their function values in an online fashion. While LaNAS uses linear partition and performs uniform sampling in each region, our LA-MCTS adopts a nonlinear decision boundary and learns a local model to pick good candidates. If the nonlinear partition function and the local model fits well with ground-truth black-box function, then good partitions and candidates can be reached with much fewer samples. LA-MCTS serves as a meta-algorithm by using existing black-box optimizers (e.g., BO, TuRBO as its local models, achieving strong performance in general black-box optimization and reinforcement learning benchmarks, in particular for high-dimensional problems.

Author Information

Linnan Wang (Brown University)
Rodrigo Fonseca (Brown University)
Yuandong Tian (Facebook AI Research)

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