Constrained Bayesian Optimization with Noisy Experiments

Bayesian Analysis 2018

By: Ben Letham, Brian Karrer, Guilherme Ottoni, Eytan Bakshy


Randomized experiments are the gold standard for evaluating the effects of changes to real-world systems. Data in these tests may be difficult to collect and outcomes may have high variance, resulting in potentially large measurement error. Bayesian optimization is a promising technique for efficiently optimizing multiple continuous parameters, but existing approaches degrade in performance when the noise level is high, limiting its applicability to many randomized experiments. We derive an expression for expected improvement under greedy batch optimization with noisy observations and noisy constraints, and develop a quasi-Monte Carlo approximation that allows it to be efficiently optimized. Simulations with synthetic functions show that optimization performance on noisy, constrained problems outperforms existing methods. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of the method with two real-world experiments conducted at Facebook: optimizing a ranking system, and optimizing server compiler flags.