Direct Search Methods on Parallel Machines
RICE UNIV HOUSTON TX DEPT OF MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES
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This paper describes an approach to constructing derivative-free algorithms for unconstrained optimization that are easy to implement on parallel machines. A special feature of this approach is the ease with which algorithms can be generated to take advantage of any number of processors and to adapt to any cost ratio of communication to function evaluation. Numerical tests show speed-ups on two fronts. The cost of synchronization being minimal, the speed-up is almost linear with the addition of more processors, i.e., given a problem and a search strategy, the decrease in execution time is proportional to the number of processors added. Even more encouraging, however, is that different search strategies, devised to take advantage of additional or more powerful processors, may actually lead to dramatic improvements in the performance of the basic algorithm. Thus search strategies intended for many processors actually may generate algorithms that are better even when implemented sequentially. The key difference is that the additional processors are not used simply to enhance the performance of an inherently sequential algorithm they are used to spur the design of ever more ambitious and effective-search strategies. The algorithms given here are supported by a strong convergence theorem, promising computational results on a variety of problems, and an intuitively appealing interpretation as multidirectional line search methods.
- Operations Research
- Computer Hardware