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2009


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Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J., Oztop, E.

Advanced Telecommunications Research Center ATR, June 2009 (talk)

Abstract
The acquisition and self-improvement of novel motor skills is among the most important problems in robotics. Motor primitives offer one of the most promising frameworks for the application of machine learning techniques in this context. Employing the Dynamic Systems Motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. (2003), appropriate learning algorithms for a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning are presented. Using these algorithms new motor skills, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup, Ball-Paddling and Dart-Throwing, are learned.

[BibTex]

2009

[BibTex]


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Learning To Detect Unseen Object Classes by Between-Class Attribute Transfer

Lampert, C.

IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2009 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Center-surround patterns emerge as optimal predictors for human saccade targets

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

Journal of Vision, 9(5:7):1-15, May 2009 (article)

Abstract
The human visual system is foveated, that is, outside the central visual field resolution and acuity drop rapidly. Nonetheless much of a visual scene is perceived after only a few saccadic eye movements, suggesting an effective strategy for selecting saccade targets. It has been known for some time that local image structure at saccade targets influences the selection process. However, the question of what the most relevant visual features are is still under debate. Here we show that center-surround patterns emerge as the optimal solution for predicting saccade targets from their local image structure. The resulting model, a one-layer feed-forward network, is surprisingly simple compared to previously suggested models which assume much more complex computations such as multi-scale processing and multiple feature channels. Nevertheless, our model is equally predictive. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with neurophysiological hardware in the superior colliculus. Bottom-up visual saliency may thus not be computed cortically as has been thought previously.

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Influence of Different Assignment Conditions on the Determination of Symmetric Homo-dimeric Structures with ARIA

Bardiaux, B., Bernard, A., Rieping, W., Habeck, M., Malliavin, TE., Nilges, M.

Proteins, 75(3):569-585, May 2009 (article)

Abstract
The ambiguous restraint for iterative assignment (ARIA) approach for NMR structure calculation is evaluated for symmetric homodimeric proteins by assessing the effect of several data analysis and assignment methods on the structure quality. In particular, we study the effects of network anchoring and spin-diffusion correction. The spin-diffusion correction improves the protein structure quality systematically, whereas network anchoring enhances the assignment efficiency by speeding up the convergence and coping with highly ambiguous data. For some homodimeric folds, network anchoring has been proved essential for unraveling both chain and proton assignment ambiguities.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Beamforming in Noninvasive Brain-Computer Interfaces

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Liefhold, C., Gramann, K., Buss, M.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 56(4):1209-1219, April 2009 (article)

Abstract
Spatial filtering (SF) constitutes an integral part of building EEG-based brain–computer interfaces (BCIs). Algorithms frequently used for SF, such as common spatial patterns (CSPs) and independent component analysis, require labeled training data for identifying filters that provide information on a subject‘s intention, which renders these algorithms susceptible to overfitting on artifactual EEG components. In this study, beamforming is employed to construct spatial filters that extract EEG sources originating within predefined regions of interest within the brain. In this way, neurophysiological knowledge on which brain regions are relevant for a certain experimental paradigm can be utilized to construct unsupervised spatial filters that are robust against artifactual EEG components. Beamforming is experimentally compared with CSP and Laplacian spatial filtering (LP) in a two-class motor-imagery paradigm. It is demonstrated that beamforming outperforms CSP and LP on noisy datasets, while CSP and beamforming perform almost equally well on datasets with few artifactual trials. It is concluded that beamforming constitutes an alternative method for SF that might be particularly useful for BCIs used in clinical settings, i.e., in an environment where artifact-free datasets are difficult to obtain.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Constructing Sparse Kernel Machines Using Attractors

Lee, D., Jung, K., Lee, J.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 20(4):721-729, April 2009 (article)

Abstract
In this brief, a novel method that constructs a sparse kernel machine is proposed. The proposed method generates attractors as sparse solutions from a built-in kernel machine via a dynamical system framework. By readjusting the corresponding coefficients and bias terms, a sparse kernel machine that approximates a conventional kernel machine is constructed. The simulation results show that the constructed sparse kernel machine improves the efficiency of testing phase while maintaining comparable test error.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimal construction of k-nearest-neighbor graphs for identifying noisy clusters

Maier, M., Hein, M., von Luxburg, U.

Theoretical Computer Science, 410(19):1749-1764, April 2009 (article)

Abstract
We study clustering algorithms based on neighborhood graphs on a random sample of data points. The question we ask is how such a graph should be constructed in order to obtain optimal clustering results. Which type of neighborhood graph should one choose, mutual k-nearest-neighbor or symmetric k-nearest-neighbor? What is the optimal parameter k? In our setting, clusters are defined as connected components of the t-level set of the underlying probability distribution. Clusters are said to be identified in the neighborhood graph if connected components in the graph correspond to the true underlying clusters. Using techniques from random geometric graph theory, we prove bounds on the probability that clusters are identified successfully, both in a noise-free and in a noisy setting. Those bounds lead to several conclusions. First, k has to be chosen surprisingly high (rather of the order n than of the order logn) to maximize the probability of cluster identification. Secondly, the major difference between the mutual and the symmetric k-nearest-neighbor graph occurs when one attempts to detect the most significant cluster only.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Optimization of k-Space Trajectories by Bayesian Experimental Design

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B.

17(2627), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
MR image reconstruction from undersampled k-space can be improved by nonlinear denoising estimators since they incorporate statistical prior knowledge about image sparsity. Reconstruction quality depends crucially on the undersampling design (k-space trajectory), in a manner complicated by the nonlinear and signal-dependent characteristics of these methods. We propose an algorithm to assess and optimize k-space trajectories for sparse MRI reconstruction, based on Bayesian experimental design, which is scaled up to full MR images by a novel variational relaxation to iteratively reweighted FFT or gridding computations. Designs are built sequentially by adding phase encodes predicted to be most informative, given the combination of previous measurements with image prior information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Overlap and refractory effects in a Brain-Computer Interface speller based on the visual P300 Event-Related Potential

Martens, S., Hill, N., Farquhar, J., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 6(2):1-9, April 2009 (article)

Abstract
We reveal the presence of refractory and overlap effects in the event-related potentials in visual P300 speller datasets, and we show their negative impact on the performance of the system. This finding has important implications for how to encode the letters that can be selected for communication. However, we show that such effects are dependent on stimulus parameters: an alternative stimulus type based on apparent motion suffers less from the refractory effects and leads to an improved letter prediction performance.

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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MR-Based Attenuation Correction for PET/MR

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Aschoff, P., Lichy, M., Erb, M., Nägele, T., Brady, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

17(260), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
There has recently been a growing interest in combining PET and MR. Attenuation correction (AC), which accounts for radiation attenuation properties of the tissue, is mandatory for quantitative PET. In the case of PET/MR the attenuation map needs to be determined from the MR image. This is intrinsically difficult as MR intensities are not related to the electron density information of the attenuation map. Using ultra-short echo (UTE) acquisition, atlas registration and machine learning, we present methods that allow prediction of the attenuation map based on the MR image both for brain and whole body imaging.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Nearest Neighbor Clustering: A Baseline Method for Consistent Clustering with Arbitrary Objective Functions

Bubeck, S., von Luxburg, U.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 10, pages: 657-698, March 2009 (article)

Abstract
Clustering is often formulated as a discrete optimization problem. The objective is to find, among all partitions of the data set, the best one according to some quality measure. However, in the statistical setting where we assume that the finite data set has been sampled from some underlying space, the goal is not to find the best partition of the given sample, but to approximate the true partition of the underlying space. We argue that the discrete optimization approach usually does not achieve this goal, and instead can lead to inconsistency. We construct examples which provably have this behavior. As in the case of supervised learning, the cure is to restrict the size of the function classes under consideration. For appropriate “small” function classes we can prove very general consistency theorems for clustering optimization schemes. As one particular algorithm for clustering with a restricted function space we introduce “nearest neighbor clustering”. Similar to the k-nearest neighbor classifier in supervised learning, this algorithm can be seen as a general baseline algorithm to minimize arbitrary clustering objective functions. We prove that it is statistically consistent for all commonly used clustering objective functions.

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Protein Functional Class Prediction With a Combined Graph

Shin, H., Tsuda, K., Schölkopf, B.

Expert Systems with Applications, 36(2):3284-3292, March 2009 (article)

Abstract
In bioinformatics, there exist multiple descriptions of graphs for the same set of genes or proteins. For instance, in yeast systems, graph edges can represent different relationships such as protein–protein interactions, genetic interactions, or co-participation in a protein complex, etc. Relying on similarities between nodes, each graph can be used independently for prediction of protein function. However, since different graphs contain partly independent and partly complementary information about the problem at hand, one can enhance the total information extracted by combining all graphs. In this paper, we propose a method for integrating multiple graphs within a framework of semi-supervised learning. The method alternates between minimizing the objective function with respect to network output and with respect to combining weights. We apply the method to the task of protein functional class prediction in yeast. The proposed method performs significantly better than the same algorithm trained on any singl e graph.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Gaussian Process Dynamic Programming

Deisenroth, M., Rasmussen, C., Peters, J.

Neurocomputing, 72(7-9):1508-1524, March 2009 (article)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning (RL) and optimal control of systems with contin- uous states and actions require approximation techniques in most interesting cases. In this article, we introduce Gaussian process dynamic programming (GPDP), an approximate value-function based RL algorithm. We consider both a classic optimal control problem, where problem-specific prior knowl- edge is available, and a classic RL problem, where only very general priors can be used. For the classic optimal control problem, GPDP models the unknown value functions with Gaussian processes and generalizes dynamic programming to continuous-valued states and actions. For the RL problem, GPDP starts from a given initial state and explores the state space using Bayesian active learning. To design a fast learner, available data has to be used efficiently. Hence, we propose to learn probabilistic models of the a priori unknown transition dynamics and the value functions on the fly. In both cases, we successfully apply the resulting continuous-valued controllers to the under-actuated pendulum swing up and analyze the performances of the suggested algorithms. It turns out that GPDP uses data very efficiently and can be applied to problems, where classic dynamic programming would be cumbersome.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An algebraic characterization of the optimum of regularized kernel methods

Dinuzzo, F., De Nicolao, G.

Machine Learning, 74(3):315-345, March 2009 (article)

Abstract
The representer theorem for kernel methods states that the solution of the associated variational problem can be expressed as the linear combination of a finite number of kernel functions. However, for non-smooth loss functions, the analytic characterization of the coefficients poses nontrivial problems. Standard approaches resort to constrained optimization reformulations which, in general, lack a closed-form solution. Herein, by a proper change of variable, it is shown that, for any convex loss function, the coefficients satisfy a system of algebraic equations in a fixed-point form, which may be directly obtained from the primal formulation. The algebraic characterization is specialized to regression and classification methods and the fixed-point equations are explicitly characterized for many loss functions of practical interest. The consequences of the main result are then investigated along two directions. First, the existence of an unconstrained smooth reformulation of the original non-smooth problem is proven. Second, in the context of SURE (Stein’s Unbiased Risk Estimation), a general formula for the degrees of freedom of kernel regression methods is derived.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Towards quantitative PET/MRI: a review of MR-based attenuation correction techniques

Hofmann, M., Pichler, B., Schölkopf, B., Beyer, T.

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 36(Supplement 1):93-104, March 2009 (article)

Abstract
Introduction Positron emission tomography (PET) is a fully quantitative technology for imaging metabolic pathways and dynamic processes in vivo. Attenuation correction of raw PET data is a prerequisite for quantification and is typically based on separate transmission measurements. In PET/CT attenuation correction, however, is performed routinely based on the available CT transmission data. Objective Recently, combined PET/magnetic resonance (MR) has been proposed as a viable alternative to PET/CT. Current concepts of PET/MRI do not include CT-like transmission sources and, therefore, alternative methods of PET attenuation correction must be found. This article reviews existing approaches to MR-based attenuation correction (MR-AC). Most groups have proposed MR-AC algorithms for brain PET studies and more recently also for torso PET/MR imaging. Most MR-AC strategies require the use of complementary MR and transmission images, or morphology templates generated from transmission images. We review and discuss these algorithms and point out challenges for using MR-AC in clinical routine. Discussion MR-AC is work-in-progress with potentially promising results from a template-based approach applicable to both brain and torso imaging. While efforts are ongoing in making clinically viable MR-AC fully automatic, further studies are required to realize the potential benefits of MR-based motion compensation and partial volume correction of the PET data.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Generating Spike Trains with Specified Correlation Coefficients

Macke, J., Berens, P., Ecker, A., Tolias, A., Bethge, M.

Neural Computation, 21(2):397-423, February 2009 (article)

Abstract
Spike trains recorded from populations of neurons can exhibit substantial pairwise correlations between neurons and rich temporal structure. Thus, for the realistic simulation and analysis of neural systems, it is essential to have efficient methods for generating artificial spike trains with specified correlation structure. Here we show how correlated binary spike trains can be simulated by means of a latent multivariate gaussian model. Sampling from the model is computationally very efficient and, in particular, feasible even for large populations of neurons. The entropy of the model is close to the theoretical maximum for a wide range of parameters. In addition, this framework naturally extends to correlations over time and offers an elegant way to model correlated neural spike counts with arbitrary marginal distributions.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Automatic detection of preclinical neurodegeneration: Presymptomatic Huntington disease

Klöppel, S., Chu, C., Tan, G., Draganski, B., Johnson, H., Paulsen, J., Kienzle, W., Tabrizi, S., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R.

Neurology, 72(5):426-431, February 2009 (article)

Abstract
Background: Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is likely to be most beneficial in the very early, possibly preclinical stages of degeneration. We explored the usefulness of fully automatic structural MRI classification methods for detecting subtle degenerative change. The availability of a definitive genetic test for Huntington disease (HD) provides an excellent metric for judging the performance of such methods in gene mutation carriers who are free of symptoms. Methods: Using the gray matter segment of MRI scans, this study explored the usefulness of a multivariate support vector machine to automatically identify presymptomatic HD gene mutation carriers (PSCs) in the absence of any a priori information. A multicenter data set of 96 PSCs and 95 age- and sex-matched controls was studied. The PSC group was subclassified into three groups based on time from predicted clinical onset, an estimate that is a function of DNA mutation size and age. Results: Subjects with at least a 33% chance of developing unequivocal signs of HD in 5 years were correctly assigned to the PSC group 69% of the time. Accuracy improved to 83% when regions affected by the disease were selected a priori for analysis. Performance was at chance when the probability of developing symptoms in 5 years was less than 10%. Conclusions: Presymptomatic Huntington disease gene mutation carriers close to estimated diagnostic onset were successfully separated from controls on the basis of single anatomic scans, without additional a priori information. Prior information is required to allow separation when degenerative changes are either subtle or variable.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Enumeration of condition-dependent dense modules in protein interaction networks

Georgii, E., Dietmann, S., Uno, T., Pagel, P., Tsuda, K.

Bioinformatics, 25(7):933-940, February 2009 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Modern systems biology aims at understanding how the different molecular components of a biological cell interact. Often, cellular functions are performed by complexes consisting of many different proteins. The composition of these complexes may change according to the cellular environment, and one protein may be involved in several different processes. The automatic discovery of functional complexes from protein interaction data is challenging. While previous approaches use approximations to extract dense modules, our approach exactly solves the problem of dense module enumeration. Furthermore, constraints from additional information sources such as gene expression and phenotype data can be integrated, so we can systematically mine for dense modules with interesting profiles. Results: Given a weighted protein interaction network, our method discovers all protein sets that satisfy a user-defined minimum density threshold. We employ a reverse search strategy, which allows us to exploit the density criterion in an efficient way. Our experiments show that the novel approach is feasible and produces biologically meaningful results. In comparative validation studies using yeast data, the method achieved the best overall prediction performance with respect to confirmed complexes. Moreover, by enhancing the yeast network with phenotypic and phylogenetic profiles and the human network with tissue-specific expression data, we identified condition-dependent complex variants.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Prototype Classification: Insights from Machine Learning

Graf, A., Bousquet, O., Rätsch, G., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 21(1):272-300, January 2009 (article)

Abstract
We shed light on the discrimination between patterns belonging to two different classes by casting this decoding problem into a generalized prototype framework. The discrimination process is then separated into two stages: a projection stage that reduces the dimensionality of the data by projecting it on a line and a threshold stage where the distributions of the projected patterns of both classes are separated. For this, we extend the popular mean-of-class prototype classification using algorithms from machine learning that satisfy a set of invariance properties. We report a simple yet general approach to express different types of linear classification algorithms in an identical and easy-to-visualize formal framework using generalized prototypes where these prototypes are used to express the normal vector and offset of the hyperplane. We investigate nonmargin classifiers such as the classical prototype classifier, the Fisher classifier, and the relevance vector machine. We then study hard and soft margin cl assifiers such as the support vector machine and a boosted version of the prototype classifier. Subsequently, we relate mean-of-class prototype classification to other classification algorithms by showing that the prototype classifier is a limit of any soft margin classifier and that boosting a prototype classifier yields the support vector machine. While giving novel insights into classification per se by presenting a common and unified formalism, our generalized prototype framework also provides an efficient visualization and a principled comparison of machine learning classification.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Automatic classification of brain resting states using fMRI temporal signals

Soldati, N., Robinson, S., Persello, C., Jovicich, J., Bruzzone, L.

Electronics Letters, 45(1):19-21, January 2009 (article)

Abstract
A novel technique is presented for the automatic discrimination between networks of dasiaresting statesdasia of the human brain and physiological fluctuations in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The method is based on features identified via a statistical approach to group independent component analysis time courses, which may be extracted from fMRI data. This technique is entirely automatic and, unlike other approaches, uses temporal rather than spatial information. The method achieves 83% accuracy in the identification of resting state networks.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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The DICS repository: module-assisted analysis of disease-related gene lists

Dietmann, S., Georgii, E., Antonov, A., Tsuda, K., Mewes, H.

Bioinformatics, 25(6):830-831, January 2009 (article)

Abstract
The DICS database is a dynamic web repository of computationally predicted functional modules from the human protein–protein interaction network. It provides references to the CORUM, DrugBank, KEGG and Reactome pathway databases. DICS can be accessed for retrieving sets of overlapping modules and protein complexes that are significantly enriched in a gene list, thereby providing valuable information about the functional context.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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mGene: accurate SVM-based gene finding with an application to nematode genomes

Schweikert, G., Zien, A., Zeller, G., Behr, J., Dieterich, C., Ong, C., Philips, P., De Bona, F., Hartmann, L., Bohlen, A., Krüger, N., Sonnenburg, S., Rätsch, G.

Genome Research, 19(11):2133-43, 2009 (article)

Abstract
We present a highly accurate gene-prediction system for eukaryotic genomes, called mGene. It combines in an unprecedented manner the flexibility of generalized hidden Markov models (gHMMs) with the predictive power of modern machine learning methods, such as Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Its excellent performance was proved in an objective competition based on the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Considering the average of sensitivity and specificity, the developmental version of mGene exhibited the best prediction performance on nucleotide, exon, and transcript level for ab initio and multiple-genome gene-prediction tasks. The fully developed version shows superior performance in 10 out of 12 evaluation criteria compared with the other participating gene finders, including Fgenesh++ and Augustus. An in-depth analysis of mGene's genome-wide predictions revealed that approximately 2200 predicted genes were not contained in the current genome annotation. Testing a subset of 57 of these genes by RT-PCR and sequencing, we confirmed expression for 24 (42%) of them. mGene missed 300 annotated genes, out of which 205 were unconfirmed. RT-PCR testing of 24 of these genes resulted in a success rate of merely 8%. These findings suggest that even the gene catalog of a well-studied organism such as C. elegans can be substantially improved by mGene's predictions. We also provide gene predictions for the four nematodes C. briggsae, C. brenneri, C. japonica, and C. remanei. Comparing the resulting proteomes among these organisms and to the known protein universe, we identified many species-specific gene inventions. In a quality assessment of several available annotations for these genomes, we find that mGene's predictions are most accurate.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Structure and activity of the N-terminal substrate recognition domains in proteasomal ATPases

Djuranovic, S., Hartmann, MD., Habeck, M., Ursinus, A., Zwickl, P., Martin, J., Lupas, AN., Zeth, K.

Molecular Cell, 34(5):580-590, 2009 (article)

Abstract
The proteasome forms the core of the protein quality control system in archaea and eukaryotes and also occurs in one bacterial lineage, the Actinobacteria. Access to its proteolytic compartment is controlled by AAA ATPases, whose N-terminal domains (N domains) are thought to mediate substrate recognition. The N domains of an archaeal proteasomal ATPase, Archaeoglobus fulgidus PAN, and of its actinobacterial homolog, Rhodococcus erythropolis ARC, form hexameric rings, whose subunits consist of an N-terminal coiled coil and a C-terminal OB domain. In ARC-N, the OB domains are duplicated and form separate rings. PAN-N and ARC-N can act as chaperones, preventing the aggregation of heterologous proteins in vitro, and this activity is preserved in various chimeras, even when these include coiled coils and OB domains from unrelated proteins. The structures suggest a molecular mechanism for substrate processing based on concerted radial motions of the coiled coils relative to the OB rings.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Discussion of: Brownian Distance Covariance

Gretton, A., Fukumizu, K., Sriperumbudur, B.

The Annals of Applied Statistics, 3(4):1285-1294, 2009 (article)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient factor GARCH models and factor-DCC models

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

Quantitative Finance, 9(1):71-91, 2009 (article)

Abstract
We report that, in the estimation of univariate GARCH or multivariate generalized orthogonal GARCH (GO-GARCH) models, maximizing the likelihood is equivalent to making the standardized residuals as independent as possible. Based on this, we propose three factor GARCH models in the framework of GO-GARCH: independent-factor GARCH exploits factors that are statistically as independent as possible; factors in best-factor GARCH have the largest autocorrelation in their squared values such that their volatilities could be forecast well by univariate GARCH; and factors in conditional-decorrelation GARCH are conditionally as uncorrelated as possible. A convenient two-step method for estimating these models is introduced. Since the extracted factors may still have weak conditional correlations, we further propose factor-DCC models as an extension to the above factor GARCH models with dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) modelling the remaining conditional correlations between factors. Experimental results for the Hong Kong stock market show that conditional-decorrelation GARCH and independent-factor GARCH have better generalization performance than the original GO-GARCH, and that conditional-decorrelation GARCH (among factor GARCH models) and its extension with DCC embedded (among factor-DCC models) behave best.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Non-linear System Identification: Visual Saliency Inferred from Eye-Movement Data

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

Journal of Vision, 9(8):article 32, 2009 (article)

Abstract
For simple visual patterns under the experimenter's control we impose which information, or features, an observer can use to solve a given perceptual task. For natural vision tasks, however, there are typically a multitude of potential features in a given visual scene which the visual system may be exploiting when analyzing it: edges, corners, contours, etc. Here we describe a novel non-linear system identification technique based on modern machine learning methods that allows the critical features an observer uses to be inferred directly from the observer's data. The method neither requires stimuli to be embedded in noise nor is it limited to linear perceptive fields (classification images). We demonstrate our technique by deriving the critical image features observers fixate in natural scenes (bottom-up visual saliency). Unlike previous studies where the relevant structure is determined manually—e.g. by selecting Gabors as visual filters—we do not make any assumptions in this regard, but numerically infer number and properties them from the eye-movement data. We show that center-surround patterns emerge as the optimal solution for predicting saccade targets from local image structure. The resulting model, a one-layer feed-forward network with contrast gain-control, is surprisingly simple compared to previously suggested saliency models. Nevertheless, our model is equally predictive. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with neurophysiological hardware in the superior colliculus. Bottom-up visual saliency may thus not be computed cortically as has been thought previously.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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mGene.web: a web service for accurate computational gene finding

Schweikert, G., Behr, J., Zien, A., Zeller, G., Ong, C., Sonnenburg, S., Rätsch, G.

Nucleic Acids Research, 37, pages: W312-6, 2009 (article)

Abstract
We describe mGene.web, a web service for the genome-wide prediction of protein coding genes from eukaryotic DNA sequences. It offers pre-trained models for the recognition of gene structures including untranslated regions in an increasing number of organisms. With mGene.web, users have the additional possibility to train the system with their own data for other organisms on the push of a button, a functionality that will greatly accelerate the annotation of newly sequenced genomes. The system is built in a highly modular way, such that individual components of the framework, like the promoter prediction tool or the splice site predictor, can be used autonomously. The underlying gene finding system mGene is based on discriminative machine learning techniques and its high accuracy has been demonstrated in an international competition on nematode genomes. mGene.web is available at http://www.mgene.org/web, it is free of charge and can be used for eukaryotic genomes of small to moderate size (several hundred Mbp).

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2006


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Some observations on the pedestal effect or dipper function

Henning, B., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 6(13):50, 2006 Fall Vision Meeting of the Optical Society of America, December 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The pedestal effect is the large improvement in the detectabilty of a sinusoidal “signal” grating observed when the signal is added to a masking or “pedestal” grating of the same spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched noise - noise from which a 1.5-octave band centred on the signal frequency had been removed. Although the pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, it almost disappears in the notched noise. Furthermore, the pedestal effect is substantial when either high- or low-pass masking noise is used. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies different from that of the signal and pedestal. The spatial-frequency components of the notched noise above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and pedestal prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and pedestal. Thus the pedestal or dipper effect measured without notched noise is not a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency tuned channels.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2006

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-Sample-Problem

Gretton, A., Borgwardt, K., Rasch, M., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose two statistical tests to determine if two samples are from different distributions. Our test statistic is in both cases the distance between the means of the two samples mapped into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). The first test is based on a large deviation bound for the test statistic, while the second is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. We show that the test statistic can be computed in $O(m^2)$ time. We apply our approach to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where our test performs strongly. We also demonstrate excellent performance when comparing distributions over graphs, for which no alternative tests currently exist.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Ab-initio gene finding using machine learning

Schweikert, G., Zeller, G., Zien, A., Ong, C., de Bona, F., Sonnenburg, S., Phillips, P., Rätsch, G.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning by Reward-Weighted Regression

Peters, J.

NIPS Workshop: Towards a New Reinforcement Learning? , December 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Graph boosting for molecular QSAR analysis

Saigo, H., Kadowaki, T., Kudo, T., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new boosting method that systematically combines graph mining and mathematical programming-based machine learning. Informative and interpretable subgraph features are greedily found by a series of graph mining calls. Due to our mathematical programming formulation, subgraph features and pre-calculated real-valued features are seemlessly integrated. We tested our algorithm on a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) problem, which is basically a regression problem when given a set of chemical compounds. In benchmark experiments, the prediction accuracy of our method favorably compared with the best results reported on each dataset.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Inferring Causal Directions by Evaluating the Complexity of Conditional Distributions

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Causality and Feature Selection, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new approach to infer the causal structure that has generated the observed statistical dependences among n random variables. The idea is that the factorization of the joint measure of cause and effect into P(cause)P(effect|cause) leads typically to simpler conditionals than non-causal factorizations. To evaluate the complexity of the conditionals we have tried two methods. First, we have compared them to those which maximize the conditional entropy subject to the observed first and second moments since we consider the latter as the simplest conditionals. Second, we have fitted the data with conditional probability measures being exponents of functions in an RKHS space and defined the complexity by a Hilbert-space semi-norm. Such a complexity measure has several properties that are useful for our purpose. We describe some encouraging results with both methods applied to real-world data. Moreover, we have combined constraint-based approaches to causal discovery (i.e., methods using only information on conditional statistical dependences) with our method in order to distinguish between causal hypotheses which are equivalent with respect to the imposed independences. Furthermore, we compare the performance to Bayesian approaches to causal inference.

Web [BibTex]


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Structure validation of the Josephin domain of ataxin-3: Conclusive evidence for an open conformation

Nicastro, G., Habeck, M., Masino, L., Svergun, DI., Pastore, A.

Journal of Biomolecular NMR, 36(4):267-277, December 2006 (article)

Abstract
The availability of new and fast tools in structure determination has led to a more than exponential growth of the number of structures solved per year. It is therefore increasingly essential to assess the accuracy of the new structures by reliable approaches able to assist validation. Here, we discuss a specific example in which the use of different complementary techniques, which include Bayesian methods and small angle scattering, resulted essential for validating the two currently available structures of the Josephin domain of ataxin-3, a protein involved in the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and responsible for neurodegenerative spinocerebellar ataxia of type 3. Taken together, our results demonstrate that only one of the two structures is compatible with the experimental information. Based on the high precision of our refined structure, we show that Josephin contains an open cleft which could be directly implicated in the interaction with polyubiquitin chains and other partners.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Unifying View of Wiener and Volterra Theory and Polynomial Kernel Regression

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 18(12):3097-3118, December 2006 (article)

Abstract
Volterra and Wiener series are perhaps the best understood nonlinear system representations in signal processing. Although both approaches have enjoyed a certain popularity in the past, their application has been limited to rather low-dimensional and weakly nonlinear systems due to the exponential growth of the number of terms that have to be estimated. We show that Volterra and Wiener series can be represented implicitly as elements of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space by utilizing polynomial kernels. The estimation complexity of the implicit representation is linear in the input dimensionality and independent of the degree of nonlinearity. Experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability, and system sizes that can be handled.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Optimal EEG Features Across Time, Frequency and Space

Farquhar, J., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Current Trends in Brain-Computer Interfacing, December 2006 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Learning

Zien, A.

Advanced Methods in Sequence Analysis Lectures, November 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Statistical Analysis of Slow Crack Growth Experiments

Pfingsten, T., Glien, K.

Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 26(15):3061-3065, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
A common approach for the determination of Slow Crack Growth (SCG) parameters are the static and dynamic loading method. Since materials with small Weibull module show a large variability in strength, a correct statistical analysis of the data is indispensable. In this work we propose the use of the Maximum Likelihood method and a Baysian analysis, which, in contrast to the standard procedures, take into account that failure strengths are Weibull distributed. The analysis provides estimates for the SCG parameters, the Weibull module, and the corresponding confidence intervals and overcomes the necessity of manual differentiation between inert and fatigue strength data. We compare the methods to a Least Squares approach, which can be considered the standard procedure. The results for dynamic loading data from the glass sealing of MEMS devices show that the assumptions inherent to the standard approach lead to significantly different estimates.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An Improved Adaptive Power Line Interference Canceller for Electrocardiography

Martens, SMM., Mischi, M., Oei, SG., Bergmans, JWM.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 53(11):2220-2231, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
Power line interference may severely corrupt a biomedical recording. Notch filters and adaptive cancellers have been suggested to suppress this interference. We propose an improved adaptive canceller for the reduction of the fundamental power line interference component and harmonics in electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings. The method tracks the amplitude, phase, and frequency of all the interference components for power line frequency deviations up to about 4 Hz. A comparison is made between the performance of our method, former adaptive cancellers, and a narrow and a wide notch filter in suppressing the fundamental power line interference component. For this purpose a real ECG signal is corrupted by an artificial power line interference signal. The cleaned signal after applying all methods is compared with the original ECG signal. Our improved adaptive canceller shows a signal-to-power-line-interference ratio for the fundamental component up to 30 dB higher than that produced by the other methods. Moreover, our method is also effective for the suppression of the harmonics of the power line interference.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Donagi-Markman cubic for Hitchin systems

Balduzzi, D.

Mathematical Research Letters, 13(6):923-933, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
The Donagi-Markman cubic is the differential of the period map for algebraic completely integrable systems. Here we prove a formula for the cubic in the case of Hitchin’s system for arbitrary semisimple g. This was originally stated (without proof) by Pantev for sln.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Optimizing Spatial Filters for BCI: Margin- and Evidence-Maximization Approaches

Farquhar, J., Hill, N., Schölkopf, B.

Challenging Brain-Computer Interfaces: MAIA Workshop 2006, pages: 1, November 2006 (poster)

Abstract
We present easy-to-use alternatives to the often-used two-stage Common Spatial Pattern + classifier approach for spatial filtering and classification of Event-Related Desychnronization signals in BCI. We report two algorithms that aim to optimize the spatial filters according to a criterion more directly related to the ability of the algorithms to generalize to unseen data. Both are based upon the idea of treating the spatial filter coefficients as hyperparameters of a kernel or covariance function. We then optimize these hyper-parameters directly along side the normal classifier parameters with respect to our chosen learning objective function. The two objectives considered are margin maximization as used in Support-Vector Machines and the evidence maximization framework used in Gaussian Processes. Our experiments assessed generalization error as a function of the number of training points used, on 9 BCI competition data sets and 5 offline motor imagery data sets measured in Tubingen. Both our approaches sho w consistent improvements relative to the commonly used CSP+linear classifier combination. Strikingly, the improvement is most significant in the higher noise cases, when either few trails are used for training, or with the most poorly performing subjects. This a reversal of the usual "rich get richer" effect in the development of CSP extensions, which tend to perform best when the signal is strong enough to accurately find their additional parameters. This makes our approach particularly suitable for clinical application where high levels of noise are to be expected.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Determining the PET Attenuation Map from Magnetic Resonance Images

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Judenhofer, M., Claussen, C., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

IEEE Medical Imaging Conference, November 2006 (talk)

Abstract
A promising new combination in multimodality imaging is MR-PET, where the high soft tissue contrast of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the functional information of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are combined. Although many technical problems have recently been solved, it is still an open problem to determine the attenuation map from the available MR scan, as the MR intensities are not directly related to the attenuation values. One standard approach is an atlas registration where the atlas MR image is aligned with the patient MR thus also yielding an attenuation image for the patient. We also propose another approach, which to our knowledge has not been tried before: Using Support Vector Machines we predict the attenuation value directly from the local image information. We train this well-established machine learning algorithm using small image patches. Although both approaches sometimes yielded acceptable results, they also showed their specific shortcomings: The registration often fails with large deformations whereas the prediction approach is problematic when the local image structure is not characteristic enough. However, the failures often do not coincide and integration of both information sources is promising. We therefore developed a combination method extending Support Vector Machines to use not only local image structure but also atlas registered coordinates. We demonstrate the strength of this combination approach on a number of examples.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Mining frequent stem patterns from unaligned RNA sequences

Hamada, M., Tsuda, K., Kudo, T., Kin, T., Asai, K.

Bioinformatics, 22(20):2480-2487, October 2006 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: In detection of non-coding RNAs, it is often necessary to identify the secondary structure motifs from a set of putative RNA sequences. Most of the existing algorithms aim to provide the best motif or few good motifs, but biologists often need to inspect all the possible motifs thoroughly. Results: Our method RNAmine employs a graph theoretic representation of RNA sequences, and detects all the possible motifs exhaustively using a graph mining algorithm. The motif detection problem boils down to finding frequently appearing patterns in a set of directed and labeled graphs. In the tasks of common secondary structure prediction and local motif detection from long sequences, our method performed favorably both in accuracy and in efficiency with the state-of-the-art methods such as CMFinder.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Large-Scale Gene Expression Profiling Reveals Major Pathogenetic Pathways of Cartilage Degeneration in Osteoarthritis

Aigner, T., Fundel, K., Saas, J., Gebhard, P., Haag, J., Weiss, T., Zien, A., Obermayr, F., Zimmer, R., Bartnik, E.

Arthritis and Rheumatism, 54(11):3533-3544, October 2006 (article)

Abstract
Objective. Despite many research efforts in recent decades, the major pathogenetic mechanisms of osteo- arthritis (OA), including gene alterations occurring during OA cartilage degeneration, are poorly under- stood, and there is no disease-modifying treatment approach. The present study was therefore initiated in order to identify differentially expressed disease-related genes and potential therapeutic targets. Methods. This investigation consisted of a large gene expression profiling study performed based on 78 normal and disease samples, using a custom-made complementar y DNA array covering >4,000 genes. Results. Many differentially expressed genes were identified, including the expected up-regulation of ana- bolic and catabolic matrix genes. In particular, the down-regulation of important oxidative defense genes, i.e., the genes for superoxide dismutases 2 and 3 and glutathione peroxidase 3, was prominent. This indicates that continuous oxidative stress to the cells and the matrix is one major underlying pathogenetic mecha- nism in OA. Also, genes that are involved in the phenot ypic stabilit y of cells, a feature that is greatly reduced in OA cartilage, appeared to be suppressed. Conclusion. Our findings provide a reference data set on gene alterations in OA cartilage and, importantly, indicate major mechanisms underlying central cell bio- logic alterations that occur during the OA disease process. These results identify molecular targets that can be further investigated in the search for therapeutic interventions.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines and Application to Spam Filtering

Zien, A.

ECML Discovery Challenge Workshop, September 2006 (talk)

Abstract
After introducing the semi-supervised support vector machine (aka TSVM for "transductive SVM"), a few popular training strategies are briefly presented. Then the assumptions underlying semi-supervised learning are reviewed. Finally, two modern TSVM optimization techniques are applied to the spam filtering data sets of the workshop; it is shown that they can achieve excellent results, if the problem of the data being non-iid can be handled properly.

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Eye Movements

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

Sensory Coding And The Natural Environment, 2006, pages: 1, September 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The human visual system samples images through saccadic eye movements which rapidly change the point of fixation. Although the selection of eye movement targets depends on numerous top-down mechanisms, a number of recent studies have shown that low-level image features such as local contrast or edges play an important role. These studies typically used predefined image features which were afterwards experimentally verified. Here, we follow a complementary approach: instead of testing a set of candidate image features, we infer these hypotheses from the data, using methods from statistical learning. To this end, we train a non-linear classifier on fixated vs. randomly selected image patches without making any physiological assumptions. The resulting classifier can be essentially characterized by a nonlinear combination of two center-surround receptive fields. We find that the prediction performance of this simple model on our eye movement data is indistinguishable from the physiologically motivated model of Itti & Koch (2000) which is far more complex. In particular, we obtain a comparable performance without using any multi-scale representations, long-range interactions or oriented image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Implicit Surface Modelling with a Globally Regularised Basis of Compact Support

Walder, C., Schölkopf, B., Chapelle, O.

Computer Graphics Forum, 25(3):635-644, September 2006 (article)

Abstract
We consider the problem of constructing a globally smooth analytic function that represents a surface implicitly by way of its zero set, given sample points with surface normal vectors. The contributions of the paper include a novel means of regularising multi-scale compactly supported basis functions that leads to the desirable interpolation properties previously only associated with fully supported bases. We also provide a regularisation framework for simpler and more direct treatment of surface normals, along with a corresponding generalisation of the representer theorem lying at the core of kernel-based machine learning methods. We demonstrate the techniques on 3D problems of up to 14 million data points, as well as 4D time series data and four-dimensional interpolation between three-dimensional shapes.

PDF GZIP DOI [BibTex]


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Inferential Structure Determination: Probabilistic determination and validation of NMR structures

Habeck, M.

Gordon Research Conference on Computational Aspects of Biomolecular NMR, September 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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From outliers to prototypes: Ordering data

Harmeling, S., Dornhege, G., Tax, D., Meinecke, F., Müller, K.

Neurocomputing, 69(13-15):1608-1618, August 2006 (article)

Abstract
We propose simple and fast methods based on nearest neighbors that order objects from high-dimensional data sets from typical points to untypical points. On the one hand, we show that these easy-to-compute orderings allow us to detect outliers (i.e. very untypical points) with a performance comparable to or better than other often much more sophisticated methods. On the other hand, we show how to use these orderings to detect prototypes (very typical points) which facilitate exploratory data analysis algorithms such as noisy nonlinear dimensionality reduction and clustering. Comprehensive experiments demonstrate the validity of our approach.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]