Jun 14, 2019

Gaussian processes (GP) are a popular Bayesian approach for the optimization of black-box functions. Despite their effectiveness in simple problems, GP-based algorithms hardly scale to complex high-dimensional functions, as their per-iteration time and space cost is at least quadratic in the number of dimensions $d$ and iterations~$t$. Given a set of $A$ alternative to choose from, the overall runtime $O(t^3A)$ quickly becomes prohibitive. In this paper, we introduce BKB (budgeted kernelized bandit), an approximate GP algorithm for optimization under bandit feedback that achieves near-optimal regret (and hence near-optimal convergence rate) with near-constant per-iteration complexity and no assumption on the input space or the GP’s covariance. Combining a kernelized linear bandit algorithm (GP-UCB) with randomized matrix sketching technique (i.e., leverage score sampling), we prove that selecting inducing points based on their posterior variance gives an accurate low-rank approximation of the GP, preserving variance estimates and confidence intervals. As a consequence, BKB does not suffer from variance starvation, an important problem faced by many previous sparse GP approximations. Moreover, we show that our procedure selects at most $\widetilde{O}(d_{eff})$ points, where $d_{eff}$ is the \emph{effective} dimension of the explored space, which is typically much smaller than both $d$ and $t$. This greatly reduces the dimensionality of the problem, thus leading to a $\widetilde{O}(TAd_{eff}^2)$ runtime and $\widetilde{O}(A d_{eff})$ space complexity.

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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