Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track
Mikel Landajuela, Chak Shing Lee, Jiachen Yang, Ruben Glatt, Claudio P Santiago, Ignacio Aravena, Terrell Mundhenk, Garrett Mulcahy, Brenden K Petersen
The last few years have witnessed a surge in methods for symbolic regression, from advances in traditional evolutionary approaches to novel deep learning-based systems. Individual works typically focus on advancing the state-of-the-art for one particular class of solution strategies, and there have been few attempts to investigate the benefits of hybridizing or integrating multiple strategies. In this work, we identify five classes of symbolic regression solution strategies---recursive problem simplification, neural-guided search, large-scale pre-training, genetic programming, and linear models---and propose a strategy to hybridize them into a single modular, unified symbolic regression framework. Based on empirical evaluation using SRBench, a new community tool for benchmarking symbolic regression methods, our unified framework achieves state-of-the-art performance in its ability to (1) symbolically recover analytical expressions, (2) fit datasets with high accuracy, and (3) balance accuracy-complexity trade-offs, across 252 ground-truth and black-box benchmark problems, in both noiseless settings and across various noise levels. Finally, we provide practical use case-based guidance for constructing hybrid symbolic regression algorithms, supported by extensive, combinatorial ablation studies.