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2004


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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]

2004

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]


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Technical report on Separation methods for nonlinear mixtures

Jutten, C., Karhunen, J., Almeida, L., Harmeling, S.

(D29), EU-Project BLISS, October 2003 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Image Reconstruction by Linear Programming

Tsuda, K., Rätsch, G.

(118), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, October 2003 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Technical report on implementation of linear methods and validation on acoustic sources

Harmeling, S., Bünau, P., Ziehe, A., Pham, D.

EU-Project BLISS, September 2003 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Ranking on Data Manifolds

Zhou, D., Weston, J., Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

(113), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Google search engine has had a huge success with its PageRank web page ranking algorithm, which exploits global, rather than local, hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web using random walk. This algorithm can only be used for graph data, however. Here we propose a simple universal ranking algorithm for vectorial data, based on the exploration of the intrinsic global geometric structure revealed by a huge amount of data. Experimental results from image and text to bioinformatics illustrates the validity of our algorithm.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Hebbian Algorithm for Iterative Kernel Principal Component Analysis

Kim, K., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(109), MPI f. biologische Kybernetik, Tuebingen, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A new method for performing a kernel principal component analysis is proposed. By kernelizing the generalized Hebbian algorithm, one can iteratively estimate the principal components in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space with only linear order memory complexity. The derivation of the method, a convergence proof, and preliminary applications in image hyperresolution are presented. In addition, we discuss the extension of the method to the online learning of kernel principal components.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning with Local and Global Consistency

Zhou, D., Bousquet, O., Lal, T., Weston, J., Schölkopf, B.

(112), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the learning problem in the transductive setting. Given a set of points of which only some are labeled, the goal is to predict the label of the unlabeled points. A principled clue to solve such a learning problem is the consistency assumption that a classifying function should be sufficiently smooth with respect to the structure revealed by these known labeled and unlabeled points. We present a simple algorithm to obtain such a smooth solution. Our method yields encouraging experimental results on a number of classification problems and demonstrates effective use of unlabeled data.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The Metric Nearness Problem with Applications

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

Univ. of Texas at Austin, June 2003 (techreport)

GZIP [BibTex]

GZIP [BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(114), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Wiener series is one of the standard methods to systematically characterize the nonlinearity of a neural system. The classical estimation method of the expansion coefficients via cross-correlation suffers from severe problems that prevent its application to high-dimensional and strongly nonlinear systems. We propose a new estimation method based on regression in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space that overcomes these problems. Numerical experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability and system size that can be handled.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Machine Learning approaches to protein ranking: discriminative, semi-supervised, scalable algorithms

Weston, J., Leslie, C., Elisseeff, A., Noble, W.

(111), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A key tool in protein function discovery is the ability to rank databases of proteins given a query amino acid sequence. The most successful method so far is a web-based tool called PSI-BLAST which uses heuristic alignment of a profile built using the large unlabeled database. It has been shown that such use of global information via an unlabeled data improves over a local measure derived from a basic pairwise alignment such as performed by PSI-BLAST's predecessor, BLAST. In this article we look at ways of leveraging techniques from the field of machine learning for the problem of ranking. We show how clustering and semi-supervised learning techniques, which aim to capture global structure in data, can significantly improve over PSI-BLAST.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The Geometry Of Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis

Kuss, M., Graepel, T.

(108), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) is a classical multivariate method concerned with describing linear dependencies between sets of variables. After a short exposition of the linear sample CCA problem and its analytical solution, the article proceeds with a detailed characterization of its geometry. Projection operators are used to illustrate the relations between canonical vectors and variates. The article then addresses the problem of CCA between spaces spanned by objects mapped into kernel feature spaces. An exact solution for this kernel canonical correlation (KCCA) problem is derived from a geometric point of view. It shows that the expansion coefficients of the canonical vectors in their respective feature space can be found by linear CCA in the basis induced by kernel principal component analysis. The effect of mappings into higher dimensional feature spaces is considered critically since it simplifies the CCA problem in general. Then two regularized variants of KCCA are discussed. Relations to other methods are illustrated, e.g., multicategory kernel Fisher discriminant analysis, kernel principal component regression and possible applications thereof in blind source separation.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A unifying computational framework for optimization and dynamic systemsapproaches to motor control

Mohajerian, P., Peters, J., Ijspeert, A., Schaal, S.

10th Joint Symposium on Neural Computation (JSNC 2003), 10, pages: 1, May 2003 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Kernel Mutual Information

Gretton, A., Herbrich, R., Smola, A.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, April 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce two new functions, the kernel covariance (KC) and the kernel mutual information (KMI), to measure the degree of independence of several continuous random variables. The former is guaranteed to be zero if and only if the random variables are pairwise independent; the latter shares this property, and is in addition an approximate upper bound on the mutual information, as measured near independence, and is based on a kernel density estimate. We show that Bach and Jordan‘s kernel generalised variance (KGV) is also an upper bound on the same kernel density estimate, but is looser. Finally, we suggest that the addition of a regularising term in the KGV causes it to approach the KMI, which motivates the introduction of this regularisation. The performance of the KC and KMI is verified in the context of instantaneous independent component analysis (ICA), by recovering both artificial and real (musical) signals following linear mixing.

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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A Unifying Computational Framework for Optimization and Dynamic Systems Approaches to Motor Control

Mohajerian, P., Peters, J., Ijspeert, A., Schaal, S.

13th Annual Neural Control of Movement Meeting 2003, 13, pages: 1, April 2003 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Phase Information and the Recognition of Natural Images

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

6, pages: 138, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image showing a ower is swapped with the phase spectrum of an image showing a tank, then we will usually perceive a tank in the resulting image, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the ower. Also, when the phases of an image are randomly swapped across frequencies, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognize. Our goal was to evaluate the e ect of phase manipulations in a more quantitative manner. On each trial subjects viewed two images of natural scenes. The subject had to indicate which one of the two images contained an animal. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was uniformly distributed in the interval [;+], where  was varied between 0 degree and 180 degrees. Image pairs were displayed for 100 msec. Subjects were remarkably resistant to the addition of phase noise. Even with [120; 120] degree noise, subjects still were at a level of 75% correct. The introduction of phase noise leads to a reduction of image contrast. Subjects were slightly better than a simple prediction based on this contrast reduction. However, when contrast response functions were measured in the same experimental paradigm, we found that performance in the phase noise experiment was signi cantly lower than that predicted by the corresponding contrast reduction.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Expectation Maximization for Clustering on Hyperspheres

Banerjee, A., Dhillon, I., Ghosh, J., Sra, S.

Univ. of Texas at Austin, February 2003 (techreport)

GZIP [BibTex]

GZIP [BibTex]


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Constraints measures and reproduction of style in robot imitation learning

Bakir, GH., Ilg, W., Franz, MO., Giese, M.

6, pages: 70, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Imitation learning is frequently discussed as a method for generating complex behaviors in robots by imitating human actors. The kinematic and the dynamic properties of humans and robots are typically quite di erent, however. For this reason observed human trajectories cannot be directly transferred to robots, even if their geometry is humanoid. Instead the human trajectory must be approximated by trajectories that can be realized by the robot. During this approximation deviations from the human trajectory may arise that change the style of the executed movement. Alternatively, the style of the movement might be well reproduced, but the imitated trajectory might be suboptimal with respect to di erent constraint measures from robotics control, leading to non-robust behavior. Goal of the presented work is to quantify this trade-o between \imitation quality" and constraint compatibility for the imitation of complex writing movements. In our experiment, we used trajectory data from human writing movements (see the abstract of Ilg et al. in this volume). The human trajectories were mapped onto robot trajectories by minimizing an error measure that integrates constraints that are important for the imitation of movement style and a regularizing constraint that ensures smooth joint trajectories with low velocities. In a rst experiment, both the end-e ector position and the shoulder angle of the robot were optimized in order to achieve good imitation together with accurate control of the end-e ector position. In a second experiment only the end-e ector trajectory was imitated whereas the motion of the elbow joint was determined using the optimal inverse kinematic solution for the robot. For both conditions di erent constraint measures (dexterity and relative jointlimit distances) and a measure for imitation quality were assessed. By controling the weight of the regularization term we can vary continuously between robot behavior optimizing imitation quality, and behavior minimizing joint velocities.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Study of Human Classification using Psychophysics and Machine Learning

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

6, pages: 149, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), Febuary 2003 (poster)

Abstract
We attempt to reach a better understanding of classi cation in humans using both psychophysical and machine learning techniques. In our psychophysical paradigm the stimuli presented to the human subjects are modi ed using machine learning algorithms according to their responses. Frontal views of human faces taken from a processed version of the MPI face database are employed for a gender classi cation task. The processing assures that all heads have same mean intensity, same pixel-surface area and are centered. This processing stage is followed by a smoothing of the database in order to eliminate, as much as possible, scanning artifacts. Principal Component Analysis is used to obtain a low-dimensional representation of the faces in the database. A subject is asked to classify the faces and experimental parameters such as class (i.e. female/male), con dence ratings and reaction times are recorded. A mean classi cation error of 14.5% is measured and, on average, 0.5 males are classi ed as females and 21.3females as males. The mean reaction time for the correctly classi ed faces is 1229 +- 252 [ms] whereas the incorrectly classi ed faces have a mean reaction time of 1769 +- 304 [ms] showing that the reaction times increase with the subject's classi- cation error. Reaction times are also shown to decrease with increasing con dence, both for the correct and incorrect classi cations. Classi cation errors, reaction times and con dence ratings are then correlated to concepts of machine learning such as separating hyperplane obtained when considering Support Vector Machines, Relevance Vector Machines, boosted Prototype and K-means Learners. Elements near the separating hyperplane are found to be classi ed with more errors than those away from it. In addition, the subject's con dence increases when moving away from the hyperplane. A preliminary analysis on the available small number of subjects indicates that K-means classi cation seems to re ect the subject's classi cation behavior best. The above learnersare then used to generate \special" elements, or representations, of the low-dimensional database according to the labels given by the subject. A memory experiment follows where the representations are shown together with faces seen or unseen during the classi cation experiment. This experiment aims to assess the representations by investigating whether some representations, or special elements, are classi ed as \seen before" despite that they never appeared in the classi cation experiment, possibly hinting at their use during human classi cation.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Representation of Complex Movement Sequences Based on Hierarchical Spatio-Temporal Correspondence for Imitation Learning in Robotics

Ilg, W., Bakir, GH., Franz, MO., Giese, M.

6, pages: 74, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Imitation learning of complex movements has become a popular topic in neuroscience, as well as in robotics. A number of conceptual as well as practical problems are still unsolved. One example is the determination of the aspects of movements which are relevant for imitation. Problems concerning the movement representation are twofold: (1) The movement characteristics of observed movements have to be transferred from the perceptual level to the level of generated actions. (2) Continuous spaces of movements with variable styles have to be approximated based on a limited number of learned example sequences. Therefore, one has to use representation with a high generalisation capability. We present methods for the representation of complex movement sequences that addresses these questions in the context of the imitation learning of writing movements using a robot arm with human-like geometry. For the transfer of complex movements from perception to action we exploit a learning-based method that represents complex action sequences by linear combination of prototypical examples (Ilg and Giese, BMCV 2002). The method of hierarchical spatio-temporal morphable models (HSTMM) decomposes action sequences automatically into movement primitives. These primitives are modeled by linear combinations of a small number of learned example trajectories. The learned spatio-temporal models are suitable for the analysis and synthesis of long action sequences, which consist of movement primitives with varying style parameters. The proposed method is illustrated by imitation learning of complex writing movements. Human trajectories were recorded using a commercial motion capture system (VICON). In the rst step the recorded writing sequences are decomposed into movement primitives. These movement primitives can be analyzed and changed in style by de ning linear combinations of prototypes with di erent linear weight combinations. Our system can imitate writing movements of di erent actors, synthesize new writing styles and can even exaggerate the writing movements of individual actors. Words and writing movements of the robot look very natural, and closely match the natural styles. These preliminary results makes the proposed method promising for further applications in learning-based robotics. In this poster we focus on the acquisition of the movement representation (identi cation and segmentation of movement primitives, generation of new writing styles by spatio-temporal morphing). The transfer of the generated writing movements to the robot considering the given kinematic and dynamic constraints is discussed in Bakir et al (this volume).

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Modeling Data using Directional Distributions

Dhillon, I., Sra, S.

Univ. of Texas at Austin, January 2003 (techreport)

GZIP [BibTex]

GZIP [BibTex]


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A Note on Parameter Tuning for On-Line Shifting Algorithms

Bousquet, O.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
In this short note, building on ideas of M. Herbster [2] we propose a method for automatically tuning the parameter of the FIXED-SHARE algorithm proposed by Herbster and Warmuth [3] in the context of on-line learning with shifting experts. We show that this can be done with a memory requirement of $O(nT)$ and that the additional loss incurred by the tuning is the same as the loss incurred for estimating the parameter of a Bernoulli random variable.

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Prediction at an Uncertain Input for Gaussian Processes and Relevance Vector Machines - Application to Multiple-Step Ahead Time-Series Forecasting

Quiñonero-Candela, J., Girard, A., Rasmussen, C.

(IMM-2003-18), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2003 (techreport)

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Interactive Images

Toyama, K., Schölkopf, B.

(MSR-TR-2003-64), Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK, 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Interactive Images are a natural extension of three recent developments: digital photography, interactive web pages, and browsable video. An interactive image is a multi-dimensional image, displayed two dimensions at a time (like a standard digital image), but with which a user can interact to browse through the other dimensions. One might consider a standard video sequence viewed with a video player as a simple interactive image with time as the third dimension. Interactive images are a generalization of this idea, in which the third (and greater) dimensions may be focus, exposure, white balance, saturation, and other parameters. Interaction is handled via a variety of modes including those we call ordinal, pixel-indexed, cumulative, and comprehensive. Through exploration of three novel forms of interactive images based on color, exposure, and focus, we will demonstrate the compelling nature of interactive images.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Models of contrast transfer as a function of presentation time and spatial frequency.

Wichmann, F.

2003 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast transduction is essential for understanding spatial vision. Using standard 2AFC contrast discrimination experiments conducted using a carefully calibrated display we previously showed that the shape of the threshold versus (pedestal) contrast (TvC) curve changes with presentation time and the performance level defined as threshold (Wichmann, 1999; Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Additional experiments looked at the change of the TvC curve with spatial frequency (Bird, Henning & Wichmann, 2002), and at how to constrain the parameters of models of contrast processing (Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results both across spatial frequency and presentation time. An extensive model-selection exploration was performed using Bayesian confidence regions for the fitted parameters as well as cross-validation methods. Bird, C.M., G.B. Henning and F.A. Wichmann (2002). Contrast discrimination with sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19, 1267-1273. Wichmann, F.A. (1999). Some aspects of modelling human spatial vision: contrast discrimination. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Oxford. Wichmann, F.A. & Henning, G.B. (1999). Implications of the Pedestal Effect for Models of Contrast-Processing and Gain-Control. OSA Annual Meeting Program, 62. Wichmann, F.A. (2002). Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 2, 7a.

[BibTex]