Bayesian Optimization for a Better Dessert

Subhodeep Moitra
Proceedings of the 2017 NIPS Workshop on Bayesian Optimization, December 9, 2017, Long Beach, USA (to appear)


We present a case study on applying Bayesian Optimization to a complex real-world system; our challenge was to optimize chocolate chip cookies. The process was a mixed-initiative system where both human chefs, human raters, and a machine optimizer participated in 144 experiments. This process resulted in highly rated cookies that deviated from expectations in some surprising ways -- much less sugar in California, and cayenne in Pittsburgh. Our experience highlights the importance of incorporating domain expertise and the value of transfer learning approaches.