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Value-at-Risk Optimization with Gaussian Processes

Quoc Phong Nguyen · Zhongxiang Dai · Bryan Kian Hsiang Low · Patrick Jaillet

Keywords: [ Gaussian Processes and Bayesian non-parametrics ]


Value-at-risk (VaR) is an established measure to assess risks in critical real-world applications with random environmental factors. This paper presents a novel VaR upper confidence bound (V-UCB) algorithm for maximizing the VaR of a black-box objective function with the first no-regret guarantee. To realize this, we first derive a confidence bound of VaR and then prove the existence of values of the environmental random variable (to be selected to achieve no regret) such that the confidence bound of VaR lies within that of the objective function evaluated at such values. Our V-UCB algorithm empirically demonstrates state-of-the-art performance in optimizing synthetic benchmark functions, a portfolio optimization problem, and a simulated robot task.

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