Objective-driven adaptive sampling is a widely used tool for the optimization of deterministic black-box functions. However, the optimization of stochastic simulation models as found in the engineering, biological, and social sciences is still an elusive task. In this work, we propose a scalable adaptive batch sampling scheme for the optimization of stochastic simulation models with input-dependent noise. The developed algorithm has two primary advantages: (i) by recommending sampling batches, the designer can benefit from parallel computing capabilities, and (ii) by replicating of previously observed sampling locations the method can be scaled to higher-dimensional and more noisy functions. Replication improves numerical tractability as the computational cost of Bayesian optimization methods is known to grow cubicly with the number of unique sampling locations. Deciding when to replicate and when to explore depends on what alternative minimizes the posterior prediction accuracy at and around the spatial locations expected to contain the global optimum. The algorithm explores a new sampling location to reduce the interpolation uncertainty and replicates to improve the accuracy of the mean prediction at a single sampling location. Through the application of the proposed sampling scheme to two numerical test functions and one real engineering problem, we show that we can reliably and efficiently find the global optimum of stochastic simulation models with input-dependent noise.

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