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2011


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Model learning for robot control: a survey

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

Cognitive Processing, 12(4):319-340, April 2011 (article)

Abstract
Models are among the most essential tools in robotics, such as kinematics and dynamics models of the robot’s own body and controllable external objects. It is widely believed that intelligent mammals also rely on internal models in order to generate their actions. However, while classical robotics relies on manually generated models that are based on human insights into physics, future autonomous, cognitive robots need to be able to automatically generate models that are based on information which is extracted from the data streams accessible to the robot. In this paper, we survey the progress in model learning with a strong focus on robot control on a kinematic as well as dynamical level. Here, a model describes essential information about the behavior of the environment and the influence of an agent on this environment. In the context of model-based learning control, we view the model from three different perspectives. First, we need to study the different possible model learning architectures for robotics. Second, we discuss what kind of problems these architecture and the domain of robotics imply for the applicable learning methods. From this discussion, we deduce future directions of real-time learning algorithms. Third, we show where these scenarios have been used successfully in several case studies.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

2011

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Critical issues in state-of-the-art brain–computer interface signal processing

Krusienski, D., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Galan, F., Coyle, D., Miller, K., Forney, E., Anderson, C.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 8(2):1-8, April 2011 (article)

Abstract
This paper reviews several critical issues facing signal processing for brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) and suggests several recent approaches that should be further examined. The topics were selected based on discussions held during the 4th International BCI Meeting at a workshop organized to review and evaluate the current state of, and issues relevant to, feature extraction and translation of field potentials for BCIs. The topics presented in this paper include the relationship between electroencephalography and electrocorticography, novel features for performance prediction, time-embedded signal representations, phase information, signal non-stationarity, and unsupervised adaptation.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Dynamics of excitable neural networks with heterogeneous connectivity

Chavez, M., Besserve, M., Le Van Quyen, M.

Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 105(1-2):29-33, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
A central issue of neuroscience is to understand how neural units integrates internal and external signals to create coherent states. Recently, it has been shown that the sensitivity and dynamic range of neural assemblies are optimal at a critical coupling among its elements. Complex architectures of connections seem to play a constructive role on the reliable coordination of neural units. Here we show that, the synchronizability and sensitivity of excitable neural networks can be tuned by diversity in the connections strengths. We illustrate our findings for weighted networks with regular, random and complex topologies. Additional comparisons of real brain networks support previous studies suggesting that heterogeneity in the connectivity may play a constructive role on information processing. These findings provide insights into the relationship between structure and function of neural circuits.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A Blind Deconvolution Approach for Improving the Resolution of Cryo-EM Density Maps

Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B., Habeck, M.

Journal of Computational Biology, 18(3):335-346, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) plays an increasingly prominent role in structure elucidation of macromolecular assemblies. Advances in experimental instrumentation and computational power have spawned numerous cryo-EM studies of large biomolecular complexes resulting in the reconstruction of three-dimensional density maps at intermediate and low resolution. In this resolution range, identification and interpretation of structural elements and modeling of biomolecular structure with atomic detail becomes problematic. In this article, we present a novel algorithm that enhances the resolution of intermediate- and low-resolution density maps. Our underlying assumption is to model the low-resolution density map as a blurred and possibly noise-corrupted version of an unknown high-resolution map that we seek to recover by deconvolution. By exploiting the nonnegativity of both the high-resolution map and blur kernel, we derive multiplicative updates reminiscent of those used in nonnegative matrix factorization. Our framework allows for easy incorporation of additional prior knowledge such as smoothness and sparseness, on both the sharpened density map and the blur kernel. A probabilistic formulation enables us to derive updates for the hyperparameters; therefore, our approach has no parameter that needs adjustment. We apply the algorithm to simulated three-dimensional electron microscopic data. We show that our method provides better resolved density maps when compared with B-factor sharpening, especially in the presence of noise. Moreover, our method can use additional information provided by homologous structures, which helps to improve the resolution even further.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Combining computational modeling with sparse and low-resolution data

Habeck, M., Nilges, M.

Journal of Structural Biology, 173(3):419, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
Structural biology is moving into a new era by shifting its focus from static structures of single proteins and protein domains to large and often fragile multi-component complexes. Over the past decade, structural genomics initiatives aimed to fill the voids in fold space and to provide a census of all protein structures. Completion of such an atlas of protein structures is still ongoing, but not sufficient for a mechanistic understanding of how living cells function. One of the great challenges is to bridge the gap between atomic resolution detail and the more fuzzy description of the molecular complexes that govern cellular processes or host–pathogen interactions. We want to move from cartoon-like representations of multi-component complexes to atomic resolution structures. To characterize the structures of the increasingly large and often flexible complexes, high resolution structure determination (as was possible for example for the ribosome) will likely stay the exception. Rather, data from many different methods providing information on the shape (X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, SAXS, AFM, etc.) or on contacts between components (mass spectrometry, co-purification, or spectroscopic methods) need to be integrated with prior structural knowledge to build a consistent model of the complex. A particular difficulty is that the ratio between the number of conformational degrees of freedom and the number of measurements becomes unfavorable as we work with large complexes: data become increasingly sparse. Structural characterization of large molecular assemblies often involves a loss in resolution as well as in number and quality of data. We are good at solving structures of single proteins, but classical high-resolution structure determination by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy is often facing its limits as we move to higher molecular mass and increased flexibility. Therefore, structural studies on large complexes rely on new experimental techniques that complement the classical high resolution methods. But also computational approaches are becoming more important when it comes to integrating and analyzing structural information of often heterogeneous nature. Cryoelectron microscopy may serve as an example of how experimental methods can benefit from computation. Low-resolution data from cryo-EM show their true power when combined with modeling and bioinformatics methods such rigid docking and secondary structure hunting. Even in high resolution structure determination, molecular modeling is always necessary to calculate structures from data, to complement the missing information and to evaluate and score the obtained structures. With sparse data, all these three aspects become increasingly difficult, and the quality of the modeling approach becomes more important. With data alone, algorithms may not converge any more; scoring against data becomes meaningless; and the potential energy function becomes central not only as a help in making algorithms converge but also to score and evaluate the structures. In addition to the sparsity of the data, hybrid approaches bring the additional difficulty that the different sources of data may have rather different quality, and may be in the extreme case incompatible with each other. In addition to scoring the structures, modeling should also score in some way the data going into the calculation. This special issue brings together some of the numerous efforts to solve the problems that come from sparsity of data and from integrating data from different sources in hybrid approaches. The methods range from predominantly force-field based to mostly data based. Systems of very different sizes, ranging from single domains to multi-component complexes, are treated. We hope that you will enjoy reading the issue and find it a useful and inspiring resource.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical mechanics analysis of sparse data

Habeck, M.

Journal of Structural Biology, 173(3):541-548, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
Inferential structure determination uses Bayesian theory to combine experimental data with prior structural knowledge into a posterior probability distribution over protein conformational space. The posterior distribution encodes everything one can say objectively about the native structure in the light of the available data and additional prior assumptions and can be searched for structural representatives. Here an analogy is drawn between the posterior distribution and the canonical ensemble of statistical physics. A statistical mechanics analysis assesses the complexity of a structure calculation globally in terms of ensemble properties. Analogs of the free energy and density of states are introduced; partition functions evaluate the consistency of prior assumptions with data. Critical behavior is observed with dwindling restraint density, which impairs structure determination with too sparse data. However, prior distributions with improved realism ameliorate the situation by lowering the critical number of observations. An in-depth analysis of various experimentally accessible structural parameters and force field terms will facilitate a statistical approach to protein structure determination with sparse data that avoids bias as much as possible.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Large Scale Bayesian Inference and Experimental Design for Sparse Linear Models

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences, 4(1):166-199, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
Many problems of low-level computer vision and image processing, such as denoising, deconvolution, tomographic reconstruction or super-resolution, can be addressed by maximizing the posterior distribution of a sparse linear model (SLM). We show how higher-order Bayesian decision-making problems, such as optimizing image acquisition in magnetic resonance scanners, can be addressed by querying the SLM posterior covariance, unrelated to the density‘s mode. We propose a scalable algorithmic framework, with which SLM posteriors over full, high-resolution images can be approximated for the first time, solving a variational optimization problem which is convex iff posterior mode finding is convex. These methods successfully drive the optimization of sampling trajectories for real-world magnetic resonance imaging through Bayesian experimental design, which has not been attempted before. Our methodology provides new insight into similarities and differences between sparse reconstruction and approximate Bayesian inference, and has important implications for compressive sensing of real-world images.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts

Jegelka, S.

COSA Workshop: Combinatorial Optimization, Statistics, and Applications, March 2011 (talk)

Abstract
Combinatorial problems with submodular cost functions have recently drawn interest. In a standard combinatorial problem, the sum-of-weights cost is replaced by a submodular set function. The result is a powerful model that is though very hard. In this talk, I will introduce cooperative cuts, minimum cuts with submodular edge weights. I will outline methods to approximately solve this problem, and show an application in computer vision. If time permits, the talk will also sketch regret-minimizing online algorithms for submodular-cost combinatorial problems. This is joint work with Jeff Bilmes (University of Washington).

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Batch-Mode Active-Learning Methods for the Interactive Classification of Remote Sensing Images

Demir, B., Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49(3):1014-1031, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
This paper investigates different batch-mode active-learning (AL) techniques for the classification of remote sensing (RS) images with support vector machines. This is done by generalizing to multiclass problem techniques defined for binary classifiers. The investigated techniques exploit different query functions, which are based on the evaluation of two criteria: uncertainty and diversity. The uncertainty criterion is associated to the confidence of the supervised algorithm in correctly classifying the considered sample, while the diversity criterion aims at selecting a set of unlabeled samples that are as more diverse (distant one another) as possible, thus reducing the redundancy among the selected samples. The combination of the two criteria results in the selection of the potentially most informative set of samples at each iteration of the AL process. Moreover, we propose a novel query function that is based on a kernel-clustering technique for assessing the diversity of samples and a new strategy for selecting the most informative representative sample from each cluster. The investigated and proposed techniques are theoretically and experimentally compared with state-of-the-art methods adopted for RS applications. This is accomplished by considering very high resolution multispectral and hyperspectral images. By this comparison, we observed that the proposed method resulted in better accuracy with respect to other investigated and state-of-the art methods on both the considered data sets. Furthermore, we derived some guidelines on the design of AL systems for the classification of different types of RS images.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning grasp affordance densities

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

Paladyn: Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 2(1):1-17, March 2011 (article)

Abstract
We address the issue of learning and representing object grasp affordance models. We model grasp affordances with continuous probability density functions (grasp densities) which link object-relative grasp poses to their success probability. The underlying function representation is nonparametric and relies on kernel density estimation to provide a continuous model. Grasp densities are learned and refined from exploration, by letting a robot “play” with an object in a sequence of grasp-and-drop actions: the robot uses visual cues to generate a set of grasp hypotheses, which it then executes and records their outcomes. When a satisfactory amount of grasp data is available, an importance-sampling algorithm turns it into a grasp density. We evaluate our method in a largely autonomous learning experiment, run on three objects with distinct shapes. The experiment shows how learning increases success rates. It also measures the success rate of grasps chosen to maximize the probability of success, given reaching constraints.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Client–Server Multitask Learning From Distributed Datasets

Dinuzzo, F., Pillonetto, G., De Nicolao, G.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 22(2):290-303, February 2011 (article)

Abstract
A client-server architecture to simultaneously solve multiple learning tasks from distributed datasets is described. In such architecture, each client corresponds to an individual learning task and the associated dataset of examples. The goal of the architecture is to perform information fusion from multiple datasets while preserving privacy of individual data. The role of the server is to collect data in real time from the clients and codify the information in a common database. Such information can be used by all the clients to solve their individual learning task, so that each client can exploit the information content of all the datasets without actually having access to private data of others. The proposed algorithmic framework, based on regularization and kernel methods, uses a suitable class of “mixed effect” kernels. The methodology is illustrated through a simulated recommendation system, as well as an experiment involving pharmacological data coming from a multicentric clinical trial.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Visual Representations for Perception-Action Systems

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

International Journal of Robotics Research, 30(3):294-307, February 2011 (article)

Abstract
We discuss vision as a sensory modality for systems that interact flexibly with uncontrolled environments. Instead of trying to build a generic vision system that produces task-independent representations, we argue in favor of task-specific, learnable representations. This concept is illustrated by two examples of our own work. First, our RLVC algorithm performs reinforcement learning directly on the visual input space. To make this very large space manageable, RLVC interleaves the reinforcement learner with a supervised classification algorithm that seeks to split perceptual states so as to reduce perceptual aliasing. This results in an adaptive discretization of the perceptual space based on the presence or absence of visual features. Its extension, RLJC, additionally handles continuous action spaces. In contrast to the minimalistic visual representations produced by RLVC and RLJC, our second method learns structural object models for robust object detection and pose estimation by probabilistic inference. To these models, the method associates grasp experiences autonomously learned by trial and error. These experiences form a non-parametric representation of grasp success likelihoods over gripper poses, which we call a grasp density. Thus, object detection in a novel scene simultaneously produces suitable grasping options.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Multi-way set enumeration in weight tensors

Georgii, E., Tsuda, K., Schölkopf, B.

Machine Learning, 82(2):123-155, February 2011 (article)

Abstract
The analysis of n-ary relations receives attention in many different fields, for instance biology, web mining, and social studies. In the basic setting, there are n sets of instances, and each observation associates n instances, one from each set. A common approach to explore these n-way data is the search for n-set patterns, the n-way equivalent of itemsets. More precisely, an n-set pattern consists of specific subsets of the n instance sets such that all possible associations between the corresponding instances are observed in the data. In contrast, traditional itemset mining approaches consider only two-way data, namely items versus transactions. The n-set patterns provide a higher-level view of the data, revealing associative relationships between groups of instances. Here, we generalize this approach in two respects. First, we tolerate missing observations to a certain degree, that means we are also interested in n-sets where most (although not all) of the possible associations have been recorded in the data. Second, we take association weights into account. In fact, we propose a method to enumerate all n-sets that satisfy a minimum threshold with respect to the average association weight. Technically, we solve the enumeration task using a reverse search strategy, which allows for effective pruning of the search space. In addition, our algorithm provides a ranking of the solutions and can consider further constraints. We show experimental results on artificial and real-world datasets from different domains.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Extraction of functional information from ongoing brain electrical activity: Extraction en temps-réel d’informations fonctionnelles à partir de l’activité électrique cérébrale

Besserve, M., Martinerie, J.

IRBM, 32(1):27-34, February 2011 (article)

Abstract
The modern analysis of multivariate electrical brain signals requires advanced statistical tools to automatically extract and quantify their information content. These tools include machine learning techniques and information theory. They are currently used both in basic neuroscience and challenging applications such as brain computer interfaces. We review here how these methods have been used at the Laboratoire d’Électroencéphalographie et de Neurophysiologie Appliquée (LENA) to develop a general tool for the real time analysis of functional brain signals. We then give some perspectives on how these tools can help understanding the biological mechanisms of information processing.

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A graphical model framework for decoding in the visual ERP-based BCI speller

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

Neural Computation, 23(1):160-182, January 2011 (article)

Abstract
We present a graphical model framework for decoding in the visual ERP-based speller system. The proposed framework allows researchers to build generative models from which the decoding rules are obtained in a straightforward manner. We suggest two models for generating brain signals conditioned on the stimulus events. Both models incorporate letter frequency information but assume different dependencies between brain signals and stimulus events. For both models, we derive decoding rules and perform a discriminative training. We show on real visual speller data how decoding performance improves by incorporating letter frequency information and using a more realistic graphical model for the dependencies between the brain signals and the stimulus events. Furthermore, we discuss how the standard approach to decoding can be seen as a special case of the graphical model framework. The letter also gives more insight into the discriminative approach for decoding in the visual speller system.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Robust Control of Teleoperation Systems Interacting with Viscoelastic Soft Tissues

Cho, JH., Son, HI., Bhattacharjee, T., Lee, DG., Lee, DY.

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, January 2011 (article) In revision

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Effect of Control Parameters and Haptic Cues on Human Perception for Remote Operations

Son, HI., Bhattacharjee, T., Jung, H., Lee, DY.

Experimental Brain Research, January 2011 (article) Submitted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Joint Genetic Analysis of Gene Expression Data with Inferred Cellular Phenotypes

Parts, L., Stegle, O., Winn, J., Durbin, R.

PLoS Genetics, 7(1):1-10, January 2011 (article)

Abstract
Even within a defined cell type, the expression level of a gene differs in individual samples. The effects of genotype, measured factors such as environmental conditions, and their interactions have been explored in recent studies. Methods have also been developed to identify unmeasured intermediate factors that coherently influence transcript levels of multiple genes. Here, we show how to bring these two approaches together and analyse genetic effects in the context of inferred determinants of gene expression. We use a sparse factor analysis model to infer hidden factors, which we treat as intermediate cellular phenotypes that in turn affect gene expression in a yeast dataset. We find that the inferred phenotypes are associated with locus genotypes and environmental conditions and can explain genetic associations to genes in trans. For the first time, we consider and find interactions between genotype and intermediate phenotypes inferred from gene expression levels, complementing and extending established results.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning with Bounded Information Loss

Peters, J., Peters, J., Mülling, K., Altun, Y.

AIP Conference Proceedings, 1305(1):365-372, 2011 (article)

Abstract
Policy search is a successful approach to reinforcement learning. However, policy improvements often result in the loss of information. Hence, it has been marred by premature convergence and implausible solutions. As first suggested in the context of covariant or natural policy gradients, many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this paper, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest two reinforcement learning methods, i.e., a model‐based and a model free algorithm that bound the loss in relative entropy while maximizing their return. The resulting methods differ significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems as well as novel evaluations in robotics. We also show a Bayesian bound motivation of this new approach [8].

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Support Vector Machines for finding deletions and short insertions using paired-end short reads

Grimm, D., Hagmann, J., König, D., Weigel, D., Borgwardt, KM.

International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), 2011 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Statistical estimation for optimization problems on graphs

Langovoy, M., Sra, S.

Empirical Inference Symposium, 2011 (poster)

[BibTex]


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Transfer Learning with Copulas

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

Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2011 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2009


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Machine Learning for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Hill, NJ.

Mini-Symposia on Assistive Machine Learning for People with Disabilities at NIPS (AMD), December 2009 (talk)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) aim to be the ultimate in assistive technology: decoding a user‘s intentions directly from brain signals without involving any muscles or peripheral nerves. Thus, some classes of BCI potentially offer hope for users with even the most extreme cases of paralysis, such as in late-stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, where nothing else currently allows communication of any kind. Other lines in BCI research aim to restore lost motor function in as natural a way as possible, reconnecting and in some cases re-training motor-cortical areas to control prosthetic, or previously paretic, limbs. Research and development are progressing on both invasive and non-invasive fronts, although BCI has yet to make a breakthrough to widespread clinical application. The high-noise high-dimensional nature of brain-signals, particularly in non-invasive approaches and in patient populations, make robust decoding techniques a necessity. Generally, the approach has been to use relatively simple feature extraction techniques, such as template matching and band-power estimation, coupled to simple linear classifiers. This has led to a prevailing view among applied BCI researchers that (sophisticated) machine-learning is irrelevant since "it doesn‘t matter what classifier you use once you‘ve done your preprocessing right and extracted the right features." I shall show a few examples of how this runs counter to both the empirical reality and the spirit of what needs to be done to bring BCI into clinical application. Along the way I‘ll highlight some of the interesting problems that remain open for machine-learners.

PDF Web Web [BibTex]

2009

PDF Web Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Subwindow Search: A Branch and Bound Framework for Object Localization

Lampert, C., Blaschko, M., Hofmann, T.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 31(12):2129-2142, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
Most successful object recognition systems rely on binary classification, deciding only if an object is present or not, but not providing information on the actual object location. To estimate the object‘s location, one can take a sliding window approach, but this strongly increases the computational cost because the classifier or similarity function has to be evaluated over a large set of candidate subwindows. In this paper, we propose a simple yet powerful branch and bound scheme that allows efficient maximization of a large class of quality functions over all possible subimages. It converges to a globally optimal solution typically in linear or even sublinear time, in contrast to the quadratic scaling of exhaustive or sliding window search. We show how our method is applicable to different object detection and image retrieval scenarios. The achieved speedup allows the use of classifiers for localization that formerly were considered too slow for this task, such as SVMs with a spatial pyramid kernel or nearest-neighbor classifiers based on the chi^2 distance. We demonstrate state-of-the-art localization performance of the resulting systems on the UIUC Cars data set, the PASCAL VOC 2006 data set, and in the PASCAL VOC 2007 competition.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Probabilistic Models via Bayesian Inverse Planning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Approach to Formulation of Clustering Objectives

Seldin, Y.

NIPS Workshop on "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", December 2009 (talk)

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

PDF Web Web [BibTex]

PDF Web Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Quadratic Reinforcement Learning

Hennig, P., Stern, D., Graepel, T.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Generation of three-dimensional random rotations in fitting and matching problems

Habeck, M.

Computational Statistics, 24(4):719-731, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
An algorithm is developed to generate random rotations in three-dimensional space that follow a probability distribution arising in fitting and matching problems. The rotation matrices are orthogonally transformed into an optimal basis and then parameterized using Euler angles. The conditional distributions of the three Euler angles have a very simple form: the two azimuthal angles can be decoupled by sampling their sum and difference from a von Mises distribution; the cosine of the polar angle is exponentially distributed and thus straighforward to generate. Simulation results are shown and demonstrate the effectiveness of the method. The algorithm is compared to other methods for generating random rotations such as a random walk Metropolis scheme and a Gibbs sampling algorithm recently introduced by Green and Mardia. Finally, the algorithm is applied to a probabilistic version of the Procrustes problem of fitting two point sets and applied in the context of protein structure superposition.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis of Human Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data

Shelton, JA.

Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML), December 2009 (talk)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis (KCCA) is a general technique for subspace learning that incorporates principal components analysis (PCA) and Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as special cases. By finding directions that maximize correlation, KCCA learns representations tied more closely to underlying process generating the the data and can ignore high-variance noise directions. However, for data where acquisition in a given modality is expensive or otherwise limited, KCCA may suffer from small sample effects. We propose to use semi-supervised Laplacian regularization to utilize data that are present in only one modality. This manifold learning approach is able to find highly correlated directions that also lie along the data manifold, resulting in a more robust estimate of correlated subspaces. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data are naturally amenable to subspace techniques as data are well aligned and such data of the human brain are a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of KCCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single and multivariate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, Laplacian regularization improved performance whereas the semi-supervised variants of KCCA yielded the best performance. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important during different types of visual processing.

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Adaptive Importance Sampling for Value Function Approximation in Off-policy Reinforcement Learning

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

Neural Networks, 22(10):1399-1410, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
Off-policy reinforcement learning is aimed at efficiently using data samples gathered from a policy that is different from the currently optimized policy. A common approach is to use importance sampling techniques for compensating for the bias of value function estimators caused by the difference between the data-sampling policy and the target policy. However, existing off-policy methods often do not take the variance of the value function estimators explicitly into account and therefore their performance tends to be unstable. To cope with this problem, we propose using an adaptive importance sampling technique which allows us to actively control the trade-off between bias and variance. We further provide a method for optimally determining the trade-off parameter based on a variant of cross-validation. We demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed approach through simulations.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Structured prediction by joint kernel support estimation

Lampert, CH., Blaschko, MB.

Machine Learning, 77(2-3):249-269, December 2009 (article)

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Guest editorial: special issue on structured prediction

Parker, C., Altun, Y., Tadepalli, P.

Machine Learning, 77(2-3):161-164, December 2009 (article)

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Transfer in Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Transfer Learning for Structured Data (TLSD-09), December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A note on ethical aspects of BCI

Haselager, P., Vlek, R., Hill, J., Nijboer, F.

Neural Networks, 22(9):1352-1357, November 2009 (article)

Abstract
This paper focuses on ethical aspects of BCI, as a research and a clinical tool, that are challenging for practitioners currently working in the field. Specifically, the difficulties involved in acquiring informed consent from locked-in patients are investigated, in combination with an analysis of the shared moral responsibility in BCI teams, and the complications encountered in establishing effective communication with media.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Model Learning with Local Gaussian Process Regression

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

Advanced Robotics, 23(15):2015-2034, November 2009 (article)

Abstract
Precise models of robot inverse dynamics allow the design of significantly more accurate, energy-efficient and compliant robot control. However, in some cases the accuracy of rigid-body models does not suffice for sound control performance due to unmodeled nonlinearities arising from hydraulic cable dynamics, complex friction or actuator dynamics. In such cases, estimating the inverse dynamics model from measured data poses an interesting alternative. Nonparametric regression methods, such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) or locally weighted projection regression (LWPR), are not as restrictive as parametric models and, thus, offer a more flexible framework for approximating unknown nonlinearities. In this paper, we propose a local approximation to the standard GPR, called local GPR (LGP), for real-time model online learning by combining the strengths of both regression methods, i.e., the high accuracy of GPR and the fast speed of LWPR. The approach is shown to have competitive learning performance for hig h-dimensional data while being sufficiently fast for real-time learning. The effectiveness of LGP is exhibited by a comparison with the state-of-the-art regression techniques, such as GPR, LWPR and ν-support vector regression. The applicability of the proposed LGP method is demonstrated by real-time online learning of the inverse dynamics model for robot model-based control on a Barrett WAM robot arm.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Event-Related Potentials in Brain-Computer Interfacing

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture on the bachelor & masters course "Introduction to Brain-Computer Interfacing", October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
An introduction to event-related potentials with specific reference to their use in brain-computer interfacing applications and research.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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BCI2000 and Python

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 5th International BCI2000 Workshop, October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
A tutorial, with exercises, on how to integrate your own Python code with the BCI2000 software package.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implementing a Signal Processing Filter in BCI2000 Using C++

Hill, NJ., Mellinger, J.

Invited lecture at the 5th International BCI2000 Workshop, October 2009 (talk)

Abstract
This tutorial shows how the functionality of the BCI2000 software package can be extended with one‘s own code, using BCI2000‘s C++ API.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring textual entailment with a probabilistically sound calculus

Harmeling, S.

Natural Language Engineering, 15(4):459-477, October 2009 (article)

Abstract
We introduce a system for textual entailment that is based on a probabilistic model of entailment. The model is defined using a calculus of transformations on dependency trees, which is characterized by the fact that derivations in that calculus preserve the truth only with a certain probability. The calculus is successfully evaluated on the datasets of the PASCAL Challenge on Recognizing Textual Entailment.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modeling and Visualizing Uncertainty in Gene Expression Clusters using Dirichlet Process Mixtures

Rasmussen, CE., de la Cruz, BJ., Ghahramani, Z., Wild, DL.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 6(4):615-628, October 2009 (article)

Abstract
Although the use of clustering methods has rapidly become one of the standard computational approaches in the literature of microarray gene expression data, little attention has been paid to uncertainty in the results obtained. Dirichlet process mixture models provide a non-parametric Bayesian alternative to the bootstrap approach to modeling uncertainty in gene expression clustering. Most previously published applications of Bayesian model based clustering methods have been to short time series data. In this paper we present a case study of the application of non-parametric Bayesian clustering methods to the clustering of high-dimensional non-time series gene expression data using full Gaussian covariances. We use the probability that two genes belong to the same cluster in a Dirichlet process mixture model as a measure of the similarity of these gene expression profiles. Conversely, this probability can be used to define a dissimilarity measure, which, for the purposes of visualization, can be input to one of the standard linkage algorithms used for hierarchical clustering. Biologically plausible results are obtained from the Rosetta compendium of expression profiles which extend previously published cluster analyses of this data.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Clinical PET/MRI-System and Its Applications with MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS/MIC 2009), 2009, pages: 1, October 2009 (poster)

Abstract
Clinical PET/MRI is an emerging new hybrid imaging modality. In addition to provide an unique possibility for multifunctional imaging with temporally and spatially matched data, it also provides anatomical information that can also be used for attenuation correction with no radiation exposure to the subjects. A plus of combined compared to sequential PET and MR imaging is the reduction of total scan time. Here we present our initial experience with a hybrid brain PET/MRI system. Due to the ethical approval patient scans could only be performed after a diagnostic PET/CT. We estimate that in approximately 50% of the cases PET/MRI was of superior diagnostic value compared to PET/CT and was able to provide additional information, such as DTI, spectroscopy and Time Of Flight (TOF) angiography. Here we present 3 patient cases in oncology, a retropharyngeal carcinoma in neurooncology, a relapsing meningioma and in neurology a pharyngeal carcinoma in addition to an infraction of the right hemisphere. For quantitative PET imaging attenuation correction is obligatory. In current PET/MRI setup we used our MRI based atlas method for calculating the mu-map for attenuation correction. MR-based attenuation correction accuracy was quantitatively compared to CT-based PET attenuation correction. Extensive studies to assess potential mutual interferences between PET and MR imaging modalities as well as NEMA measurements have been performed. The first patient studies as well as the phantom tests clearly demonstrated the overall good imaging performance of this first human PET/MRI system. Ongoing work concentrates on advanced normalization and reconstruction methods incorporating count-rate based algorithms.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Thermodynamic efficiency of information and heat flow

Allahverdyan, A., Janzing, D., Mahler, G.

Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2009(09):P09011, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
A basic task of information processing is information transfer (flow). P0 Here we study a pair of Brownian particles each coupled to a thermal bath at temperatures T1 and T2 . The information flow in such a system is defined via the time-shifted mutual information. The information flow nullifies at equilibrium, and its efficiency is defined as the ratio of the flow to the total entropy production in the system. For a stationary state the information flows from higher to lower temperatures, and its efficiency is bounded from above by (max[T1 , T2 ])/(|T1 − T2 |). This upper bound is imposed by the second law and it quantifies the thermodynamic cost for information flow in the present class of systems. It can be reached in the adiabatic situation, where the particles have widely different characteristic times. The efficiency of heat flow—defined as the heat flow over the total amount of dissipated heat—is limited from above by the same factor. There is a complementarity between heat and information flow: the set-up which is most efficient for the former is the least efficient for the latter and vice versa. The above bound for the efficiency can be (transiently) overcome in certain non-stationary situations, but the efficiency is still limited from above. We study yet another measure of information processing (transfer entropy) proposed in the literature. Though this measure does not require any thermodynamic cost, the information flow and transfer entropy are shown to be intimately related for stationary states.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Does Cognitive Science Need Kernels?

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

Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(9):381-388, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Kernel methods are among the most successful tools in machine learning and are used in challenging data analysis problems in many disciplines. Here we provide examples where kernel methods have proven to be powerful tools for analyzing behavioral data, especially for identifying features in categorization experiments. We also demonstrate that kernel methods relate to perceptrons and exemplar models of categorization. Hence, we argue that kernel methods have neural and psychological plausibility, and theoretical results concerning their behavior are therefore potentially relevant for human category learning. In particular, we believe kernel methods have the potential to provide explanations ranging from the implementational via the algorithmic to the computational level.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Inference algorithms and learning theory for Bayesian sparse factor analysis

Rattray, M., Stegle, O., Sharp, K., Winn, J.

Journal of Physics: Conference Series , IW-SMI 2009, 197(1: International Workshop on Statistical-Mechanical Informatics 2009):1-10, (Editors: Inoue, M. , S. Ishii, Y. Kabashima, M. Okada), Institute of Physics, Bristol, UK, International Workshop on Statistical-Mechanical Informatics (IW-SMI), September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Bayesian sparse factor analysis has many applications; for example, it has been applied to the problem of inferring a sparse regulatory network from gene expression data. We describe a number of inference algorithms for Bayesian sparse factor analysis using a slab and spike mixture prior. These include well-established Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and variational Bayes (VB) algorithms as well as a novel hybrid of VB and Expectation Propagation (EP). For the case of a single latent factor we derive a theory for learning performance using the replica method. We compare the MCMC and VB/EP algorithm results with simulated data to the theoretical prediction. The results for MCMC agree closely with the theory as expected. Results for VB/EP are slightly sub-optimal but show that the new algorithm is effective for sparse inference. In large-scale problems MCMC is infeasible due to computational limitations and the VB/EP algorithm then provides a very useful computationally efficient alternative.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A flowering-time gene network model for association analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Klotzbücher, K., Kobayashi, Y., Shervashidze, N., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

2009(39):95-96, German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB '09), September 2009 (poster)

Abstract
In our project we want to determine a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have a major effect on the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana. Instead of performing a genome-wide association study on all SNPs in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, we examine the subset of SNPs from the flowering-time gene network model. We are interested in how the results of the association study vary when using only the ascertained subset of SNPs from the flowering network model, and when additionally using the information encoded by the structure of the network model. The network model is compiled from the literature by manual analysis and contains genes which have been found to affect the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana [Far+08; KW07]. The genes in this model are annotated with the SNPs that are located in these genes, or in near proximity to them. In a baseline comparison between the subset of SNPs from the graph and the set of all SNPs, we omit the structural information and calculate the correlation between the individual SNPs and the flowering time phenotype by use of statistical methods. Through this we can determine the subset of SNPs with the highest correlation to the flowering time. In order to further refine this subset, we include the additional information provided by the network structure by conducting a graph-based feature pre-selection. In the further course of this project we want to validate and examine the resulting set of SNPs and their corresponding genes with experimental methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Robot Learning

Peters, J., Morimoto, J., Tedrake, R., Roy, N.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 16(3):19-20, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Creating autonomous robots that can learn to act in unpredictable environments has been a long-standing goal of robotics, artificial intelligence, and the cognitive sciences. In contrast, current commercially available industrial and service robots mostly execute fixed tasks and exhibit little adaptability. To bridge this gap, machine learning offers a myriad set of methods, some of which have already been applied with great success to robotics problems. As a result, there is an increasing interest in machine learning and statistics within the robotics community. At the same time, there has been a growth in the learning community in using robots as motivating applications for new algorithms and formalisms. Considerable evidence of this exists in the use of learning in high-profile competitions such as RoboCup and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges, and the growing number of research programs funded by governments around the world.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Finite-time output stabilization with second order sliding modes

Dinuzzo, F., Ferrara, A.

Automatica, 45(9):2169-2171, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
In this note, a class of discontinuous feedback laws that switch over branches of parabolas in the auxiliary state plane is analyzed. Conditions are provided under which controllers belonging to this class are second order sliding-mode algorithms: they ensure uniform global finite-time output stability for uncertain systems of relative degree two.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods in Computer Vision

Lampert, CH.

Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision, 4(3):193-285, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Over the last years, kernel methods have established themselves as powerful tools for computer vision researchers as well as for practitioners. In this tutorial, we give an introduction to kernel methods in computer vision from a geometric perspective, introducing not only the ubiquitous support vector machines, but also less known techniques for regression, dimensionality reduction, outlier detection and clustering. Additionally, we give an outlook on very recent, non-classical techniques for the prediction of structure data, for the estimation of statistical dependency and for learning the kernel function itself. All methods are illustrated with examples of successful application from the recent computer vision research literature.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Initial Data from a first PET/MRI-System and its Applications in Clinical Studies Using MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Judenhofer, M., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

2009 World Molecular Imaging Congress, 2009, pages: 1200, September 2009 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]