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2007


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Studying the effects of noise correlations on population coding using a sampling method

Ecker, A., Berens, P., Bethge, M., Logothetis, N., Tolias, A.

Neural Coding, Computation and Dynamics (NCCD 07), 1, pages: 21, September 2007 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

2007

PDF [BibTex]


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Near-Maximum Entropy Models for Binary Neural Representations of Natural Images

Berens, P., Bethge, M.

Neural Coding, Computation and Dynamics (NCCD 07), 1, pages: 19, September 2007 (poster)

Abstract
Maximum entropy analysis of binary variables provides an elegant way for studying the role of pairwise correlations in neural populations. Unfortunately, these approaches suffer from their poor scalability to high dimensions. In sensory coding, however, high-dimensional data is ubiquitous. Here, we introduce a new approach using a near-maximum entropy model, that makes this type of analysis feasible for very high-dimensional data---the model parameters can be derived in closed form and sampling is easy. We demonstrate its usefulness by studying a simple neural representation model of natural images. For the first time, we are able to directly compare predictions from a pairwise maximum entropy model not only in small groups of neurons, but also in larger populations of more than thousand units. Our results indicate that in such larger networks interactions exist that are not predicted by pairwise correlations, despite the fact that pairwise correlations explain the lower-dimensional marginal statistics extrem ely well up to the limit of dimensionality where estimation of the full joint distribution is feasible.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Error Correcting Codes for the P300 Visual Speller

Biessmann, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, July 2007 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
The aim of brain-computer interface (BCI) research is to establish a communication system based on intentional modulation of brain activity. This is accomplished by classifying patterns of brain ac- tivity, volitionally induced by the user. The BCI presented in this study is based on a classical paradigm as proposed by (Farwell and Donchin, 1988), the P300 visual speller. Recording electroencephalo- grams (EEG) from the scalp while presenting letters successively to the user, the speller can infer from the brain signal which letter the user was focussing on. Since EEG recordings are noisy, usually many repetitions are needed to detect the correct letter. The focus of this study was to improve the accuracy of the visual speller applying some basic principles from information theory: Stimulus sequences of the speller have been modified into error-correcting codes. Additionally a language model was incorporated into the probabilistic letter de- coder. Classification of single EEG epochs was less accurate using error correcting codes. However, the novel code could compensate for that such that overall, letter accuracies were as high as or even higher than for classical stimulus codes. In particular at high noise levels, error-correcting decoding achieved higher letter accuracies.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning the Influence of Spatio-Temporal Variations in Local Image Structure on Visual Saliency

Kienzle, W., Wichmann, F., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

10th T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007), 10, pages: 1, July 2007 (poster)

Abstract
Computational models for bottom-up visual attention traditionally consist of a bank of Gabor-like or Difference-of-Gaussians filters and a nonlinear combination scheme which combines the filter responses into a real-valued saliency measure [1]. Recently it was shown that a standard machine learning algorithm can be used to derive a saliency model from human eye movement data with a very small number of additional assumptions. The learned model is much simpler than previous models, but nevertheless has state-of-the-art prediction performance [2]. A central result from this study is that DoG-like center-surround filters emerge as the unique solution to optimizing the predictivity of the model. Here we extend the learning method to the temporal domain. While the previous model [2] predicts visual saliency based on local pixel intensities in a static image, our model also takes into account temporal intensity variations. We find that the learned model responds strongly to temporal intensity changes ocurring 200-250ms before a saccade is initiated. This delay coincides with the typical saccadic latencies, indicating that the learning algorithm has extracted a meaningful statistic from the training data. In addition, we show that the model correctly predicts a significant proportion of human eye movements on previously unseen test data.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Data-driven goodness-of-fit tests

Langovoy, MA.

Biologische Kybernetik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, July 2007 (phdthesis)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Nonparametric Bayesian Discrete Latent Variable Models for Unsupervised Learning

Görür, D.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, April 2007, published online (phdthesis)

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Better Codes for the P300 Visual Speller

Biessmann, F., Hill, N., Farquhar, J., Schölkopf, B.

G{\"o}ttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, 7, pages: 123, March 2007 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Do We Know What the Early Visual System Computes?

Bethge, M., Kayser, C.

31st G{\"o}ttingen Neurobiology Conference, 31, pages: 352, March 2007 (poster)

Abstract
Decades of research provided much data and insights into the mechanisms of the early visual system. Currently, however, there is great controversy on whether these findings can provide us with a thorough functional understanding of what the early visual system does, or formulated differently, of what it computes. At the Society for Neuroscience meeting 2005 in Washington, a symposium was held on the question "Do we know that the early visual system does", which was accompanied by a widely regarded publication in the Journal of Neuroscience. Yet, that discussion was rather specialized as it predominantly addressed the question of how well neural responses in retina, LGN, and cortex can be predicted from noise stimuli, but did not emphasize the question of whether we understand what the function of these early visual areas is. Here we will concentrate on this neuro-computational aspect of vision. Experts from neurobiology, psychophysics and computational neuroscience will present studies which approach this question from different viewpoints and promote a critical discussion of whether we actually understand what early areas contribute to the processing and perception of visual information.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series for Estimating Nonlinear Receptive Fields

Franz, MO., Macke, JH., Saleem, A., Schultz, SR.

31st G{\"o}ttingen Neurobiology Conference, 31, pages: 1199, March 2007 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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3D Reconstruction of Neural Circuits from Serial EM Images

Maack, N., Kapfer, C., Macke, J., Schölkopf, B., Denk, W., Borst, A.

31st G{\"o}ttingen Neurobiology Conference, 31, pages: 1195, March 2007 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Identifying temporal population codes in the retina using canonical correlation analysis

Bethge, M., Macke, J., Gerwinn, S., Zeck, G.

31st G{\"o}ttingen Neurobiology Conference, 31, pages: 359, March 2007 (poster)

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Bayesian Neural System identification: error bars, receptive fields and neural couplings

Gerwinn, S., Seeger, M., Zeck, G., Bethge, M.

31st G{\"o}ttingen Neurobiology Conference, 31, pages: 360, March 2007 (poster)

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Applications of Kernel Machines to Structured Data

Eichhorn, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2007, passed with "sehr gut", published online (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A priori Knowledge from Non-Examples

Sinz, FH.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2007 (diplomathesis)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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About the Triangle Inequality in Perceptual Spaces

Jäkel, F., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F.

Proceedings of the Computational and Systems Neuroscience Meeting 2007 (COSYNE), 4, pages: 308, February 2007 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Center-surround filters emerge from optimizing predictivity in a free-viewing task

Kienzle, W., Wichmann, F., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

Proceedings of the Computational and Systems Neuroscience Meeting 2007 (COSYNE), 4, pages: 207, February 2007 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Nonlinear Receptive Field Analysis: Making Kernel Methods Interpretable

Kienzle, W., Macke, J., Wichmann, F., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience Meeting 2007 (COSYNE 2007), 4, pages: 16, February 2007 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Estimating Population Receptive Fields in Space and Time

Macke, J., Zeck, G., Bethge, M.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience Meeting 2007 (COSYNE 2007), 4, pages: 44, February 2007 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Machine Learning for Mass Production and Industrial Engineering

Pfingsten, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, February 2007 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Development of a Brain-Computer Interface Approach Based on Covert Attention to Tactile Stimuli

Raths, C.

University of Tübingen, Germany, University of Tübingen, Germany, January 2007 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Estimating the Attenuation Map for a Combined PET/MR Scanner

Hofmann, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2007 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning of Motor Skills for Robotics

Peters, J.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2007, clmc (phdthesis)

Abstract
Autonomous robots that can assist humans in situations of daily life have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. A first step towards this goal is to create robots that can accomplish a multitude of different tasks, triggered by environmental context or higher level instruction. Early approaches to this goal during the heydays of artificial intelligence research in the late 1980s, however, made it clear that an approach purely based on reasoning and human insights would not be able to model all the perceptuomotor tasks that a robot should fulfill. Instead, new hope was put in the growing wake of machine learning that promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this thesis, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach to motor skill learning in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution and, secondly, appropriate learning algorithms which can be applied in this setting. As a theoretical foundation, we first study a general framework to generate control laws for real robots with a particular focus on skills represented as dynamical systems in differential constraint form. We present a point-wise optimal control framework resulting from a generalization of Gauss' principle and show how various well-known robot control laws can be derived by modifying the metric of the employed cost function. The framework has been successfully applied to task space tracking control for holonomic systems for several different metrics on the anthropomorphic SARCOS Master Arm. In order to overcome the limiting requirement of accurate robot models, we first employ learning methods to find learning controllers for task space control. However, when learning to execute a redundant control problem, we face the general problem of the non-convexity of the solution space which can force the robot to steer into physically impossible configurations if supervised learning methods are employed without further consideration. This problem can be resolved using two major insights, i.e., the learning problem can be treated as locally convex and the cost function of the analytical framework can be used to ensure global consistency. Thus, we derive an immediate reinforcement learning algorithm from the expectation-maximization point of view which leads to a reward-weighted regression technique. This method can be used both for operational space control as well as general immediate reward reinforcement learning problems. We demonstrate the feasibility of the resulting framework on the problem of redundant end-effector tracking for both a simulated 3 degrees of freedom robot arm as well as for a simulated anthropomorphic SARCOS Master Arm. While learning to execute tasks in task space is an essential component to a general framework to motor skill learning, learning the actual task is of even higher importance, particularly as this issue is more frequently beyond the abilities of analytical approaches than execution. We focus on the learning of elemental tasks which can serve as the "building blocks of movement generation", called motor primitives. Motor primitives are parameterized task representations based on splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. While imitation learning of parameterized motor primitives is a relatively well-understood problem, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem, tackled in the fourth chapter of this thesis. 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. In conclusion, in this thesis, we have contributed a general framework for analytically computing robot control laws which can be used for deriving various previous control approaches and serves as foundation as well as inspiration for our learning algorithms. We have introduced two classes of novel reinforcement learning methods, i.e., the Natural Actor-Critic and the Reward-Weighted Regression algorithm. These algorithms have been used in order to replace the analytical components of the theoretical framework by learned representations. Evaluations have been performed on both simulated and real robot arms.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2005


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Extension to Kernel Dependency Estimation with Applications to Robotics

BakIr, G.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, November 2005 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Kernel Dependency Estimation(KDE) is a novel technique which was designed to learn mappings between sets without making assumptions on the type of the involved input and output data. It learns the mapping in two stages. In a first step, it tries to estimate coordinates of a feature space representation of elements of the set by solving a high dimensional multivariate regression problem in feature space. Following this, it tries to reconstruct the original representation given the estimated coordinates. This thesis introduces various algorithmic extensions to both stages in KDE. One of the contributions of this thesis is to propose a novel linear regression algorithm that explores low-dimensional subspaces during learning. Furthermore various existing strategies for reconstructing patterns from feature maps involved in KDE are discussed and novel pre-image techniques are introduced. In particular, pre-image techniques for data-types that are of discrete nature such as graphs and strings are investigated. KDE is then explored in the context of robot pose imitation where the input is a an image with a human operator and the output is the robot articulated variables. Thus, using KDE, robot pose imitation is formulated as a regression problem.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

2005

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel methods for dependence testing in LFP-MUA

Gretton, A., Belitski, A., Murayama, Y., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N.

35(689.17), 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), November 2005 (poster)

Abstract
A fundamental problem in neuroscience is determining whether or not particular neural signals are dependent. The correlation is the most straightforward basis for such tests, but considerable work also focuses on the mutual information (MI), which is capable of revealing dependence of higher orders that the correlation cannot detect. That said, there are other measures of dependence that share with the MI an ability to detect dependence of any order, but which can be easier to compute in practice. We focus in particular on tests based on the functional covariance, which derive from work originally accomplished in 1959 by Renyi. Conceptually, our dependence tests work by computing the covariance between (infinite dimensional) vectors of nonlinear mappings of the observations being tested, and then determining whether this covariance is zero - we call this measure the constrained covariance (COCO). When these vectors are members of universal reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces, we can prove this covariance to be zero only when the variables being tested are independent. The greatest advantage of these tests, compared with the mutual information, is their simplicity – when comparing two signals, we need only take the largest eigenvalue (or the trace) of a product of two matrices of nonlinearities, where these matrices are generally much smaller than the number of observations (and are very simple to construct). We compare the mutual information, the COCO, and the correlation in the context of finding changes in dependence between the LFP and MUA signals in the primary visual cortex of the anaesthetized macaque, during the presentation of dynamic natural stimuli. We demonstrate that the MI and COCO reveal dependence which is not detected by the correlation alone (which we prove by artificially removing all correlation between the signals, and then testing their dependence with COCO and the MI); and that COCO and the MI give results consistent with each other on our data.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Geometrical aspects of statistical learning theory

Hein, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Darmstadt, Darmstadt, November 2005 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implicit Surfaces For Modelling Human Heads

Steinke, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, September 2005 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Rapid animal detection in natural scenes: Critical features are local

Wichmann, F., Rosas, P., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Vision, 5(8):376, Fifth Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), September 2005 (poster)

Abstract
Thorpe et al (Nature 381, 1996) first showed how rapidly human observers are able to classify natural images as to whether they contain an animal or not. Whilst the basic result has been replicated using different response paradigms (yes-no versus forced-choice), modalities (eye movements versus button presses) as well as while measuring neurophysiological correlates (ERPs), it is still unclear which image features support this rapid categorisation. Recently Torralba and Oliva (Network: Computation in Neural Systems, 14, 2003) suggested that simple global image statistics can be used to predict seemingly complex decisions about the absence and/or presence of objects in natural scences. They show that the information contained in a small number (N=16) of spectral principal components (SPC)—principal component analysis (PCA) applied to the normalised power spectra of the images—is sufficient to achieve approximately 80% correct animal detection in natural scenes. Our goal was to test whether human observers make use of the power spectrum when rapidly classifying natural scenes. We measured our subjects' ability to detect animals in natural scenes as a function of presentation time (13 to 167 msec); images were immediately followed by a noise mask. In one condition we used the original images, in the other images whose power spectra were equalised (each power spectrum was set to the mean power spectrum over our ensemble of 1476 images). Thresholds for 75% correct animal detection were in the region of 20–30 msec for all observers, independent of the power spectrum of the images: this result makes it very unlikely that human observers make use of the global power spectrum. Taken together with the results of Gegenfurtner, Braun & Wichmann (Journal of Vision [abstract], 2003), showing the robustness of animal detection to global phase noise, we conclude that humans use local features, like edges and contours, in rapid animal detection.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning an Interest Operator from Eye Movements

Kienzle, W., Franz, M., Wichmann, F., Schölkopf, B.

International Workshop on Bioinspired Information Processing (BIP 2005), 2005, pages: 1, September 2005 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Brain-Computer Interdaces

Lal, TN.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Darmstadt, September 2005 (phdthesis)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Classification of natural scenes using global image statistics

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

Journal of Vision, 5(8):602, Fifth Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), September 2005 (poster)

Abstract
The algorithmic classification of complex, natural scenes is generally considered a difficult task due to the large amount of information conveyed by natural images. Work by Simon Thorpe and colleagues showed that humans are capable of detecting animals within novel natural scenes with remarkable speed and accuracy. This suggests that the relevant information for classification can be extracted at comparatively limited computational cost. One hypothesis is that global image statistics such as the amplitude spectrum could underly fast image classification (Johnson & Olshausen, Journal of Vision, 2003; Torralba & Oliva, Network: Comput. Neural Syst., 2003). We used linear discriminant analysis to classify a set of 11.000 images into animal and non-animal images. After applying a DFT to the image, we put the Fourier spectrum into bins (8 orientations with 6 frequency bands each). Using all bins, classification performance on the Fourier spectrum reached 70%. However, performance was similar (67%) when only the high spatial frequency information was used and decreased steadily at lower spatial frequencies, reaching a minimum (50%) for the low spatial frequency information. Similar results were obtained when all bins were used on spatially filtered images. A detailed analysis of the classification weights showed that a relatively high level of performance (67%) could also be obtained when only 2 bins were used, namely the vertical and horizontal orientation at the highest spatial frequency band. Our results show that in the absence of sophisticated machine learning techniques, animal detection in natural scenes is limited to rather modest levels of performance, far below those of human observers. If limiting oneself to global image statistics such as the DFT then mostly information at the highest spatial frequencies is useful for the task. This is analogous to the results obtained with human observers on filtered images (Kirchner et al, VSS 2004).

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Liver Perfusion using Level Set Methods

Nowozin, S.

Biologische Kybernetik, Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China, July 2005 (diplomathesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Comparative evaluation of Independent Components Analysis algorithms for isolating target-relevant information in brain-signal classification

Hill, N., Schröder, M., Lal, T., Schölkopf, B.

Brain-Computer Interface Technology, 3, pages: 95, June 2005 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]


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Discriminative Methods for Label Sequence Learning

Altun, Y.

Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, May 2005 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Adaptive Sampling of the Psychometric Function by Maximizing Information Gain

Tanner, TG.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
A common task in psychophysics is to measure the psychometric function. A psychometric function can be described by its shape and four parameters: offset or threshold, slope or width, false alarm rate or chance level and miss or lapse rate. Depending on the parameters of interest some points on the psychometric function may be more informative than others. Adaptive methods attempt to place trials on the most informative points based on the data collected in previous trials. A new Bayesian adaptive psychometric method placing trials by minimising the expected entropy of the posterior probabilty dis- tribution over a set of possible stimuli is introduced. The method is more flexible, faster and at least as efficient as the established method (Kontsevich and Tyler, 1999). Comparably accurate (2dB) threshold and slope estimates can be obtained after about 30 and 500 trials, respectively. By using a dynamic termination criterion the efficiency can be further improved. The method can be applied to all experimental designs including yes/no designs and allows acquisition of any set of free parameters. By weighting the importance of parameters one can include nuisance parameters and adjust the relative expected errors. Use of nuisance parameters may lead to more accurate estimates than assuming a guessed fixed value. Block designs are supported and do not harm the performance if a sufficient number of trials are performed. The method was evaluated by computer simulations in which the role of parametric assumptions, its robustness, the quality of different point estimates, the effect of dynamic termination criteria and many other settings were investigated.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Support Vector Classification of Images with Local Features

Blaschko, MB.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Classification of natural scenes using global image statistics

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

47, pages: 88, 47. Tagung Experimentell Arbeitender Psychologen, April 2005 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Classification of Natural Scenes using Global Image Statistics

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

8, pages: 88, 8th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2005 (poster)

Abstract
The algorithmic classification of complex, natural scenes is generally considered a difficult task due to the large amount of information conveyed by natural images. Work by Simon Thorpe and colleagues showed that humans are capable of detecting animals within novel natural scenes with remarkable speed and accuracy. This suggests that the relevant information for classification can be extracted at comparatively limited computational cost. One hypothesis is that global image statistics such as the amplitude spectrum could underly fast image classification (Johnson & Olshausen, Journal of Vision, 2003; Torralba & Oliva, Network: Comput. Neural Syst., 2003). We used linear discriminant analysis to classify a set of 11.000 images into animal and nonanimal images. After applying a DFT to the image, we put the Fourier spectrum of each image into 48 bins (8 orientations with 6 frequency bands). Using all of these bins, classification performance on the Fourier spectrum reached 70%. In an iterative procedure, we then removed the bins whose absence caused the smallest damage to the classification performance (one bin per iteration). Notably, performance stayed at about 70% until less then 6 bins were left. A detailed analysis of the classification weights showed that a comparatively high level of performance (67%) could also be obtained when only 2 bins were used, namely the vertical orientations at the highest spatial frequency band. When using only a single frequency band (8 bins) we found that 67% classification performance could be reached when only the high spatial frequency information was used, which decreased steadily at lower spatial frequencies, reaching a minimum (50%) for the low spatial frequency information. Similar results were obtained when all bins were used on spatially pre-filtered images. Our results show that in the absence of sophisticated machine learning techniques, animal detection in natural scenes is limited to rather modest levels of performance, far below those of human observers. If limiting oneself to global image statistics such as the DFT then mostly information at the highest spatial frequencies is useful for the task. This is analogous to the results obtained with human observers on filtered images (Kirchner et al, VSS 2004).

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Adaptive Sampling of the Psychometric Function by Maximizing Information Gain

Tanner, T., Hill, N., Rasmussen, C., Wichmann, F.

8, pages: 109, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., H. A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F. A. Wichmann), 8th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2005 (poster)

Abstract
A psychometric function can be described by its shape and four parameters: position or threshold, slope or width, false alarm rate or chance level, and miss or lapse rate. Depending on the parameters of interest some points on the psychometric function may be more informative than others. Adaptive methods attempt to place trials on the most informative points based on the data collected in previous trials. We introduce a new adaptive bayesian psychometric method which collects data for any set of parameters with high efficency. It places trials by minimizing the expected entropy [1] of the posterior pdf over a set of possible stimuli. In contrast to most other adaptive methods it is neither limited to threshold measurement nor to forced-choice designs. Nuisance parameters can be included in the estimation and lead to less biased estimates. The method supports block designs which do not harm the performance when a sufficient number of trials are performed. Block designs are useful for control of response bias and short term performance shifts such as adaptation. We present the results of evaluations of the method by computer simulations and experiments with human observers. In the simulations we investigated the role of parametric assumptions, the quality of different point estimates, the effect of dynamic termination criteria and many other settings. [1] Kontsevich, L.L. and Tyler, C.W. (1999): Bayesian adaptive estimation of psychometric slope and threshold. Vis. Res. 39 (16), 2729-2737.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Automatic Classification of Plankton from Digital Images

Sieracki, M., Riseman, E., Balch, W., Benfield, M., Hanson, A., Pilskaln, C., Schultz, H., Sieracki, C., Utgoff, P., Blaschko, M., Holness, G., Mattar, M., Lisin, D., Tupper, B.

ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 1, pages: 1, February 2005 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient Pattern Selection for Support Vector Classifiers and its CRM Application

Shin, H.

Biologische Kybernetik, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, February 2005 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference for Psychometric Functions

Kuss, M., Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

8, pages: 106, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., H. A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F. A. Wichmann), 8th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2005 (poster)

Abstract
In psychophysical studies of perception the psychometric function is used to model the relation between the physical stimulus intensity and the observer's ability to detect or discriminate between stimuli of different intensities. We propose the use of Bayesian inference to extract the information contained in experimental data to learn about the parameters of psychometric functions. Since Bayesian inference cannot be performed analytically we use a Markov chain Monte Carlo method to generate samples from the posterior distribution over parameters. These samples can be used to estimate Bayesian confidence intervals and other characteristics of the posterior distribution. We compare our approach with traditional methods based on maximum-likelihood parameter estimation combined with parametric bootstrap techniques for confidence interval estimation. Experiments indicate that Bayesian inference methods are superior to bootstrap-based methods and are thus the method of choice for estimating the psychometric function and its confidence-intervals.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Kernels: Regularization and Optimization

Ong, CS.

Biologische Kybernetik, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2005 (phdthesis)

PDF GZIP [BibTex]

PDF GZIP [BibTex]


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Global image statistics of natural scenes

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

Bioinspired Information Processing, 08, pages: 1, 2005 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Kernel-Methods, Similarity, and Exemplar Theories of Categorization

Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

ASIC, 4, 2005 (poster)

Abstract
Kernel-methods are popular tools in machine learning and statistics that can be implemented in a simple feed-forward neural network. They have strong connections to several psychological theories. For example, Shepard‘s universal law of generalization can be given a kernel interpretation. This leads to an inner product and a metric on the psychological space that is different from the usual Minkowski norm. The metric has psychologically interesting properties: It is bounded from above and does not have additive segments. As categorization models often rely on Shepard‘s law as a model for psychological similarity some of them can be recast as kernel-methods. In particular, ALCOVE is shown to be closely related to kernel logistic regression. The relationship to the Generalized Context Model is also discussed. It is argued that functional analysis which is routinely used in machine learning provides valuable insights also for psychology.

Web [BibTex]


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Rapid animal detection in natural scenes: critical features are local

Wichmann, F., Rosas, P., Gegenfurtner, K.

Experimentelle Psychologie. Beitr{\"a}ge zur 47. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 47, pages: 225, 2005 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The human brain as large margin classifier

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

Proceedings of the Computational & Systems Neuroscience Meeting (COSYNE), 2, pages: 1, 2005 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2004


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S-cones contribute to flicker brightness in human vision

Wehrhahn, C., Hill, NJ., Dillenburger, B.

34(174.12), 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), October 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In the retina of primates three cone types sensitive to short, middle and long wavelengths of light convert photons into electrical signals. Many investigators have presented evidence that, in color normal observers, the signals of cones sensitive to short wavelengths of light (S-cones) do not contribute to the perception of brightness of a colored surface when this is alternated with an achromatic reference (flicker brightness). Other studies indicate that humans do use S-cone signals when performing this task. Common to all these studies is the small number of observers, whose performance data are reported. Considerable variability in the occurrence of cone types across observers has been found, but, to our knowledge, no cone counts exist from larger populations of humans. We reinvestigated how much the S-cones contribute to flicker brightness. 76 color normal observers were tested in a simple psychophysical procedure neutral to the cone type occurence (Teufel & Wehrhahn (2000), JOSA A 17: 994 - 1006). The data show that, in the majority of our observers, S-cones provide input with a negative sign - relative to L- and M-cone contribution - in the task in question. There is indeed considerable between-subject variability such that for 20 out of 76 observers the magnitude of this input does not differ significantly from 0. Finally, we argue that the sign of S-cone contribution to flicker brightness perception by an observer cannot be used to infer the relative sign their contributions to the neuronal signals carrying the information leading to the perception of flicker brightness. We conclude that studies which use only a small number of observers may easily fail to find significant evidence for the small but significant population tendency for the S-cones to contribute to flicker brightness. Our results confirm all earlier results and reconcile their contradictory interpretations.

Web [BibTex]

2004

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

AAAI Fall Symposium on Real-Life Reinforcement Learning 2004, 2004, pages: 1, October 2004 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Independent component analysis and beyond

Harmeling, S.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, October 2004 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

11th Joint Symposium on Neural Computation (JSNC 2004), 11, pages: 1, May 2004 (poster)

Abstract
One of the major challenges in action generation for robotics and in the understanding of human motor control is to learn the "building blocks of move- ment generation," or more precisely, motor primitives. Recently, Ijspeert et al. [1, 2] suggested a novel framework how to use nonlinear dynamical systems as motor primitives. While a lot of progress has been made in teaching these mo- tor primitives using supervised or imitation learning, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem. In this poster, we evaluate different reinforcement learning approaches can be used in order to improve the performance of motor primitives. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and line out how these lead to a novel algorithm which is based on natural policy gradients [3]. We compare this algorithm to previous reinforcement learning algorithms in the context of dynamic motor primitive learning, and show that it outperforms these by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of the resulting reinforcement learning method for creating complex behaviors for automous robotics. The studied behaviors will include both discrete, finite tasks such as baseball swings, as well as complex rhythmic patterns as they occur in biped locomotion.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]