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Activity Number: 616 - Multidisciplinary Advances in Computing
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 1, 2019 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Computing
Abstract #307340 Presentation
Title: Distance-Distributed Design for Gaussian Process Surrogates
Author(s): Boya Zhang* and Robert Gramacy
Companies: Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech
Keywords: Computer experiment; emulator; experimental design; sequential design; lengthscale; kriging

A common challenge in computer experiments and related fields is to efficiently explore the input space using a small number of samples. Much of the recent focus in the computer experiment literature has been on space-filling designs, where modeling is often via Gaussian process (GP) surrogates, via maximin distance, Latin hypercube, etc. However, it is easy to demonstrate empirically that such designs disappoint when the model hyperparameterization is unknown, and must be estimated from data observed at the chosen design sites. This is true even when the performance metric is prediction-based, or when the target of interest is inherently or eventually sequential in nature, such as in blackbox (Bayesian) optimization. Here we expose such inefficiencies, showing that in many cases purely random design is superior to higher-powered alternatives. We then propose a family of new schemes by reverse engineering the qualities of the random designs which give the best estimates of GP lengthscales. Specifically, we study the distribution of pairwise distances between design elements, and develop a numerical scheme to optimize those distances for a given sample size and dimension.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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