Preferential Heteroscedastic Bayesian Optimization with Informative Noise Priors

Published: 27 Oct 2023, Last Modified: 22 Dec 2023RealML-2023EveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: preferential Bayesian optimization, heteroscedastic noise
TL;DR: We introduce heteroscedastic noise in Preferential Bayesian Optimization to better handle the noisy and changing behavior of human comparisons
Abstract: Preferential Bayesian optimization (PBO) is a sample-efficient framework for optimizing a black-box function by utilizing human preferences between two candidate solutions as a proxy. Conventional PBO relies on homoscedastic noise to model human preference structure. However, such noise fails to accurately capture the varying levels of human aleatoric uncertainty among different pairs of candidates. For instance, a chemist with solid expertise in glucose-related molecules may easily compare two compounds and struggle for alcohol-related molecules. Furthermore, PBO ignores this uncertainty when searching for a new candidate, consequently underestimating the risk associated with human uncertainty. To address this, we propose heteroscedastic noise models to learn human preference structure. Moreover, we integrate the preference structure with the acquisition functions that account for aleatoric uncertainty. The noise models assign noise based on the distance of a specific input to a predefined set of reliable inputs known as \emph{anchors}. We empirically evaluate the proposed approach on a range of synthetic black-box functions, demonstrating a consistent improvement over homoscedastic PBO.
Submission Number: 64