Wang, Songhao & Meng Qun & Ng, Szu. Combined Global and Local Search for Optimization with Gaussian Process Models.
Gaussian process (GP) model based optimization is widely applied in simulation and machine learning. In general, it first estimates a GP model based on a few observations from the true response and then employs this model to guide the search, aiming to quickly locate the global optimum. Despite its successful applications, it has several limitations that may hinder its broader usage. First, building an accurate GP model can be difficult and computationally expensive, especially when the response function is multi-modal or varies significantly over the design space. Second, even with an appropriate model, the search process can be trapped in suboptimal regions before moving to the global optimum due to the excessive effort spent around the current best solution. In this work, we adopt the Additive Global and Local GP (AGLGP) model in the optimization framework. The model is rooted in the inducing-points-based GP sparse approximations and is combined with independent local models in different regions. With these properties, the AGLGP model is suitable for multi-modal responses with relatively large data sizes. Based on this AGLGP model, we propose a Combined Global and Local search for Optimization (CGLO) algorithm. It first divides the whole design space into disjoint local regions and identifies a promising region with the global model. Next, a local model in the selected region is fit to guide detailed search within this region. The algorithm then switches back to the global step when a good local solution is found. The global and local natures of CGLO enable it to enjoy the benefits of both global and local search to efficiently locate the global optimum.