(624f) Exploiting High-Throughput Experiments in Bayesian Optimization | AIChE

(624f) Exploiting High-Throughput Experiments in Bayesian Optimization


Gonzalez, L. - Presenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Zavala, V., University of Wisconsin-Madison
High-throughput experimentation (HTE) has become a powerful approach for driving discovery in research domains that span large parameter spaces. Over the past decade, scientists in catalysis [1], pharmaceuticals [2], synthetic biology [3], and chemical engineering [4] have increasingly adopted the use of HTE platforms; such platforms permit experiments to be automated and run in parallel, significantly decreasing costs in terms of time and economics. However, due to the large number of variables involved, determining optimal conditions at which to perform these types of experiments is often an infeasible task for human researchers. As a result, many HTE labs rely on screening, a process where experiments are performed at points along a grid of the parameter space to identify potential candidate solutions [5]. While this approach has proven useful, coupling HTE with an effective design of experiments (DoE) strategy can greatly augment the capabilities of these platforms by reducing time and materials required to discover new formulations.

Bayesian optimization (BO) has proven to be one of the most effective machine learning (ML) algorithms for DoE [6]. BO is widely used in applications such as hyper-parameter tuning of ML models and reinforcement learning, and it has been shown to be a sample-efficient learning algorithm [7]. Of particular interest to researchers is the flexibility of BO; specifically, this approach is capable of accommodating both continuous and discrete parameters [8]. Unfortunately, the inherently sequential nature of BO makes it incompatible with DoE on HTE platforms. Ad-hoc modifications to the BO algorithm that would give it parallelization capabilities have been developed [9, 10, 11], and experimental results have demonstrated that these approaches can provide better performance than sequential BO [12]. However, these approaches are limited in the degree of parallelization that can be achieved, and can increase the complexity of the BO algorithm, making it slower and more difficult to implement.

In this work, we propose strategies for parallelizing BO algorithms and with this exploit HTE platforms. These strategies are centered around modifications to the optimization routine of the acquisition function (AF), which serves as the decision-making mechanism for BO. Our approaches are focused around new and effective ways for partitioning the parameter space, allowing the AF to select multiple sampling points in tandem; we then assign a module to explore and optimize a specified objective in each partition. By processing the obtained data into a central model that is shared with each module, we ensure that they are able to observe global rather than local trends which further improves and accelerates the optimization routine. The methods we propose are scalable to any desired number of experiments, fully parallel, and designed to prevent redundant sampling. We apply our approach to a case study for a chemical reactor network where the aim is to select the temperature of each reactor that will minimize the yearly operating cost of the system. In addition to sequential BO, we also compare the performance of our parallel BO algorithm with existing parallelization techniques found in the literature such as Hyperspace [13], NxMC [14], and AF optimization over a set of exploratory parameters [15].

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[12] M. Todd Young, Jacob D. Hinkle, Ramakrishnan Kannan, and Arvind Ramanathan. Distributed Bayesian optimization of reinforcement learning algorithms. Journal of the Parallel and Distributed Computing, 139(1):43–52, 2020.

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[14] Jasper Snoek, Hugo Larochelle, and Ryan P Adams. Practical Bayesian optimization of machine learning algorithms. In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, volume 25, pages 2951–2959. Curran Associates, Inc., 2012.

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