(Joint work with Coralia Cartis) The problem of finding the most extreme value of a function, also known as global optimization, is a challenging task. The difficulty is associated with the exponential increase in the computational time for a linear increase in the dimension. This is known as the ``curse of dimensionality''. In this talk, we demonstrate that such challenges can be overcome for functions with low effective dimensionality --- functions which are constant along certain linear subspaces. Such functions can often be found in applications, for example, in hyper-parameter optimization for neural networks, heuristic algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems and complex engineering simulations.
We propose the use of random subspace embeddings within a(ny) global minimisation algorithm, extending the approach in Wang et al. (2013). We introduce a new framework, called REGO (Random Embeddings for GO), which transforms the high-dimensional optimization problem into a low-dimensional one. In REGO, a new low-dimensional problem is formulated with bound constraints in the reduced space and solved with any GO solver. Using random matrix theory, we provide probabilistic bounds for the success of REGO, which indicate that this is dependent upon the dimension of the embedded subspace and the intrinsic dimension of the function, but independent of the ambient dimension. Numerical results demonstrate that high success rates can be achieved with only one embedding and that rates are for the most part invariant with respect to the ambient dimension of the problem.
- Numerical Analysis Group Internal Seminar