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Constrained Bayesian Optimization with Noisy Experiments

Benjamin Letham, Brian Karrer, Guilherme Ottoni, Eytan Bakshy

Randomized experiments are the gold standard for evaluating the effects of changes to real-world systems, including Internet services. 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 optimizing multiple continuous parameters for field experiments, but existing approaches degrade in performance when the noise level is high. We derive an exact 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. Experiments 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 experiments conducted at Facebook: optimizing a production ranking system, and optimizing web server compiler flags.

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