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Bayesian Optimization with Tree-structured Dependencies
Rodolphe Jenatton · Cedric Archambeau · Javier González · Matthias Seeger

Wed Aug 09 01:30 AM -- 05:00 AM (PDT) @ Gallery #40

Bayesian optimization has been successfully used to optimize complex black-box functions whose evaluations are expensive. In many applications, like in deep learning and predictive analytics, the optimization domain is itself complex and structured. In this work, we focus on use cases where this domain exhibits a known dependency structure. The benefit of leveraging this structure is twofold: we explore the search space more efficiently and posterior inference scales more favorably with the number of observations than Gaussian Process-based approaches published in the literature. We introduce a novel surrogate model for Bayesian optimization which combines independent Gaussian Processes with a linear model that encodes a tree-based dependency structure and can transfer information between overlapping decision sequences. We also design a specialized two-step acquisition function that explores the search space more effectively. Our experiments on synthetic tree-structured functions and the tuning of feedforward neural networks trained on a range of binary classification datasets show that our method compares favorably with competing approaches.

Author Information

Rodolphe Jenatton (Amazon)
Cedric Archambeau (Amazon)
Javier González (Amazon)
Matthias Seeger (Amazon.com)

Matthias W. Seeger received a Ph.D. from the School of Informatics, Edinburgh university, UK, in 2003 (advisor Christopher Williams). He was a research fellow with Michael Jordan and Peter Bartlett, University of California at Berkeley, from 2003, and with Bernhard Schoelkopf, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tuebingen, Germany, from 2005. He led a research group at the University of Saarbruecken, Germany, from 2008, and was assistant professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne from fall 2010. He joined Amazon as machine learning scientist in 2014.

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