Optimization over Continuous and Multi-dimensional Decisions with Observational Data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Dimitris Bertsimas, Christopher McCord


We consider the optimization of an uncertain objective over continuous and multi-dimensional decision spaces in problems in which we are only provided with observational data. We propose a novel algorithmic framework that is tractable, asymptotically consistent, and superior to comparable methods on example problems. Our approach leverages predictive machine learning methods and incorporates information on the uncertainty of the predicted outcomes for the purpose of prescribing decisions. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method on examples involving both synthetic and real data sets.