Poster

“Why Not Looking backward?” A Robust Two-Step Method to Automatically Terminate Bayesian Optimization

Shuang Li · Ke Li · Wei Li

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1209
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Wed 13 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST

Abstract: Bayesian Optimization (BO) is a powerful method for tackling expensive black-box optimization problems. As a sequential model-based optimization strategy, BO iteratively explores promising solutions until a predetermined budget, either iterations or time, is exhausted. The decision on when to terminate BO significantly influences both the quality of solutions and its computational efficiency. In this paper, we propose a simple, yet theoretically grounded, two-step method for automatically terminating BO. Our core concept is to proactively identify if the search is within a convex region by examining previously observed samples. BO is halted once the local regret within this convex region falls below a predetermined threshold. To enhance numerical stability, we propose an approximation method for calculating the termination indicator by solving a bilevel optimization problem. We conduct extensive empirical studies on diverse benchmark problems, including synthetic functions, reinforcement learning, and hyperparameter optimization. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method saves up to $\approx 80\%$ computational budget yet is with an order of magnitude smaller performance degradation, comparing against the other peer methods. In addition, our proposed termination method is robust in terms of the setting of its termination criterion.

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