Multi-fidelity Gaussian Process Bandit Optimisation

In many scientific and engineering applications, we are tasked with the maximisation of an expensive to evaluate black box function $f$. Traditional settings for this problem assume just the availability of this single function... However, in many cases, cheap approximations to $f$ may be obtainable. For example, the expensive real world behaviour of a robot can be approximated by a cheap computer simulation. We can use these approximations to eliminate low function value regions cheaply and use the expensive evaluations of $f$ in a small but promising region and speedily identify the optimum. We formalise this task as a \emph{multi-fidelity} bandit problem where the target function and its approximations are sampled from a Gaussian process. We develop MF-GP-UCB, a novel method based on upper confidence bound techniques. In our theoretical analysis we demonstrate that it exhibits precisely the above behaviour, and achieves better regret than strategies which ignore multi-fidelity information. Empirically, MF-GP-UCB outperforms such naive strategies and other multi-fidelity methods on several synthetic and real experiments. read more

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