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Title: Simulated Stochastic Approximation Annealing for Global Optimization with a Square-Root Cooling Schedule

Simulated annealing has been widely used in the solution of optimization problems. As known by many researchers, the global optima cannot be guaranteed to be located by simulated annealing unless a logarithmic cooling schedule is used. However, the logarithmic cooling schedule is so slow that no one can afford to have such a long CPU time. This paper proposes a new stochastic optimization algorithm, the so-called simulated stochastic approximation annealing algorithm, which is a combination of simulated annealing and the stochastic approximation Monte Carlo algorithm. Under the framework of stochastic approximation Markov chain Monte Carlo, it is shown that the new algorithm can work with a cooling schedule in which the temperature can decrease much faster than in the logarithmic cooling schedule, e.g., a square-root cooling schedule, while guaranteeing the global optima to be reached when the temperature tends to zero. The new algorithm has been tested on a few benchmark optimization problems, including feed-forward neural network training and protein-folding. The numerical results indicate that the new algorithm can significantly outperform simulated annealing and other competitors.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Statistical Association, 109(506):847-863
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States