High-Dimensional Bayesian Optimisation with Variational Autoencoders and Deep Metric Learning

Antoine Grosnit, Rasul Tutunov, Alexandre Max Maraval, Ryan-Rhys Griffiths, Alexander I. Cowen-Rivers, Lin Yang, Lin Zhu, Wenlong Lyu, Zhitang Chen, Jun Wang, Jan Peters, Haitham Bou-Ammar

We introduce a method based on deep metric learning to perform Bayesian optimisation over high-dimensional, structured input spaces using variational autoencoders (VAEs). By extending ideas from supervised deep metric learning, we address a longstanding problem in high-dimensional VAE Bayesian optimisation, namely how to enforce a discriminative latent space as an inductive bias. Importantly, we achieve such an inductive bias using just 1% of the available labelled data relative to previous work, highlighting the sample efficiency of our approach. As a theoretical contribution, we present a proof of vanishing regret for our method. As an empirical contribution, we present state-of-the-art results on real-world high-dimensional black-box optimisation problems including property-guided molecule generation. It is the hope that the results presented in this paper can act as a guiding principle for realising effective high-dimensional Bayesian optimisation.

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