Bayesian Optimisation vs. Input Uncertainty Reduction

by   Juan Ungredda, et al.

Simulators often require calibration inputs estimated from real world data and the quality of the estimate can significantly affect simulation output. Particularly when performing simulation optimisation to find an optimal solution, the uncertainty in the inputs significantly affects the quality of the found solution. One remedy is to search for the solution that has the best performance on average over the uncertain range of inputs yielding an optimal compromise solution. We consider the more general setting where a user may choose between either running simulations or instead collecting real world data. A user may choose an input and a solution and observe the simulation output, or instead query an external data source improving the input estimate enabling the search for a more focused, less compromised solution. We explicitly examine the trade-off between simulation and real data collection in order to find the optimal solution of the simulator with the true inputs. Using a value of information procedure, we propose a novel unified simulation optimisation procedure called Bayesian Information Collection and Optimisation (BICO) that, in each iteration, automatically determines which of the two actions (running simulations or data collection) is more beneficial. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is able to automatically determine an appropriate balance between optimisation and data collection.



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