Decision trees usefully represent the sparse, high dimensional and noisy nature of chemical data from experiments. Having learned a function from this data, we may want to thereafter optimise the function, e.g. for picking the best catalyst for a chemical process. This work studies a mixed-integer non-linear optimisation problem involving: (i) gradient boosted trees modelling catalyst behaviour, (ii) penalty functions mitigating risk, and (iii) penalties enforcing chemical composition constraints. We develop several heuristic methods to find feasible solutions, and an exact, branch and bound algorithm that leverages structural properties of the gradient boost trees and penalty functions. We computationally test our methods on an industrial instance from BASF.
This work was completed in collaboration with Mr Miten Mistry and Dr Dimitris Letsios at Imperial College London and Dr Robert Lee and Dr Gerhard Krennrich from BASF.
- Computational Mathematics and Applications Seminar