A simple parameter-free and adaptive approach to optimization under a minimal local smoothness assumption

Peter L. Bartlett, Victor Gabillon, Michal Valko
; Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory, PMLR 98:184-206, 2019.

Abstract

We study the problem of optimizing a function under a \emph{budgeted number of evaluations}. We only assume that the function is \emph{locally} smooth around one of its global optima. The difficulty of optimization is measured in terms of 1) the amount of \emph{noise} $b$ of the function evaluation and 2) the local smoothness, $d$, of the function. A smaller $d$ results in smaller optimization error. We come with a new, simple, and parameter-free approach. First, for all values of $b$ and $d$, this approach recovers at least the state-of-the-art regret guarantees. Second, our approach additionally obtains these results while being \textit{agnostic} to the values of both $b$ and $d$. This leads to the first algorithm that naturally adapts to an \textit{unknown} range of noise $b$ and leads to significant improvements in a moderate and low-noise regime. Third, our approach also obtains a remarkable improvement over the state-of-the-art SOO algorithm when the noise is very low which includes the case of optimization under deterministic feedback ($b=0$). There, under our minimal local smoothness assumption, this improvement is of exponential magnitude and holds for a class of functions that covers the vast majority of functions that practitioners optimize ($d=0$). We show that our algorithmic improvement is borne out in experiments as we empirically show faster convergence on common benchmarks.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v98-bartlett19a, title = {A simple parameter-free and adaptive approach to optimization under a minimal local smoothness assumption}, author = {Bartlett, Peter L. and Gabillon, Victor and Valko, Michal}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory}, pages = {184--206}, year = {2019}, editor = {Aurélien Garivier and Satyen Kale}, volume = {98}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, address = {Chicago, Illinois}, month = {22--24 Mar}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v98/bartlett19a/bartlett19a.pdf}, url = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v98/bartlett19a.html}, abstract = {We study the problem of optimizing a function under a \emph{budgeted number of evaluations}. We only assume that the function is \emph{locally} smooth around one of its global optima. The difficulty of optimization is measured in terms of 1) the amount of \emph{noise} $b$ of the function evaluation and 2) the local smoothness, $d$, of the function. A smaller $d$ results in smaller optimization error. We come with a new, simple, and parameter-free approach. First, for all values of $b$ and $d$, this approach recovers at least the state-of-the-art regret guarantees. Second, our approach additionally obtains these results while being \textit{agnostic} to the values of both $b$ and $d$. This leads to the first algorithm that naturally adapts to an \textit{unknown} range of noise $b$ and leads to significant improvements in a moderate and low-noise regime. Third, our approach also obtains a remarkable improvement over the state-of-the-art SOO algorithm when the noise is very low which includes the case of optimization under deterministic feedback ($b=0$). There, under our minimal local smoothness assumption, this improvement is of exponential magnitude and holds for a class of functions that covers the vast majority of functions that practitioners optimize ($d=0$). We show that our algorithmic improvement is borne out in experiments as we empirically show faster convergence on common benchmarks.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T A simple parameter-free and adaptive approach to optimization under a minimal local smoothness assumption %A Peter L. Bartlett %A Victor Gabillon %A Michal Valko %B Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2019 %E Aurélien Garivier %E Satyen Kale %F pmlr-v98-bartlett19a %I PMLR %J Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %P 184--206 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press %V 98 %W PMLR %X We study the problem of optimizing a function under a \emph{budgeted number of evaluations}. We only assume that the function is \emph{locally} smooth around one of its global optima. The difficulty of optimization is measured in terms of 1) the amount of \emph{noise} $b$ of the function evaluation and 2) the local smoothness, $d$, of the function. A smaller $d$ results in smaller optimization error. We come with a new, simple, and parameter-free approach. First, for all values of $b$ and $d$, this approach recovers at least the state-of-the-art regret guarantees. Second, our approach additionally obtains these results while being \textit{agnostic} to the values of both $b$ and $d$. This leads to the first algorithm that naturally adapts to an \textit{unknown} range of noise $b$ and leads to significant improvements in a moderate and low-noise regime. Third, our approach also obtains a remarkable improvement over the state-of-the-art SOO algorithm when the noise is very low which includes the case of optimization under deterministic feedback ($b=0$). There, under our minimal local smoothness assumption, this improvement is of exponential magnitude and holds for a class of functions that covers the vast majority of functions that practitioners optimize ($d=0$). We show that our algorithmic improvement is borne out in experiments as we empirically show faster convergence on common benchmarks.
APA
Bartlett, P.L., Gabillon, V. & Valko, M.. (2019). A simple parameter-free and adaptive approach to optimization under a minimal local smoothness assumption. Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory, in PMLR 98:184-206

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