One of the primary drawbacks plaguing wider acceptance of surrogate models is their low fidelity in general. This issue can be in a large part attributed to the lack of automated model selection techniques, particularly ones that do not make limiting assumptions regarding the choice of model types and kernel types. A novel model selection technique was recently developed to perform optimal model search concurrently at three levels: (i) optimal model type (e.g., RBF), (ii) optimal kernel type (e.g., multiquadric), and (iii) optimal values of hyper-parameters (e.g., shape parameter) that are conventionally kept constant. The error measures to be minimized in this optimal model selection process are determined by the Predictive Estimation of Model Fidelity (PEMF) method, which has been shown to be significantly more accurate than typical cross-validation-based error metrics. In this paper, we make the following important advancements to the PEMF-based model selection framework, now called the Concurrent Surrogate Model Selection or COSMOS framework: (i) The optimization formulation is modified through binary coding to allow surrogates with differing numbers of candidate kernels and kernels with differing numbers of hyper-parameters (which was previously not allowed). (ii) A robustness criterion, based on the variance of errors, is added to the existing criteria for model selection. (iii) A larger candidate pool of 16 surrogate-kernel combinations is considered for selection — possibly making COSMOS one of the most comprehensive surrogate model selection framework (in theory and implementation) currently available. The effectiveness of the COSMOS framework is demonstrated by successfully applying it to four benchmark problems (with 2–30 variables) and an airfoil design problem. The optimal model selection results illustrate how diverse models provide important tradeoffs for different problems.

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