Detecting negative eigenvalues of exact and approximate Hessian matrices in optimization

Nonconvex minimization algorithms often benefit from the use of second-order information as represented by the Hessian matrix. When the Hessian at a critical point possesses negative eigenvalues, the corresponding eigenvectors can be used to search for further improvement in the objective function value. Computing such eigenpairs can be computationally challenging, particularly if the Hessian matrix … 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

Handling of constraints in multiobjective blackbox optimization

This work proposes the integration of two new constraint-handling approaches into the blackbox constrained multiobjective optimization algorithm DMulti-MADS, an extension of the Mesh Adaptive Direct Search (MADS) algorithm for single-objective constrained optimization. The constraints are aggregated into a single constraint violation function which is used either in a two-phase approach, where research of a feasible … 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

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

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

Determining the optimal piecewise constant approximation for the Nonhomogeneous Poisson Process rate of Emergency Department patient arrivals

Modeling the arrival process to an Emergency Department (ED) is the first step of all studies dealing with the patient flow within the ED. Many of them focus on the increasing phenomenon of ED overcrowding, which is afflicting hospitals all over the world. Since Discrete Event Simulation models are often adopted with the aim to … Read more

Constrained stochastic blackbox optimization using a progressive barrier and probabilistic estimates

This work introduces the StoMADS-PB algorithm for constrained stochastic blackbox optimization, which is an extension of the mesh adaptive direct-search (MADS) method originally developed for deterministic blackbox optimization under general constraints. The values of the objective and constraint functions are provided by a noisy blackbox, i.e., they can only be computed with random noise whose … 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

DMulti-MADS: Mesh adaptive direct multisearch for blackbox multiobjective optimization

The context of this research is multiobjective optimization where conflicting objectives are present. In this work, these objectives are only available as the outputs of a blackbox for which no derivative information is available. This work proposes a new extension of the mesh adaptive direct search (MADS) algorithm to constrained multiobjective derivative-free optimization. This method … Read more