Improving the scalability of model-based derivative-free optimization [slides available]


Derivative-free optimization (DFO) methods are an important class of optimization routines for many problems in data science, such as hyperparameter optimization and adversarial attacks for neural networks. However, in model-based DFO methods, the computational cost of constructing local models and Lagrange polynomials can be high. As a result, these algorithms are not as suitable for large-scale problems as derivative-based methods. In this talk, I will introduce a derivative-free method based on exploration of random subspaces, suitable for nonlinear least-squares problems. This method has a substantially reduced computational cost (in terms of linear algebra), while still making progress using few objective evaluations. I will also discuss how this approach may be extended to DFO for general nonlinear optimization problems.

11 Dec 2019
University of Newcastle
Lindon Roberts

My research is in numerical analysis, particularly nonconvex and derivative-free optimization.