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2010


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Telling cause from effect based on high-dimensional observations

Janzing, D., Hoyer, P., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 479-486, (Editors: J Fürnkranz and T Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, ICML, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a method for inferring linear causal relations among multi-dimensional variables. The idea is to use an asymmetry between the distributions of cause and effect that occurs if the covariance matrix of the cause and the structure matrix mapping the cause to the effect are independently chosen. The method applies to both stochastic and deterministic causal relations, provided that the dimensionality is sufficiently high (in some experiments, 5 was enough). It is applicable to Gaussian as well as non-Gaussian data.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2010

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A scalable trust-region algorithm with application to mixed-norm regression

Kim, D., Sra, S., Dhillon, I.

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2010), pages: 519-526, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new algorithm for minimizing a convex loss-function subject to regularization. Our framework applies to numerous problems in machine learning and statistics; notably, for sparsity-promoting regularizers such as ℓ1 or ℓ1, ∞ norms, it enables efficient computation of sparse solutions. Our approach is based on the trust-region framework with nonsmooth objectives, which allows us to build on known results to provide convergence analysis. We avoid the computational overheads associated with the conventional Hessian approximation used by trust-region methods by instead using a simple separable quadratic approximation. This approximation also enables use of proximity operators for tackling nonsmooth regularizers. We illustrate the versatility of our resulting algorithm by specializing it to three mixed-norm regression problems: group lasso [36], group logistic regression [21], and multi-task lasso [19]. We experiment with both synthetic and real-world large-scale data—our method is seen to be competitive, robust, and scalable.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Influence of the Image Basis on Modeling and Steganalysis Performance

Schwamberger, V., Le, P., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

In Information Hiding, pages: 133-144, (Editors: R Böhme and PWL Fong and R Safavi-Naini), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th international Workshop (IH), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We compare two image bases with respect to their capabilities for image modeling and steganalysis. The first basis consists of wavelets, the second is a Laplacian pyramid. Both bases are used to decompose the image into subbands where the local dependency structure is modeled with a linear Bayesian estimator. Similar to existing approaches, the image model is used to predict coefficient values from their neighborhoods, and the final classification step uses statistical descriptors of the residual. Our findings are counter-intuitive on first sight: Although Laplacian pyramids have better image modeling capabilities than wavelets, steganalysis based on wavelets is much more successful. We present a number of experiments that suggest possible explanations for this result.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Co-clustering, Graph Clustering, and Pairwise Clustering

Seldin, Y.

In ICML 2010 Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, pages: 1-5, ICML Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We review briefly the PAC-Bayesian analysis of co-clustering (Seldin and Tishby, 2008, 2009, 2010), which provided generalization guarantees and regularization terms absent in the preceding formulations of this problem and achieved state-of-the-art prediction results in MovieLens collaborative filtering task. Inspired by this analysis we formulate weighted graph clustering1 as a prediction problem: given a subset of edge weights we analyze the ability of graph clustering to predict the remaining edge weights. This formulation enables practical and theoretical comparison of different approaches to graph clustering as well as comparison of graph clustering with other possible ways to model the graph. Following the lines of (Seldin and Tishby, 2010) we derive PAC-Bayesian generalization bounds for graph clustering. The bounds show that graph clustering should optimize a trade-off between empirical data fit and the mutual information that clusters preserve on the graph nodes. A similar trade-off derived from information-theoretic considerations was already shown to produce state-of-the-art results in practice (Slonim et al., 2005; Yom-Tov and Slonim, 2009). This paper supports the empirical evidence by providing a better theoretical foundation, suggesting formal generalization guarantees, and offering a more accurate way to deal with finite sample issues.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Solving Large-Scale Nonnegative Least Squares

Sra, S.

16th Conference of the International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS), June 2010 (talk)

Abstract
We study the fundamental problem of nonnegative least squares. This problem was apparently introduced by Lawson and Hanson [1] under the name NNLS. As is evident from its name, NNLS seeks least-squares solutions that are also nonnegative. Owing to its wide-applicability numerous algorithms have been derived for NNLS, beginning from the active-set approach of Lawson and Han- son [1] leading up to the sophisticated interior-point method of Bellavia et al. [2]. We present a new algorithm for NNLS that combines projected subgradients with the non-monotonic gradient descent idea of Barzilai and Borwein [3]. Our resulting algorithm is called BBSG, and we guarantee its convergence by ex- ploiting properties of NNLS in conjunction with projected subgradients. BBSG is surprisingly simple and scales well to large problems. We substantiate our claims by empirically evaluating BBSG and comparing it with established con- vex solvers and specialized NNLS algorithms. The numerical results suggest that BBSG is a practical method for solving large-scale NNLS problems.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Matrix Approximation Problems

Sra, S.

EU Regional School: Rheinisch-Westf{\"a}lische Technische Hochschule Aachen, May 2010 (talk)

PDF AVI [BibTex]

PDF AVI [BibTex]


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BCI2000 and Python

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 7th International BCI2000 Workshop, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, May 2010 (talk)

Abstract
A tutorial, with exercises, on how to integrate your own Python code with the BCI2000 realtime software package.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Extending BCI2000 Functionality with Your Own C++ Code

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 7th International BCI2000 Workshop, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, May 2010 (talk)

Abstract
A tutorial, with exercises, on how to use BCI2000 C++ framework to write your own real-time signal-processing modules.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Apprenticeship learning via soft local homomorphisms

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2971-2976, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning when the expert's demonstration covers only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient solution to this problem based on the assumption that the expert is optimally acting in a Markov Decision Process (MDP). However, past work on IRL requires an accurate estimate of the frequency of encountering each feature of the states when the robot follows the expert‘s policy. Given that the complete policy of the expert is unknown, the features frequencies can only be empirically estimated from the demonstrated trajectories. In this paper, we propose to use a transfer method, known as soft homomorphism, in order to generalize the expert‘s policy to unvisited regions of the state space. The generalized policy can be used either as the robot‘s final policy, or to calculate the features frequencies within an IRL algorithm. Empirical results show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Using Model Knowledge for Learning Inverse Dynamics

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2677-2682, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In recent years, learning models from data has become an increasingly interesting tool for robotics, as it allows straightforward and accurate model approximation. However, in most robot learning approaches, the model is learned from scratch disregarding all prior knowledge about the system. For many complex robot systems, available prior knowledge from advanced physics-based modeling techniques can entail valuable information for model learning that may result in faster learning speed, higher accuracy and better generalization. In this paper, we investigate how parametric physical models (e.g., obtained from rigid body dynamics) can be used to improve the learning performance, and, especially, how semiparametric regression methods can be applied in this context. We present two possible semiparametric regression approaches, where the knowledge of the physical model can either become part of the mean function or of the kernel in a nonparametric Gaussian process regression. We compare the learning performance o f these methods first on sampled data and, subsequently, apply the obtained inverse dynamics models in tracking control on a real Barrett WAM. The results show that the semiparametric models learned with rigid body dynamics as prior outperform the standard rigid body dynamics models on real data while generalizing better for unknown parts of the state space.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Coherent Inference on Optimal Play in Game Trees

Hennig, P., Stern, D., Graepel, T.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 326-333, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington ), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Round-based games are an instance of discrete planning problems. Some of the best contemporary game tree search algorithms use random roll-outs as data. Relying on a good policy, they learn on-policy values by propagating information upwards in the tree, but not between sibling nodes. Here, we present a generative model and a corresponding approximate message passing scheme for inference on the optimal, off-policy value of nodes in smooth AND/OR trees, given random roll-outs. The crucial insight is that the distribution of values in game trees is not completely arbitrary. We define a generative model of the on-policy values using a latent score for each state, representing the value under the random roll-out policy. Inference on the values under the optimal policy separates into an inductive, pre-data step and a deductive, post-data part. Both can be solved approximately with Expectation Propagation, allowing off-policy value inference for any node in the (exponentially big) tree in linear time.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Incremental Sparsification for Real-time Online Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 557-564, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Online model learning in real-time is required by many applications such as in robot tracking control. It poses a difficult problem, as fast and incremental online regression with large data sets is the essential component which cannot be achieved by straightforward usage of off-the-shelf machine learning methods (such as Gaussian process regression or support vector regression). In this paper, we propose a framework for online, incremental sparsification with a fixed budget designed for large scale real-time model learning. The proposed approach combines a sparsification method based on an independence measure with a large scale database. In combination with an incremental learning approach such as sequential support vector regression, we obtain a regression method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques. Implementation on a real robot emphasizes the applicability of the proposed approach in real-time online model learning for real world systems.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multitask Learning for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Alamgir, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 17-24, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are limited in their applicability in everyday settings by the current necessity to record subjectspecific calibration data prior to actual use of the BCI for communication. In this paper, we utilize the framework of multitask learning to construct a BCI that can be used without any subject-specific calibration process. We discuss how this out-of-the-box BCI can be further improved in a computationally efficient manner as subject-specific data becomes available. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated on two sets of experimental EEG data recorded during a standard two-class motor imagery paradigm from a total of 19 healthy subjects. Specifically, we show that satisfactory classification results can be achieved with zero training data, and combining prior recordings with subjectspecific calibration data substantially outperforms using subject-specific data only. Our results further show that transfer between recordings under slightly different experimental setups is feasible.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Identifying Cause and Effect on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 597-604, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. Recently, methods using additive noise models have been suggested to approach the case of continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. Whenever the joint distribution P(X;Y ) admits such a model in one direction, e.g. Y = f(X) + N; N ? X, it does not admit the reversed model X = g(Y ) + ~N ; ~N ? Y as long as the model is chosen in a generic way. Based on these deliberations we propose an efficient new algorithm that is able to distinguish between cause and effect for a finite sample of discrete variables. We show that this algorithm works both on synthetic and real data sets.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Learning via Generalized Maximum Entropy

Erkan, A., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 209-216, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Various supervised inference methods can be analyzed as convex duals of the generalized maximum entropy (MaxEnt) framework. Generalized MaxEnt aims to find a distribution that maximizes an entropy function while respecting prior information represented as potential functions in miscellaneous forms of constraints and/or penalties. We extend this framework to semi-supervised learning by incorporating unlabeled data via modifications to these potential functions reflecting structural assumptions on the data geometry. The proposed approach leads to a family of discriminative semi-supervised algorithms, that are convex, scalable, inherently multi-class, easy to implement, and that can be kernelized naturally. Experimental evaluation of special cases shows the competitiveness of our methodology.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A New Algorithm for Improving the Resolution of Cryo-EM Density Maps

Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B., Habeck, M.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics, Vol. 6044 , pages: 174-188, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) plays an increasingly prominent role in structure elucidation of macromolecular assemblies. Advances in experimental instrumentation and computational power have spawned numerous cryo-EM studies of large biomolecular complexes resulting in the reconstruction of three-dimensional density maps at intermediate and low resolution. In this resolution range, identification and interpretation of structural elements and modeling of biomolecular structure with atomic detail becomes problematic. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm that enhances the resolution of intermediate- and low-resolution density maps. Our underlying assumption is to model the low-resolution density map as a blurred and possibly noise-corrupted version of an unknown high-resolution map that we seek to recover by deconvolution. By exploiting the nonnegativity of both the high-resolution map and blur kernel we derive multiplicative updates reminiscent of those used in nonnegative matrix factorization. Our framework allows for easy incorporation of additional prior knowledge such as smoothness and sparseness, on both the sharpened density map and the blur kernel. A probabilistic formulation enables us to derive updates for the hyperparameters, therefore our approach has no parameter that needs adjustment. We apply the algorithm to simulated three-dimensional electron microscopic data. We show that our method provides better resolved density maps when compared with B-factor sharpening, especially in the presence of noise. Moreover, our method can use additional information provided by homologous structures, which helps to improve the resolution even further.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Movement Templates for Learning of Hitting and Batting

Kober, J., Mülling, K., Krömer, O., Lampert, C., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 853-858, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine-Learning Methods for Decoding Intentional Brain States

Hill, NJ.

Symposium "Non-Invasive Brain Computer Interfaces: Current Developments and Applications" (BIOMAG), March 2010 (talk)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) work by making the user perform a specific mental task, such as imagining moving body parts or performing some other covert mental activity, or attending to a particular stimulus out of an array of options, in order to encode their intention into a measurable brain signal. Signal-processing and machine-learning techniques are then used to decode the measured signal to identify the encoded mental state and hence extract the user‘s initial intention. The high-noise high-dimensional nature of brain-signals make robust decoding techniques a necessity. Generally, the approach has been to use relatively simple feature extraction techniques, such as template matching and band-power estimation, coupled to simple linear classifiers. This has led to a prevailing view among applied BCI researchers that (sophisticated) machine-learning is irrelevant since “it doesn‘t matter what classifier you use once your features are extracted.” Using examples from our own MEG and EEG experiments, I‘ll demonstrate how machine-learning principles can be applied in order to improve BCI performance, if they are formulated in a domain-specific way. The result is a type of data-driven analysis that is more than “just” classification, and can be used to find better feature extractors.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis in Unsupervised Learning

Seldin, Y.

Foundations and New Trends of PAC Bayesian Learning Workshop, March 2010 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Experiments with Motor Primitives to learn Table Tennis

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Kober, J.

In Experimental Robotics, pages: 1-13, (Editors: Khatib, O. , V. Kumar, G. Sukhatme), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), March 2010 (inproceedings)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causality: Objectives and Assessment

Guyon, I., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6 , pages: 1-42, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , February 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The NIPS 2008 workshop on causality provided a forum for researchers from different horizons to share their view on causal modeling and address the difficult question of assessing causal models. There has been a vivid debate on properly separating the notion of causality from particular models such as graphical models, which have been dominating the field in the past few years. Part of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the results of a challenge, which offered a wide variety of applications of causal modeling. We have regrouped in these proceedings the best papers presented. Most lectures were videotaped or recorded. All information regarding the challenge and the lectures are found at http://www.clopinet.com/isabelle/Projects/NIPS2008/. This introduction provides a synthesis of the findings and a gentle introduction to causality topics, which are the object of active research.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

EVENT Lab: Reinforcement Learning in Robotics and Virtual Reality, January 2010 (talk)

Abstract
The acquisition and self-improvement of novel motor skills is among the most important problems in robotics. Motor primitives offer one of the most promising frameworks for the application of machine learning techniques in this context. Employing the Dynamic Systems Motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. (2003), appropriate learning algorithms for a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning are presented. Using these algorithms new motor skills, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup, Ball-Paddling and Dart-Throwing, are learned.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Leveraging Sequence Classification by Taxonomy-based Multitask Learning

Widmer, C., Leiva, J., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, LNCS, Vol. 6044, pages: 522-534, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th Annual International Conference, RECOMB, 2010 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic latent variable models for distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Stegle, O., Janzing, D., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 1687-1695, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a novel method for inferring whether X causes Y or vice versa from joint observations of X and Y. The basic idea is to model the observed data using probabilistic latent variable models, which incorporate the effects of unobserved noise. To this end, we consider the hypothetical effect variable to be a function of the hypothetical cause variable and an independent noise term (not necessarily additive). An important novel aspect of our work is that we do not restrict the model class, but instead put general non-parametric priors on this function and on the distribution of the cause. The causal direction can then be inferred by using standard Bayesian model selection. We evaluate our approach on synthetic data and real-world data and report encouraging results.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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JigPheno: Semantic Feature Extraction in biological images

Karaletsos, T., Stegle, O., Winn, J., Borgwardt, K.

In NIPS, Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, 2010 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nonparametric Tree Graphical Models

Song, L., Gretton, A., Guestrin, C.

In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Volume 9 , pages: 765-772, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington ), JMLR, AISTATS, 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Novel machine learning methods for MHC Class I binding prediction

Widmer, C., Toussaint, N., Altun, Y., Kohlbacher, O., Rätsch, G.

In Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics, pages: 98-109, (Editors: TMH Dijkstra and E Tsivtsivadze and E Marchiori and T Heskes), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 5th IAPR International Conference, PRIB, 2010 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bootstrapping Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 289-297, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning where the examples, demonstrated by an expert, cover only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient tool for generalizing the demonstration, based on the assumption that the expert is maximizing a utility function that is a linear combination of state-action features. Most IRL algorithms use a simple Monte Carlo estimation to approximate the expected feature counts under the expert's policy. In this paper, we show that the quality of the learned policies is highly sensitive to the error in estimating the feature counts. To reduce this error, we introduce a novel approach for bootstrapping the demonstration by assuming that: (i), the expert is (near-)optimal, and (ii), the dynamics of the system is known. Empirical results on gridworlds and car racing problems show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing Causes from Effects using Nonlinear Acyclic Causal Models

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, Volume 6, pages: 157-164, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop), 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Characteristic Kernels on Structured Domains Excel in Robotics and Human Action Recognition

Danafar, S., Gretton, A., Schmidhuber, J.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, LNCS Vol. 6321, pages: 264-279, (Editors: JL Balcázar and F Bonchi and A Gionis and M Sebag), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Embedding probability distributions into a sufficiently rich (characteristic) reproducing kernel Hilbert space enables us to take higher order statistics into account. Characterization also retains effective statistical relation between inputs and outputs in regression and classification. Recent works established conditions for characteristic kernels on groups and semigroups. Here we study characteristic kernels on periodic domains, rotation matrices, and histograms. Such structured domains are relevant for homogeneity testing, forward kinematics, forward dynamics, inverse dynamics, etc. Our kernel-based methods with tailored characteristic kernels outperform previous methods on robotics problems and also on a widely used benchmark for recognition of human actions in videos.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Movement extraction by detecting dynamics switches and repetitions

Chiappa, S., Peters, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 388-396, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many time-series such as human movement data consist of a sequence of basic actions, e.g., forehands and backhands in tennis. Automatically extracting and characterizing such actions is an important problem for a variety of different applications. In this paper, we present a probabilistic segmentation approach in which an observed time-series is modeled as a concatenation of segments corresponding to different basic actions. Each segment is generated through a noisy transformation of one of a few hidden trajectories representing different types of movement, with possible time re-scaling. We analyze three different approximation methods for dealing with model intractability, and demonstrate how the proposed approach can successfully segment table tennis movements recorded using a robot arm as haptic input device.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Space-Variant Single-Image Blind Deconvolution for Removing Camera Shake

Harmeling, S., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 829-837, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Modelling camera shake as a space-invariant convolution simplifies the problem of removing camera shake, but often insufficiently models actual motion blur such as those due to camera rotation and movements outside the sensor plane or when objects in the scene have different distances to the camera. In an effort to address these limitations, (i) we introduce a taxonomy of camera shakes, (ii) we build on a recently introduced framework for space-variant filtering by Hirsch et al. and a fast algorithm for single image blind deconvolution for space-invariant filters by Cho and Lee to construct a method for blind deconvolution in the case of space-variant blur, and (iii), we present an experimental setup for evaluation that allows us to take images with real camera shake while at the same time recording the spacevariant point spread function corresponding to that blur. Finally, we demonstrate that our method is able to deblur images degraded by spatially-varying blur originating from real camera shake, even without using additionally motion sensor information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Getting lost in space: Large sample analysis of the resistance distance

von Luxburg, U., Radl, A., Hein, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 2622-2630, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The commute distance between two vertices in a graph is the expected time it takes a random walk to travel from the first to the second vertex and back. We study the behavior of the commute distance as the size of the underlying graph increases. We prove that the commute distance converges to an expression that does not take into account the structure of the graph at all and that is completely meaningless as a distance function on the graph. Consequently, the use of the raw commute distance for machine learning purposes is strongly discouraged for large graphs and in high dimensions. As an alternative we introduce the amplified commute distance that corrects for the undesired large sample effects.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Janzing, D.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6, pages: 147-156, (Editors: Guyon, I. , D. Janzing, B. Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe eight data sets that together formed the CauseEffectPairs task in the Causality Challenge #2: Pot-Luck competition. Each set consists of a sample of a pair of statistically dependent random variables. One variable is known to cause the other one, but this information was hidden from the participants; the task was to identify which of the two variables was the cause and which one the effect, based upon the observed sample. The data sets were chosen such that we expect common agreement on the ground truth. Even though part of the statistical dependences may also be due to hidden common causes, common sense tells us that there is a significant cause-effect relation between the two variables in each pair. We also present baseline results using three different causal inference methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods for Detecting the Direction of Time Series

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Data Analysis, Data Handling and Business Intelligence, pages: 57-66, (Editors: A Fink and B Lausen and W Seidel and A Ultsch), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 32nd Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft f{\"u}r Klassifikation e.V. (GfKl), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose two kernel based methods for detecting the time direction in empirical time series. First we apply a Support Vector Machine on the finite-dimensional distributions of the time series (classification method) by embedding these distributions into a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space. For the ARMA method we fit the observed data with an autoregressive moving average process and test whether the regression residuals are statistically independent of the past values. Whenever the dependence in one direction is significantly weaker than in the other we infer the former to be the true one. Both approaches were able to detect the direction of the true generating model for simulated data sets. We also applied our tests to a large number of real world time series. The ARMA method made a decision for a significant fraction of them, in which it was mostly correct, while the classification method did not perform as well, but still exceeded chance level.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Switched Latent Force Models for Movement Segmentation

Alvarez, M., Peters, J., Schölkopf, B., Lawrence, N.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 23, pages: 55-63, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Latent force models encode the interaction between multiple related dynamical systems in the form of a kernel or covariance function. Each variable to be modeled is represented as the output of a differential equation and each differential equation is driven by a weighted sum of latent functions with uncertainty given by a Gaussian process prior. In this paper we consider employing the latent force model framework for the problem of determining robot motor primitives. To deal with discontinuities in the dynamical systems or the latent driving force we introduce an extension of the basic latent force model, that switches between different latent functions and potentially different dynamical systems. This creates a versatile representation for robot movements that can capture discrete changes and non-linearities in the dynamics. We give illustrative examples on both synthetic data and for striking movements recorded using a BarrettWAM robot as haptic input device. Our inspiration is robot motor primitives, but we expect our model to have wide application for dynamical systems including models for human motion capture data and systems biology.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]

2006


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Conformal Multi-Instance Kernels

Blaschko, M., Hofmann, T.

In NIPS 2006 Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, December 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In the multiple instance learning setting, each observation is a bag of feature vectors of which one or more vectors indicates membership in a class. The primary task is to identify if any vectors in the bag indicate class membership while ignoring vectors that do not. We describe here a kernel-based technique that defines a parametric family of kernels via conformal transformations and jointly learns a discriminant function over bags together with the optimal parameter settings of the kernel. Learning a conformal transformation effectively amounts to weighting regions in the feature space according to their contribution to classification accuracy; regions that are discriminative will be weighted higher than regions that are not. This allows the classifier to focus on regions contributing to classification accuracy while ignoring regions that correspond to vectors found both in positive and in negative bags. We show how parameters of this transformation can be learned for support vector machines by posing the problem as a multiple kernel learning problem. The resulting multiple instance classifier gives competitive accuracy for several multi-instance benchmark datasets from different domains.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2006

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-Sample-Problem

Gretton, A., Borgwardt, K., Rasch, M., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose two statistical tests to determine if two samples are from different distributions. Our test statistic is in both cases the distance between the means of the two samples mapped into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). The first test is based on a large deviation bound for the test statistic, while the second is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. We show that the test statistic can be computed in $O(m^2)$ time. We apply our approach to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where our test performs strongly. We also demonstrate excellent performance when comparing distributions over graphs, for which no alternative tests currently exist.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Ab-initio gene finding using machine learning

Schweikert, G., Zeller, G., Zien, A., Ong, C., de Bona, F., Sonnenburg, S., Phillips, P., Rätsch, G.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Graph boosting for molecular QSAR analysis

Saigo, H., Kadowaki, T., Kudo, T., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new boosting method that systematically combines graph mining and mathematical programming-based machine learning. Informative and interpretable subgraph features are greedily found by a series of graph mining calls. Due to our mathematical programming formulation, subgraph features and pre-calculated real-valued features are seemlessly integrated. We tested our algorithm on a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) problem, which is basically a regression problem when given a set of chemical compounds. In benchmark experiments, the prediction accuracy of our method favorably compared with the best results reported on each dataset.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Inferring Causal Directions by Evaluating the Complexity of Conditional Distributions

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Causality and Feature Selection, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new approach to infer the causal structure that has generated the observed statistical dependences among n random variables. The idea is that the factorization of the joint measure of cause and effect into P(cause)P(effect|cause) leads typically to simpler conditionals than non-causal factorizations. To evaluate the complexity of the conditionals we have tried two methods. First, we have compared them to those which maximize the conditional entropy subject to the observed first and second moments since we consider the latter as the simplest conditionals. Second, we have fitted the data with conditional probability measures being exponents of functions in an RKHS space and defined the complexity by a Hilbert-space semi-norm. Such a complexity measure has several properties that are useful for our purpose. We describe some encouraging results with both methods applied to real-world data. Moreover, we have combined constraint-based approaches to causal discovery (i.e., methods using only information on conditional statistical dependences) with our method in order to distinguish between causal hypotheses which are equivalent with respect to the imposed independences. Furthermore, we compare the performance to Bayesian approaches to causal inference.

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Optimal EEG Features Across Time, Frequency and Space

Farquhar, J., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Current Trends in Brain-Computer Interfacing, December 2006 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Learning

Zien, A.

Advanced Methods in Sequence Analysis Lectures, November 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Adapting Spatial Filter Methods for Nonstationary BCIs

Tomioka, R., Hill, J., Blankertz, B., Aihara, K.

In IBIS 2006, pages: 65-70, 2006 Workshop on Information-Based Induction Sciences, November 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A major challenge in applying machine learning methods to Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) is to overcome the possible nonstationarity in the data from the datablock the method is trained on and that the method is applied to. Assuming the joint distributions of the whitened signal and the class label to be identical in two blocks, where the whitening is done in each block independently, we propose a simple adaptation formula that is applicable to a broad class of spatial filtering methods including ICA, CSP, and logistic regression classifiers. We characterize the class of linear transformations for which the above assumption holds. Experimental results on 60 BCI datasets show improved classification accuracy compared to (a) fixed spatial filter approach (no adaptation) and (b) fixed spatial pattern approach (proposed by Hill et al., 2006 [1]).

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Determining the PET Attenuation Map from Magnetic Resonance Images

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Judenhofer, M., Claussen, C., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

IEEE Medical Imaging Conference, November 2006 (talk)

Abstract
A promising new combination in multimodality imaging is MR-PET, where the high soft tissue contrast of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the functional information of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are combined. Although many technical problems have recently been solved, it is still an open problem to determine the attenuation map from the available MR scan, as the MR intensities are not directly related to the attenuation values. One standard approach is an atlas registration where the atlas MR image is aligned with the patient MR thus also yielding an attenuation image for the patient. We also propose another approach, which to our knowledge has not been tried before: Using Support Vector Machines we predict the attenuation value directly from the local image information. We train this well-established machine learning algorithm using small image patches. Although both approaches sometimes yielded acceptable results, they also showed their specific shortcomings: The registration often fails with large deformations whereas the prediction approach is problematic when the local image structure is not characteristic enough. However, the failures often do not coincide and integration of both information sources is promising. We therefore developed a combination method extending Support Vector Machines to use not only local image structure but also atlas registered coordinates. We demonstrate the strength of this combination approach on a number of examples.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines and Application to Spam Filtering

Zien, A.

ECML Discovery Challenge Workshop, September 2006 (talk)

Abstract
After introducing the semi-supervised support vector machine (aka TSVM for "transductive SVM"), a few popular training strategies are briefly presented. Then the assumptions underlying semi-supervised learning are reviewed. Finally, two modern TSVM optimization techniques are applied to the spam filtering data sets of the workshop; it is shown that they can achieve excellent results, if the problem of the data being non-iid can be handled properly.

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Linear Programming Approach for Molecular QSAR analysis

Saigo, H., Kadowaki, T., Tsuda, K.

In MLG 2006, pages: 85-96, (Editors: Gärtner, T. , G. C. Garriga, T. Meinl), International Workshop on Mining and Learning with Graphs, September 2006, Best Paper Award (inproceedings)

Abstract
Small molecules in chemistry can be represented as graphs. In a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis, the central task is to find a regression function that predicts the activity of the molecule in high accuracy. Setting a QSAR as a primal target, we propose a new linear programming approach to the graph-based regression problem. Our method extends the graph classification algorithm by Kudo et al. (NIPS 2004), which is a combination of boosting and graph mining. Instead of sequential multiplicative updates, we employ the linear programming boosting (LP) for regression. The LP approach allows to include inequality constraints for the parameter vector, which turns out to be particularly useful in QSAR tasks where activity values are sometimes unavailable. Furthermore, the efficiency is improved significantly by employing multiple pricing.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Incremental Aspect Models for Mining Document Streams

Surendran, A., Sra, S.

In PKDD 2006, pages: 633-640, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 10th European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we introduce a novel approach for incrementally building aspect models, and use it to dynamically discover underlying themes from document streams. Using the new approach we present an application which we call “query-line tracking” i.e., we automatically discover and summarize different themes or stories that appear over time, and that relate to a particular query. We present evaluation on news corpora to demonstrate the strength of our method for both query-line tracking, online indexing and clustering.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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PALMA: Perfect Alignments using Large Margin Algorithms

Rätsch, G., Hepp, B., Schulze, U., Ong, C.

In GCB 2006, pages: 104-113, (Editors: Huson, D. , O. Kohlbacher, A. Lupas, K. Nieselt, A. Zell), Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Germany, German Conference on Bioinformatics, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Despite many years of research on how to properly align sequences in the presence of sequencing errors, alternative splicing and micro-exons, the correct alignment of mRNA sequences to genomic DNA is still a challenging task. We present a novel approach based on large margin learning that combines kernel based splice site predictions with common sequence alignment techniques. By solving a convex optimization problem, our algorithm -- called PALMA -- tunes the parameters of the model such that the true alignment scores higher than all other alignments. In an experimental study on the alignments of mRNAs containing artificially generated micro-exons, we show that our algorithm drastically outperforms all other methods: It perfectly aligns all 4358 sequences on an hold-out set, while the best other method misaligns at least 90 of them. Moreover, our algorithm is very robust against noise in the query sequence: when deleting, inserting, or mutating up to 50% of the query sequence, it still aligns 95% of all sequences correctly, while other methods achieve less than 36% accuracy. For datasets, additional results and a stand-alone alignment tool see http://www.fml.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/palma.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Graph Based Semi-Supervised Learning with Sharper Edges

Shin, H., Hill, N., Rätsch, G.

In ECML 2006, pages: 401-412, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 17th European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML), September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In many graph-based semi-supervised learning algorithms, edge weights are assumed to be fixed and determined by the data points‘ (often symmetric)relationships in input space, without considering directionality. However, relationships may be more informative in one direction (e.g. from labelled to unlabelled) than in the reverse direction, and some relationships (e.g. strong weights between oppositely labelled points) are unhelpful in either direction. Undesirable edges may reduce the amount of influence an informative point can propagate to its neighbours -- the point and its outgoing edges have been ``blunted.‘‘ We present an approach to ``sharpening‘‘ in which weights are adjusted to meet an optimization criterion wherever they are directed towards labelled points. This principle can be applied to a wide variety of algorithms. In the current paper, we present one ad hoc solution satisfying the principle, in order to show that it can improve performance on a number of publicly available benchmark data sets.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]