## Bayesian Optimization Workflow

### What Is Bayesian Optimization?

Optimization, in its most general form, is the process of locating
a point that minimizes a real-valued function called the *objective
function*. Bayesian optimization is the name of one such
process. Bayesian optimization internally maintains a Gaussian process
model of the objective function, and uses objective function evaluations
to train the model. One innovation in Bayesian optimization is the
use of an *acquisition function*, which the algorithm
uses to determine the next point to evaluate. The acquisition function
can balance sampling at points that have low modeled objective functions,
and exploring areas that have not yet been modeled well. For details,
see Bayesian Optimization Algorithm.

Bayesian optimization is part of Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox™ because
it is well-suited to optimizing *hyperparameters* of
classification and regression algorithms. A hyperparameter is an internal
parameter of a classifier or regression function, such as the box
constraint of a support vector machine, or the learning rate of a
robust classification ensemble. These parameters can strongly affect
the performance of a classifier or regressor, and yet it is typically
difficult or time-consuming to optimize them. See Bayesian Optimization Characteristics.

Typically, optimizing the hyperparameters means that you try to minimize the cross-validation loss of a classifier or regression.

### Ways to Perform Bayesian Optimization

You can perform a Bayesian optimization in several ways:

`fitcauto`

and`fitrauto`

— Pass predictor and response data to the`fitcauto`

or`fitrauto`

function to optimize across a selection of model types and hyperparameter values. Unlike other approaches, using`fitcauto`

or`fitrauto`

does not require you to specify a single model before the optimization; model selection is part of the optimization process. The optimization minimizes cross-validation loss, which is modeled using a multi-`TreeBagger`

model in`fitcauto`

and a multi-`RegressionGP`

model in`fitrauto`

, rather than a single Gaussian process regression model as used in other approaches. See Bayesian Optimization for`fitcauto`

and Bayesian Optimization for`fitrauto`

.Classification Learner and Regression Learner apps — Choose

**Optimizable**models in the machine learning apps and automatically tune their hyperparameter values by using Bayesian optimization. The optimization minimizes the model loss based on the selected validation options. This approach has fewer tuning options than using a fit function, but allows you to perform Bayesian optimization directly in the apps. See Hyperparameter Optimization in Classification Learner App and Hyperparameter Optimization in Regression Learner App.Fit function — Include the

`OptimizeHyperparameters`

name-value argument in many fitting functions to apply Bayesian optimization automatically. The optimization minimizes cross-validation loss. This approach gives you fewer tuning options than using`bayesopt`

, but enables you to perform Bayesian optimization more easily. See Bayesian Optimization Using a Fit Function.`bayesopt`

— Exert the most control over your optimization by calling`bayesopt`

directly. This approach requires you to write an objective function, which does not have to represent cross-validation loss. See Bayesian Optimization Using bayesopt.

### Bayesian Optimization Using a Fit Function

To perform Bayesian optimization using the error in a cross-validated response or the compact size of the model as the objective, follow these steps.

Choose your classification or regression solver among the fit functions that accept the

`OptimizeHyperparameters`

name-value argument.Classification fit functions:

`fitcdiscr`

,`fitcecoc`

,`fitcensemble`

,`fitcgam`

,`fitckernel`

,`fitcknn`

,`fitclinear`

,`fitcnb`

,`fitcnet`

,`fitcsvm`

,`fitctree`

Regression fit functions:

`fitrensemble`

,`fitrgam`

,`fitrgp`

,`fitrkernel`

,`fitrlinear`

,`fitrnet`

,`fitrsvm`

,`fitrtree`

Decide on the hyperparameters to optimize, and pass them in the

`OptimizeHyperparameters`

name-value argument. For each fit function, you can choose from a set of hyperparameters. See Eligible Hyperparameters for Fit Functions, or use the`hyperparameters`

function, or consult the fit function reference page.You can pass a cell array of parameter names. You can also set

`'auto'`

as the`OptimizeHyperparameters`

value, which chooses a typical set of hyperparameters to optimize, or`'all'`

to optimize all available parameters.For ensemble fit functions

`fitcecoc`

,`fitcensemble`

, and`fitrensemble`

, also include parameters of the weak learners in the`OptimizeHyperparameters`

cell array.Optionally, create an options structure or object for the

`HyperparameterOptimizationOptions`

name-value argument. For example, you can specify to optimize on the cross-validated loss (default) or the compact size of the model. You can also perform a set of optimization problems that have the same options but different constraint bounds. For more information, see the`HyperparameterOptimizationOptions`

name-value argument description on the fit function reference pages.Call the fit function with the appropriate name-value arguments.

For examples, see Optimize Classifier Fit Using Bayesian Optimization and Optimize a Boosted Regression Ensemble. Also, every fit function reference page contains a Bayesian optimization example.

### Bayesian Optimization Using `bayesopt`

To perform a Bayesian optimization using `bayesopt`

,
follow these steps.

Prepare your variables. See Variables for a Bayesian Optimization.

Create your objective function. See Bayesian Optimization Objective Functions. If necessary, create constraints, too. See Constraints in Bayesian Optimization. To include extra parameters in an objective function, see Parameterizing Functions.

Decide on options, meaning the

`bayseopt`

`Name,Value`

pairs. You are not required to pass any options to`bayesopt`

but you typically do, especially when trying to improve a solution.Call

`bayesopt`

.Examine the solution. You can decide to resume the optimization by using

`resume`

, or restart the optimization, usually with modified options.

For an example, see Optimize Cross-Validated Classifier Using bayesopt.

### Bayesian Optimization Characteristics

Bayesian optimization algorithms are best suited to these problem types.

Characteristic | Details |
---|---|

Low dimension | Bayesian optimization works best in a low number of dimensions, typically 10 or fewer. While Bayesian optimization can solve some problems with a few dozen variables, it is not recommended for dimensions higher than about 50. |

Expensive objective | Bayesian optimization is designed for objective functions that are slow to evaluate. It has considerable overhead, typically several seconds for each iteration. |

Low accuracy | Bayesian optimization does not necessarily give very
accurate results. If you have a deterministic objective function,
you can sometimes improve the accuracy by starting a standard optimization
algorithm from the |

Global solution | Bayesian optimization is a global technique. Unlike many other algorithms, to search for a global solution you do not have to start the algorithm from various initial points. |

Hyperparameters | Bayesian optimization is well-suited to optimizing |

### Parameters Available for Fit Functions

**Eligible Hyperparameters for Fit Functions**

## See Also

`bayesopt`

| `BayesianOptimization`