The limitation of neural nets for approximation and optimization

We are interested in assessing the use of neural networks as surrogate models to approximate and minimize objective functions in optimization problems. While neural networks are widely used for machine learning tasks such as classification and regression, their application in solving optimization problems has been limited. Our study begins by determining the best activation function … Read more

Full-low evaluation methods for bound and linearly constrained derivative-free optimization

Derivative-free optimization (DFO) consists in finding the best value of an objective function without relying on derivatives. To tackle such problems, one may build approximate derivatives, using for instance finite-difference estimates. One may also design algorithmic strategies that perform space exploration and seek improvement over the current point. The first type of strategy often provides … Read more

Full-low evaluation methods for derivative-free optimization

We propose a new class of rigorous methods for derivative-free optimization with the aim of delivering efficient and robust numerical performance for functions of all types, from smooth to non-smooth, and under different noise regimes. To this end, we have developed Full-Low Evaluation methods, organized around two main types of iterations. The first iteration type … Read more