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2010


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Animal detection in natural scenes: Critical features revisited

Wichmann, F., Drewes, J., Rosas, P., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Vision, 10(4):1-27, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
S. J. Thorpe, D. Fize, and C. Marlot (1996) showed how rapidly observers can detect animals in images of natural scenes, but it is still unclear which image features support this rapid detection. A. B. Torralba and A. Oliva (2003) suggested that a simple image statistic based on the power spectrum allows the absence or presence of objects in natural scenes to be predicted. We tested whether human observers make use of power spectral differences between image categories when detecting animals in natural scenes. In Experiments 1 and 2 we found performance to be essentially independent of the power spectrum. Computational analysis revealed that the ease of classification correlates with the proposed spectral cue without being caused by it. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that in commercial stock photo databases a majority of animal images are pre-segmented from the background by the photographers and this pre-segmentation causes the power spectral differences between image categories and may, furthermore, help rapid animal detection. Data from a third experiment are consistent with this hypothesis. Together, our results make it exceedingly unlikely that human observers make use of power spectral differences between animal- and no-animal images during rapid animal detection. In addition, our results point to potential confounds in the commercially available “natural image” databases whose statistics may be less natural than commonly presumed.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2010

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A generative model approach for decoding in the visual event-related potential-based brain-computer interface speller

Martens, SMM., Leiva, JM.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 7(2):1-10, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
There is a strong tendency towards discriminative approaches in brain-computer interface (BCI) research. We argue that generative model-based approaches are worth pursuing and propose a simple generative model for the visual ERP-based BCI speller which incorporates prior knowledge about the brain signals. We show that the proposed generative method needs less training data to reach a given letter prediction performance than the state of the art discriminative approaches.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Embeddings and Metrics on Probability Measures

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

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1517-1561, April 2010 (article)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Graph Kernels

Vishwanathan, SVN., Schraudolph, NN., Kondor, R., Borgwardt, KM.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1201-1242, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
We present a unified framework to study graph kernels, special cases of which include the random walk (G{\"a}rtner et al., 2003; Borgwardt et al., 2005) and marginalized (Kashima et al., 2003, 2004; Mahét al., 2004) graph kernels. Through reduction to a Sylvester equation we improve the time complexity of kernel computation between unlabeled graphs with n vertices from O(n6) to O(n3). We find a spectral decomposition approach even more efficient when computing entire kernel matrices. For labeled graphs we develop conjugate gradient and fixed-point methods that take O(dn3) time per iteration, where d is the size of the label set. By extending the necessary linear algebra to Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (RKHS) we obtain the same result for d-dimensional edge kernels, and O(n4) in the infinite-dimensional case; on sparse graphs these algorithms only take O(n2) time per iteration in all cases. Experiments on graphs from bioinformatics and other application domains show that these techniques can speed up computation of the kernel by an order of magnitude or more. We also show that certain rational kernels (Cortes et al., 2002, 2003, 2004) when specialized to graphs reduce to our random walk graph kernel. Finally, we relate our framework to R-convolution kernels (Haussler, 1999) and provide a kernel that is close to the optimal assignment kernel of kernel of Fr{\"o}hlich et al. (2006) yet provably positive semi-definite.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gene function prediction from synthetic lethality networks via ranking on demand

Lippert, C., Ghahramani, Z., Borgwardt, KM.

Bioinformatics, 26(7):912-918, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Synthetic lethal interactions represent pairs of genes whose individual mutations are not lethal, while the double mutation of both genes does incur lethality. Several studies have shown a correlation between functional similarity of genes and their distances in networks based on synthetic lethal interactions. However, there is a lack of algorithms for predicting gene function from synthetic lethality interaction networks. Results: In this article, we present a novel technique called kernelROD for gene function prediction from synthetic lethal interaction networks based on kernel machines. We apply our novel algorithm to Gene Ontology functional annotation prediction in yeast. Our experiments show that our method leads to improved gene function prediction compared with state-of-the-art competitors and that combining genetic and congruence networks leads to a further improvement in prediction accuracy.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A toolbox for predicting G-quadruplex formation and stability

Wong, HM., Stegle, O., Rodgers, S., Huppert, J.

Journal of Nucleic Acids, 2010(564946):1-6, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
G-quadruplexes are four stranded nucleic acid structures formed around a core of guanines, arranged in squares with mutual hydrogen bonding. Many of these structures are highly thermally stable, especially in the presence of monovalent cations, such as those found under physiological conditions. Understanding of their physiological roles is expanding rapidly, and they have been implicated in regulating gene transcription and translation among other functions. We have built a community-focused website to act as a repository for the information that is now being developed. At its core, this site has a detailed database (QuadDB) of predicted G-quadruplexes in the human and other genomes, together with the predictive algorithm used to identify them. We also provide a QuadPredict server, which predicts thermal stability and acts as a repository for experimental data from all researchers. There are also a number of other data sources with computational predictions. We anticipate that the wide availability of this information will be of use both to researchers already active in this exciting field and to those who wish to investigate a particular gene hypothesis.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Quantitative Evaluation of MR-based Attenuation Correction for Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Mantlik, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität Mannheim, Germany, March 2010 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Novel Protocol for Accuracy Assessment in Classification of Very High Resolution Images

Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 48(3):1232-1244, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
This paper presents a novel protocol for the accuracy assessment of the thematic maps obtained by the classification of very high resolution images. As the thematic accuracy alone is not sufficient to adequately characterize the geometrical properties of high-resolution classification maps, we propose a protocol that is based on the analysis of two families of indices: 1) the traditional thematic accuracy indices and 2) a set of novel geometric indices that model different geometric properties of the objects recognized in the map. In this context, we present a set of indices that characterize five different types of geometric errors in the classification map: 1) oversegmentation; 2) undersegmentation; 3) edge location; 4) shape distortion; and 5) fragmentation. Moreover, we propose a new approach for tuning the free parameters of supervised classifiers on the basis of a multiobjective criterion function that aims at selecting the parameter values that result in the classification map that jointly optimize thematic and geometric error indices. Experimental results obtained on QuickBird images show the effectiveness of the proposed protocol in selecting classification maps characterized by a better tradeoff between thematic and geometric accuracies than standard procedures based only on thematic accuracy measures. In addition, results obtained with support vector machine classifiers confirm the effectiveness of the proposed multiobjective technique for the selection of free-parameter values for the classification algorithm.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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On the Entropy Production of Time Series with Unidirectional Linearity

Janzing, D.

Journal of Statistical Physics, 138(4-5):767-779, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
There are non-Gaussian time series that admit a causal linear autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model when regressing the future on the past, but not when regressing the past on the future. The reason is that, in the latter case, the regression residuals are not statistically independent of the regressor. In previous work, we have experimentally verified that many empirical time series indeed show such a time inversion asymmetry. For various physical systems, it is known that time-inversion asymmetries are linked to the thermodynamic entropy production in non-equilibrium states. Here we argue that unidirectional linearity is also accompanied by entropy generation. To this end, we study the dynamical evolution of a physical toy system with linear coupling to an infinite environment and show that the linearity of the dynamics is inherited by the forward-time conditional probabilities, but not by the backward-time conditionals. The reason is that the environment permanently provides particles that are in a product state before they interact with the system, but show statistical dependence afterwards. From a coarse-grained perspective, the interaction thus generates entropy. We quantitatively relate the strength of the non-linearity of the backward process to the minimal amount of entropy generation. The paper thus shows that unidirectional linearity is an indirect implication of the thermodynamic arrow of time, given that the joint dynamics of the system and its environment is linear.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Derivatives of Logarithmic Stationary Distributions for Policy Gradient Reinforcement Learning

Morimura, T., Uchibe, E., Yoshimoto, J., Peters, J., Doya, K.

Neural Computation, 22(2):342-376, February 2010 (article)

Abstract
Most conventional policy gradient reinforcement learning (PGRL) algorithms neglect (or do not explicitly make use of) a term in the average reward gradient with respect to the policy parameter. That term involves the derivative of the stationary state distribution that corresponds to the sensitivity of its distribution to changes in the policy parameter. Although the bias introduced by this omission can be reduced by setting the forgetting rate γ for the value functions close to 1, these algorithms do not permit γ to be set exactly at γ = 1. In this article, we propose a method for estimating the log stationary state distribution derivative (LSD) as a useful form of the derivative of the stationary state distribution through backward Markov chain formulation and a temporal difference learning framework. A new policy gradient (PG) framework with an LSD is also proposed, in which the average reward gradient can be estimated by setting //!-- MFG_und--//amp;#947; = 0, so it becomes unnecessary to learn the value functions. We also test the performance of the proposed algorithms using simple benchmark tasks and show that these can improve the performances of existing PG methods.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Online Multitask Learning of Gaussian Processes

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

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 32(2):193-205, February 2010 (article)

Abstract
Standard single-task kernel methods have recently been extended to the case of multitask learning in the context of regularization theory. There are experimental results, especially in biomedicine, showing the benefit of the multitask approach compared to the single-task one. However, a possible drawback is computational complexity. For instance, when regularization networks are used, complexity scales as the cube of the overall number of training data, which may be large when several tasks are involved. The aim of this paper is to derive an efficient computational scheme for an important class of multitask kernels. More precisely, a quadratic loss is assumed and each task consists of the sum of a common term and a task-specific one. Within a Bayesian setting, a recursive online algorithm is obtained, which updates both estimates and confidence intervals as new data become available. The algorithm is tested on two simulated problems and a real data set relative to xenobiotics administration in human patients.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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The semigroup approach to transport processes in networks

Dorn, B., Fijavz, M., Nagel, R., Radl, A.

Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 239(15):1416-1421, January 2010 (article)

Abstract
We explain how operator semigroups can be used to study transport processes in networks. This method is applied to a linear Boltzmann equation on a finite as well as on an infinite network and yields well-posedness and information on the long term behavior of the solutions to the presented problems.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimization of k-Space Trajectories for Compressed Sensing by Bayesian Experimental Design

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

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 63(1):116-126, January 2010 (article)

Abstract
The optimization of k-space sampling for nonlinear sparse MRI reconstruction is phrased as a Bayesian experimental design problem. Bayesian inference is approximated by a novel relaxation to standard signal processing primitives, resulting in an efficient optimization algorithm for Cartesian and spiral trajectories. On clinical resolution brain image data from a Siemens 3T scanner, automatically optimized trajectories lead to significantly improved images, compared to standard low-pass, equispaced, or variable density randomized designs. Insights into the nonlinear design optimization problem for MRI are given.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning functional dependencies with kernel methods

Dinuzzo, F.

Scientifica Acta, 4(1):16-25, 2010 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we review some recent research directions regarding the synthesis of functions from data using kernel methods. We start by highlighting the central role of the representer theorem and then outline some recent advances in large scale optimization, learning the kernel, and multi-task learning.

Web [BibTex]


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Finding Gene-Gene Interactions using Support Vector Machines

Rakitsch, B.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Structural and Relational Data Mining for Systems Biology Applications

Georgii, E.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany , 2010 (phdthesis)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Population Coding in the Visual System: Statistical Methods and Theory

Macke, J.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bayesian Methods for Neural Data Analysis

Gerwinn, S.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Consistent Nonparametric Tests of Independence

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1391-1423, 2010 (article)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring latent task structure for Multitask Learning by Multiple Kernel Learning

Widmer, C., Toussaint, N., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

BMC Bioinformatics, 11 Suppl 8, pages: S5, 2010 (article)

Abstract
The lack of sufficient training data is the limiting factor for many Machine Learning applications in Computational Biology. If data is available for several different but related problem domains, Multitask Learning algorithms can be used to learn a model based on all available information. In Bioinformatics, many problems can be cast into the Multitask Learning scenario by incorporating data from several organisms. However, combining information from several tasks requires careful consideration of the degree of similarity between tasks. Our proposed method simultaneously learns or refines the similarity between tasks along with the Multitask Learning classifier. This is done by formulating the Multitask Learning problem as Multiple Kernel Learning, using the recently published q-Norm MKL algorithm.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Clustering with Neighborhood Graphs

Maier, M.

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Detecting and modeling time shifts in microarray time series data applying Gaussian processes

Zwießele, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (thesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Detecting the mincut in sparse random graphs

Köhler, R.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A wider view on encoding and decoding in the visual brain-computer interface speller system

Martens, S.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2010 (phdthesis)

[BibTex]


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On a disparity between relative cliquewidth and relative NLC-width

Müller, H., Urner, R.

Discrete Applied Mathematics, 158(7):828-840, 2010 (article)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2009


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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]

2009

PDF Web DOI [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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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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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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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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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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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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Kernel Learning Approaches for Image Classification

Gehler, PV.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, October 2009 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis extends the use of kernel learning techniques to specific problems of image classification. Kernel learning is a paradigm in the field of machine learning that generalizes the use of inner products to compute similarities between arbitrary objects. In image classification one aims to separate images based on their visual content. We address two important problems that arise in this context: learning with weak label information and combination of heterogeneous data sources. The contributions we report on are not unique to image classification, and apply to a more general class of problems. We study the problem of learning with label ambiguity in the multiple instance learning framework. We discuss several different image classification scenarios that arise in this context and argue that the standard multiple instance learning requires a more detailed disambiguation. Finally we review kernel learning approaches proposed for this problem and derive a more efficient algorithm to solve them. The multiple kernel learning framework is an approach to automatically select kernel parameters. We extend it to its infinite limit and present an algorithm to solve the resulting problem. This result is then applied in two directions. We show how to learn kernels that adapt to the special structure of images. Finally we compare different ways of combining image features for object classification and present significant improvements compared to previous methods.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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 PAC-Bayesian Approach to Structure Learning

Seldin, Y.

Biologische Kybernetik, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, September 2009 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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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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Higher order sliding mode controllers with optimal reaching

Dinuzzo, F., Ferrara, A.

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 54(9):2126-2136, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Higher order sliding mode (HOSM) control design is considered for systems with a known permanent relative degree. In this paper, we introduce the robust Fuller's problem that is a robust generalization of the Fuller's problem, a standard optimal control problem for a chain of integrators with bounded control. By solving the robust Fuller's problem it is possible to obtain feedback laws that are HOSM algorithms of generic order and, in addition, provide optimal finite-time reaching of the sliding manifold. A common difficulty in the use of existing HOSM algorithms is the tuning of design parameters: our methodology proves useful for the tuning of HOSM controller parameters in order to assure desired performances and prevent instabilities. The convergence and stability properties of the proposed family of controllers are theoretically analyzed. Simulation evidence demonstrates their effectiveness.

DOI [BibTex]

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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A Novel Approach to the Selection of Spatially Invariant Features for the Classification of Hyperspectral Images with Improved Generalization Capability

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47(9):3180-3191, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
This paper presents a novel approach to feature selection for the classification of hyperspectral images. The proposed approach aims at selecting a subset of the original set of features that exhibits at the same time high capability to discriminate among the considered classes and high invariance in the spatial domain of the investigated scene. This approach results in a more robust classification system with improved generalization properties with respect to standard feature-selection methods. The feature selection is accomplished by defining a multiobjective criterion function made up of two terms: (1) a term that measures the class separability and (2) a term that evaluates the spatial invariance of the selected features. In order to assess the spatial invariance of the feature subset, we propose both a supervised method (which assumes that training samples acquired in two or more spatially disjoint areas are available) and a semisupervised method (which requires only a standard training set acquired in a single area of the scene and takes advantage of unlabeled samples selected in portions of the scene spatially disjoint from the training set). The choice for the supervised or semisupervised method depends on the available reference data. The multiobjective problem is solved by an evolutionary algorithm that estimates the set of Pareto-optimal solutions. Experiments carried out on a hyperspectral image acquired by the Hyperion sensor on a complex area confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Fast Kernel-Based Independent Component Analysis

Shen, H., Jegelka, S., Gretton, A.

IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 57(9):3498-3511, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Recent approaches to independent component analysis (ICA) have used kernel independence measures to obtain highly accurate solutions, particularly where classical methods experience difficulty (for instance, sources with near-zero kurtosis). FastKICA (fast HSIC-based kernel ICA) is a new optimization method for one such kernel independence measure, the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC). The high computational efficiency of this approach is achieved by combining geometric optimization techniques, specifically an approximate Newton-like method on the orthogonal group, with accurate estimates of the gradient and Hessian based on an incomplete Cholesky decomposition. In contrast to other efficient kernel-based ICA algorithms, FastKICA is applicable to any twice differentiable kernel function. Experimental results for problems with large numbers of sources and observations indicate that FastKICA provides more accurate solutions at a given cost than gradient descent on HSIC. Comparing with other recently published ICA methods, FastKICA is competitive in terms of accuracy, relatively insensitive to local minima when initialized far from independence, and more robust towards outliers. An analysis of the local convergence properties of FastKICA is provided.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Qualia: The Geometry of Integrated Information

Balduzzi, D., Tononi, G.

PLoS Computational Biology, 5(8):1-24, August 2009 (article)

Abstract
According to the integrated information theory, the quantity of consciousness is the amount of integrated information generated by a complex of elements, and the quality of experience is specified by the informational relationships it generates. This paper outlines a framework for characterizing the informational relationships generated by such systems. Qualia space (Q) is a space having an axis for each possible state (activity pattern) of a complex. Within Q, each submechanism specifies a point corresponding to a repertoire of system states. Arrows between repertoires in Q define informational relationships. Together, these arrows specify a quale—a shape that completely and univocally characterizes the quality of a conscious experience. Φ— the height of this shape—is the quantity of consciousness associated with the experience. Entanglement measures how irreducible informational relationships are to their component relationships, specifying concepts and modes. Several corollaries follow from these premises. The quale is determined by both the mechanism and state of the system. Thus, two different systems having identical activity patterns may generate different qualia. Conversely, the same quale may be generated by two systems that differ in both activity and connectivity. Both active and inactive elements specify a quale, but elements that are inactivated do not. Also, the activation of an element affects experience by changing the shape of the quale. The subdivision of experience into modalities and submodalities corresponds to subshapes in Q. In principle, different aspects of experience may be classified as different shapes in Q, and the similarity between experiences reduces to similarities between shapes. Finally, specific qualities, such as the “redness” of red, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, but require considering the entire quale. Ultimately, the present framework may offer a principled way for translating qualitative properties of experience into mathematics.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Guest editorial: Special issue on robot learning, Part B

Peters, J., Ng, A.

Autonomous Robots, 27(2):91-92, August 2009 (article)

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Search for Motor Primitives

Peters, J., Kober, J.

KI - Zeitschrift K{\"u}nstliche Intelligenz, 23(3):38-40, August 2009 (article)

Abstract
Many motor skills in humanoid robotics can be learned using parametrized motor primitives from demonstrations. However, most interesting motor learning problems require self-improvement often beyond the reach of current reinforcement learning methods due to the high dimensionality of the state-space. We develop an EM-inspired algorithm applicable to complex motor learning tasks. We compare this algorithm to several well-known parametrized policy search methods and show that it outperforms them. We apply it to motor learning problems and show that it can learn the complex Ball-in-a-Cup task using a real Barrett WAM robot arm.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]