We present a surrogate modeling framework for conservatively estimating measures of risk from limited realizations of an expensive physical experiment or computational simulation. Risk measures combine objective probabilities with the subjective values of a decision maker to quantify anticipated outcomes. Given a set of samples, we construct a surrogate model that produces estimates of risk measures that are always greater than their empirical approximations obtained from the training data. These surrogate models limit over-confidence in reliability and safety assessments and produce estimates of risk measures that converge much faster to the true value than purely sample-based estimates. We first detail the construction of conservative surrogate models that can be tailored to a stakeholder's risk preferences and then present an approach, based on stochastic orders, for constructing surrogate models that are conservative with respect to families of risk measures. Our surrogate models include biases that permit them to conservatively estimate the target risk measures. We provide theoretical results that show that these biases decay at the same rate as the L2 error in the surrogate model. Numerical demonstrations confirm that risk-adapted surrogate models do indeed overestimate the target risk measures while converging at the expected rate.

In this paper, we develop an algorithm to efficiently solve risk-averse optimization problems posed in reflexive Banach space. Such problems often arise in many practical applications as, e.g., optimization problems constrained by partial differential equations with uncertain inputs. Unfortunately, for many popular risk models including the coherent risk measures, the resulting risk-averse objective function is nonsmooth. This lack of differentiability complicates the numerical approximation of the objective function as well as the numerical solution of the optimization problem. To address these challenges, we propose a primal–dual algorithm for solving large-scale nonsmooth risk-averse optimization problems. This algorithm is motivated by the classical method of multipliers and by epigraphical regularization of risk measures. As a result, the algorithm solves a sequence of smooth optimization problems using derivative-based methods. We prove convergence of the algorithm even when the subproblems are solved inexactly and conclude with numerical examples demonstrating the efficiency of our method.

Constructing accurate statistical models of critical system responses typically requires an enormous amount of data from physical experiments or numerical simulations. Unfortunately, data generation is often expensive and time consuming. To streamline the data generation process, optimal experimental design determines the 'best' allocation of experiments with respect to a criterion that measures the ability to estimate some important aspect of an assumed statistical model. While optimal design has a vast literature, few researchers have developed design paradigms targeting tail statistics, such as quantiles. In this project, we tailored and extended traditional design paradigms to target distribution tails. Our approach included (i) the development of new optimality criteria to shape the distribution of prediction variances, (ii) the development of novel risk-adapted surrogate models that provably overestimate certain statistics including the probability of exceeding a threshold, and (iii) the asymptotic analysis of regression approaches that target tail statistics such as superquantile regression. To accompany our theoretical contributions, we released implementations of our methods for surrogate modeling and design of experiments in two complementary open source software packages, the ROL/OED Toolkit and PyApprox.

We present a surrogate modeling framework for conservatively estimating measures of risk from limited realizations of an expensive physical experiment or computational simulation. We adopt a probabilistic description of risk that assigns probabilities to consequences associated with an event and use risk measures, which combine objective evidence with the subjective values of decision makers, to quantify anticipated outcomes. Given a set of samples, we construct a surrogate model that produces estimates of risk measures that are always greater than their empirical estimates obtained from the training data. These surrogate models not only limit over-confidence in reliability and safety assessments, but produce estimates of risk measures that converge much faster to the true value than purely sample-based estimates. We first detail the construction of conservative surrogate models that can be tailored to the specific risk preferences of the stakeholder and then present an approach, based upon stochastic orders, for constructing surrogate models that are conservative with respect to families of risk measures. The surrogate models introduce a bias that allows them to conservatively estimate the target risk measures. We provide theoretical results that show that this bias decays at the same rate as the L^{2} error in the surrogate model. Our numerical examples confirm that risk-aware surrogate models do indeed over-estimate the target risk measures while converging at the expected rate.

ROL-PEBBL is a C++, MPI-based parallel code for mixed-integer PDE-constrained optimization (MIPDECO). In these problems we wish to optimize (control, design, etc.) physical systems, which must obey the laws of physics, when some of the decision variables must take integer values. ROL-PEBBL combines a code to efficiently search over integer choices (PEBBL = Parallel Enumeration Branch-and-Bound Library) and a code for efficient nonlinear optimization, including PDE-constrained optimization (ROL = Rapid Optimization Library). In this report, we summarize the design of ROL-PEBBL and initial applications/results. For an artificial source-inversion problem, finding sources of pollution on a grid from sparse samples, ROL-PEBBLs solution for the nest grid gave the best optimization guarantee for any general solver that gives both a solution and a quality guarantee.

This paper develops a novel limited-memory method to solve dynamic optimization problems. The memory requirements for such problems often present a major obstacle, particularly for problems with PDE constraints such as optimal flow control, full waveform inversion, and optical tomography. In these problems, PDE constraints uniquely determine the state of a physical system for a given control; the goal is to find the value of the control that minimizes an objective. While the control is often low dimensional, the state is typically more expensive to store. This paper suggests using randomized matrix approximation to compress the state as it is generated and shows how to use the compressed state to reliably solve the original dynamic optimization problem. Concretely, the compressed state is used to compute approximate gradients and to apply the Hessian to vectors. The approximation error in these quantities is controlled by the target rank of the sketch. This approximate first- and second-order information can readily be used in any optimization algorithm. As an example, we develop a sketched trust-region method that adaptively chooses the target rank using a posteriori error information and provably converges to a stationary point of the original problem. Numerical experiments with the sketched trust-region method show promising performance on challenging problems such as the optimal control of an advection-reaction-diffusion equation and the optimal control of fluid flow past a cylinder.

In this paper, we introduce and analyze a new class of optimal control problems constrained by elliptic equations with uncertain fractional exponents. We utilize risk measures to formulate the resulting optimization problem. We develop a functional analytic framework, study the existence of solution, and rigorously derive the first-order optimality conditions. Additionally, we employ a sample-based approximation for the uncertain exponent and the finite element method to discretize in space. We prove the rate of convergence for the optimal risk neutral controls when using quadrature approximation for the uncertain exponent and conclude with illustrative examples.

This report summarizes the work performed under the project "Linear Programming in Strongly Polynomial Time." Linear programming (LP) is a classic combinatorial optimization problem heavily used directly and as an enabling subroutine in integer programming (IP). Specifically IP is the same as LP except that some solution variables must take integer values (e.g. to represent yes/no decisions). Together LP and IP have many applications in resource allocation including general logistics, and infrastructure design and vulnerability analysis. The project was motivated by the PI's recent success developing methods to efficiently sample Voronoi vertices (essentially finding nearest neighbors in high-dimensional point sets) in arbitrary dimension. His method seems applicable to exploring the high-dimensional convex feasible space of an LP problem. Although the project did not provably find a strongly-polynomial algorithm, it explored multiple algorithm classes. The new medial simplex algorithms may still lead to solvers with improved provable complexity. We describe medial simplex algorithms and some relevant structural/complexity results. We also designed a novel parallel LP algorithm based on our geometric insights and implemented it in the Spoke-LP code. A major part of the computational step is many independent vector dot products. Our parallel algorithm distributes the problem constraints across processors. Current commercial and high-quality free LP solvers require all problem details to fit onto a single processor or multicore. Our new algorithm might enable the solution of problems too large for any current LP solvers. We describe our new algorithm, give preliminary proof-of-concept experiments, and describe a new generator for arbitrarily large LP instances.

Uncertainty pervades virtually every branch of science and engineering, and in many disciplines, the underlying phenomena can be modeled by partial differential equations (PDEs) with uncertain or random inputs. This work is motivated by risk-averse stochastic programming problems constrained by PDEs. These problems are posed in infinite dimensions, which leads to a significant increase in the scale of the (discretized) problem. In order to handle the inherent nonsmoothness of, for example, coherent risk measures and to exploit existing solution techniques for smooth, PDE-constrained optimization problems, we propose a variational smoothing technique called epigraphical (epi-)regularization. We investigate the effects of epi-regularization on the axioms of coherency and prove differentiability of the smoothed risk measures. In addition, we demonstrate variational convergence of the epi-regularized risk measures and prove the consistency of minimizers and first-order stationary points for the approximate risk-averse optimization problem. We conclude with numerical experiments confirming our theoretical results.

This paper considers preconditioners for the linear systems that arise from optimal control and inverse problems involving the Helmholtz equation. Specifically, we explore an all-at-once approach. The main contribution centers on the analysis of two block preconditioners. Variations of these preconditioners have been proposed and analyzed in prior works for optimal control problems where the underlying partial differential equation is a Laplace-like operator. In this paper, we extend some of the prior convergence results to Helmholtz-based optimization applications. Our analysis examines situations where control variables and observations are restricted to subregions of the computational domain. We prove that solver convergence rates do not deteriorate as the mesh is refined or as the wavenumber increases. More specifically, for one of the preconditioners we prove accelerated convergence as the wavenumber increases. Additionally, in situations where the control and observation subregions are disjoint, we observe that solver convergence rates have a weak dependence on the regularization parameter. We give a partial analysis of this behavior. We illustrate the performance of the preconditioners on control problems motivated by acoustic testing.