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2011


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A Flexible Hybrid Framework for Modeling Complex Manipulation Tasks

Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), pages: 1856-1861 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Future service robots will need to perform a wide range of tasks using various objects. In order to perform complex tasks, robots require a suitable internal representation of the task. We propose a hybrid framework for representing manipulation tasks, which combines continuous motion planning and discrete task-level planning. In addition, we use a mid-level planner to optimize individual actions according to the plan. The proposed framework incorporates biologically-inspired concepts, such as affordances and motor primitives, in order to efficiently plan for manipulation tasks. The final framework is modular, can generalize well to different situations, and is straightforward to expand. Our demonstrations also show how the use of affordances and mid-level planning can lead to improved performance.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2011

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Fast Convergent Algorithms for Expectation Propagation Approximate Bayesian Inference

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 15: AISTATS 2011, pages: 652-660, (Editors: Gordon, G. , D. Dunson, M. Dudík ), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, April 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a novel algorithm to solve the expectation propagation relaxation of Bayesian inference for continuous-variable graphical models. In contrast to most previous algorithms, our method is provably convergent. By marrying convergent EP ideas from (Opper&Winther, 2005) with covariance decoupling techniques (Wipf&Nagarajan, 2008; Nickisch&Seeger, 2009), it runs at least an order of magnitude faster than the most common EP solver.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Active Exploration for Robot Parameter Selection in Episodic Reinforcement Learning

Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE Symposium on Adaptive Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning (ADPRL 2011), pages: 25-31, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Symposium on Adaptive Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning (ADPRL), April 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
As the complexity of robots and other autonomous systems increases, it becomes more important that these systems can adapt and optimize their settings actively. However, such optimization is rarely trivial. Sampling from the system is often expensive in terms of time and other costs, and excessive sampling should therefore be avoided. The parameter space is also usually continuous and multi-dimensional. Given the inherent exploration-exploitation dilemma of the problem, we propose treating it as an episodic reinforcement learning problem. In this reinforcement learning framework, the policy is defined by the system's parameters and the rewards are given by the system's performance. The rewards accumulate during each episode of a task. In this paper, we present a method for efficiently sampling and optimizing in continuous multidimensional spaces. The approach is based on Gaussian process regression, which can represent continuous non-linear mappings from parameters to system performance. We employ an upper confidence bound policy, which explicitly manages the trade-off between exploration and exploitation. Unlike many other policies for this kind of problem, we do not rely on a discretization of the action space. The presented method was evaluated on a real robot. The robot had to learn grasping parameters in order to adapt its grasping execution to different objects. The proposed method was also tested on a more general gain tuning problem. The results of the experiments show that the presented method can quickly determine suitable parameters and is applicable to real online learning applications.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Relative Entropy Inverse Reinforcement Learning

Boularias, A., Kober, J., Peters, J.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 15: AISTATS 2011, pages: 182-189, (Editors: Gordon, G. , D. Dunson, M. Dudík ), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, April 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of imitation learning where the examples, demonstrated by an expert, cover only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient tool for generalizing the demonstration, based on the assumption that the expert is optimally acting in a Markov Decision Process (MDP). Most of the past work on IRL requires that a (near)-optimal policy can be computed for different reward functions. However, this requirement can hardly be satisfied in systems with a large, or continuous, state space. In this paper, we propose a model-free IRL algorithm, where the relative entropy between the empirical distribution of the state-action trajectories under a uniform policy and their distribution under the learned policy is minimized by stochastic gradient descent. We compare this new approach to well-known IRL algorithms using approximate MDP models. Empirical results on simulated car racing, gridworld and ball-in-a-cup problems show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Removing noise from astronomical images using a pixel-specific noise model

Burger, H., Schölkopf, B., Harmeling, S.

In pages: 8, (Editors: H Lensch and SL Narasimhan and ME Testorf), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), April 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
For digital photographs of astronomical objects, where exposure times are usually long and ISO settings high, the so-called dark-current is a significant source of noise. Dark-current refers to thermally generated electrons and is therefore present even in the absence of light. This paper presents a novel approach for denoising astronomical images that have been corrupted by dark-current noise. Our method relies on a probabilistic description of the dark-current of each pixel of a given camera. The noise model is then combined with an image prior which is adapted to astronomical images. In a laboratory environment, we use a black and white CCD camera containing a cooling unit and show that our method is superior to existing methods in terms of root mean squared error. Furthermore, we show that our method is practically relevant by providing visually more appealing results on astronomical photographs taken with a single lens reflex CMOS camera.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Motor Skill Learning for Robotics

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Kober, J., Nguyen-Tuong, D., Kroemer, O.

In Robotics Research, pages: 469-482, (Editors: Pradalier, C. , R. Siegwart, G. Hirzinger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR), January 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Learning robots that can acquire new motor skills and refine existing one has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and the cognitive sciences. Early steps towards this goal in the 1980s made clear that reasoning and human insights will not suffice. Instead, new hope has been offered by the rise of modern machine learning approaches. However, to date, it becomes increasingly clear that off-the-shelf machine learning approaches will not suffice for motor skill learning as these methods often do not scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator and humanoid robotics nor do they fulfill the real-time requirement of our domain. As an alternative, we propose to break the generic skill learning problem into parts that we can understand well from a robotics point of view. After designing appropriate learning approaches for these basic components, these will serve as the ingredients of a general approach to motor skill learning. In this paper, we discuss our recent and current progress in this direction. For doing so, we present our work on learning to control, on learning elementary movements as well as our steps towards learning of complex tasks. We show several evaluations both using real robots as well as physically realistic simulations.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Visual Representations for Interactive Systems

Piater, J., Jodogne, S., Detry, R., Kraft, D., Krüger, N., Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Robotics Research, pages: 399-416, (Editors: Pradalier, C. , R. Siegwart, G. Hirzinger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR), January 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe two quite different methods for associating action parameters to visual percepts. Our RLVC algorithm performs reinforcement learning directly on the visual input space. To make this very large space manageable, RLVC interleaves the reinforcement learner with a supervised classification algorithm that seeks to split perceptual states so as to reduce perceptual aliasing. This results in an adaptive discretization of the perceptual space based on the presence or absence of visual features. Its extension RLJC also handles continuous action spaces. In contrast to the minimalistic visual representations produced by RLVC and RLJC, our second method learns structural object models for robust object detection and pose estimation by probabilistic inference. To these models, the method associates grasp experiences autonomously learned by trial and error. These experiences form a non-parametric representation of grasp success likelihoods over gripper poses, which we call a gra sp d ensi ty. Thus, object detection in a novel scene simultaneously produces suitable grasping options.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Non-Parametric Approach to Dynamic Programming

Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 1719-1727, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we consider the problem of policy evaluation for continuousstate systems. We present a non-parametric approach to policy evaluation, which uses kernel density estimation to represent the system. The true form of the value function for this model can be determined, and can be computed using Galerkin’s method. Furthermore, we also present a unified view of several well-known policy evaluation methods. In particular, we show that the same Galerkin method can be used to derive Least-Squares Temporal Difference learning, Kernelized Temporal Difference learning, and a discrete-state Dynamic Programming solution, as well as our proposed method. In a numerical evaluation of these algorithms, the proposed approach performed better than the other methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Transfer Learning with Copulas

Lopez-Paz, D., Hernandez-Lobato, J.

In pages: 2, NIPS, Workshop on Copulas in Machine Learning, 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Denoising sparse noise via online dictionary learning

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Papanikolopoulos, N.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP 2011, pages: 2060 -2063, IEEE, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2011 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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PILCO: A Model-Based and Data-Efficient Approach to Policy Search

Deisenroth, MP., Rasmussen, CE.

In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2011, pages: 465-472, (Editors: L Getoor and T Scheffer), Omnipress, 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we introduce PILCO, a practical, data-efficient model-based policy search method. PILCO reduces model bias, one of the key problems of model-based reinforcement learning, in a principled way. By learning a probabilistic dynamics model and explicitly incorporating model uncertainty into long-term planning, PILCO can cope with very little data and facilitates learning from scratch in only a few trials. Policy evaluation is performed in closed form using state-of-the-art approximate inference. Furthermore, policy gradients are computed analytically for policy improvement. We report unprecedented learning efficiency on challenging and high-dimensional control tasks.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Kernel Bayes’ Rule

Fukumizu, K., Song, L., Gretton, A.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 1737-1745, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates, Inc., Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Optimal Reinforcement Learning for Gaussian Systems

Hennig, P.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 325-333, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The exploration-exploitation trade-off is among the central challenges of reinforcement learning. The optimal Bayesian solution is intractable in general. This paper studies to what extent analytic statements about optimal learning are possible if all beliefs are Gaussian processes. A first order approximation of learning of both loss and dynamics, for nonlinear, time-varying systems in continuous time and space, subject to a relatively weak restriction on the dynamics, is described by an infinite-dimensional partial differential equation. An approximate finitedimensional projection gives an impression for how this result may be helpful.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient inference in matrix-variate Gaussian models with iid observation noise

Stegle, O., Lippert, C., Mooij, J., Lawrence, N., Borgwardt, K.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 630-638, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inference in matrix-variate Gaussian models has major applications for multioutput prediction and joint learning of row and column covariances from matrixvariate data. Here, we discuss an approach for efficient inference in such models that explicitly account for iid observation noise. Computational tractability can be retained by exploiting the Kronecker product between row and column covariance matrices. Using this framework, we show how to generalize the Graphical Lasso in order to learn a sparse inverse covariance between features while accounting for a low-rank confounding covariance between samples. We show practical utility on applications to biology, where we model covariances with more than 100,000 dimensions. We find greater accuracy in recovering biological network structures and are able to better reconstruct the confounders.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Expectation Propagation for the Estimation of Conditional Bivariate Copulas

Hernandez-Lobato, J., Lopez-Paz, D., Gharhamani, Z.

In pages: 2, NIPS, Workshop on Copulas in Machine Learning, 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Similarity Search for Covariance Matrices via the Jensen-Bregman LogDet Divergence

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Banerjee, A., Papanikolopoulos, N.

In IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2011, pages: 2399-2406, (Editors: DN Metaxas and L Quan and A Sanfeliu and LJ Van Gool), IEEE, 13th International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2011 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Introducing the detection of auditory error responses based on BCI technology for passive interaction

Zander, TO., Klippel, DM., Scherer, R.

In Proceedings of the 5th International Brain–Computer Interface Conference, pages: 252-255, (Editors: GR Müller-Putz and R Scherer and M Billinger and A Kreilinger and V Kaiser and C Neuper), Graz: Verlag der Technischen Universität, 2011 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Phase transition in the family of p-resistances

Alamgir, M., von Luxburg, U.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 379-387, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the family of p-resistances on graphs for p ≥ 1. This family generalizes the standard resistance distance. We prove that for any fixed graph, for p=1, the p-resistance coincides with the shortest path distance, for p=2 it coincides with the standard resistance distance, and for p → ∞ it converges to the inverse of the minimal s-t-cut in the graph. Secondly, we consider the special case of random geometric graphs (such as k-nearest neighbor graphs) when the number n of vertices in the graph tends to infinity. We prove that an interesting phase-transition takes place. There exist two critical thresholds p^* and p^** such that if p < p^*, then the p-resistance depends on meaningful global properties of the graph, whereas if p > p^**, it only depends on trivial local quantities and does not convey any useful information. We can explicitly compute the critical values: p^* = 1 + 1/(d-1) and p^** = 1 + 1/(d-2) where d is the dimension of the underlying space (we believe that the fact that there is a small gap between p^* and p^** is an artifact of our proofs. We also relate our findings to Laplacian regularization and suggest to use q-Laplacians as regularizers, where q satisfies 1/p^* + 1/q = 1.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Generalized Dictionary Learning for Symmetric Positive Definite Matrices with Application to Nearest Neighbor Retrieval

Sra, S., Cherian, A.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases - European Conference, ECML PKDD 2011, LNCS vol 6913, Part III, pages: 318-332, (Editors: D Gunopulos and T Hofmann and D Malerba and M Vazirgiannis), Springer, 22th European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML), 2011 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Restricted boltzmann machines as useful tool for detecting oscillatory eeg components

Balderas, D., Zander, TO., Bachl, F., Neuper, C., Scherer, R.

In Proceedings of the 5th International Brain–Computer Interface Conference, pages: 68-71, (Editors: GR Müller-Putz and R Scherer and M Billinger and A Kkreilinger and V Kaiser and C Neuper), Graz: Verlag der Technischen Universität, 2011 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hierarchical Multitask Structured Output Learning for Large-scale Sequence Segmentation

Görnitz, N., Widmer, C., Zeller, G., Kahles, A., Sonnenburg, S., Rätsch, G.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 2690-2698, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and FCN Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates, Inc., Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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On Fast Approximate Submodular Minimization

Jegelka, S., Lin, H., Bilmes, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 460-468, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We are motivated by an application to extract a representative subset of machine learning training data and by the poor empirical performance we observe of the popular minimum norm algorithm. In fact, for our application, minimum norm can have a running time of about O(n7) (O(n5) oracle calls). We therefore propose a fast approximate method to minimize arbitrary submodular functions. For a large sub-class of submodular functions, the algorithm is exact. Other submodular functions are iteratively approximated by tight submodular upper bounds, and then repeatedly optimized. We show theoretical properties, and empirical results suggest significant speedups over minimum norm while retaining higher accuracies.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Contextual Bandits

Seldin, Y., Auer, P., Laviolette, F., Shawe-Taylor, J., Ortner, R.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 1683-1691, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We derive an instantaneous (per-round) data-dependent regret bound for stochastic multiarmed bandits with side information (also known as contextual bandits). The scaling of our regret bound with the number of states (contexts) $N$ goes as $\sqrt{N I_{\rho_t}(S;A)}$, where $I_{\rho_t}(S;A)$ is the mutual information between states and actions (the side information) used by the algorithm at round $t$. If the algorithm uses all the side information, the regret bound scales as $\sqrt{N \ln K}$, where $K$ is the number of actions (arms). However, if the side information $I_{\rho_t}(S;A)$ is not fully used, the regret bound is significantly tighter. In the extreme case, when $I_{\rho_t}(S;A) = 0$, the dependence on the number of states reduces from linear to logarithmic. Our analysis allows to provide the algorithm large amount of side information, let the algorithm to decide which side information is relevant for the task, and penalize the algorithm only for the side information that it is using de facto. We also present an algorithm for multiarmed bandits with side information with computational complexity that is a linear in the number of actions.

PDF PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast projections onto L1,q-norm balls for grouped feature selection

Sra, S.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases - European Conference, ECML PKDD 2011, LNCS vol 6913, Part III, pages: 305-317, (Editors: D Gunopulos and T Hofmann and D Malerba and M Vazirgiannis), Springer, 22th European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML), 2011 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel Belief Propagation

Song, L., Gretton, A., Bickson, D., Low, Y., Guestrin, C.

In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Vol. 15, pages: 707-715, (Editors: G Gordon and D Dunson and M Dudík), JMLR, AISTATS, 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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On Causal Discovery with Cyclic Additive Noise Models

Mooij, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B., Heskes, T.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 639-647, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and PL Bartlett and FCN Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates, Inc., Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study a particular class of cyclic causal models, where each variable is a (possibly nonlinear) function of its parents and additive noise. We prove that the causal graph of such models is generically identifiable in the bivariate, Gaussian-noise case. We also propose a method to learn such models from observational data. In the acyclic case, the method reduces to ordinary regression, but in the more challenging cyclic case, an additional term arises in the loss function, which makes it a special case of nonlinear independent component analysis. We illustrate the proposed method on synthetic data.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Additive Gaussian Processes

Duvenaud, D., Nickisch, H., Rasmussen, C.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 226-234, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We introduce a Gaussian process model of functions which are additive. An additive function is one which decomposes into a sum of low-dimensional functions, each depending on only a subset of the input variables. Additive GPs generalize both Generalized Additive Models, and the standard GP models which use squared-exponential kernels. Hyperparameter learning in this model can be seen as Bayesian Hierarchical Kernel Learning (HKL). We introduce an expressive but tractable parameterization of the kernel function, which allows efficient evaluation of all input interaction terms, whose number is exponential in the input dimension. The additional structure discoverable by this model results in increased interpretability, as well as state-of-the-art predictive power in regression tasks.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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k-NN Regression Adapts to Local Intrinsic Dimension

Kpotufe, S.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 729-737, (Editors: J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and P Bartlett and F Pereira and KQ Weinberger), Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many nonparametric regressors were recently shown to converge at rates that depend only on the intrinsic dimension of data. These regressors thus escape the curse of dimension when high-dimensional data has low intrinsic dimension (e.g. a manifold). We show that k-NN regression is also adaptive to intrinsic dimension. In particular our rates are local to a query x and depend only on the way masses of balls centered at x vary with radius. Furthermore, we show a simple way to choose k = k(x) locally at any x so as to nearly achieve the minimax rate at x in terms of the unknown intrinsic dimension in the vicinity of x. We also establish that the minimax rate does not depend on a particular choice of metric space or distribution, but rather that this minimax rate holds for any metric space and doubling measure.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast Newton-type Methods for Total-Variation with Applications

Barbero, A., Sra, S.

In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2011, pages: 313-320, (Editors: L Getoor and T Scheffer), Omnipress, 28th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2011 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Parallel Gibbs Sampling: From Colored Fields to Thin Junction Trees

Gonzalez, J., Low, Y., Gretton, A., Guestrin, C.

In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Vol. 15, pages: 324-332, (Editors: G Gordon and D Dunson and M Dudík), JMLR, AISTATS, 2011 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Access to Unlabeled Data can Speed up Prediction Time

Urner, R., Shalev-Shwartz, S., Ben-David, S.

In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 641-648, ICML, 2011 (inproceedings)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


Recovering Intrinsic Images with a Global Sparsity Prior on Reflectance
Recovering Intrinsic Images with a Global Sparsity Prior on Reflectance

Gehler, P., Rother, C., Kiefel, M., Zhang, L., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24, pages: 765-773, (Editors: Shawe-Taylor, John and Zemel, Richard S. and Bartlett, Peter L. and Pereira, Fernando C. N. and Weinberger, Kilian Q.), Curran Associates, Inc., Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We address the challenging task of decoupling material properties from lighting properties given a single image. In the last two decades virtually all works have concentrated on exploiting edge information to address this problem. We take a different route by introducing a new prior on reflectance, that models reflectance values as being drawn from a sparse set of basis colors. This results in a Random Field model with global, latent variables (basis colors) and pixel-accurate output reflectance values. We show that without edge information high-quality results can be achieved, that are on par with methods exploiting this source of information. Finally, we are able to improve on state-of-the-art results by integrating edge information into our model. We believe that our new approach is an excellent starting point for future developments in this field.

website + code pdf poster Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

website + code pdf poster Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

2009


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A computational model of human table tennis for robot application

Mülling, K., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 57-64, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Table tennis is a difficult motor skill which requires all basic components of a general motor skill learning system. In order to get a step closer to such a generic approach to the automatic acquisition and refinement of table tennis, we study table tennis from a human motor control point of view. We make use of the basic models of discrete human movement phases, virtual hitting points, and the operational timing hypothesis. Using these components, we create a computational model which is aimed at reproducing human-like behavior. We verify the functionality of this model in a physically realistic simulation of a BarrettWAM.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2009

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A second order sliding mode controller with polygonal constraints

Dinuzzo, F.

In pages: 6715-6719, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 48th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
It is presented a discontinuous controller that ensure uniform finite-time zero stabilization of the output for uncertain SISO systems of relative degree two, while keeping the auxiliary system state within a prescribed convex polygon. The proposed method extends applicability of second order sliding modes controllers to the case of uncertain dynamical systems with constraints.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Approach to Formulation of Clustering Objectives

Seldin, Y., Tishby, N.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2009 Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Clustering is a widely used tool for exploratory data analysis. However, the theoretical understanding of clustering is very limited. We still do not have a well-founded answer to the seemingly simple question of “how many clusters are present in the data?”, and furthermore a formal comparison of clusterings based on different optimization objectives is far beyond our abilities. The lack of good theoretical support gives rise to multiple heuristics that confuse the practitioners and stall development of the field. We suggest that the ill-posed nature of clustering problems is caused by the fact that clustering is often taken out of its subsequent application context. We argue that one does not cluster the data just for the sake of clustering it, but rather to facilitate the solution of some higher level task. By evaluation of the clustering’s contribution to the solution of the higher level task it is possible to compare different clusterings, even those obtained by different optimization objectives. In the preceding work it was shown that such an approach can be applied to evaluation and design of co-clustering solutions. Here we suggest that this approach can be extended to other settings, where clustering is applied.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning new basic Movements for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 105-112, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Obtaining novel skills is one of the most important problems in robotics. Machine learning techniques may be a promising approach for automatic and autonomous acquisition of movement policies. However, this requires both an appropriate policy representation and suitable learning algorithms. Employing the most recent form of the dynamical systems motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. [1], we show how both discrete and rhythmic tasks can be learned using a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning, and present our current best performing learning algorithms. Finally, we show that it is possible to include a start-up phase in rhythmic primitives. We apply our approach to two elementary movements, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup and Ball-Paddling, which can be learned on a real Barrett WAM robot arm at a pace similar to human learning.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Notes on Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning: Submodularity, Sparsity & Polyhedra (DISCML), December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Generalizing the cost in the standard min-cut problem to a submodular cost function immediately makes the problem harder. Not only do we prove NP hardness even for nonnegative submodular costs, but also show a lower bound of (|V |1/3) on the approximation factor for the (s, t) cut version of the problem. On the positive side, we propose and compare three approximation algorithms with an overall approximation factor of O(min{|V |,p|E| log |V |}) that appear to do well in practice.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of 7ème Journées Nationales de la Recherche en Robotique, pages: 189-195, JNRR, November 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside well-structured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. We focus here on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This contribution provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the related book chapters to the corresponding research topics.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Methods for feature selection in a learning machine

Weston, J., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Pérez-Cruz, F.

United States Patent, No 7624074, November 2009 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Detecting Objects in Large Image Collections and Videos by Efficient Subimage Retrieval

Lampert, CH.

In ICCV 2009, pages: 987-994, IEEE Computer Society, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Twelfth IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the task of detecting the occurrence of objects in large image collections or in videos, a problem that combines aspects of content based image retrieval and object localization. While most previous approaches are either limited to special kinds of queries, or do not scale to large image sets, we propose a new method, efficient subimage retrieval (ESR), which is at the same time very flexible and very efficient. Relying on a two-layered branch-and-bound setup, ESR performs object-based image retrieval in sets of 100,000 or more images within seconds. An extensive evaluation on several datasets shows that ESR is not only very fast, but it also achieves detection accuracies that are on par with or superior to previously published methods for object-based image retrieval.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A new non-monotonic algorithm for PET image reconstruction

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

In IEEE - Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record (NSS/MIC), 2009, pages: 2500-2502, (Editors: B Yu), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Maximizing some form of Poisson likelihood (either with or without penalization) is central to image reconstruction algorithms in emission tomography. In this paper we introduce NMML, a non-monotonic algorithm for maximum likelihood PET image reconstruction. NMML offers a simple and flexible procedure that also easily incorporates standard convex regular-ization for doing penalized likelihood estimation. A vast number image reconstruction algorithms have been developed for PET, and new ones continue to be designed. Among these, methods based on the expectation maximization (EM) and ordered-subsets (OS) framework seem to have enjoyed the greatest popularity. Our method NMML differs fundamentally from methods based on EM: i) it does not depend on the concept of optimization transfer (or surrogate functions); and ii) it is a rapidly converging nonmonotonic descent procedure. The greatest strengths of NMML, however, are its simplicity, efficiency, and scalability, which make it especially attractive for tomograph ic reconstruction. We provide a theoretical analysis NMML, and empirically observe it to outperform standard EM based methods, sometimes by orders of magnitude. NMML seamlessly allows integreation of penalties (regularizers) in the likelihood. This ability can prove to be crucial, especially because with the rapidly rising importance of combined PET/MR scanners, one will want to include more “prior” knowledge into the reconstruction.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Tensor Clustering

Jegelka, S., Sra, S., Banerjee, A.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory: 20th International Conference, pages: 368-383, (Editors: Gavalda, R. , G. Lugosi, T. Zeugmann, S. Zilles), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ALT, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present the first (to our knowledge) approximation algo- rithm for tensor clustering—a powerful generalization to basic 1D clustering. Tensors are increasingly common in modern applications dealing with complex heterogeneous data and clustering them is a fundamental tool for data analysis and pattern discovery. Akin to their 1D cousins, common tensor clustering formulations are NP-hard to optimize. But, unlike the 1D case no approximation algorithms seem to be known. We address this imbalance and build on recent co-clustering work to derive a tensor clustering algorithm with approximation guarantees, allowing metrics and divergences (e.g., Bregman) as objective functions. Therewith, we answer two open questions by Anagnostopoulos et al. (2008). Our analysis yields a constant approximation factor independent of data size; a worst-case example shows this factor to be tight for Euclidean co-clustering. However, empirically the approximation factor is observed to be conservative, so our method can also be used in practice.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Active learning using mean shift optimization for robot grasping

Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Piater, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 2610-2615, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
When children learn to grasp a new object, they often know several possible grasping points from observing a parent&lsquo;s demonstration and subsequently learn better grasps by trial and error. From a machine learning point of view, this process is an active learning approach. In this paper, we present a new robot learning framework for reproducing this ability in robot grasping. For doing so, we chose a straightforward approach: first, the robot observes a few good grasps by demonstration and learns a value function for these grasps using Gaussian process regression. Subsequently, it chooses grasps which are optimal with respect to this value function using a mean-shift optimization approach, and tries them out on the real system. Upon every completed trial, the value function is updated, and in the following trials it is more likely to choose even better grasping points. This method exhibits fast learning due to the data-efficiency of Gaussian process regression framework and the fact th at t he mean-shift method provides maxima of this cost function. Experiments were repeatedly carried out successfully on a real robot system. After less than sixty trials, our system has adapted its grasping policy to consistently exhibit successful grasps.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse online model learning for robot control with support vector regression

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 3121-3126, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The increasing complexity of modern robots makes it prohibitively hard to accurately model such systems as required by many applications. In such cases, machine learning methods offer a promising alternative for approximating such models using measured data. To date, high computational demands have largely restricted machine learning techniques to mostly offline applications. However, making the robots adaptive to changes in the dynamics and to cope with unexplored areas of the state space requires online learning. In this paper, we propose an approximation of the support vector regression (SVR) by sparsification based on the linear independency of training data. As a result, we obtain a method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques, such as nu-SVR, Gaussian process regression (GPR) and locally weighted projection regression (LWPR).

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series Analysis of Epileptic Seizure Recordings

Barbero, A., Franz, M., Drongelen, W., Dorronsoro, J., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In EMBC 2009, pages: 5304-5307, (Editors: Y Kim and B He and G Worrell and X Pan), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Implicit Wiener series are a powerful tool to build Volterra representations of time series with any degree of nonlinearity. A natural question is then whether higher order representations yield more useful models. In this work we shall study this question for ECoG data channel relationships in epileptic seizure recordings, considering whether quadratic representations yield more accurate classifiers than linear ones. To do so we first show how to derive statistical information on the Volterra coefficient distribution and how to construct seizure classification patterns over that information. As our results illustrate, a quadratic model seems to provide no advantages over a linear one. Nevertheless, we shall also show that the interpretability of the implicit Wiener series provides insights into the inter-channel relationships of the recordings.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Incorporating Prior Knowledge on Class Probabilities into Local Similarity Measures for Intermodality Image Registration

Hofmann, M., Schölkopf, B., Bezrukov, I., Cahill, N.

In Proceedings of the MICCAI 2009 Workshop on Probabilistic Models for Medical Image Analysis , pages: 220-231, (Editors: W Wells and S Joshi and K Pohl), PMMIA, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a methodology for incorporating prior knowledge on class probabilities into the registration process. By using knowledge from the imaging modality, pre-segmentations, and/or probabilistic atlases, we construct vectors of class probabilities for each image voxel. By defining new image similarity measures for distribution-valued images, we show how the class probability images can be nonrigidly registered in a variational framework. An experiment on nonrigid registration of MR and CT full-body scans illustrates that the proposed technique outperforms standard mutual information (MI) and normalized mutual information (NMI) based registration techniques when measured in terms of target registration error (TRE) of manually labeled fiducials.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Causality Discovery with Additive Disturbances: An Information-Theoretical Perspective

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, pages: 570-585, (Editors: Buntine, W. , M. Grobelnik, D. Mladenić, J. Shawe-Taylor ), Springer, Berlin, Germany, European Conference on Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases: Part II (ECML PKDD '09), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider causally sufficient acyclic causal models in which the relationship among the variables is nonlinear while disturbances have linear effects, and show that three principles, namely, the causal Markov condition (together with the independence between each disturbance and the corresponding parents), minimum disturbance entropy, and mutual independence of the disturbances, are equivalent. This motivates new and more efficient methods for some causal discovery problems. In particular, we propose to use multichannel blind deconvolution, an extension of independent component analysis, to do Granger causality analysis with instantaneous effects. This approach gives more accurate estimates of the parameters and can easily incorporate sparsity constraints. For additive disturbance-based nonlinear causal discovery, we first make use of the conditional independence relationships to obtain the equivalence class; undetermined causal directions are then found by nonlinear regression and pairwise independence tests. This avoids the brute-force search and greatly reduces the computational load.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Object Localization with Global and Local Context Kernels

Blaschko, M., Lampert, C.

In British Machine Vision Conference 2009, pages: 1-11, BMVC, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent research has shown that the use of contextual cues significantly improves performance in sliding window type localization systems. In this work, we propose a method that incorporates both global and local context information through appropriately defined kernel functions. In particular, we make use of a weighted combination of kernels defined over local spatial regions, as well as a global context kernel. The relative importance of the context contributions is learned automatically, and the resulting discriminant function is of a form such that localization at test time can be solved efficiently using a branch and bound optimization scheme. By specifying context directly with a kernel learning approach, we achieve high localization accuracy with a simple and efficient representation. This is in contrast to other systems that incorporate context for which expensive inference needs to be done at test time. We show experimentally on the PASCAL VOC datasets that the inclusion of context can significantly improve localization performance, provided the relative contributions of context cues are learned appropriately.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Sample Reuse in EM-Based Policy Search

Hachiya, H., Peters, J., Sugiyama, M.

In 16th European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, pages: 469-484, (Editors: Buntine, W. , M. Grobelnik, D. Mladenic, J. Shawe-Taylor), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Direct policy search is a promising reinforcement learning framework in particular for controlling in continuous, high-dimensional systems such as anthropomorphic robots. Policy search often requires a large number of samples for obtaining a stable policy update estimator due to its high flexibility. However, this is prohibitive when the sampling cost is expensive. In this paper, we extend a EM-based policy search method so that previously collected samples can be efficiently reused. The usefulness of the proposed method, called Reward-weighted Regression with sample Reuse, is demonstrated through a robot learning experiment.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Active Structured Learning for High-Speed Object Detection

Lampert, C., Peters, J.

In DAGM 2009, pages: 221-231, (Editors: Denzler, J. , G. Notni, H. Süsse), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 31st Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
High-speed smooth and accurate visual tracking of objects in arbitrary, unstructured environments is essential for robotics and human motion analysis. However, building a system that can adapt to arbitrary objects and a wide range of lighting conditions is a challenging problem, especially if hard real-time constraints apply like in robotics scenarios. In this work, we introduce a method for learning a discriminative object tracking system based on the recent structured regression framework for object localization. Using a kernel function that allows fast evaluation on the GPU, the resulting system can process video streams at speed of 100 frames per second or more. Consecutive frames in high speed video sequences are typically very redundant, and for training an object detection system, it is sufficient to have training labels from only a subset of all images. We propose an active learning method that select training examples in a data-driven way, thereby minimizing the required number of training labeling. Experiments on realistic data show that the active learning is superior to previously used methods for dataset subsampling for this task.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]