Neural Process for Black-Box Model Optimization Under Bayesian Framework

3 Apr 2021  ·  Zhongkai Shangguan, Lei Lin, Wencheng Wu, Beilei Xu ·

There are a large number of optimization problems in physical models where the relationships between model parameters and outputs are unknown or hard to track. These models are named as black-box models in general because they can only be viewed in terms of inputs and outputs, without knowledge of the internal workings... Optimizing the black-box model parameters has become increasingly expensive and time consuming as they have become more complex. Hence, developing effective and efficient black-box model optimization algorithms has become an important task. One powerful algorithm to solve such problem is Bayesian optimization, which can effectively estimates the model parameters that lead to the best performance, and Gaussian Process (GP) has been one of the most widely used surrogate model in Bayesian optimization. However, the time complexity of GP scales cubically with respect to the number of observed model outputs, and GP does not scale well with large parameter dimension either. Consequently, it has been challenging for GP to optimize black-box models that need to query many observations and/or have many parameters. To overcome the drawbacks of GP, in this study, we propose a general Bayesian optimization algorithm that employs a Neural Process (NP) as the surrogate model to perform black-box model optimization, namely, Neural Process for Bayesian Optimization (NPBO). In order to validate the benefits of NPBO, we compare NPBO with four benchmark approaches on a power system parameter optimization problem and a series of seven benchmark Bayesian optimization problems. The results show that the proposed NPBO performs better than the other four benchmark approaches on the power system parameter optimization problem and competitively on the seven benchmark problems. read more

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