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Benchmark experiments are required to test, compare, tune, and understand optimization algorithms. Ideally, benchmark problems closely reflect real-world problem behavior. Yet, real-world problems are not always readily available for benchmarking. For example, evaluation costs may be too high, or resources are unavailable (e.g., software or equipment). As a solution, data from previous evaluations can be used to train surrogate models which are then used for benchmarking. The goal is to generate test functions on which the performance of an algorithm is similar to that on the real-world objective function. However, predictions from data-driven models tend to be smoother than the ground-truth from which the training data is derived. This is especially problematic when the training data becomes sparse. The resulting benchmarks may not reflect the landscape features of the ground-truth, are too easy, and may lead to biased conclusions.
To resolve this, we use simulation of Gaussian processes instead of estimation (or prediction). This retains the covariance properties estimated during model training. While previous research suggested a decomposition-based approach for a small-scale, discrete problem, we show that the spectral simulation method enables simulation for continuous optimization problems. In a set of experiments with an artificial ground-truth, we demonstrate that this yields more accurate benchmarks than simply predicting with the Gaussian process model.

Many black-box optimization problems rely on simulations to evaluate the quality of candidate solutions. These evaluations can be computationally expensive and very time-consuming. We present and approach to mitigate this problem by taking into consideration two factors: The number of evaluations and the execution time. We aim to keep the number of evaluations low by using Bayesian optimization (BO) – known to be sample efficient– and to reduce wall-clock times by executing parallel evaluations. Four parallelization methods using BO as optimizer are compared against the inherently parallel CMA-ES. Each method is evaluated on all the 24 objective functions of the Black-Box-Optimization-Benchmarking test suite in their 20-dimensional versions. The results show that parallelized BO outperforms the state-of-the-art CMA-ES on most of the test functions, also on higher dimensions.

An important class of black-box optimization problems relies on using simulations to assess the quality of a given candidate solution. Solving such problems can be computationally expensive because each simulation is very time-consuming. We present an approach to mitigate this problem by distinguishing two factors of computational cost: the number of trials and the time needed to execute the trials. Our approach tries to keep down the number of trials by using Bayesian optimization (BO) –known to be sample efficient– and reducing wall-clock times by parallel execution of trials. We compare the performance of four parallelization methods and two model-free alternatives. Each method is evaluated on all 24 objective functions of the Black-Box-Optimization- Benchmarking (BBOB) test suite in their five, ten, and 20-dimensional versions. Additionally, their performance is investigated on six test cases in robot learning. The results show that parallelized BO outperforms the state-of-the-art CMA-ES on the BBOB test functions, especially for higher dimensions. On the robot learning tasks, the differences are less clear, but the data do support parallelized BO as the ‘best guess’, winning on some cases and never losing.

Surrogate-based optimization relies on so-called infill criteria (acquisition functions) to decide which point to evaluate next. When Kriging is used as the surrogate model of choice (also called Bayesian optimization), one of the most frequently chosen criteria is expected improvement. We argue that the popularity of expected improvement largely relies on its theoretical properties rather than empirically validated performance. Few results from the literature show evidence, that under certain conditions, expected improvement may perform worse than something as simple as the predicted value of the surrogate model. We benchmark both infill criteria in an extensive empirical study on the ‘BBOB’ function set. This investigation includes a detailed study of the impact of problem dimensionality on algorithm performance. The results support the hypothesis that exploration loses importance with increasing problem dimensionality. A statistical analysis reveals that the purely exploitative search with the predicted value criterion performs better on most problems of five or higher dimensions. Possible reasons for these results are discussed. In addition, we give an in-depth guide for choosing the infill criteria based on prior knowledge about the problem at hand, its dimensionality, and the available budget.

Real-world problems such as computational fluid dynamics simulations and finite element analyses are computationally expensive. A standard approach to mitigating the high computational expense is Surrogate-Based Optimization (SBO). Yet, due to the high-dimensionality of many simulation problems, SBO is not directly applicable or not efficient. Reducing the dimensionality of the search space is one method to overcome this limitation. In addition to the applicability of SBO, dimensionality reduction enables easier data handling and improved data and model interpretability. Regularization is considered as one state-of-the-art technique for dimensionality reduction. We propose a hybridization approach called Regularized-Surrogate-Optimization (RSO) aimed at overcoming difficulties related to high-dimensionality. It couples standard Kriging-based SBO with regularization techniques. The employed regularization methods are based on three adaptations of the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO). In addition, tree-based methods are analyzed as an alternative variable selection method. An extensive study is performed on a set of artificial test functions and two real-world applications: the electrostatic precipitator problem and a multilayered composite design problem. Experiments reveal that RSO requires significantly less time than standard SBO to obtain comparable results. The pros and cons of the RSO approach are discussed, and recommendations for practitioners are presented.

We propose a hybridization approach called Regularized-Surrogate- Optimization (RSO) aimed at overcoming difficulties related to high- dimensionality. It combines standard Kriging-based SMBO with regularization techniques. The employed regularization methods use the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO). An extensive study is performed on a set of artificial test functions and two real-world applications: the electrostatic precipitator problem and a multilayered composite design problem. Experiments reveal that RSO requires significantly less time than Kriging to obtain comparable results. The pros and cons of the RSO approach are discussed and recommendations for practitioners are presented.

This survey compiles ideas and recommendations from more than a dozen researchers with different backgrounds and from different institutes around the world. Promoting best practice in benchmarking is its main goal. The article discusses eight essential topics in benchmarking: clearly stated goals, well- specified problems, suitable algorithms, adequate performance measures, thoughtful analysis, effective and efficient designs, comprehensible presentations, and guaranteed reproducibility. The final goal is to provide well-accepted guidelines (rules) that might be useful for authors and reviewers. As benchmarking in optimization is an active and evolving field of research this manuscript is meant to co-evolve over time by means of periodic updates.

This paper introduces CAAI, a novel cognitive architecture for artificial intelligence in cyber-physical production systems. The goal of the architecture is to reduce the implementation effort for the usage of artificial intelligence algorithms. The core of the CAAI is a cognitive module that processes declarative goals of the user, selects suitable models and algorithms, and creates a configuration for the execution of a processing pipeline on a big data platform. Constant observation and evaluation against performance criteria assess the performance of pipelines for many and varying use cases. Based on these evaluations, the pipelines are automatically adapted if necessary. The modular design with well-defined interfaces enables the reusability and extensibility of pipeline components. A big data platform implements this modular design supported by technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Kafka for virtualization and orchestration of the individual components and their communication. The implementation of the architecture is evaluated using a real-world use case.

This volume is a collection of thoughts and ideas around the concepts of resilience and vulnerability related to their application in the context of disaster risk. Each of the chapters can be classified as an essay, a working paper, or simply as a think piece. Irrespective of different contexts and themes they are united as they represent efforts to grasp the elusive concepts of vulnerability, resilience, exposure, risk in context of natural hazards or wilful destruction and the potential disasters these may cause. One further common feature of these pieces put together in this volume is that they were never really became known and acknowledged. Most of these writings, or versions thereof have never been published in printed media. They all originate from the period between 2008 and 2018. Some of these “early thoughts” might have been premature then. We speculate however, that in light of the present state of the international scientific discourse in the respective area and the ever flourishing conceptual debates around vulnerability and resilience some of the ideas found in these “hidden essays” may trigger second thoughts and hence could enliven the present debates. Thus next to be the historical documentation of what has been pondered on a decade ago, some scientific follow up may occur.

A pension system is resilient if it able to absorb external (temporal) shocks and if it is able to adapt to (longterm) shifts of the socio-economic environment. Defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution pension plans behave contrastingly with respect to capital market shocks and shifts: while DB-plan benefits are not affected by external shocks they totally lack adaptability with respect to fundamental changes; DC-plans automatically adjust to a changing environment but any external shock has a direct impact on the (expected) pensions. By adding a collective component to DC-plans one can make these collective DC (CDC)-plans shock absorbing - at least to a certain degree. In our CDC pension model we build a collective reserve of assets that serves as a buffer to capital market shocks, e.g. stock market crashes. The idea is to transfer money from the collective reserve to the individual pension accounts whenever capital markets slump and to feed the collective reserve whenever capital market are booming. This mechanism is particular valuable for age cohorts that are close to retirement. It is clear that withdrawing assets from or adding assets to the collective reserve is essentially a transfer of assets between the age cohorts. In our near reality model we investigate the effect of stock market shocks and interest rate (and mortality) shifts on a CDC- pension system. We are particularly interested in the question, to what extend a CDC-pension system is actually able to absorb shocks and whether the intergenerational transfer of assets via the collective reserve can be regarded as fair.

The availability of several CPU cores on current computers enables
parallelization and increases the computational power significantly.
Optimization algorithms have to be adapted to exploit these highly
parallelized systems and evaluate multiple candidate solutions in
each iteration. This issue is especially challenging for expensive
optimization problems, where surrogate models are employed to
reduce the load of objective function evaluations.
This paper compares different approaches for surrogate modelbased
optimization in parallel environments. Additionally, an easy
to use method, which was developed for an industrial project, is
proposed. All described algorithms are tested with a variety of
standard benchmark functions. Furthermore, they are applied to
a real-world engineering problem, the electrostatic precipitator
problem. Expensive computational fluid dynamics simulations are
required to estimate the performance of the precipitator. The task
is to optimize a gas-distribution system so that a desired velocity
distribution is achieved for the gas flow throughout the precipitator.
The vast amount of possible configurations leads to a complex
discrete valued optimization problem. The experiments indicate
that a hybrid approach works best, which proposes candidate solutions
based on different surrogate model-based infill criteria and
evolutionary operators.

Modelling Zero-inflated Rainfall Data through the Use of Gaussian Process and Bayesian Regression
(2018)

Rainfall is a key parameter for understanding the water cycle. An accurate rainfall measurement is vital in the development of hydrological models. By means of indirect measurement, satellites can nowadays estimate the rainfall around the world. However, these measurements are not always accurate. As a first approach to generate a bias-corrected rainfall estimate using satellite data, the performance of Gaussian process and Bayesian regression is studied. The results show Gaussian process as the better option for this dataset but leave place to improvements on both modelling strategies.

Surrogate-based optimization and nature-inspired metaheuristics have become the state of the art in solving real-world optimization problems. Still, it is difficult for beginners and even experts to get an overview that explains their advantages in comparison to the large number of available methods in the scope of continuous optimization. Available taxonomies lack the integration of surrogate-based approaches and thus their embedding in the larger context of this broad field.
This article presents a taxonomy of the field, which further matches the idea of nature-inspired algorithms, as it is based on the human behavior in path finding. Intuitive analogies make it easy to conceive the most basic principles of the search algorithms, even for beginners and non-experts in this area of research. However, this scheme does not oversimplify the high complexity of the different algorithms, as the class identifier only defines a descriptive meta-level of the algorithm search strategies. The taxonomy was established by exploring and matching algorithm schemes, extracting similarities and differences, and creating a set of classification indicators to distinguish between five distinct classes. In practice, this taxonomy allows recommendations for the applicability of the corresponding algorithms and helps developers trying to create or improve their own algorithms.

In the present paper a calculation tool for the lifetime prediction of composite materials with focus on local multiaxial
stress states and different local stress ratios within each lamina is developed. The approach is based on repetitiv, progressive in-plane stress calculations using classical laminate theory with subsequent analysis of the material stressing effort and use of appropriate material degradation models. Therefore experimentally data of S-N curves are
used to generate anistropic constant life diagrams for a closer examination of critical fracture planes under any given combination of local stress ratios. The model is verified against various balanced angle plies and multi-directional
laminates with arbitrary stacking sequences and varying stress ratios throughout the analysis. Different sections of the
model, such as residual strength and residual stiffness, are examined and verified over a wide range of load cycles. The obtained results agree very well with the analyzed experimental data.

Architecural aproaches are considered to simplify the generation of re-usable building blocks in the field of data warehousing. While SAP’s Layer Scalable Architecure (LSA) offers a reference model for creating data warehousing infrastructure based on SAP software, extented reference models are needed to guide the integration of SAP and non-SAP tools. Therefore, SAP’s LSA is compared to the Data Warehouse Architectural Reference Model (DWARM), which aims to cover the classical data warehouse topologies.

Increasing computational power and the availability of 3D printers provide new tools for the combination of modeling and experimentation. Several simulation tools can be run independently and in parallel, e.g., long running computational fluid dynamics simulations can be accompanied by experiments with 3D printers. Furthermore, results from analytical and data-driven models can be incorporated. However, there are fundamental differences between these modeling approaches: some models, e.g., analytical models, use domain knowledge, whereas data-driven models do not require any information about the underlying processes.
At the same time, data-driven models require input and output data, but analytical models do not. Combining results from models with different input-output structures might improve and accelerate the optimization process. The optimization via multimodel simulation (OMMS) approach, which is able to combine results from these different models, is introduced in this paper.
Using cyclonic dust separators as a real-world simulation problem, the feasibility of this approach is demonstrated and a proof-of-concept is presented. Cyclones are popular devices used to filter dust from the emitted flue gases. They are applied as pre-filters in many industrial processes including energy production and grain processing facilities. Pros and cons of this multimodel optimization approach are discussed and experiences from experiments are presented.

Surrogate-assisted optimization has proven to be very successful if applied to industrial problems. The use of a data-driven surrogate model of an objective function during an optimization cycle has many bene ts, such as being cheap to evaluate and further providing both information about the objective landscape and the parameter space. In preliminary work, it was researched how surrogate-assisted optimization can help to optimize the structure of a neural network (NN) controller. In this work, we will focus on how surrogates can help to improve the direct learning process of a transparent feed-forward neural network controller. As an initial case study we will consider a manageable real-world control task: the elevator supervisory group problem (ESGC) using a simplified simulation model. We use this model as a benchmark which should indicate the applicability and performance of surrogate-assisted optimization to this kind of tasks. While the optimization process itself is in this case not onsidered expensive, the results show that surrogate-assisted optimization is capable of outperforming metaheuristic optimization methods for a low number of evaluations. Further the surrogate can be used for signi cance analysis of the inputs and weighted connections to further exploit problem information.

The performance of optimization algorithms relies crucially on their parameterizations. Finding good parameter settings is called algorithm tuning. Using
a simple simulated annealing algorithm, we will demonstrate how optimization algorithms can be tuned using the Sequential Parameter Optimization Toolbox (SPOT). SPOT provides several tools for automated and interactive tuning. The underlying concepts of the SPOT approach are explained. This includes key techniques such as exploratory fitness landscape analysis and response surface methodology. Many examples illustrate
how SPOT can be used for understanding the performance of algorithms and gaining insight into algorithm behavior. Furthermore, we demonstrate how SPOT can be used as an optimizer and how a sophisticated ensemble approach is able to combine several meta models via stacking.

To maximize the throughput of a hot rolling mill,
the number of passes has to be reduced. This can be achieved by maximizing the thickness reduction in each pass. For this purpose, exact predictions of roll force and torque are required. Hence, the predictive models that describe the physical behavior of the product have to be accurate and cover a wide range of different materials.
Due to market requirements a lot of new materials are tested and rolled. If these materials are chosen to be rolled more often, a suitable flow curve has to be established. It is not reasonable to determine those flow curves in laboratory, because of costs and time. A strong demand for quick parameter determination and the optimization of flow curve parameter with minimum costs is the logical consequence. Therefore parameter estimation and the optimization with real data, which were collected during previous runs, is a promising idea. Producers benefit from this data-driven approach and receive a huge gain in flexibility when rolling new
materials, optimizing current production, and increasing quality. This concept would also allow to optimize flow curve parameters, which have already been treated by standard methods. In this article, a new data-driven approach for predicting the physical behavior of the product and setting important parameters is presented.
We demonstrate how the prediction quality of the roll force and roll torque can be optimized sustainably. This offers the opportunity to continuously increase the workload in each pass to the theoretical maximum while product quality and process stability can also be improved.