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# Ada-BKB: Scalable Gaussian Process Optimization on Continuous Domains by Adaptive Discretization

*Proceedings of The 25th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 151:7320-7348, 2022.

#### Abstract

Gaussian process optimization is a successful class of algorithms(e.g. GP-UCB) to optimize a black-box function through sequential evaluations. However, for functions with continuous domains, Gaussian process optimization has to rely on either a fixed discretization of the space, or the solution of a non-convex ptimization subproblem at each evaluation. The first approach can negatively affect performance, while the second approach requires a heavy computational burden. A third option, only recently theoretically studied, is to adaptively discretize the function domain. Even though this approach avoids the extra non-convex optimization costs, the overall computational complexity is still prohibitive. An algorithm such as GP-UCB has a runtime of $O(T^4)$, where $T$ is the number of iterations. In this paper, we introduce Ada-BKB (Adaptive Budgeted Kernelized Bandit), a no-regret Gaussian process optimization algorithm for functions on continuous domains, that provably runs in $O(T^2 d_\text{eff}^2)$, where $d_\text{eff}$ is the effective dimension of the explored space, and which is typically much smaller than $T$. We corroborate our theoretical findings with experiments on synthetic non-convex functions and on the real-world problem of hyper-parameter optimization, confirming the good practical performances of the proposed approach.