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Multi-criteria optimization has gained increasing attention during the last decades. This article exemplifies multi-criteria features, which are implemented in the statistical software package SPOT. It describes related software packages such as mco and emoa and gives a comprehensive introduction to simple multi criteria optimization tasks. Several hands-on examples are used for illustration. The article is well-suited as a starting point for performing multi-criteria optimization tasks with SPOT.

An essential task for operation and planning of biogas plants is the optimization of substrate feed mixtures. Optimizing the monetary gain requires the determination of the exact amounts of maize, manure, grass silage, and other substrates. Accurate simulation models are mandatory for this optimization, because the underlying chemical processes are very slow. The simulation models themselves may be time-consuming to evaluate, hence we show how to use surrogate-model-based approaches to optimize biogas plants efficiently. In detail, a Kriging surrogate is employed. To improve model quality of this surrogate, we integrate cheaply available data into the optimization process. Doing so, Multi-fidelity modeling methods like Co-Kriging are employed. Furthermore, a two-layered modeling approach is employed to avoid deterioration of model quality due to discontinuities in the search space. At the same time, the cheaply available data is shown to be very useful for initialization of the employed optimization algorithms. Overall, we show how biogas plants can be efficiently modeled using data-driven methods, avoiding discontinuities as well as including cheaply available data. The application of the derived surrogate models to an optimization process is shown to be very difficult, yet successful for a lower problem dimension.

When designing or developing optimization algorithms, test functions are crucial to evaluate
performance. Often, test functions are not sufficiently difficult, diverse, flexible or relevant to real-world
applications. Previously,
test functions with real-world relevance were generated by training a machine learning model based on
real-world data. The model estimation is used as a test function.
We propose a more principled approach using simulation instead of estimation.
Thus, relevant and varied test functions
are created which represent the behavior of real-world fitness landscapes.
Importantly, estimation can lead to excessively smooth test functions
while simulation may avoid this pitfall. Moreover, the simulation
can be conditioned by the data, so that the simulation reproduces the training data
but features diverse behavior in unobserved regions of the search space.
The proposed test function generator is illustrated with an intuitive, one-dimensional
example. To demonstrate the utility of this approach it
is applied to a protein sequence optimization problem.
This application demonstrates the advantages as well as practical limits of simulation-based
test functions.

Formerly, multi-criteria optimization algorithms were often tested using tens of thousands function evaluations. In many real-world settings function evaluations are very costly or the available budget is very limited. Several methods were developed to solve these cost-extensive multi-criteria optimization problems by reducing the number of function evaluations by means of surrogate optimization. In this study, we apply different multi-criteria surrogate optimization methods to improve (tune) an event-detection software for water-quality monitoring. For tuning two important parameters of this software, four state-of-the-art methods are compared: S-Metric-Selection Efficient Global Optimization (SMS-EGO), S-Metric-Expected Improvement for Efficient Global Optimization SExI-EGO, Euclidean Distance based Expected Improvement Euclid-EI (here referred to as MEI-SPOT due to its implementation in the Sequential Parameter Optimization Toolbox SPOT) and a multi-criteria approach based on SPO (MSPOT). Analyzing the performance of the different methods provides insight into the working-mechanisms of cutting-edge multi-criteria solvers. As one of the approaches, namely MSPOT, does not consider the prediction variance of the surrogate model, it is of interest whether this can lead to premature convergence on the practical tuning problem. Furthermore, all four approaches will be compared to a simple SMS-EMOA to validate that the use of surrogate models is justified on this problem.

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.

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.

As the amount of data gathered by monitoring systems increases, using computational tools to analyze it becomes a necessity.
Machine learning algorithms can be used in both regression and classification problems, providing useful insights while avoiding the bias and proneness to errors of humans. In this paper, a specific kind of decision tree algorithm, called conditional inference tree, is used to extract relevant knowledge from data that pertains to electrical motors. The model is chosen due to its flexibility, strong statistical foundation, as well as great capabilities to generalize and cope with problems in the data. The obtained knowledge is organized in a structured way and then analyzed in the context of health condition monitoring. The final
results illustrate how the approach can be used to gain insight into the system and present the results in an understandable, user-friendly manner

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sensor placement for contaminant detection in water distribution systems (WDS) has become a topic of great interest aiming to secure a population's water supply. Several approaches can be found in the literature with differences ranging from the objective selected to optimize to the methods implemented to solve the optimization problem. In this work we aim to give an overview of the current work in sensor placement with focus on contaminant detection for WDS. We present some of the objectives for which the sensor placement problem is defined along with common optimization algorithms and Toolkits available to help with algorithm testing and comparison.

Drinking water supply and distribution systems are critical infrastructure that has to be well maintained for the safety of the public. One important tool in the maintenance of water distribution systems (WDS) is flushing. Flushing is a process carried out in a periodic fashion to clean sediments and other contaminants in the water pipes. Given the different topographies, water composition and supply demand between WDS no single flushing strategy is suitable for all of them. In this report a non-exhaustive overview of optimization methods for flushing in WDS is given. Implementation of optimization methods for the flushing procedure and the flushing planing are presented. Suggestions are given as a possible option to optimise existing flushing planing frameworks.

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.

In this paper we present a comparison of different data driven modeling methods. The first instance of a data driven linear Bayesian model is compared with several linear regression models, a Kriging model and a genetic programming model.
The models are build on industrial data for the development of a robust gas sensor.
The data contain limited amount of samples and a high variance.
The mean square error of the models implemented in a test dataset is used as the comparison strategy.
The results indicate that standard linear regression approaches as well as Kriging and GP show good results,
whereas the Bayesian approach, despite the fact that it requires additional resources, does not lead to improved results.

Verunreinigungen im Wassernetz können weite Teile der Bevölkerung unmittelbar gefährden. Gefahrenpotenziale bestehen dabei nicht nur durch mögliche kriminelle Handlungen und terroristische Anschläge. Auch Betriebsstörungen, Systemfehler und Naturkatastrophen können zu Verunreinigungen führen.

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.