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2010


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A Nearest Neighbor Data Structure for Graphics Hardware

Cayton, L.

In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Accelerating Data Management Systems Using Modern Processor and Storage Architectures (ADMS 2010), pages: 1-6, First International Workshop on Accelerating Data Management Systems Using Modern Processor and Storage Architectures (ADMS), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nearest neighbor search is a core computational task in database systems and throughout data analysis. It is also a major computational bottleneck, and hence an enormous body of research has been devoted to data structures and algorithms for accelerating the task. Recent advances in graphics hardware provide tantalizing speedups on a variety of tasks and suggest an alternate approach to the problem: simply run brute force search on a massively parallel sys- tem. In this paper we marry the approaches with a novel data structure that can effectively make use of parallel systems such as graphics cards. The architectural complexities of graphics hardware - the high degree of parallelism, the small amount of memory relative to instruction throughput, and the single instruction, multiple data design- present significant challenges for data structure design. Furthermore, the brute force approach applies perfectly to graphics hardware, leading one to question whether an intelligent algorithm or data structure can even hope to outperform this basic approach. Despite these challenges and misgivings, we demonstrate that our data structure - termed a Random Ball Cover - provides significant speedups over the GPU- based brute force approach.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2010

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Statistical image analysis and percolation theory

Davies, P., Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

73rd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), August 2010 (talk)

Abstract
We develop a novel method for detection of signals and reconstruction of images in the presence of random noise. The method uses results from percolation theory. We specifically address the problem of detection of objects of unknown shapes in the case of nonparametric noise. The noise density is unknown and can be heavy-tailed. We view the object detection problem as hypothesis testing for discrete statistical inverse problems. We present an algorithm that allows to detect objects of various shapes in noisy images. We prove results on consistency and algorithmic complexity of our procedures.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Epidural ECoG Online Decoding of Arm Movement Intention in Hemiparesis

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Peters, J., Naros, G., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A.

In Proceedings of the 1st ICPR Workshop on Brain Decoding: Pattern Recognition Challenges in Neuroimaging (ICPR WBD 2010), pages: 36-39, (Editors: J. Richiardi and D Van De Ville and C Davatzikos and J Mourao-Miranda), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 1st Workshop on Brain Decoding (WBD), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) that rely upon epidural electrocorticographic signals may become a promising tool for neurorehabilitation of patients with severe hemiparatic syndromes due to cerebrovascular, traumatic or tumor-related brain damage. Here, we show in a patient-based feasibility study that online classification of arm movement intention is possible. The intention to move or to rest can be identified with high accuracy (~90 %), which is sufficient for BCI-guided neurorehabilitation. The observed spatial distribution of relevant features on the motor cortex indicates that cortical reorganization has been induced by the brain lesion. Low- and high-frequency components of the electrocorticographic power spectrum provide complementary information towards classification of arm movement intention.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Simulating Human Table Tennis with a Biomimetic Robot Setup

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

In From Animals to Animats 11, pages: 273-282, (Editors: Doncieux, S. , B. Girard, A. Guillot, J. Hallam, J.-A. Meyer, J.-B. Mouret), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 11th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Playing table tennis is a difficult motor task which requires fast movements, accurate control and adaptation to task parameters. Although human beings see and move slower than most robot systems they outperform all table tennis robots significantly. In this paper we study human table tennis and present a robot system that mimics human striking behavior. Therefore we model the human movements involved in hitting a table tennis ball using discrete movement stages and the virtual hitting point hypothesis. The resulting model is implemented on an anthropomorphic robot arm with 7 degrees of freedom using robotics methods. We verify the functionality of the model both in a physical realistic simulation of an anthropomorphic robot arm and on a real Barrett WAM.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical image analysis and percolation theory

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

28th European Meeting of Statisticians (EMS), August 2010 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Adapting Preshaped Grasping Movements Using Vision Descriptors

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

In From Animals to Animats 11, pages: 156-166, (Editors: Doncieux, S. , B. Girard, A. Guillot, J. Hallam, J.-A. Meyer, J.-B. Mouret), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 11th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Grasping is one of the most important abilities needed for future service robots. In the task of picking up an object from between clutter, traditional robotics approaches would determine a suitable grasping point and then use a movement planner to reach the goal. The planner would require precise and accurate information about the environment and long computation times, both of which are often not available. Therefore, methods are needed that execute grasps robustly even with imprecise information gathered only from standard stereo vision. We propose techniques that reactively modify the robot‘s learned motor primitives based on non-parametric potential fields centered on the Early Cognitive Vision descriptors. These allow both obstacle avoidance, and the adapting of finger motions to the object‘s local geometry. The methods were tested on a real robot, where they led to improved adaptability and quality of grasping actions.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring Networks of Diffusion and Influence

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Leskovec, J., Krause, A.

In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2010), pages: 1019-1028, (Editors: Rao, B. , B. Krishnapuram, A. Tomkins, Q. Yang), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Information diffusion and virus propagation are fundamental processes talking place in networks. While it is often possible to directly observe when nodes become infected, observing individual transmissions (i.e., who infects whom or who influences whom) is typically very difficult. Furthermore, in many applications, the underlying network over which the diffusions and propagations spread is actually unobserved. We tackle these challenges by developing a method for tracing paths of diffusion and influence through networks and inferring the networks over which contagions propagate. Given the times when nodes adopt pieces of information or become infected, we identify the optimal network that best explains the observed infection times. Since the optimization problem is NP-hard to solve exactly, we develop an efficient approximation algorithm that scales to large datasets and in practice gives provably near-optimal performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by tracing information cascades in a set of 170 million blogs and news articles over a one year period to infer how information flows through the online media space. We find that the diffusion network of news tends to have a core-periphery structure with a small set of core media sites that diffuse information to the rest of the Web. These sites tend to have stable circles of influence with more general news media sites acting as connectors between them.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Relative Entropy Policy Search

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Altun, Y.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages: 1607-1612, (Editors: Fox, M. , D. Poole), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-10), July 2010 (inproceedings)

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 policy gradients (Bagnell and Schneider 2003), many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this paper, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest the Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method. The resulting method differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Inferring deterministic causal relations

Daniusis, P., Janzing, D., Mooij, J., Zscheischler, J., Steudel, B., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, pages: 143-150, (Editors: P Grünwald and P Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, UAI, July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider two variables that are related to each other by an invertible function. While it has previously been shown that the dependence structure of the noise can provide hints to determine which of the two variables is the cause, we presently show that even in the deterministic (noise-free) case, there are asymmetries that can be exploited for causal inference. Our method is based on the idea that if the function and the probability density of the cause are chosen independently, then the distribution of the effect will, in a certain sense, depend on the function. We provide a theoretical analysis of this method, showing that it also works in the low noise regime, and link it to information geometry. We report strong empirical results on various real-world data sets from different domains.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts: Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

24th European Conference on Operational Research (EURO XXIV), July 2010 (talk)

Abstract
We introduce cooperative cut, a minimum cut problem whose cost is a submodular function on sets of edges: the cost of an edge that is added to a cut set depends on the edges in the set. Applications are e.g. in probabilistic graphical models and image processing. We prove NP hardness and a polynomial lower bound on the approximation factor, and upper bounds via four approximation algorithms based on different techniques. Our additional heuristics have attractive practical properties, e.g., to rely only on standard min-cut. Both our algorithms and heuristics appear to do well in practice.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Recent trends in classification of remote sensing data: active and semisupervised machine learning paradigms

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

In pages: 3720-3723 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper addresses the recent trends in machine learning methods for the automatic classification of remote sensing (RS) images. In particular, we focus on two new paradigms: semisupervised and active learning. These two paradigms allow one to address classification problems in the critical conditions where the available labeled training samples are limited. These operational conditions are very usual in RS problems, due to the high cost and time associated with the collection of labeled samples. Semisupervised and active learning techniques allow one to enrich the initial training set information and to improve classification accuracy by exploiting unlabeled samples or requiring additional labeling phases from the user, respectively. The two aforementioned strategies are theoretically and experimentally analyzed considering SVM-based techniques in order to highlight advantages and disadvantages of both strategies.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Source Separation and Higher-Order Causal Analysis of MEG and EEG

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence: Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Conference (UAI 2010), pages: 709-716, (Editors: Grünwald, P. , P. Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Separation of the sources and analysis of their connectivity have been an important topic in EEG/MEG analysis. To solve this problem in an automatic manner, we propose a twolayer model, in which the sources are conditionally uncorrelated from each other, but not independent; the dependence is caused by the causality in their time-varying variances (envelopes). The model is identified in two steps. We first propose a new source separation technique which takes into account the autocorrelations (which may be time-varying) and time-varying variances of the sources. The causality in the envelopes is then discovered by exploiting a special kind of multivariate GARCH (generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity) model. The resulting causal diagram gives the effective connectivity between the separated sources; in our experimental results on MEG data, sources with similar functions are grouped together, with negative influences between groups, and the groups are connected via some interesting sources.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Invariant Gaussian Process Latent Variable Models and Application in Causal Discovery

Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B., Janzing, D.

In Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, pages: 717-724, (Editors: P Grünwald and P Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, UAI, July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In nonlinear latent variable models or dynamic models, if we consider the latent variables as confounders (common causes), the noise dependencies imply further relations between the observed variables. Such models are then closely related to causal discovery in the presence of nonlinear confounders, which is a challenging problem. However, generally in such models the observation noise is assumed to be independent across data dimensions, and consequently the noise dependencies are ignored. In this paper we focus on the Gaussian process latent variable model (GPLVM), from which we develop an extended model called invariant GPLVM (IGPLVM), which can adapt to arbitrary noise covariances. With the Gaussian process prior put on a particular transformation of the latent nonlinear functions, instead of the original ones, the algorithm for IGPLVM involves almost the same computational loads as that for the original GPLVM. Besides its potential application in causal discovery, IGPLVM has the advantage that its estimated latent nonlinear manifold is invariant to any nonsingular linear transformation of the data. Experimental results on both synthetic and realworld data show its encouraging performance in nonlinear manifold learning and causal discovery.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multi-Label Learning by Exploiting Label Dependency

Zhang, M., Zhang, K.

In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2010), pages: 999-1008, (Editors: Rao, B. , B. Krishnapuram, A. Tomkins, Q. Yang), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 16th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In multi-label learning, each training example is associated with a set of labels and the task is to predict the proper label set for the unseen example. Due to the tremendous (exponential) number of possible label sets, the task of learning from multi-label examples is rather challenging. Therefore, the key to successful multi-label learning is how to effectively exploit correlations between different labels to facilitate the learning process. In this paper, we propose to use a Bayesian network structure to efficiently encode the condi- tional dependencies of the labels as well as the feature set, with the feature set as the common parent of all labels. To make it practical, we give an approximate yet efficient procedure to find such a network structure. With the help of this network, multi-label learning is decomposed into a series of single-label classification problems, where a classifier is constructed for each label by incorporating its parental labels as additional features. Label sets of unseen examples are predicted recursively according to the label ordering given by the network. Extensive experiments on a broad range of data sets validate the effectiveness of our approach against other well-established methods.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Efficient Filter Flow for Space-Variant Multiframe Blind Deconvolution

Hirsch, M., Sra, S., Schölkopf, B., Harmeling, S.

In Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pages: 607-614, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, CVPR, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Ultimately being motivated by facilitating space-variant blind deconvolution, we present a class of linear transformations, that are expressive enough for space-variant filters, but at the same time especially designed for efficient matrix-vector-multiplications. Successful results on astronomical imaging through atmospheric turbulences and on noisy magnetic resonance images of constantly moving objects demonstrate the practical significance of our approach.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Grasping with Vision Descriptors and Motor Primitives

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

In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO 2010), pages: 47-54, (Editors: Filipe, J. , J. Andrade-Cetto, J.-L. Ferrier), SciTePress , Lisboa, Portugal, 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Grasping is one of the most important abilities needed for future service robots. Given the task of picking up an object from betweem clutter, traditional robotics approaches would determine a suitable grasping point and then use a movement planner to reach the goal. The planner would require precise and accurate information about the environment and long computation times, both of which may not always be available. Therefore, methods for executing grasps are required, which perform well with information gathered from only standard stereo vision, and make only a few necessary assumptions about the task environment. We propose techniques that reactively modify the robot’s learned motor primitives based on information derived from Early Cognitive Vision descriptors. The proposed techniques employ non-parametric potential fields centered on the Early Cognitive Vision descriptors to allow for curving hand trajectories around objects, and finger motions that adapt to the object’s local geometry. The methods were tested on a real robot and found to allow for easier imitation learning of human movements and give a considerable improvement to the robot’s performance in grasping tasks.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An efficient divide-and-conquer cascade for nonlinear object detection

Lampert, CH.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Third IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2010), pages: 1022-1029, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Twenty-Third IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We introduce a method to accelerate the evaluation of object detection cascades with the help of a divide-and-conquer procedure in the space of candidate regions. Compared to the exhaustive procedure that thus far is the state-of-the-art for cascade evaluation, the proposed method requires fewer evaluations of the classifier functions, thereby speeding up the search. Furthermore, we show how the recently developed efficient subwindow search (ESS) procedure [11] can be integrated into the last stage of our method. This allows us to use our method to act not only as a faster procedure for cascade evaluation, but also as a tool to perform efficient branch-and-bound object detection with nonlinear quality functions, in particular kernelized support vector machines. Experiments on the PASCAL VOC 2006 dataset show an acceleration of more than 50% by our method compared to standard cascade evaluation.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Non-parametric estimation of integral probability metrics

Sriperumbudur, B., Fukumizu, K., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B., Lanckriet, G.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2010), pages: 1428-1432, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we develop and analyze a nonparametric method for estimating the class of integral probability metrics (IPMs), examples of which include the Wasserstein distance, Dudley metric, and maximum mean discrepancy (MMD). We show that these distances can be estimated efficiently by solving a linear program in the case of Wasserstein distance and Dudley metric, while MMD is computable in a closed form. All these estimators are shown to be strongly consistent and their convergence rates are analyzed. Based on these results, we show that IPMs are simple to estimate and the estimators exhibit good convergence behavior compared to fi-divergence estimators.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Markov condition for submodular information measures

Steudel, B., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference on Learning Theory, pages: 464-476, (Editors: AT Kalai and M Mohri), OmniPress, Madison, WI, USA, COLT, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The causal Markov condition (CMC) is a postulate that links observations to causality. It describes the conditional independences among the observations that are entailed by a causal hypothesis in terms of a directed acyclic graph. In the conventional setting, the observations are random variables and the independence is a statistical one, i.e., the information content of observations is measured in terms of Shannon entropy. We formulate a generalized CMC for any kind of observations on which independence is defined via an arbitrary submodular information measure. Recently, this has been discussed for observations in terms of binary strings where information is understood in the sense of Kolmogorov complexity. Our approach enables us to find computable alternatives to Kolmogorov complexity, e.g., the length of a text after applying existing data compression schemes. We show that our CMC is justified if one restricts the attention to a class of causal mechanisms that is adapted to the respective information measure. Our justification is similar to deriving the statistical CMC from functional models of causality, where every variable is a deterministic function of its observed causes and an unobserved noise term. Our experiments on real data demonstrate the performance of compression based causal inference.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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UDP Communication channel design of master-slave robot system

Hong, A., Cho, JH., Wang, H., Lee, DY.

In pages: 231-232, 2010 KSME Conference, June 2010 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Telling cause from effect based on high-dimensional observations

Janzing, D., Hoyer, P., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 479-486, (Editors: J Fürnkranz and T Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, ICML, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a method for inferring linear causal relations among multi-dimensional variables. The idea is to use an asymmetry between the distributions of cause and effect that occurs if the covariance matrix of the cause and the structure matrix mapping the cause to the effect are independently chosen. The method applies to both stochastic and deterministic causal relations, provided that the dimensionality is sufficiently high (in some experiments, 5 was enough). It is applicable to Gaussian as well as non-Gaussian data.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A scalable trust-region algorithm with application to mixed-norm regression

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

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2010), pages: 519-526, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new algorithm for minimizing a convex loss-function subject to regularization. Our framework applies to numerous problems in machine learning and statistics; notably, for sparsity-promoting regularizers such as ℓ1 or ℓ1, ∞ norms, it enables efficient computation of sparse solutions. Our approach is based on the trust-region framework with nonsmooth objectives, which allows us to build on known results to provide convergence analysis. We avoid the computational overheads associated with the conventional Hessian approximation used by trust-region methods by instead using a simple separable quadratic approximation. This approximation also enables use of proximity operators for tackling nonsmooth regularizers. We illustrate the versatility of our resulting algorithm by specializing it to three mixed-norm regression problems: group lasso [36], group logistic regression [21], and multi-task lasso [19]. We experiment with both synthetic and real-world large-scale data—our method is seen to be competitive, robust, and scalable.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Influence of the Image Basis on Modeling and Steganalysis Performance

Schwamberger, V., Le, P., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

In Information Hiding, pages: 133-144, (Editors: R Böhme and PWL Fong and R Safavi-Naini), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th international Workshop (IH), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We compare two image bases with respect to their capabilities for image modeling and steganalysis. The first basis consists of wavelets, the second is a Laplacian pyramid. Both bases are used to decompose the image into subbands where the local dependency structure is modeled with a linear Bayesian estimator. Similar to existing approaches, the image model is used to predict coefficient values from their neighborhoods, and the final classification step uses statistical descriptors of the residual. Our findings are counter-intuitive on first sight: Although Laplacian pyramids have better image modeling capabilities than wavelets, steganalysis based on wavelets is much more successful. We present a number of experiments that suggest possible explanations for this result.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Co-clustering, Graph Clustering, and Pairwise Clustering

Seldin, Y.

In ICML 2010 Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, pages: 1-5, ICML Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We review briefly the PAC-Bayesian analysis of co-clustering (Seldin and Tishby, 2008, 2009, 2010), which provided generalization guarantees and regularization terms absent in the preceding formulations of this problem and achieved state-of-the-art prediction results in MovieLens collaborative filtering task. Inspired by this analysis we formulate weighted graph clustering1 as a prediction problem: given a subset of edge weights we analyze the ability of graph clustering to predict the remaining edge weights. This formulation enables practical and theoretical comparison of different approaches to graph clustering as well as comparison of graph clustering with other possible ways to model the graph. Following the lines of (Seldin and Tishby, 2010) we derive PAC-Bayesian generalization bounds for graph clustering. The bounds show that graph clustering should optimize a trade-off between empirical data fit and the mutual information that clusters preserve on the graph nodes. A similar trade-off derived from information-theoretic considerations was already shown to produce state-of-the-art results in practice (Slonim et al., 2005; Yom-Tov and Slonim, 2009). This paper supports the empirical evidence by providing a better theoretical foundation, suggesting formal generalization guarantees, and offering a more accurate way to deal with finite sample issues.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Solving Large-Scale Nonnegative Least Squares

Sra, S.

16th Conference of the International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS), June 2010 (talk)

Abstract
We study the fundamental problem of nonnegative least squares. This problem was apparently introduced by Lawson and Hanson [1] under the name NNLS. As is evident from its name, NNLS seeks least-squares solutions that are also nonnegative. Owing to its wide-applicability numerous algorithms have been derived for NNLS, beginning from the active-set approach of Lawson and Han- son [1] leading up to the sophisticated interior-point method of Bellavia et al. [2]. We present a new algorithm for NNLS that combines projected subgradients with the non-monotonic gradient descent idea of Barzilai and Borwein [3]. Our resulting algorithm is called BBSG, and we guarantee its convergence by ex- ploiting properties of NNLS in conjunction with projected subgradients. BBSG is surprisingly simple and scales well to large problems. We substantiate our claims by empirically evaluating BBSG and comparing it with established con- vex solvers and specialized NNLS algorithms. The numerical results suggest that BBSG is a practical method for solving large-scale NNLS problems.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Matrix Approximation Problems

Sra, S.

EU Regional School: Rheinisch-Westf{\"a}lische Technische Hochschule Aachen, May 2010 (talk)

PDF AVI [BibTex]

PDF AVI [BibTex]


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BCI2000 and Python

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 7th International BCI2000 Workshop, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, May 2010 (talk)

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

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Extending BCI2000 Functionality with Your Own C++ Code

Hill, NJ.

Invited lecture at the 7th International BCI2000 Workshop, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, May 2010 (talk)

Abstract
A tutorial, with exercises, on how to use BCI2000 C++ framework to write your own real-time signal-processing modules.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Apprenticeship learning via soft local homomorphisms

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2971-2976, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning when the expert's demonstration covers only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient solution to this problem based on the assumption that the expert is optimally acting in a Markov Decision Process (MDP). However, past work on IRL requires an accurate estimate of the frequency of encountering each feature of the states when the robot follows the expert‘s policy. Given that the complete policy of the expert is unknown, the features frequencies can only be empirically estimated from the demonstrated trajectories. In this paper, we propose to use a transfer method, known as soft homomorphism, in order to generalize the expert‘s policy to unvisited regions of the state space. The generalized policy can be used either as the robot‘s final policy, or to calculate the features frequencies within an IRL algorithm. Empirical results show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Using Model Knowledge for Learning Inverse Dynamics

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2677-2682, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In recent years, learning models from data has become an increasingly interesting tool for robotics, as it allows straightforward and accurate model approximation. However, in most robot learning approaches, the model is learned from scratch disregarding all prior knowledge about the system. For many complex robot systems, available prior knowledge from advanced physics-based modeling techniques can entail valuable information for model learning that may result in faster learning speed, higher accuracy and better generalization. In this paper, we investigate how parametric physical models (e.g., obtained from rigid body dynamics) can be used to improve the learning performance, and, especially, how semiparametric regression methods can be applied in this context. We present two possible semiparametric regression approaches, where the knowledge of the physical model can either become part of the mean function or of the kernel in a nonparametric Gaussian process regression. We compare the learning performance o f these methods first on sampled data and, subsequently, apply the obtained inverse dynamics models in tracking control on a real Barrett WAM. The results show that the semiparametric models learned with rigid body dynamics as prior outperform the standard rigid body dynamics models on real data while generalizing better for unknown parts of the state space.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Coherent Inference on Optimal Play in Game Trees

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

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 326-333, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington ), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Round-based games are an instance of discrete planning problems. Some of the best contemporary game tree search algorithms use random roll-outs as data. Relying on a good policy, they learn on-policy values by propagating information upwards in the tree, but not between sibling nodes. Here, we present a generative model and a corresponding approximate message passing scheme for inference on the optimal, off-policy value of nodes in smooth AND/OR trees, given random roll-outs. The crucial insight is that the distribution of values in game trees is not completely arbitrary. We define a generative model of the on-policy values using a latent score for each state, representing the value under the random roll-out policy. Inference on the values under the optimal policy separates into an inductive, pre-data step and a deductive, post-data part. Both can be solved approximately with Expectation Propagation, allowing off-policy value inference for any node in the (exponentially big) tree in linear time.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Incremental Sparsification for Real-time Online Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 557-564, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Online model learning in real-time is required by many applications such as in robot tracking control. It poses a difficult problem, as fast and incremental online regression with large data sets is the essential component which cannot be achieved by straightforward usage of off-the-shelf machine learning methods (such as Gaussian process regression or support vector regression). In this paper, we propose a framework for online, incremental sparsification with a fixed budget designed for large scale real-time model learning. The proposed approach combines a sparsification method based on an independence measure with a large scale database. In combination with an incremental learning approach such as sequential support vector regression, we obtain a regression method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques. Implementation on a real robot emphasizes the applicability of the proposed approach in real-time online model learning for real world systems.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multitask Learning for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Alamgir, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 17-24, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are limited in their applicability in everyday settings by the current necessity to record subjectspecific calibration data prior to actual use of the BCI for communication. In this paper, we utilize the framework of multitask learning to construct a BCI that can be used without any subject-specific calibration process. We discuss how this out-of-the-box BCI can be further improved in a computationally efficient manner as subject-specific data becomes available. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated on two sets of experimental EEG data recorded during a standard two-class motor imagery paradigm from a total of 19 healthy subjects. Specifically, we show that satisfactory classification results can be achieved with zero training data, and combining prior recordings with subjectspecific calibration data substantially outperforms using subject-specific data only. Our results further show that transfer between recordings under slightly different experimental setups is feasible.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Identifying Cause and Effect on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 597-604, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. Recently, methods using additive noise models have been suggested to approach the case of continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. Whenever the joint distribution P(X;Y ) admits such a model in one direction, e.g. Y = f(X) + N; N ? X, it does not admit the reversed model X = g(Y ) + ~N ; ~N ? Y as long as the model is chosen in a generic way. Based on these deliberations we propose an efficient new algorithm that is able to distinguish between cause and effect for a finite sample of discrete variables. We show that this algorithm works both on synthetic and real data sets.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Learning via Generalized Maximum Entropy

Erkan, A., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 209-216, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Various supervised inference methods can be analyzed as convex duals of the generalized maximum entropy (MaxEnt) framework. Generalized MaxEnt aims to find a distribution that maximizes an entropy function while respecting prior information represented as potential functions in miscellaneous forms of constraints and/or penalties. We extend this framework to semi-supervised learning by incorporating unlabeled data via modifications to these potential functions reflecting structural assumptions on the data geometry. The proposed approach leads to a family of discriminative semi-supervised algorithms, that are convex, scalable, inherently multi-class, easy to implement, and that can be kernelized naturally. Experimental evaluation of special cases shows the competitiveness of our methodology.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A New Algorithm for Improving the Resolution of Cryo-EM Density Maps

Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B., Habeck, M.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics, Vol. 6044 , pages: 174-188, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), May 2010 (inproceedings)

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 paper, 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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Movement Templates for Learning of Hitting and Batting

Kober, J., Mülling, K., Krömer, O., Lampert, C., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 853-858, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine-Learning Methods for Decoding Intentional Brain States

Hill, NJ.

Symposium "Non-Invasive Brain Computer Interfaces: Current Developments and Applications" (BIOMAG), March 2010 (talk)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) work by making the user perform a specific mental task, such as imagining moving body parts or performing some other covert mental activity, or attending to a particular stimulus out of an array of options, in order to encode their intention into a measurable brain signal. Signal-processing and machine-learning techniques are then used to decode the measured signal to identify the encoded mental state and hence extract the user‘s initial intention. The high-noise high-dimensional nature of brain-signals 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 your features are extracted.” Using examples from our own MEG and EEG experiments, I‘ll demonstrate how machine-learning principles can be applied in order to improve BCI performance, if they are formulated in a domain-specific way. The result is a type of data-driven analysis that is more than “just” classification, and can be used to find better feature extractors.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis in Unsupervised Learning

Seldin, Y.

Foundations and New Trends of PAC Bayesian Learning Workshop, March 2010 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Experiments with Motor Primitives to learn Table Tennis

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Kober, J.

In Experimental Robotics, pages: 1-13, (Editors: Khatib, O. , V. Kumar, G. Sukhatme), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), March 2010 (inproceedings)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causality: Objectives and Assessment

Guyon, I., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6 , pages: 1-42, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , February 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The NIPS 2008 workshop on causality provided a forum for researchers from different horizons to share their view on causal modeling and address the difficult question of assessing causal models. There has been a vivid debate on properly separating the notion of causality from particular models such as graphical models, which have been dominating the field in the past few years. Part of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the results of a challenge, which offered a wide variety of applications of causal modeling. We have regrouped in these proceedings the best papers presented. Most lectures were videotaped or recorded. All information regarding the challenge and the lectures are found at http://www.clopinet.com/isabelle/Projects/NIPS2008/. This introduction provides a synthesis of the findings and a gentle introduction to causality topics, which are the object of active research.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

EVENT Lab: Reinforcement Learning in Robotics and Virtual Reality, January 2010 (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]

[BibTex]


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Learning Continuous Grasp Affordances by Sensorimotor Exploration

Detry, R., Baseski, E., Popovic, M., Touati, Y., Krüger, N., Kroemer, O., Peters, J., Piater, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 451-465, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We develop means of learning and representing object grasp affordances probabilistically. By grasp affordance, we refer to an entity that is able to assess whether a given relative object-gripper configuration will yield a stable grasp. These affordances are represented with grasp densities, continuous probability density functions defined on the space of 3D positions and orientations. Grasp densities are registered with a visual model of the object they characterize. They are exploited by aligning them to a target object using visual pose estimation. Grasp densities are refined through experience: A robot “plays” with an object by executing grasps drawn randomly for the object’s grasp density. The robot then uses the outcomes of these grasps to build a richer density through an importance sampling mechanism. Initial grasp densities, called hypothesis densities, are bootstrapped from grasps collected using a motion capture system, or from grasps generated from the visual model of the object. Refined densities, called empirical densities, represent affordances that have been confirmed through physical experience. The applicability of our method is demonstrated by producing empirical densities for two object with a real robot and its 3-finger hand. Hypothesis densities are created from visual cues and human demonstration.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Imitation and Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives with Perceptual Coupling

Kober, J., Mohler, B., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 209-225, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamical system-based motor primitives [Ijspeert et al(2002)Ijspeert, Nakanishi, and Schaal] that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such as Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a skilled human player would be challenged. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for dynamical system-based motor primitives.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 1-12, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Real-Time Local GP Model Learning

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

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, 264, pages: 193-207, Studies in Computational Intelligence, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
For many applications in robotics, accurate dynamics models are essential. However, in some applications, e.g., in model-based tracking control, precise dynamics models cannot be obtained analytically for sufficiently complex robot systems. In such cases, machine learning offers a promising alternative for approximating the robot dynamics using measured data. However, standard regression methods such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) suffer from high computational complexity which prevents their usage for large numbers of samples or online learning to date. In this paper, we propose an approximation to the standard GPR using local Gaussian processes models inspired by [Vijayakumar et al(2005)Vijayakumar, D’Souza, and Schaal, Snelson and Ghahramani(2007)]. Due to reduced computational cost, local Gaussian processes (LGP) can be applied for larger sample-sizes and online learning. Comparisons with other nonparametric regressions, e.g., standard GPR, support vector regression (SVR) and locally weighted proje ction regression (LWPR), show that LGP has high approximation accuracy while being sufficiently fast for real-time online learning.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Leveraging Sequence Classification by Taxonomy-based Multitask Learning

Widmer, C., Leiva, J., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, LNCS, Vol. 6044, pages: 522-534, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th Annual International Conference, RECOMB, 2010 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Automatic Image Colorization

Charpiat, G., Bezrukov, I., Hofmann, M., Altun, Y., Schölkopf, B.

In Computational Photography: Methods and Applications, pages: 395-418, Digital Imaging and Computer Vision, (Editors: Lukac, R.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We aim to color greyscale images automatically, without any manual intervention. The color proposition could then be interactively corrected by user-provided color landmarks if necessary. Automatic colorization is nontrivial since there is usually no one-to-one correspondence between color and local texture. The contribution of our framework is that we deal directly with multimodality and estimate, for each pixel of the image to be colored, the probability distribution of all possible colors, instead of choosing the most probable color at the local level. We also predict the expected variation of color at each pixel, thus defining a non-uniform spatial coherency criterion. We then use graph cuts to maximize the probability of the whole colored image at the global level. We work in the L-a-b color space in order to approximate the human perception of distances between colors, and we use machine learning tools to extract as much information as possible from a dataset of colored examples. The resulting algorithm is fast, designed to be more robust to texture noise, and is above all able to deal with ambiguity, in contrary to previous approaches.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Probabilistic latent variable models for distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Stegle, O., Janzing, D., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 1687-1695, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a novel method for inferring whether X causes Y or vice versa from joint observations of X and Y. The basic idea is to model the observed data using probabilistic latent variable models, which incorporate the effects of unobserved noise. To this end, we consider the hypothetical effect variable to be a function of the hypothetical cause variable and an independent noise term (not necessarily additive). An important novel aspect of our work is that we do not restrict the model class, but instead put general non-parametric priors on this function and on the distribution of the cause. The causal direction can then be inferred by using standard Bayesian model selection. We evaluate our approach on synthetic data and real-world data and report encouraging results.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]