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2006


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Machine Learning Methods For Estimating Operator Equations

Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 14th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID 2006), pages: 6, (Editors: B Ninness and H Hjalmarsson), Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom, 14th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID), March 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of fitting a linear operator induced equation to point sampled data. In order to do so we systematically exploit the duality between minimizing a regularization functional derived from an operator and kernel regression methods. Standard machine learning model selection algorithms can then be interpreted as a search of the equation best fitting given data points. For many kernels this operator induced equation is a linear differential equation. Thus, we link a continuous-time system identification task with common machine learning methods. The presented link opens up a wide variety of methods to be applied to this system identification problem. In a series of experiments we demonstrate an example algorithm working on non-uniformly spaced data, giving special focus to the problem of identifying one system from multiple data recordings.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2006

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Factorial Coding of Natural Images: How Effective are Linear Models in Removing Higher-Order Dependencies?

Bethge, M.

9, pages: 90, 9th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), March 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The performance of unsupervised learning models for natural images is evaluated quantitatively by means of information theory. We estimate the gain in statistical independence (the multi-information reduction) achieved with independent component analysis (ICA), principal component analysis (PCA), zero-phase whitening, and predictive coding. Predictive coding is translated into the transform coding framework, where it can be characterized by the constraint of a triangular filter matrix. A randomly sampled whitening basis and the Haar wavelet are included into the comparison as well. The comparison of all these methods is carried out for different patch sizes, ranging from 2x2 to 16x16 pixels. In spite of large differences in the shape of the basis functions, we find only small differences in the multi-information between all decorrelation transforms (5% or less) for all patch sizes. Among the second-order methods, PCA is optimal for small patch sizes and predictive coding performs best for large patch sizes. The extra gain achieved with ICA is always less than 2%. In conclusion, the `edge filters‘ found with ICA lead only to a surprisingly small improvement in terms of its actual objective.

Web [BibTex]


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Implicit Volterra and Wiener Series for Higher-Order Image Analysis

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Data Analysis: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of The Gesellschaft für Klassifikation, 30, pages: 1, March 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The computation of classical higher-order statistics such as higher-order moments or spectra is difficult for images due to the huge number of terms to be estimated and interpreted. We propose an alternative approach in which multiplicative pixel interactions are described by a series of Wiener functionals. Since the functionals are estimated implicitly via polynomial kernels, the combinatorial explosion associated with the classical higher-order statistics is avoided. In addition, the kernel framework allows for estimating infinite series expansions and for the regularized estimation of the Wiener series. First results show that image structures such as lines or corners can be predicted correctly, and that pixel interactions up to the order of five play an important role in natural images.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Model-based Design Analysis and Yield Optimization

Pfingsten, T., Herrmann, D., Rasmussen, C.

IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, 19(4):475-486, February 2006 (article)

Abstract
Fluctuations are inherent to any fabrication process. Integrated circuits and micro-electro-mechanical systems are particularly affected by these variations, and due to high quality requirements the effect on the devices’ performance has to be understood quantitatively. In recent years it has become possible to model the performance of such complex systems on the basis of design specifications, and model-based Sensitivity Analysis has made its way into industrial engineering. We show how an efficient Bayesian approach, using a Gaussian process prior, can replace the commonly used brute-force Monte Carlo scheme, making it possible to apply the analysis to computationally costly models. We introduce a number of global, statistically justified sensitivity measures for design analysis and optimization. Two models of integrated systems serve us as case studies to introduce the analysis and to assess its convergence properties. We show that the Bayesian Monte Carlo scheme can save costly simulation runs and can ensure a reliable accuracy of the analysis.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Weighting of experimental evidence in macromolecular structure determination

Habeck, M., Rieping, W., Nilges, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(6):1756-1761, February 2006 (article)

Abstract
The determination of macromolecular structures requires weighting of experimental evidence relative to prior physical information. Although it can critically affect the quality of the calculated structures, experimental data are routinely weighted on an empirical basis. At present, cross-validation is the most rigorous method to determine the best weight. We describe a general method to adaptively weight experimental data in the course of structure calculation. It is further shown that the necessity to define weights for the data can be completely alleviated. We demonstrate the method on a structure calculation from NMR data and find that the resulting structures are optimal in terms of accuracy and structural quality. Our method is devoid of the bias imposed by an empirical choice of the weight and has some advantages over estimating the weight by cross-validation.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Cross-Validation Optimization for Structured Hessian Kernel Methods

Seeger, M., Chapelle, O.

Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, February 2006 (techreport)

Abstract
We address the problem of learning hyperparameters in kernel methods for which the Hessian of the objective is structured. We propose an approximation to the cross-validation log likelihood whose gradient can be computed analytically, solving the hyperparameter learning problem efficiently through nonlinear optimization. Crucially, our learning method is based entirely on matrix-vector multiplication primitives with the kernel matrices and their derivatives, allowing straightforward specialization to new kernels or to large datasets. When applied to the problem of multi-way classification, our method scales linearly in the number of classes and gives rise to state-of-the-art results on a remote imaging task.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Classification of Faces in Man and Machine

Graf, A., Wichmann, F., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 18(1):143-165, January 2006 (article)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning

Rasmussen, CE., Williams, CKI.

pages: 248, Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, January 2006 (book)

Abstract
Gaussian processes (GPs) provide a principled, practical, probabilistic approach to learning in kernel machines. GPs have received increased attention in the machine-learning community over the past decade, and this book provides a long-needed systematic and unified treatment of theoretical and practical aspects of GPs in machine learning. The treatment is comprehensive and self-contained, targeted at researchers and students in machine learning and applied statistics. The book deals with the supervised-learning problem for both regression and classification, and includes detailed algorithms. A wide variety of covariance (kernel) functions are presented and their properties discussed. Model selection is discussed both from a Bayesian and a classical perspective. Many connections to other well-known techniques from machine learning and statistics are discussed, including support-vector machines, neural networks, splines, regularization networks, relevance vector machines and others. Theoretical issues including learning curves and the PAC-Bayesian framework are treated, and several approximation methods for learning with large datasets are discussed. The book contains illustrative examples and exercises, and code and datasets are available on the Web. Appendixes provide mathematical background and a discussion of Gaussian Markov processes.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causal Inference by Choosing Graphs with Most Plausible Markov Kernels

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics, pages: 1-11, ISAIM, January 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new inference rule for estimating causal structure that underlies the observed statistical dependencies among n random variables. Our method is based on comparing the conditional distributions of variables given their direct causes (the so-called Markov kernels") for all hypothetical causal directions and choosing the most plausible one. We consider those Markov kernels most plausible, which maximize the (conditional) entropies constrained by their observed first moment (expectation) and second moments (variance and covariance with its direct causes) based on their given domain. In this paper, we discuss our inference rule for causal relationships between two variables in detail, apply it to a real-world temperature data set with known causality and show that our method provides a correct result for the example.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Classification of natural scenes: critical features revisited

Drewes, J., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 251, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning Challenges: evaluating predictive uncertainty, visual object classification and recognising textual entailment

Quinonero Candela, J., Dagan, I., Magnini, B., Lauria, F.

Proceedings of the First Pascal Machine Learning Challenges Workshop on Machine Learning Challenges, Evaluating Predictive Uncertainty, Visual Object Classification and Recognizing Textual Entailment (MLCW 2005), pages: 462, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, First Pascal Machine Learning Challenges Workshop (MLCW), 2006 (proceedings)

Abstract
This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-proceedings of the First PASCAL (pattern analysis, statistical modelling and computational learning) Machine Learning Challenges Workshop, MLCW 2005, held in Southampton, UK in April 2005. The 25 revised full papers presented were carefully selected during two rounds of reviewing and improvement from about 50 submissions. The papers reflect the concepts of three challenges dealt with in the workshop: finding an assessment base on the uncertainty of predictions using classical statistics, Bayesian inference, and statistical learning theory; the second challenge was to recognize objects from a number of visual object classes in realistic scenes; the third challenge of recognizing textual entailment addresses semantic analysis of language to form a generic framework for applied semantic inference in text understanding.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Texture and haptic cues in slant discrimination: combination is sensitive to reliability but not statistically optimal

Rosas, P., Wagemans, J., Ernst, M., Wichmann, F.

Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP 2006), 48, pages: 80, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Combining a Filter Method with SVMs

Lal, T., Chapelle, O., Schölkopf, B.

In Feature Extraction: Foundations and Applications, Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing, Vol. 207, pages: 439-446, Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing ; 207, (Editors: I Guyon and M Nikravesh and S Gunn and LA Zadeh), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2006 (inbook)

Abstract
Our goal for the competition (feature selection competition NIPS 2003) was to evaluate the usefulness of simple machine learning techniques. We decided to use the correlation criteria as a feature selection method and Support Vector Machines for the classification part. Here we explain how we chose the regularization parameter C of the SVM, how we determined the kernel parameter and how we estimated the number of features used for each data set. All analyzes were carried out on the training sets of the competition data. We choose the data set Arcene as an example to explain the approach step by step. In our view the point of this competition was the construction of a well performing classifier rather than the systematic analysis of a specific approach. This is why our search for the best classifier was only guided by the described methods and that we deviated from the road map at several occasions. All calculations were done with the software Spider [2004].

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Embedded methods

Lal, T., Chapelle, O., Weston, J., Elisseeff, A.

In Feature Extraction: Foundations and Applications, pages: 137-165, Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing ; 207, (Editors: Guyon, I. , S. Gunn, M. Nikravesh, L. A. Zadeh), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2006 (inbook)

Abstract
Embedded methods are a relatively new approach to feature selection. Unlike filter methods, which do not incorporate learning, and wrapper approaches, which can be used with arbitrary classifiers, in embedded methods the features selection part can not be separated from the learning part. Existing embedded methods are reviewed based on a unifying mathematical framework.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Ähnlichkeitsmasse in Modellen zur Kategorienbildung

Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 223, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The pedestal effect is caused by off-frequency looking, not nonlinear transduction or contrast gain-control

Wichmann, F., Henning, B.

Experimentelle Psychologie: Beitr{\"a}ge zur 48. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 48, pages: 205, 2006 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics: Science and Systems II (RSS 2006), pages: 255-262, (Editors: Gaurav S. Sukhatme and Stefan Schaal and Wolfram Burgard and Dieter Fox), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, RSS , 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
While operational space control is of essential importance for robotics and well-understood from an analytical point of view, it can be prohibitively hard to achieve accurate control in face of modeling errors, which are inevitable in complex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In such cases, learning control methods can offer an interesting alternative to analytical control algorithms. However, the resulting learning problem is ill-defined as it requires to learn an inverse mapping of a usually redundant system, which is well known to suffer from the property of non-covexity of the solution space, i.e., the learning system could generate motor commands that try to steer the robot into physically impossible configurations. A first important insight for this paper is that, nevertheless, a physically correct solution to the inverse problem does exits when learning of the inverse map is performed in a suitable piecewise linear way. The second crucial component for our work is based on a recent insight that many operational space controllers can be understood in terms of a constraint optimal control problem. The cost function associated with this optimal control problem allows us to formulate a learning algorithm that automatically synthesizes a globally consistent desired resolution of redundancy while learning the operational space controller. From the view of machine learning, the learning problem corresponds to a reinforcement learning problem that maximizes an immediate reward and that employs an expectation-maximization policy search algorithm. Evaluations on a three degrees of freedom robot arm illustrate the feasability of our suggested approach.

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Parameterized Motor Primitives

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2006 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, pages: 73-80, IJCNN, 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
One of the major challenges in both action generation for robotics and in the understanding of human motor control is to learn the "building blocks of movement generation", called motor primitives. Motor primitives, as used in this paper, are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. While a lot of progress has been made in teaching parameterized motor primitives using supervised or imitation learning, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we evaluate different reinforcement learning approaches for improving the performance of parameterized motor primitives. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and outline both established and novel algorithms for the gradient-based improvement of parameterized policies. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2002


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Learning with Kernels: Support Vector Machines, Regularization, Optimization, and Beyond

Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

pages: 644, Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2002, Parts of this book, including an introduction to kernel methods, can be downloaded here. (book)

Abstract
In the 1990s, a new type of learning algorithm was developed, based on results from statistical learning theory: the Support Vector Machine (SVM). This gave rise to a new class of theoretically elegant learning machines that use a central concept of SVMs-kernels—for a number of learning tasks. Kernel machines provide a modular framework that can be adapted to different tasks and domains by the choice of the kernel function and the base algorithm. They are replacing neural networks in a variety of fields, including engineering, information retrieval, and bioinformatics. Learning with Kernels provides an introduction to SVMs and related kernel methods. Although the book begins with the basics, it also includes the latest research. It provides all of the concepts necessary to enable a reader equipped with some basic mathematical knowledge to enter the world of machine learning using theoretically well-founded yet easy-to-use kernel algorithms and to understand and apply the powerful algorithms that have been developed over the last few years.

Web [BibTex]

2002

Web [BibTex]


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Surface-slant-from-texture discrimination: Effects of slant level and texture type

Rosas, P., Wichmann, F., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):300, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The problem of surface-slant-from-texture was studied psychophysically by measuring the performances of five human subjects in a slant-discrimination task with a number of different types of textures: uniform lattices, randomly displaced lattices, polka dots, Voronoi tessellations, orthogonal sinusoidal plaid patterns, fractal or 1/f noise, “coherent” noise and a “diffusion-based” texture (leopard skin-like). The results show: (1) Improving performance with larger slants for all textures. (2) A “non-symmetrical” performance around a particular slant characterized by a psychometric function that is steeper in the direction of the more slanted orientation. (3) For sufficiently large slants (66 deg) there are no major differences in performance between any of the different textures. (4) For slants at 26, 37 and 53 degrees, however, there are marked differences between the different textures. (5) The observed differences in performance across textures for slants up to 53 degrees are systematic within subjects, and nearly so across them. This allows a rank-order of textures to be formed according to their “helpfulness” — that is, how easy the discrimination task is when a particular texture is mapped on the surface. Polka dots tended to allow the best slant discrimination performance, noise patterns the worst up to the large slant of 66 degrees at which performance was almost independent of the particular texture chosen. Finally, our large number of 2AFC trials (approximately 2800 trials per texture across subjects) and associated tight confidence intervals may enable us to find out about which statistical properties of the textures could be responsible for surface-slant-from-texture estimation, with the ultimate goal of being able to predict observer performance for any arbitrary texture.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision

Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 2(10):7, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast, the results of which allow different models of contrast processing (e.g. energy versus gain-control models) to be critically assessed (Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Studies of detection and discrimination using pulse train stimuli in noise, on the other hand, make predictions about the number, position and properties of noise sources within the processing stream (Henning, Bird & Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results combining data from both sinusoidal and pulse train experiments in and without noise to arrive at a more tightly constrained model of early spatial vision.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Gender Classification of Human Faces

Graf, A., Wichmann, F.

In Biologically Motivated Computer Vision, pages: 1-18, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., S.W. Lee, T. A. Poggio and C. Wallraven), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Second International Workshop on Biologically Motivated Computer Vision (BMCV), November 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper addresses the issue of combining pre-processing methods—dimensionality reduction using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Locally Linear Embedding (LLE)—with Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification for a behaviorally important task in humans: gender classification. A processed version of the MPI head database is used as stimulus set. First, summary statistics of the head database are studied. Subsequently the optimal parameters for LLE and the SVM are sought heuristically. These values are then used to compare the original face database with its processed counterpart and to assess the behavior of a SVM with respect to changes in illumination and perspective of the face images. Overall, PCA was superior in classification performance and allowed linear separability.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Insect-Inspired Estimation of Self-Motion

Franz, MO., Chahl, JS.

In Biologically Motivated Computer Vision, (2525):171-180, LNCS, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H. , S.W. Lee, T.A. Poggio, C. Wallraven), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Second International Workshop on Biologically Motivated Computer Vision (BMCV), November 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion. In this study, we examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge about the environment. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor. The experiments show that the proposed approach leads to accurate and robust estimates of rotation rates, whereas translation estimates turn out to be less reliable.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Pulse train detection and discrimination in pink noise

Henning, G., Wichmann, F., Bird, C.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):229, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on the display was measured and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband "pink" noise, designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train, made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. In contrast, a 2.09-c/deg "super train," constructed to have 8 equally detectable harmonics, was a factor of five more detectable than any of its components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Combining sensory Information to Improve Visualization

Ernst, M., Banks, M., Wichmann, F., Maloney, L., Bülthoff, H.

In Proceedings of the Conference on Visualization ‘02 (VIS ‘02), pages: 571-574, (Editors: Moorhead, R. , M. Joy), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Conference on Visualization (VIS '02), October 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Seemingly effortlessly the human brain reconstructs the three-dimensional environment surrounding us from the light pattern striking the eyes. This seems to be true across almost all viewing and lighting conditions. One important factor for this apparent easiness is the redundancy of information provided by the sensory organs. For example, perspective distortions, shading, motion parallax, or the disparity between the two eyes' images are all, at least partly, redundant signals which provide us with information about the three-dimensional layout of the visual scene. Our brain uses all these different sensory signals and combines the available information into a coherent percept. In displays visualizing data, however, the information is often highly reduced and abstracted, which may lead to an altered perception and therefore a misinterpretation of the visualized data. In this panel we will discuss mechanisms involved in the combination of sensory information and their implications for simulations using computer displays, as well as problems resulting from current display technology such as cathode-ray tubes.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Incorporating Invariances in Non-Linear Support Vector Machines

Chapelle, O., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14, pages: 609-616, (Editors: TG Dietterich and S Becker and Z Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The choice of an SVM kernel corresponds to the choice of a representation of the data in a feature space and, to improve performance, it should therefore incorporate prior knowledge such as known transformation invariances. We propose a technique which extends earlier work and aims at incorporating invariances in nonlinear kernels. We show on a digit recognition task that the proposed approach is superior to the Virtual Support Vector method, which previously had been the method of choice.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Constructing Boosting algorithms from SVMs: an application to one-class classification.

Rätsch, G., Mika, S., Schölkopf, B., Müller, K.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 24(9):1184-1199, September 2002 (article)

Abstract
We show via an equivalence of mathematical programs that a support vector (SV) algorithm can be translated into an equivalent boosting-like algorithm and vice versa. We exemplify this translation procedure for a new algorithm—one-class leveraging—starting from the one-class support vector machine (1-SVM). This is a first step toward unsupervised learning in a boosting framework. Building on so-called barrier methods known from the theory of constrained optimization, it returns a function, written as a convex combination of base hypotheses, that characterizes whether a given test point is likely to have been generated from the distribution underlying the training data. Simulations on one-class classification problems demonstrate the usefulness of our approach.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel Dependency Estimation

Weston, J., Chapelle, O., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Vapnik, V.

(98), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2002 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the learning problem of finding a dependency between a general class of objects and another, possibly different, general class of objects. The objects can be for example: vectors, images, strings, trees or graphs. Such a task is made possible by employing similarity measures in both input and output spaces using kernel functions, thus embedding the objects into vector spaces. Output kernels also make it possible to encode prior information and/or invariances in the loss function in an elegant way. We experimentally validate our approach on several tasks: mapping strings to strings, pattern recognition, and reconstruction from partial images.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Phase information in the recognition of natural images

Braun, D., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Perception, 31(ECVP Abstract Supplement):133, 25th European Conference on Visual Perception, August 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining global image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image of a flower is swapped with that of a tank, we usually perceive a tank, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the flower. Similarly, when the phase spectrum of an image is randomly swapped across frequencies, that is its Fourier energy is randomly distributed over the image, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognise. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of phase manipulations in a quantitative manner. Subjects viewed two images of natural scenes, one of which contained an animal (the target) embedded in the background. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was the independent variable, uniformly distributed between 0° and ±180°. Subjects were remarkably resistant to phase noise. Even with ±120° noise, subjects were still 75% correct. The proportion of correct answers closely followed the correlation between original and noise-distorted images. Thus it appears as if it was not the global phase information per se that determines our percept of natural images, but rather the effect of phase on local image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The contributions of color to recognition memory for natural scenes

Wichmann, F., Sharpe, L., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 28(3):509-520, May 2002 (article)

Abstract
The authors used a recognition memory paradigm to assess the influence of color information on visual memory for images of natural scenes. Subjects performed 5-10% better for colored than for black-and-white images independent of exposure duration. Experiment 2 indicated little influence of contrast once the images were suprathreshold, and Experiment 3 revealed that performance worsened when images were presented in color and tested in black and white, or vice versa, leading to the conclusion that the surface property color is part of the memory representation. Experiments 4 and 5 exclude the possibility that the superior recognition memory for colored images results solely from attentional factors or saliency. Finally, the recognition memory advantage disappears for falsely colored images of natural scenes: The improvement in recognition memory depends on the color congruence of presented images with learned knowledge about the color gamut found within natural scenes. The results can be accounted for within a multiple memory systems framework.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Detection and discrimination in pink noise

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

5, pages: 100, 5. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about early spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli, which are not, perhaps, particularly "natural" stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast whilst keeping the number of unknown parameters comparatively small. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on our display was measured using a high-performance digital camera (Photometrics) and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband 1-D "pink" noise made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Training invariant support vector machines

DeCoste, D., Schölkopf, B.

Machine Learning, 46(1-3):161-190, January 2002 (article)

Abstract
Practical experience has shown that in order to obtain the best possible performance, prior knowledge about invariances of a classification problem at hand ought to be incorporated into the training procedure. We describe and review all known methods for doing so in support vector machines, provide experimental results, and discuss their respective merits. One of the significant new results reported in this work is our recent achievement of the lowest reported test error on the well-known MNIST digit recognition benchmark task, with SVM training times that are also significantly faster than previous SVM methods.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Contrast discrimination with sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency

Bird, C., Henning, G., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(7), pages: 1267-1273, 2002 (article)

Abstract
The detectability of contrast increments was measured as a function of the contrast of a masking or “pedestal” grating at a number of different spatial frequencies ranging from 2 to 16 cycles per degree of visual angle. The pedestal grating always had the same orientation, spatial frequency and phase as the signal. The shape of the contrast increment threshold versus pedestal contrast (TvC) functions depend of the performance level used to define the “threshold,” but when both axes are normalized by the contrast corresponding to 75% correct detection at each frequency, the (TvC) functions at a given performance level are identical. Confidence intervals on the slope of the rising part of the TvC functions are so wide that it is not possible with our data to reject Weber’s Law.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A compression approach to support vector model selection

von Luxburg, U., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

(101), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2002, see more detailed JMLR version (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we investigate connections between statistical learning theory and data compression on the basis of support vector machine (SVM) model selection. Inspired by several generalization bounds we construct ``compression coefficients'' for SVMs, which measure the amount by which the training labels can be compressed by some classification hypothesis. The main idea is to relate the coding precision of this hypothesis to the width of the margin of the SVM. The compression coefficients connect well known quantities such as the radius-margin ratio R^2/rho^2, the eigenvalues of the kernel matrix and the number of support vectors. To test whether they are useful in practice we ran model selection experiments on several real world datasets. As a result we found that compression coefficients can fairly accurately predict the parameters for which the test error is minimized.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Application of Monte Carlo Methods to Psychometric Function Fitting

Wichmann, F.

Proceedings of the 33rd European Conference on Mathematical Psychology, pages: 44, 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The psychometric function relates an observer's performance to an independent variable, usually some physical quantity of a stimulus in a psychophysical task. Here I describe methods to (1) fitting psychometric functions, (2) assessing goodness-of-fit, and (3) providing confidence intervals for the function's parameters and other estimates derived from them. First I describe a constrained maximum-likelihood method for parameter estimation. Using Monte-Carlo simulations I demonstrate that it is important to have a fitting method that takes stimulus-independent errors (or "lapses") into account. Second, a number of goodness-of-fit tests are introduced. Because psychophysical data sets are usually rather small I advocate the use of Monte Carlo resampling techniques that do not rely on asymptotic theory for goodness-of-fit assessment. Third, a parametric bootstrap is employed to estimate the variability of fitted parameters and derived quantities such as thresholds and slopes. I describe how the bootstrap bridging assumption, on which the validity of the procedure depends, can be tested without incurring too high a cost in computation time. Finally I describe how the methods can be extended to test hypotheses concerning the form and shape of several psychometric functions. Software describing the methods is available (http://www.bootstrap-software.com/psignifit/), as well as articles describing the methods in detail (Wichmann&Hill, Perception&Psychophysics, 2001a,b).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Contrast discrimination with pulse-trains in pink noise

Henning, G., Bird, C., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(7), pages: 1259-1266, 2002 (article)

Abstract
Detection performance was measured with sinusoidal and pulse-train gratings. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train, or line gratings, contained at least 8 harmonics all at equal contrast, they were no more detectable than their most detectable component. The addition of broadband pink noise designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train made the pulse train about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with a pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not affect the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that obtained with its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A kernel approach for learning from almost orthogonal patterns

Schölkopf, B., Weston, J., Eskin, E., Leslie, C., Noble, W.

In Principles of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2430/2431, pages: 511-528, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (Editors: T Elomaa and H Mannila and H Toivonen), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 13th European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML) and 6th European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (PKDD'2002), 2002 (inproceedings)

PostScript DOI [BibTex]

PostScript DOI [BibTex]


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Optimal linear estimation of self-motion - a real-world test of a model of fly tangential neurons

Franz, MO.

SAB 02 Workshop, Robotics as theoretical biology, 7th meeting of the International Society for Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour (SAB), (Editors: Prescott, T.; Webb, B.), 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion (see example in Fig.1). We examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge both about the distance distribution of the environment, and about the noise and self-motion statistics of the sensor. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor that can be moved along three translational and one rotational degree of freedom. The experiments indicate that the proposed approach yields accurate results for rotation estimates, independently of the current translation and scene layout. Translation estimates, however, turned out to be sensitive to simultaneous rotation and to the particular distance distribution of the scene. The gantry experiments confirm that the receptive field organization of the tangential neurons allows them, as an ensemble, to extract self-motion from the optic flow.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Luminance Artifacts on CRT Displays

Wichmann, F.

In IEEE Visualization, pages: 571-574, (Editors: Moorhead, R.; Gross, M.; Joy, K. I.), IEEE Visualization, 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Most visualization panels today are still built around cathode-ray tubes (CRTs), certainly on personal desktops at work and at home. Whilst capable of producing pleasing images for common applications ranging from email writing to TV and DVD presentation, it is as well to note that there are a number of nonlinear transformations between input (voltage) and output (luminance) which distort the digital and/or analogue images send to a CRT. Some of them are input-independent and hence easy to fix, e.g. gamma correction, but others, such as pixel interactions, depend on the content of the input stimulus and are thus harder to compensate for. CRT-induced image distortions cause problems not only in basic vision research but also for applications where image fidelity is critical, most notably in medicine (digitization of X-ray images for diagnostic purposes) and in forms of online commerce, such as the online sale of images, where the image must be reproduced on some output device which will not have the same transfer function as the customer's CRT. I will present measurements from a number of CRTs and illustrate how some of their shortcomings may be problematic for the aforementioned applications.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]