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2005


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Measuring Statistical Dependence with Hilbert-Schmidt Norms

Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Smola, A., Schölkopf, B.

(140), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose an independence criterion based on the eigenspectrum of covariance operators in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs), consisting of an empirical estimate of the Hilbert-Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator (we term this a Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion, or HSIC). This approach has several advantages, compared with previous kernel-based independence criteria. First, the empirical estimate is simpler than any other kernel dependence test, and requires no user-defined regularisation. Second, there is a clearly defined population quantity which the empirical estimate approaches in the large sample limit, with exponential convergence guaranteed between the two: this ensures that independence tests based on HSIC do not suffer from slow learning rates. Finally, we show in the context of independent component analysis (ICA) that the performance of HSIC is competitive with that of previously published kernel-based criteria, and of other recently published ICA methods.

PDF [BibTex]

2005

PDF [BibTex]


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Consistency of Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis

Fukumizu, K., Bach, F., Gretton, A.

(942), Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 4-6-7 Minami-azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8569 Japan, June 2005 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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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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Approximate Inference for Robust Gaussian Process Regression

Kuss, M., Pfingsten, T., Csato, L., Rasmussen, C.

(136), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Gaussian process (GP) priors have been successfully used in non-parametric Bayesian regression and classification models. Inference can be performed analytically only for the regression model with Gaussian noise. For all other likelihood models inference is intractable and various approximation techniques have been proposed. In recent years expectation-propagation (EP) has been developed as a general method for approximate inference. This article provides a general summary of how expectation-propagation can be used for approximate inference in Gaussian process models. Furthermore we present a case study describing its implementation for a new robust variant of Gaussian process regression. To gain further insights into the quality of the EP approximation we present experiments in which we compare to results obtained by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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Maximum-Margin Feature Combination for Detection and Categorization

BakIr, G., Wu, M., Eichhorn, J.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we are concerned with the optimal combination of features of possibly different types for detection and estimation tasks in machine vision. We propose to combine features such that the resulting classifier maximizes the margin between classes. In contrast to existing approaches which are non-convex and/or generative we propose to use a discriminative model leading to convex problem formulation and complexity control. Furthermore we assert that decision functions should not compare apples and oranges by comparing features of different types directly. Instead we propose to combine different similarity measures for each different feature type. Furthermore we argue that the question: ”Which feature type is more discriminative for task X?” is ill-posed and show empirically that the answer to this question might depend on the complexity of the decision function.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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Towards a Statistical Theory of Clustering. Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London

von Luxburg, U., Ben-David, S.

Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
The goal of this paper is to discuss statistical aspects of clustering in a framework where the data to be clustered has been sampled from some unknown probability distribution. Firstly, the clustering of the data set should reveal some structure of the underlying data rather than model artifacts due to the random sampling process. Secondly, the more sample points we have, the more reliable the clustering should be. We discuss which methods can and cannot be used to tackle those problems. In particular we argue that generalization bounds as they are used in statistical learning theory of classification are unsuitable in a general clustering framework. We suggest that the main replacements of generalization bounds should be convergence proofs and stability considerations. This paper should be considered as a road map paper which identifies important questions and potentially fruitful directions for future research about statistical clustering. We do not attempt to present a complete statistical theory of clustering.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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]


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Approximate Bayesian Inference for Psychometric Functions using MCMC Sampling

Kuss, M., Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

(135), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In psychophysical studies 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. In this report we propose the use of Bayesian inference to extract the information contained in experimental data estimate the parameters of psychometric functions. Since Bayesian inference cannot be performed analytically we describe how a Markov chain Monte Carlo method can be used to generate samples from the posterior distribution over parameters. These samples are used to estimate Bayesian confidence intervals and other characteristics of the posterior distribution. In addition we discuss the parameterisation of psychometric functions and the role of prior distributions in the analysis. The proposed approach is exemplified using artificially generate d data and in a case study for real experimental data. Furthermore, we compare our approach with traditional methods based on maximum-likelihood parameter estimation combined with bootstrap techniques for confidence interval estimation. The appendix provides a description of an implementation for the R environment for statistical computing and provides the code for reproducing the results discussed in the experiment section.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2004


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Fast Binary and Multi-Output Reduced Set Selection

Weston, J., Bakir, G.

(132), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose fast algorithms for reducing the number of kernel evaluations in the testing phase for methods such as Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Ridge Regression (RR). For non-sparse methods such as RR this results in significantly improved prediction time. For binary SVMs, which are already sparse in their expansion, the pay off is mainly in the cases of noisy or large-scale problems. However, we then further develop our method for multi-class problems where, after choosing the expansion to find vectors which describe all the hyperplanes jointly, we again achieve significant gains.

PostScript [BibTex]

2004

PostScript [BibTex]


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Joint Kernel Maps

Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Bousquet, O., Mann, .., Noble, W.

(131), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, November 2004 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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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]

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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Semi-Supervised Induction

Yu, K., Tresp, V., Zhou, D.

(141), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, August 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Considerable progress was recently achieved on semi-supervised learning, which differs from the traditional supervised learning by additionally exploring the information of the unlabelled examples. However, a disadvantage of many existing methods is that it does not generalize to unseen inputs. This paper investigates learning methods that effectively make use of both labelled and unlabelled data to build predictive functions, which are defined on not just the seen inputs but the whole space. As a nice property, the proposed method allows effcient training and can easily handle new test points. We validate the method based on both toy data and real world data sets.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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On Hausdorff Distance Measures

Shapiro, MD., Blaschko, MB.

Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, August 2004 (techreport)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Object categorization with SVM: kernels for local features

Eichhorn, J., Chapelle, O.

(137), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper, we propose to combine an efficient image representation based on local descriptors with a Support Vector Machine classifier in order to perform object categorization. For this purpose, we apply kernels defined on sets of vectors. After testing different combinations of kernel / local descriptors, we have been able to identify a very performant one.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Hilbertian Metrics and Positive Definite Kernels on Probability Measures

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(126), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate the problem of defining Hilbertian metrics resp. positive definite kernels on probability measures, continuing previous work. This type of kernels has shown very good results in text classification and has a wide range of possible applications. In this paper we extend the two-parameter family of Hilbertian metrics of Topsoe such that it now includes all commonly used Hilbertian metrics on probability measures. This allows us to do model selection among these metrics in an elegant and unified way. Second we investigate further our approach to incorporate similarity information of the probability space into the kernel. The analysis provides a better understanding of these kernels and gives in some cases a more efficient way to compute them. Finally we compare all proposed kernels in two text and one image classification problem.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernels, Associated Structures and Generalizations

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(127), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper gives a survey of results in the mathematical literature on positive definite kernels and their associated structures. We concentrate on properties which seem potentially relevant for Machine Learning and try to clarify some results that have been misused in the literature. Moreover we consider different lines of generalizations of positive definite kernels. Namely we deal with operator-valued kernels and present the general framework of Hilbertian subspaces of Schwartz which we use to introduce kernels which are distributions. Finally indefinite kernels and their associated reproducing kernel spaces are considered.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Triangle Fixing Algorithms for the Metric Nearness Problem

Dhillon, I., Sra, S., Tropp, J.

Univ. of Texas at Austin, June 2004 (techreport)

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]


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Kamerakalibrierung und Tiefenschätzung: Ein Vergleich von klassischer Bündelblockausgleichung und statistischen Lernalgorithmen

Sinz, FH.

Wilhelm-Schickard-Institut für Informatik, Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Die Arbeit verleicht zwei Herangehensweisen an das Problem der Sch{\"a}tzung der r{\"a}umliche Position eines Punktes aus den Bildkoordinaten in zwei verschiedenen Kameras. Die klassische Methode der B{\"u}ndelblockausgleichung modelliert zwei Einzelkameras und sch{\"a}tzt deren {\"a}ußere und innere Orientierung mit einer iterativen Kalibrationsmethode, deren Konvergenz sehr stark von guten Startwerten abh{\"a}ngt. Die Tiefensch{\"a}tzung eines Punkts geschieht durch die Invertierung von drei der insgesamt vier Projektionsgleichungen der Einzalkameramodelle. Die zweite Methode benutzt Kernel Ridge Regression und Support Vector Regression, um direkt eine Abbildung von den Bild- auf die Raumkoordinaten zu lernen. Die Resultate zeigen, daß der Ansatz mit maschinellem Lernen, neben einer erheblichen Vereinfachung des Kalibrationsprozesses, zu h{\"o}heren Positionsgenaugikeiten f{\"u}hren kann.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Human Classification Behaviour Revisited by Machine Learning

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

7, pages: 134, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), Febuary 2004 (poster)

Abstract
We attempt to understand visual classication in humans using both psychophysical and machine learning techniques. Frontal views of human faces were used for a gender classication task. Human subjects classied the faces and their gender judgment, reaction time (RT) and condence rating (CR) were recorded for each face. RTs are longer for incorrect answers than for correct ones, high CRs are correlated with low classication errors and RTs decrease as the CRs increase. This results suggest that patterns difcult to classify need more computation by the brain than patterns easy to classify. Hyperplane learning algorithms such as Support Vector Machines (SVM), Relevance Vector Machines (RVM), Prototype learners (Prot) and K-means learners (Kmean) were used on the same classication task using the Principal Components of the texture and oweld representation of the faces. The classication performance of the learning algorithms was estimated using the face database with the true gender of the faces as labels, and also with the gender estimated by the subjects. Kmean yield a classication performance close to humans while SVM and RVM are much better. This surprising behaviour may be due to the fact that humans are trained on real faces during their lifetime while they were here tested on articial ones, while the algorithms were trained and tested on the same set of stimuli. We then correlated the human responses to the distance of the stimuli to the separating hyperplane (SH) of the learning algorithms. On the whole stimuli far from the SH are classied more accurately, faster and with higher condence than those near to the SH if we pool data across all our subjects and stimuli. We also nd three noteworthy results. First, SVMs and RVMs can learn to classify faces using the subjects' labels but perform much better when using the true labels. Second, correlating the average response of humans (classication error, RT or CR) with the distance to the SH on a face-by-face basis using Spearman's rank correlation coefcients shows that RVMs recreate human performance most closely in every respect. Third, the mean-of-class prototype, its popularity in neuroscience notwithstanding, is the least human-like classier in all cases examined.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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m-Alternative-Forced-Choice: Improving the Efficiency of the Method of Constant Stimuli

Jäkel, F., Hill, J., Wichmann, F.

7, pages: 118, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
We explored several ways to improve the efficiency of measuring psychometric functions without resorting to adaptive procedures. a) The number m of alternatives in an m-alternative-forced-choice (m-AFC) task improves the efficiency of the method of constant stimuli. b) When alternatives are presented simultaneously on different positions on a screen rather than sequentially time can be saved and memory load for the subject can be reduced. c) A touch-screen can further help to make the experimental procedure more intuitive. We tested these ideas in the measurement of contrast sensitivity and compared them to results obtained by sequential presentation in two-interval-forced-choice (2-IFC). Qualitatively all methods (m-AFC and 2-IFC) recovered the characterictic shape of the contrast sensitivity function in three subjects. The m-AFC paradigm only took about 60% of the time of the 2-IFC task. We tried m=2,4,8 and found 4-AFC to give the best model fits and 2-AFC to have the least bias.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Approximations for Support Vector Classifiers

Kienzle, W., Franz, M.

7, pages: 68, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In face detection, support vector machines (SVM) and neural networks (NN) have been shown to outperform most other classication methods. While both approaches are learning-based, there are distinct advantages and drawbacks to each method: NNs are difcult to design and train but can lead to very small and efcient classiers. In comparison, SVM model selection and training is rather straightforward, and, more importantly, guaranteed to converge to a globally optimal (in the sense of training errors) solution. Unfortunately, SVM classiers tend to have large representations which are inappropriate for time-critical image processing applications. In this work, we examine various existing and new methods for simplifying support vector decision rules. Our goal is to obtain efcient classiers (as with NNs) while keeping the numerical and statistical advantages of SVMs. For a given SVM solution, we compute a cascade of approximations with increasing complexities. Each classier is tuned so that the detection rate is near 100%. At run-time, the rst (simplest) detector is evaluated on the whole image. Then, any subsequent classier is applied only to those positions that have been classied as positive throughout all previous stages. The false positive rate at the end equals that of the last (i.e. most complex) detector. In contrast, since many image positions are discarded by lower-complexity classiers, the average computation time per patch decreases signicantly compared to the time needed for evaluating the highest-complexity classier alone.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Selective Attention to Auditory Stimuli: A Brain-Computer Interface Paradigm

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

7, pages: 102, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
During the last 20 years several paradigms for Brain Computer Interfaces have been proposed— see [1] for a recent review. They can be divided into (a) stimulus-driven paradigms, using e.g. event-related potentials or visual evoked potentials from an EEG signal, and (b) patient-driven paradigms such as those that use premotor potentials correlated with imagined action, or slow cortical potentials (e.g. [2]). Our aim is to develop a stimulus-driven paradigm that is applicable in practice to patients. Due to the unreliability of visual perception in “locked-in” patients in the later stages of disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, we concentrate on the auditory modality. Speci- cally, we look for the effects, in the EEG signal, of selective attention to one of two concurrent auditory stimulus streams, exploiting the increased activation to attended stimuli that is seen under some circumstances [3]. We present the results of our preliminary experiments on normal subjects. On each of 400 trials, two repetitive stimuli (sequences of drum-beats or other pulsed stimuli) could be heard simultaneously. The two stimuli were distinguishable from one another by their acoustic properties, by their source location (one from a speaker to the left of the subject, the other from the right), and by their differing periodicities. A visual cue preceded the stimulus by 500 msec, indicating which of the two stimuli to attend to, and the subject was instructed to count the beats in the attended stimulus stream. There were up to 6 beats of each stimulus: with equal probability on each trial, all 6 were played, or the fourth was omitted, or the fth was omitted. The 40-channel EEG signals were analyzed ofine to reconstruct which of the streams was attended on each trial. A linear Support Vector Machine [4] was trained on a random subset of the data and tested on the remainder. Results are compared from two types of pre-processing of the signal: for each stimulus stream, (a) EEG signals at the stream's beat periodicity are emphasized, or (b) EEG signals following beats are contrasted with those following missing beats. Both forms of pre-processing show promising results, i.e. that selective attention to one or the other auditory stream yields signals that are classiable signicantly above chance performance. In particular, the second pre-processing was found to be robust to reduction in the number of features used for classication (cf. [5]), helping us to eliminate noise.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Texture and Haptic Cues in Slant Discrimination: Measuring the Effect of Texture Type

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

7, pages: 165, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., H. A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F. A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In a number of models of depth cue combination the depth percept is constructed via a weighted average combination of independent depth estimations. The inuence of each cue in such average depends on the reliability of the source of information [1,5]. In particular, Ernst and Banks (2002) formulate such combination as that of the minimum variance unbiased estimator that can be constructed from the available cues. We have observed systematic differences in slant discrimination performance of human observers when different types of textures were used as cue to slant [4]. If the depth percept behaves as described above, our measurements of the slopes of the psychometric functions provide the predicted weights for the texture cue for the ranked texture types. However, the results for slant discrimination obtained when combining these texture types with object motion results are difcult to reconcile with the minimum variance unbiased estimator model [3]. This apparent failure of such model might be explained by the existence of a coupling of texture and motion, violating the assumption of independence of cues. Hillis, Ernst, Banks, and Landy (2002) [2] have shown that while for between-modality combination the human visual system has access to the single-cue information, for withinmodality combination (visual cues) the single-cue information is lost. This suggests a coupling between visual cues and independence between visual and haptic cues. Then, in the present study we combined the different texture types with haptic information in a slant discrimination task, to test whether in the between-modality condition these cues are combined as predicted by an unbiased, minimum variance estimator model. The measured weights for the cues were consistent with a combination rule sensitive to the reliability of the sources of information, but did not match the predictions of a statistically optimal combination.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Approximations for Support Vector Classiers

Kienzle, W., Franz, M.

7, pages: 68, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In face detection, support vector machines (SVM) and neural networks (NN) have been shown to outperform most other classication methods. While both approaches are learning-based, there are distinct advantages and drawbacks to each method: NNs are difcult to design and train but can lead to very small and efcient classiers. In comparison, SVM model selection and training is rather straightforward, and, more importantly, guaranteed to converge to a globally optimal (in the sense of training errors) solution. Unfortunately, SVM classiers tend to have large representations which are inappropriate for time-critical image processing applications. In this work, we examine various existing and new methods for simplifying support vector decision rules. Our goal is to obtain efcient classiers (as with NNs) while keeping the numerical and statistical advantages of SVMs. For a given SVM solution, we compute a cascade of approximations with increasing complexities. Each classier is tuned so that the detection rate is near 100%. At run-time, the rst (simplest) detector is evaluated on the whole image. Then, any subsequent classier is applied only to those positions that have been classied as positive throughout all previous stages. The false positive rate at the end equals that of the last (i.e. most complex) detector. In contrast, since many image positions are discarded by lower-complexity classiers, the average computation time per patch decreases signicantly compared to the time needed for evaluating the highest-complexity classier alone.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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EEG Channel Selection for Brain Computer Interface Systems Based on Support Vector Methods

Schröder, M., Lal, T., Bogdan, M., Schölkopf, B.

7, pages: 50, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
A Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system allows the direct interpretation of brain activity patterns (e.g. EEG signals) by a computer. Typical BCI applications comprise spelling aids or environmental control systems supporting paralyzed patients that have lost motor control completely. The design of an EEG based BCI system requires good answers for the problem of selecting useful features during the performance of a mental task as well as for the problem of classifying these features. For the special case of choosing appropriate EEG channels from several available channels, we propose the application of variants of the Support Vector Machine (SVM) for both problems. Although these algorithms do not rely on prior knowledge they can provide more accurate solutions than standard lter methods [1] for feature selection which usually incorporate prior knowledge about neural activity patterns during the performed mental tasks. For judging the importance of features we introduce a new relevance measure and apply it to EEG channels. Although we base the relevance measure for this purpose on the previously introduced algorithms, it does in general not depend on specic algorithms but can be derived using arbitrary combinations of feature selectors and classifiers.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Depth

Sinz, F., Franz, MO.

pages: 69, (Editors: H.H.Bülthoff, H.A.Mallot, R.Ulrich,F.A.Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
The depth of a point in space can be estimated by observing its image position from two different viewpoints. The classical approach to stereo vision calculates depth from the two projection equations which together form a stereocamera model. An unavoidable preparatory work for this solution is a calibration procedure, i.e., estimating the external (position and orientation) and internal (focal length, lens distortions etc.) parameters of each camera from a set of points with known spatial position and their corresponding image positions. This is normally done by iteratively linearizing the single camera models and reestimating their parameters according to the error on the known datapoints. The advantage of the classical method is the maximal usage of prior knowledge about the underlying physical processes and the explicit estimation of meaningful model parameters such as focal length or camera position in space. However, the approach neglects the nonlinear nature of the problem such that the results critically depend on the choice of the initial values for the parameters. In this study, we approach the depth estimation problem from a different point of view by applying generic machine learning algorithms to learn the mapping from image coordinates to spatial position. These algorithms do not require any domain knowledge and are able to learn nonlinear functions by mapping the inputs into a higher-dimensional space. Compared to classical calibration, machine learning methods give a direct solution to the depth estimation problem which means that the values of the stereocamera parameters cannot be extracted from the learned mapping. On the poster, we compare the performance of classical camera calibration to that of different machine learning algorithms such as kernel ridge regression, gaussian processes and support vector regression. Our results indicate that generic learning approaches can lead to higher depth accuracies than classical calibration although no domain knowledge is used.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multivariate Regression with Stiefel Constraints

Bakir, G., Gretton, A., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(128), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstr 38, 72076, Tuebingen, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a new framework for regression between multi-dimensional spaces. Standard methods for solving this problem typically reduce the problem to one-dimensional regression by choosing features in the input and/or output spaces. These methods, which include PLS (partial least squares), KDE (kernel dependency estimation), and PCR (principal component regression), select features based on different a-priori judgments as to their relevance. Moreover, loss function and constraints are chosen not primarily on statistical grounds, but to simplify the resulting optimisation. By contrast, in our approach the feature construction and the regression estimation are performed jointly, directly minimizing a loss function that we specify, subject to a rank constraint. A major advantage of this approach is that the loss is no longer chosen according to the algorithmic requirements, but can be tailored to the characteristics of the task at hand; the features will then be optimal with respect to this objective. Our approach also allows for the possibility of using a regularizer in the optimization. Finally, by processing the observations sequentially, our algorithm is able to work on large scale problems.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Neural mechanisms underlying control of a Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI): Simultaneous recording of bold-response and EEG

Hinterberger, T., Wilhelm, B., Veit, R., Weiskopf, N., Lal, TN., Birbaumer, N.

2004 (poster)

Abstract
Brain computer interfaces (BCI) enable humans or animals to communicate or activate external devices without muscle activity using electric brain signals. The BCI Thought Translation Device (TTD) uses learned regulation of slow cortical potentials (SCPs), a skill most people and paralyzed patients can acquire with training periods of several hours up to months. The neurophysiological mechanisms and anatomical sources of SCPs and other event-related brain macro-potentials are well understood, but the neural mechanisms underlying learning of the self-regulation skill for BCI-use are unknown. To uncover the relevant areas of brain activation during regulation of SCPs, the TTD was combined with functional MRI and EEG was recorded inside the MRI scanner in twelve healthy participants who have learned to regulate their SCP with feedback and reinforcement. The results demonstrate activation of specific brain areas during execution of the brain regulation skill: successf! ul control of cortical positivity allowing a person to activate an external device was closely related to an increase of BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) response in the basal ganglia and frontal premotor deactivation indicating learned regulation of a cortical-striatal loop responsible for local excitation thresholds of cortical assemblies. The data suggest that human users of a BCI learn the regulation of cortical excitation thresholds of large neuronal assemblies as a prerequisite of direct brain communication: the learning of this skill depends critically on an intact and flexible interaction between these cortico-basal ganglia-circuits. Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data Using Random Walks

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the general problem of learning from labeled and unlabeled data. Given a set of points, some of them are labeled, and the remaining points are unlabeled. The goal is to predict the labels of the unlabeled points. Any supervised learning algorithm can be applied to this problem, for instance, Support Vector Machines (SVMs). The problem of our interest is if we can implement a classifier which uses the unlabeled data information in some way and has higher accuracy than the classifiers which use the labeled data only. Recently we proposed a simple algorithm, which can substantially benefit from large amounts of unlabeled data and demonstrates clear superiority to supervised learning methods. In this paper we further investigate the algorithm using random walks and spectral graph theory, which shed light on the key steps in this algorithm.

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Masking by plaid patterns revisited

Wichmann, F.

Experimentelle Psychologie. Beitr{\"a}ge zur 46. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 46, pages: 285, 2004 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Behaviour and Convergence of the Constrained Covariance

Gretton, A., Smola, A., Bousquet, O., Herbrich, R., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N.

(130), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We discuss reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS)-based measures of statistical dependence, with emphasis on constrained covariance (COCO), a novel criterion to test dependence of random variables. We show that COCO is a test for independence if and only if the associated RKHSs are universal. That said, no independence test exists that can distinguish dependent and independent random variables in all circumstances. Dependent random variables can result in a COCO which is arbitrarily close to zero when the source densities are highly non-smooth, which can make dependence hard to detect empirically. All current kernel-based independence tests share this behaviour. Finally, we demonstrate exponential convergence between the population and empirical COCO, which implies that COCO does not suffer from slow learning rates when used as a dependence test.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Early visual processing—data, theory, models

Wichmann, F.

Experimentelle Psychologie. Beitr{\"a}ge zur 46. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 46, pages: 24, 2004 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Confidence Sets for Ratios: A Purely Geometric Approach To Fieller’s Theorem

von Luxburg, U., Franz, V.

(133), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We present a simple, geometric method to construct Fieller's exact confidence sets for ratios of jointly normally distributed random variables. Contrary to previous geometric approaches in the literature, our method is valid in the general case where both sample mean and covariance are unknown. Moreover, not only the construction but also its proof are purely geometric and elementary, thus giving intuition into the nature of the confidence sets.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Transductive Inference with Graphs

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004, See the improved version Regularization on Discrete Spaces. (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a general regularization framework for transductive inference. The given data are thought of as a graph, where the edges encode the pairwise relationships among data. We develop discrete analysis and geometry on graphs, and then naturally adapt the classical regularization in the continuous case to the graph situation. A new and effective algorithm is derived from this general framework, as well as an approach we developed before.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Kompetenzerwerb für Informationssysteme - Einfluss des Lernprozesses auf die Interaktion mit Fahrerinformationssystemen. Veröffentlichter Abschlussbericht (Förderkennzeichen BaSt FE 82.196/2001).

Totzke, I., Krüger, H., Hofmann, M., Meilinger, T., Rauch, N., Schmidt, G.

Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Verkehrswissenschaften (IZVW), Würzburg, 2004 (techreport)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener series for capturing higher-order interactions in images

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

Sensory coding and the natural environment, (Editors: Olshausen, B.A. and M. Lewicki), 2004 (poster)

Abstract
The information about the objects in an image is almost exclusively described by the higher-order interactions of its pixels. The Wiener series is one of the standard methods to systematically characterize these interactions. However, the classical estimation method of the Wiener expansion coefficients via cross-correlation suffers from severe problems that prevent its application to high-dimensional and strongly nonlinear signals such as images. We propose an estimation method based on regression in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space that overcomes these problems using polynomial kernels as known from Support Vector Machines and other kernel-based methods. Numerical experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability and system sizes that can be handled. By the time of the conference, we will be able to present first results on the higher-order structure of natural images.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Classification and Memory Behaviour of Man Revisited by Machine

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

CSHL Meeting on Computational & Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE), 2004 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2003


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Natural Actor-Critic

Peters, J., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

NIPS Workshop " Planning for the Real World: The promises and challenges of dealing with uncertainty", December 2003 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

2003

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Support Vector Channel Selection in BCI

Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Weston, J., Bogdan, M., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

(120), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, December 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Designing a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system one can choose from a variety of features that may be useful for classifying brain activity during a mental task. For the special case of classifying EEG signals we propose the usage of the state of the art feature selection algorithms Recursive Feature Elimination [3] and Zero-Norm Optimization [13] which are based on the training of Support Vector Machines (SVM) [11]. These algorithms can provide more accurate solutions than standard filter methods for feature selection [14]. We adapt the methods for the purpose of selecting EEG channels. For a motor imagery paradigm we show that the number of used channels can be reduced significantly without increasing the classification error. The resulting best channels agree well with the expected underlying cortical activity patterns during the mental tasks. Furthermore we show how time dependent task specific information can be visualized.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Texture and haptic cues in slant discrimination: Measuring the effect of texture type on cue combination

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

Journal of Vision, 3(12):26, 2003 Fall Vision Meeting of the Optical Society of America, December 2003 (poster)

Abstract
In a number of models of depth cue combination the depth percept is constructed via a weighted average combination of independent depth estimations. The influence of each cue in such average depends on the reliability of the source of information. (Young, Landy, & Maloney, 1993; Ernst & Banks, 2002.) In particular, Ernst & Banks (2002) formulate the combination performed by the human brain as that of the minimum variance unbiased estimator that can be constructed from the available cues. Using slant discrimination and slant judgment via probe adjustment as tasks, we have observed systematic differences in performance of human observers when a number of different types of textures were used as cue to slant (Rosas, Wichmann & Wagemans, 2003). If the depth percept behaves as described above, our measurements of the slopes of the psychometric functions provide the predicted weights for the texture cue for the ranked texture types. We have combined these texture types with object motion but the obtained results are difficult to reconcile with the unbiased minimum variance estimator model (Rosas & Wagemans, 2003). This apparent failure of such model might be explained by the existence of a coupling of texture and motion, violating the assumption of independence of cues. Hillis, Ernst, Banks, & Landy (2002) have shown that while for between-modality combination the human visual system has access to the single-cue information, for within-modality combination (visual cues: disparity and texture) the single-cue information is lost, suggesting a coupling between these cues. Then, in the present study we combine the different texture types with haptic information in a slant discrimination task, to test whether in the between-modality condition the texture cue and the haptic cue to slant are combined as predicted by an unbiased, minimum variance estimator model.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]