The cosine measure relative to a subspace

The cosine measure was introduced in 2003 to quantify the richness of a finite positive spanning sets of directions in the context of derivative-free directional methods. A positive spanning set is a set of vectors whose nonnegative linear combinations span the whole space. The present work extends the definition of cosine measure. In particular, the … Read more

Hierarchically constrained multi-fidelity blackbox optimization

This work introduces a novel multi-fidelity blackbox optimization algorithm designed to alleviate the resource-intensive task of evaluating infeasible points. This algorithm is an intermediary component bridging a direct search solver and a blackbox, resulting in reduced computation time per evaluation, all while preserving the efficiency and convergence properties of the chosen solver. This is made … Read more

A general mathematical framework for constrained mixed-variable blackbox optimization problems with meta and categorical variables

A mathematical framework for modelling constrained mixed-variable optimization problems is presented in a blackbox optimization context. The framework introduces a new notation and allows solution strategies. The notation framework allows meta and categorical variables to be explicitly and efficiently modelled, which facilitates the solution of such problems. The new term meta variables is used to … Read more

Hierarchically constrained blackbox optimization

In blackbox optimization, evaluation of the objective and constraint functions is time consuming. In some situations, constraint values may be evaluated independently or sequentially. The present work proposes and compares two strategies to define a hierarchical ordering of the constraints and to interrupt the evaluation process at a trial point when it is detected that … Read more

The equilateral small octagon of maximal width

A small polygon is a polygon of unit diameter. The maximal width of an equilateral small polygon with $n=2^s$ vertices is not known when $s \ge 3$. This paper solves the first open case and finds the optimal equilateral small octagon. Its width is approximately $3.24\%$ larger than the width of the regular octagon: $\cos(\pi/8)$. … Read more

Quantifying uncertainty with ensembles of surrogates for blackbox optimization

This work is in the context of blackbox optimization where the functions defining the problem are expensive to evaluate and where no derivatives are available. A tried and tested technique is to build surrogates of the objective and the constraints in order to conduct the optimization at a cheaper computational cost. This work proposes different … Read more

Tight bounds on the maximal perimeter of convex equilateral small polygons

A small polygon is a polygon of unit diameter. The maximal perimeter of a convex equilateral small polygon with $n=2^s$ vertices is not known when $s \ge 4$. In this paper, we construct a family of convex equilateral small $n$-gons, $n=2^s$ and $s \ge 4$, and show that their perimeters are within $\pi^4/n^4 + O(1/n^5)$ … Read more

NOMAD version 4: Nonlinear optimization with the MADS algorithm

NOMAD is software for optimizing blackbox problems. In continuous development since 2001, it constantly evolved with the integration of new algorithmic features published in scientific publications. These features are motivated by real applications encountered by industrial partners. The latest major release of NOMAD, version 3, dates from 2008. Minor releases are produced as new features … Read more

Two decades of blackbox optimization applications

This work reviews blackbox optimization applications over the last twenty years, addressed using direct search optimization methods. Emphasis is placed on the Mesh Adaptive Direct Search (MADS) derivative-free optimization algorithm. The core of the document describes applications in three specific fields: Energy, materials science, and computational engineering design. Other applications in science and engineering as … Read more

Optimization of noisy blackboxes with adaptive precision

In derivative-free and blackbox optimization, the objective function is often evaluated through the execution of a computer program seen as a blackbox. It can be noisy, in the sense that its outputs are contaminated by random errors. Sometimes, the source of these errors is identified and controllable, in the sense that it is possible to … Read more