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Diffusion Models for Black-Box Optimization

Siddarth Krishnamoorthy · Satvik Mehul Mashkaria · Aditya Grover

Exhibit Hall 1 #215
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The goal of offline black-box optimization (BBO) is to optimize an expensive black-box function using a fixed dataset of function evaluations. Prior works consider forward approaches that learn surrogates to the black-box function and inverse approaches that directly map function values to corresponding points in the input domain of the black-box function. These approaches are limited by the quality of the offline dataset and the difficulty in learning one-to-many mappings in high dimensions, respectively. We propose Denoising Diffusion Optimization Models (DDOM), a new inverse approach for offline black-box optimization based on diffusion models. Given an offline dataset, DDOM learns a conditional generative model over the domain of the black-box function conditioned on the function values. We investigate several design choices in DDOM, such as reweighting the dataset to focus on high function values and the use of classifier-free guidance at test-time to enable generalization to function values that can even exceed the dataset maxima. Empirically, we conduct experiments on the Design-Bench benchmark (Trabucco et al., 2022) and show that DDOM achieves results competitive with state-of-the-art baselines.

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