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Near-linear Time Gaussian Process Optimization with Adaptive Batching and Resparsification

by   Daniele Calandriello, et al.

Gaussian processes (GP) are one of the most successful frameworks to model uncertainty. However, GP optimization (e.g., GP-UCB) suffers from major scalability issues. Experimental time grows linearly with the number of evaluations, unless candidates are selected in batches (e.g., using GP-BUCB) and evaluated in parallel. Furthermore, computational cost is often prohibitive since algorithms such as GP-BUCB require a time at least quadratic in the number of dimensions and iterations to select each batch. In this paper, we introduce BBKB (Batch Budgeted Kernel Bandits), the first no-regret GP optimization algorithm that provably runs in near-linear time and selects candidates in batches. This is obtained with a new guarantee for the tracking of the posterior variances that allows BBKB to choose increasingly larger batches, improving over GP-BUCB. Moreover, we show that the same bound can be used to adaptively delay costly updates to the sparse GP approximation used by BBKB, achieving a near-constant per-step amortized cost. These findings are then confirmed in several experiments, where BBKB is much faster than state-of-the-art methods.


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