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2008


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Model-Based Reinforcement Learning with Continuous States and Actions

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

In ESANN 2008, pages: 19-24, (Editors: Verleysen, M. ), d-side, Evere, Belgium, European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, April 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Finding an optimal policy in a reinforcement learning (RL) framework with continuous state and action spaces is challenging. Approximate solutions are often inevitable. GPDP is an approximate dynamic programming algorithm based on Gaussian process (GP) models for the value functions. In this paper, we extend GPDP to the case of unknown transition dynamics. After building a GP model for the transition dynamics, we apply GPDP to this model and determine a continuous-valued policy in the entire state space. We apply the resulting controller to the underpowered pendulum swing up. Moreover, we compare our results on this RL task to a nearly optimal discrete DP solution in a fully known environment.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2008

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Inverse Dynamics: A Comparison

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

In Advances in Computational Intelligence and Learning: Proceedings of the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, pages: 13-18, (Editors: M Verleysen), d-side, Evere, Belgium, 16th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN), April 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
While it is well-known that model can enhance the control performance in terms of precision or energy efficiency, the practical application has often been limited by the complexities of manually obtaining sufficiently accurate models. In the past, learning has proven a viable alternative to using a combination of rigid-body dynamics and handcrafted approximations of nonlinearities. However, a major open question is what nonparametric learning method is suited best for learning dynamics? Traditionally, locally weighted projection regression (LWPR), has been the standard method as it is capable of online, real-time learning for very complex robots. However, while LWPR has had significant impact on learning in robotics, alternative nonparametric regression methods such as support vector regression (SVR) and Gaussian processes regression (GPR) offer interesting alternatives with fewer open parameters and potentially higher accuracy. In this paper, we evaluate these three alternatives for model learning. Our comparison consists out of the evaluation of learning quality for each regression method using original data from SARCOS robot arm, as well as the robot tracking performance employing learned models. The results show that GPR and SVR achieve a superior learning precision and can be applied for real-time control obtaining higher accuracy. However, for the online learning LWPR presents the better method due to its lower computational requirements.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Metric Nearness Problem

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

SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, 30(1):375-396, April 2008 (article)

Abstract
Metric nearness refers to the problem of optimally restoring metric properties to distance measurements that happen to be nonmetric due to measurement errors or otherwise. Metric data can be important in various settings, for example, in clustering, classification, metric-based indexing, query processing, and graph theoretic approximation algorithms. This paper formulates and solves the metric nearness problem: Given a set of pairwise dissimilarities, find a “nearest” set of distances that satisfy the properties of a metric—principally the triangle inequality. For solving this problem, the paper develops efficient triangle fixing algorithms that are based on an iterative projection method. An intriguing aspect of the metric nearness problem is that a special case turns out to be equivalent to the all pairs shortest paths problem. The paper exploits this equivalence and develops a new algorithm for the latter problem using a primal-dual method. Applications to graph clustering are provided as an illustratio n. We include experiments that demonstrate the computational superiority of triangle fixing over general purpose convex programming software. Finally, we conclude by suggesting various useful extensions and generalizations to metric nearness.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference and Optimal Design for the Sparse Linear Model

Seeger, MW.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 9, pages: 759-813, April 2008 (article)

Abstract
The linear model with sparsity-favouring prior on the coefficients has important applications in many different domains. In machine learning, most methods to date search for maximum a posteriori sparse solutions and neglect to represent posterior uncertainties. In this paper, we address problems of Bayesian optimal design (or experiment planning), for which accurate estimates of uncertainty are essential. To this end, we employ expectation propagation approximate inference for the linear model with Laplace prior, giving new insight into numerical stability properties and proposing a robust algorithm. We also show how to estimate model hyperparameters by empirical Bayesian maximisation of the marginal likelihood, and propose ideas in order to scale up the method to very large underdetermined problems. We demonstrate the versatility of our framework on the application of gene regulatory network identification from micro-array expression data, where both the Laplace prior and the active experimental design approach are shown to result in significant improvements. We also address the problem of sparse coding of natural images, and show how our framework can be used for compressive sensing tasks.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Consistency of Spectral Clustering

von Luxburg, U., Belkin, M., Bousquet, O.

Annals of Statistics, 36(2):555-586, April 2008 (article)

Abstract
Consistency is a key property of statistical algorithms when the data is drawn from some underlying probability distribution. Surprisingly, despite decades of work, little is known about consistency of most clustering algorithms. In this paper we investigate consistency of the popular family of spectral clustering algorithms, which clusters the data with the help of eigenvectors of graph Laplacian matrices. We develop new methods to establish that for increasing sample size, those eigenvectors converge to the eigenvectors of certain limit operators. As a result we can prove that one of the two major classes of spectral clustering (normalized clustering) converges under very general conditions, while the other (unnormalized clustering) is only consistent under strong additional assumptions, which are not always satisfied in real data. We conclude that our analysis provides strong evidence for the superiority of normalized spectral clustering.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Kernels and methods for selecting kernels for use in learning machines

Bartlett, P. L., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B.

United States Patent, No 7353215, April 2008 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Plant Classification from Bat-Like Echolocation Signals

Yovel, Y., Franz, MO., Stilz, P., Schnitzler, H-U.

PLoS Computational Biology, 4(3, e1000032):1-13, March 2008 (article)

Abstract
Classification of plants according to their echoes is an elementary component of bat behavior that plays an important role in spatial orientation and food acquisition. Vegetation echoes are, however, highly complex stochastic signals: from an acoustical point of view, a plant can be thought of as a three-dimensional array of leaves reflecting the emitted bat call. The received echo is therefore a superposition of many reflections. In this work we suggest that the classification of these echoes might not be such a troublesome routine for bats as formerly thought. We present a rather simple approach to classifying signals from a large database of plant echoes that were created by ensonifying plants with a frequency-modulated bat-like ultrasonic pulse. Our algorithm uses the spectrogram of a single echo from which it only uses features that are undoubtedly accessible to bats. We used a standard machine learning algorithm (SVM) to automatically extract suitable linear combinations of time and frequency cues from the spectrograms such that classification with high accuracy is enabled. This demonstrates that ultrasonic echoes are highly informative about the species membership of an ensonified plant, and that this information can be extracted with rather simple, biologically plausible analysis. Thus, our findings provide a new explanatory basis for the poorly understood observed abilities of bats in classifying vegetation and other complex objects.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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The role of stimulus correlations for population decoding in the retina

Schwartz, G., Macke, J., Berry, M.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience 2008 (COSYNE 2008), 5, pages: 172, March 2008 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Causal Reasoning by Evaluating the Complexity of Conditional Densities with Kernel Methods

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

Neurocomputing, 71(7-9):1248-1256, March 2008 (article)

Abstract
We propose a method to quantify the complexity of conditional probability measures by a Hilbert space seminorm of the logarithm of its density. The concept of reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs) is a flexible tool to define such a seminorm by choosing an appropriate kernel. We present several examples with artificial data sets where our kernel-based complexity measure is consistent with our intuitive understanding of complexity of densities. The intention behind the complexity measure is to provide a new approach to inferring causal directions. The idea is that the factorization of the joint probability measure P(effect, cause) into P(effect|cause)P(cause) leads typically to "simpler" and "smoother" terms than the factorization into P(cause|effect)P(effect). Since the conventional constraint-based approach of causal discovery is not able to determine the causal direction between only two variables, our inference principle can in particular be useful when combined with other existing methods. We provide several simple examples with real-world data where the true causal directions indeed lead to simpler (conditional) densities.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Natural Actor-Critic

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

Neurocomputing, 71(7-9):1180-1190, March 2008 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we suggest a novel reinforcement learning architecture, the Natural Actor-Critic. The actor updates are achieved using stochastic policy gradients em- ploying Amari’s natural gradient approach, while the critic obtains both the natural policy gradient and additional parameters of a value function simultaneously by lin- ear regression. We show that actor improvements with natural policy gradients are particularly appealing as these are independent of coordinate frame of the chosen policy representation, and can be estimated more efficiently than regular policy gra- dients. The critic makes use of a special basis function parameterization motivated by the policy-gradient compatible function approximation. We show that several well-known reinforcement learning methods such as the original Actor-Critic and Bradtke’s Linear Quadratic Q-Learning are in fact Natural Actor-Critic algorithms. Empirical evaluations illustrate the effectiveness of our techniques in comparison to previous methods, and also demonstrate their applicability for learning control on an anthropomorphic robot arm.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Poisson Geometry of Parabolic Bundles on Elliptic Curves

Balduzzi, D.

International Journal of Mathematics , 19(3):339-367, March 2008 (article)

Abstract
The moduli space of G-bundles on an elliptic curve with additional flag structure admits a Poisson structure. The bivector can be defined using double loop group, loop group and sheaf cohomology constructions. We investigate the links between these methods and for the case SL2 perform explicit computations, describing the bracket and its leaves in detail.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring Spike Trains From Local Field Potentials

Rasch, M., Gretton, A., Murayama, Y., Maass, W., Logothetis, N.

Journal of Neurophysiology, 99(3):1461-1476, March 2008 (article)

Abstract
We investigated whether it is possible to infer spike trains solely on the basis of the underlying local field potentials (LFPs). Using support vector machines and linear regression models, we found that in the primary visual cortex (V1) of monkeys, spikes can indeed be inferred from LFPs, at least with moderate success. Although there is a considerable degree of variation across electrodes, the low-frequency structure in spike trains (in the 100-ms range) can be inferred with reasonable accuracy, whereas exact spike positions are not reliably predicted. Two kinds of features of the LFP are exploited for prediction: the frequency power of bands in the high gamma-range (40–90 Hz) and information contained in lowfrequency oscillations ( 10 Hz), where both phase and power modulations are informative. Information analysis revealed that both features code (mainly) independent aspects of the spike-to-LFP relationship, with the low-frequency LFP phase coding for temporally clustered spiking activity. Although both features and prediction quality are similar during seminatural movie stimuli and spontaneous activity, prediction performance during spontaneous activity degrades much more slowly with increasing electrode distance. The general trend of data obtained with anesthetized animals is qualitatively mirrored in that of a more limited data set recorded in V1 of non-anesthetized monkeys. In contrast to the cortical field potentials, thalamic LFPs (e.g., LFPs derived from recordings in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus) hold no useful information for predicting spiking activity.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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ISD: A Software Package for Bayesian NMR Structure Calculation

Rieping, W., Nilges, M., Habeck, M.

Bioinformatics, 24(8):1104-1105, February 2008 (article)

Abstract
SUMMARY: The conventional approach to calculating biomolecular structures from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data is often viewed as subjective due to its dependence on rules of thumb for deriving geometric constraints and suitable values for theory parameters from noisy experimental data. As a result, it can be difficult to judge the precision of an NMR structure in an objective manner. The Inferential Structure Determination (ISD) framework, which has been introduced recently, addresses this problem by using Bayesian inference to derive a probability distribution that represents both the unknown structure and its uncertainty. It also determines additional unknowns, such as theory parameters, that normally need be chosen empirically. Here we give an overview of the ISD software package, which implements this methodology. AVAILABILITY: The program is available at http://www.bioc.cam.ac.uk/isd

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Structure Calculation

Nilges, M., Habeck, M., Rieping, W.

Comptes Rendus Chimie, 11(4-5):356-369, February 2008 (article)

Abstract
Molecular structures are usually calculated from experimental data with some method of energy minimisation or non-linear optimisation. Key aims of a structure calculation are to estimate the coordinate uncertainty, and to provide a meaningful measure of the quality of the fit to the data. We discuss approaches to optimally combine prior information and experimental data and the connection to probability theory. We analyse the appropriate statistics for NOEs and NOE-derived distances, and the related question of restraint potentials. Finally, we will discuss approaches to determine the appropriate weight on the experimental evidence and to obtain in this way an estimate of the data quality from the structure calculation. Whereas objective estimates of coordinates and their uncertainties can only be obtained by a full Bayesian treatment of the problem, standard structure calculation methods continue to play an important role. To obtain the full benefit of these methods, they should be founded on a rigorous Baye sian analysis.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimization Techniques for Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines

Chapelle, O., Sindhwani, V., Keerthi, S.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 9, pages: 203-233, February 2008 (article)

Abstract
Due to its wide applicability, the problem of semi-supervised classification is attracting increasing attention in machine learning. Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines (S3VMs) are based on applying the margin maximization principle to both labeled and unlabeled examples. Unlike SVMs, their formulation leads to a non-convex optimization problem. A suite of algorithms have recently been proposed for solving S3VMs. This paper reviews key ideas in this literature. The performance and behavior of various S3VMs algorithms is studied together, under a common experimental setting.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Fast Projection-based Methods for the Least Squares Nonnegative Matrix Approximation Problem

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

Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, 1(1):38-51, February 2008 (article)

Abstract
Nonnegative matrix approximation (NNMA) is a popular matrix decomposition technique that has proven to be useful across a diverse variety of fields with applications ranging from document analysis and image processing to bioinformatics and signal processing. Over the years, several algorithms for NNMA have been proposed, e.g. Lee and Seung‘s multiplicative updates, alternating least squares (ALS), and gradient descent-based procedures. However, most of these procedures suffer from either slow convergence, numerical instability, or at worst, serious theoretical drawbacks. In this paper, we develop a new and improved algorithmic framework for the least-squares NNMA problem, which is not only theoretically well-founded, but also overcomes many deficiencies of other methods. Our framework readily admits powerful optimization techniques and as concrete realizations we present implementations based on the Newton, BFGS and conjugate gradient methods. Our algorithms provide numerical resu lts supe rior to both Lee and Seung‘s method as well as to the alternating least squares heuristic, which was reported to work well in some situations but has no theoretical guarantees[1]. Our approach extends naturally to include regularization and box-constraints without sacrificing convergence guarantees. We present experimental results on both synthetic and real-world datasets that demonstrate the superiority of our methods, both in terms of better approximations as well as computational efficiency.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Unifying Probabilistic Framework for Analyzing Residual Dipolar Couplings

Habeck, M., Nilges, M., Rieping, W.

Journal of Biomolecular NMR, 40(2):135-144, February 2008 (article)

Abstract
Residual dipolar couplings provide complementary information to the nuclear Overhauser effect measurements that are traditionally used in biomolecular structure determination by NMR. In a de novo structure determination, however, lack of knowledge about the degree and orientation of molecular alignment complicates the analysis of dipolar coupling data. We present a probabilistic framework for analyzing residual dipolar couplings and demonstrate that it is possible to estimate the atomic coordinates, the complete molecular alignment tensor, and the error of the couplings simultaneously. As a by-product, we also obtain estimates of the uncertainty in the coordinates and the alignment tensor. We show that our approach encompasses existing methods for determining the alignment tensor as special cases, including least squares estimation, histogram fitting, and elimination of an explicit alignment tensor in the restraint energy.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Development and Application of a Python Scripting Framework for BCI2000

Schreiner, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, January 2008 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient and Invariant Regularisation with Application to Computer Graphics

Walder, CJ.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, January 2008 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis develops the theory and practise of reproducing kernel methods. Many functional inverse problems which arise in, for example, machine learning and computer graphics, have been treated with practical success using methods based on a reproducing kernel Hilbert space perspective. This perspective is often theoretically convenient, in that many functional analysis problems reduce to linear algebra problems in these spaces. Somewhat more complex is the case of conditionally positive definite kernels, and we provide an introduction to both cases, deriving in a particularly elementary manner some key results for the conditionally positive definite case. A common complaint of the practitioner is the long running time of these kernel based algorithms. We provide novel ways of alleviating these problems by essentially using a non-standard function basis which yields computational advantages. That said, by doing so we must also forego the aforementioned theoretical conveniences, and hence need some additional analysis which we provide in order to make the approach practicable. We demonstrate that the method leads to state of the art performance on the problem of surface reconstruction from points. We also provide some analysis of kernels invariant to transformations such as translation and dilation, and show that this indicates the value of learning algorithms which use conditionally positive definite kernels. Correspondingly, we provide a few approaches for making such algorithms practicable. We do this either by modifying the kernel, or directly solving problems with conditionally positive definite kernels, which had previously only been solved with positive definite kernels. We demonstrate the advantage of this approach, in particular by attaining state of the art classification performance with only one free parameter.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Contour-propagation Algorithms for Semi-automated Reconstruction of Neural Processes

Macke, J., Maack, N., Gupta, R., Denk, W., Schölkopf, B., Borst, A.

Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 167(2):349-357, January 2008 (article)

Abstract
A new technique, ”Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy” (SBFSEM), allows for automatic sectioning and imaging of biological tissue with a scanning electron microscope. Image stacks generated with this technology have a resolution sufficient to distinguish different cellular compartments, including synaptic structures, which should make it possible to obtain detailed anatomical knowledge of complete neuronal circuits. Such an image stack contains several thousands of images and is recorded with a minimal voxel size of 10-20nm in the x and y- and 30nm in z-direction. Consequently, a tissue block of 1mm3 (the approximate volume of the Calliphora vicina brain) will produce several hundred terabytes of data. Therefore, highly automated 3D reconstruction algorithms are needed. As a first step in this direction we have developed semiautomated segmentation algorithms for a precise contour tracing of cell membranes. These algorithms were embedded into an easy-to-operate user interface, which allows direct 3D observation of the extracted objects during the segmentation of image stacks. Compared to purely manual tracing, processing time is greatly accelerated.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Quantum-Statistical-Mechanical Extension of Gaussian Mixture Model

Tanaka, K., Tsuda, K.

Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 95(012023):1-9, January 2008 (article)

Abstract
We propose an extension of Gaussian mixture models in the statistical-mechanical point of view. The conventional Gaussian mixture models are formulated to divide all points in given data to some kinds of classes. We introduce some quantum states constructed by superposing conventional classes in linear combinations. Our extension can provide a new algorithm in classifications of data by means of linear response formulas in the statistical mechanics.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Energy Functionals for Manifold-valued Mappings and Their Properties

Hein, M., Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

(167), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, January 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report is merely an extended version of the appendix of Steinke et.al. "Manifold-valued Thin-Plate Splines with Applications in Computer Graphics" (2008) with complete proofs, which had to be omitted due to space restrictions. This technical report requires a basic knowledge of differential geometry. However, apart from that requirement the technical report is self-contained.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Methods for feature selection in a learning machine

Weston, J., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Pérez-Cruz, F.

United States Patent, No 7318051, January 2008 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Robot System for Biomimetic Navigation: From Snapshots to Metric Embeddings of View Graphs

Franz, MO., Stürzl, W., Reichardt, W., Mallot, HA.

In Robotics and Cognitive Approaches to Spatial Mapping, pages: 297-314, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics ; 38, (Editors: Jefferies, M.E. , W.-K. Yeap), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2008 (inbook)

Abstract
Complex navigation behaviour (way-finding) involves recognizing several places and encoding a spatial relationship between them. Way-finding skills can be classified into a hierarchy according to the complexity of the tasks that can be performed [8]. The most basic form of way-finding is route navigation, followed by topological navigation where several routes are integrated into a graph-like representation. The highest level, survey navigation, is reached when this graph can be embedded into a common reference frame. In this chapter, we present the building blocks for a biomimetic robot navigation system that encompasses all levels of this hierarchy. As a local navigation method, we use scene-based homing. In this scheme, a goal location is characterized either by a panoramic snapshot of the light intensities as seen from the place, or by a record of the distances to the surrounding objects. The goal is found by moving in the direction that minimizes the discrepancy between the recorded intensities or distances and the current sensory input. For learning routes, the robot selects distinct views during exploration that are close enough to be reached by snapshot-based homing. When it encounters already visited places during route learning, it connects the routes and thus forms a topological representation of its environment termed a view graph. The final stage, survey navigation, is achieved by a graph embedding procedure which complements the topologic information of the view graph with odometric position estimates. Calculation of the graph embedding is done with a modified multidimensional scaling algorithm which makes use of distances and angles between nodes.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Haptic Device For Cell Manipulation

Lee, DY., Son, HI., Woo, HJ.

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Biologische Kybernetik, 2008 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Minimal Nonlinear Distortion Principle for Nonlinear Independent Component Analysis

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 9, pages: 2455-2487, 2008 (article)

Abstract
It is well known that solutions to the nonlinear independent component analysis (ICA) problem are highly non-unique. In this paper we propose the "minimal nonlinear distortion" (MND) principle for tackling the ill-posedness of nonlinear ICA problems. MND prefers the nonlinear ICA solution with the estimated mixing procedure as close as possible to linear, among all possible solutions. It also helps to avoid local optima in the solutions. To achieve MND, we exploit a regularization term to minimize the mean square error between the nonlinear mixing mapping and the best-fitting linear one. The effect of MND on the inherent trivial and non-trivial indeterminacies in nonlinear ICA solutions is investigated. Moreover, we show that local MND is closely related to the smoothness regularizer penalizing large curvature, which provides another useful regularization condition for nonlinear ICA. Experiments on synthetic data show the usefulness of the MND principle for separating various nonlinear mixtures. Finally, as an application, we use nonlinear ICA with MND to separate daily returns of a set of stocks in Hong Kong, and the linear causal relations among them are successfully discovered. The resulting causal relations give some interesting insights into the stock market. Such a result can not be achieved by linear ICA. Simulation studies also verify that when doing causality discovery, sometimes one should not ignore the nonlinear distortion in the data generation procedure, even if it is weak.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Transport processes in networks with scattering ramification nodes

Radl, A.

Journal of Applied Functional Analysis, 3, pages: 461-483, 2008 (article)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning to control in operational space

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

International Journal of Robotics Research, 27, pages: 197-212, 2008, clmc (article)

Abstract
One of the most general frameworks for phrasing control problems for complex, redundant robots is operational space control. However, while this framework is of essential importance for robotics and well-understood from an analytical point of view, it can be prohibitively hard to achieve accurate control in face of modeling errors, which are inevitable in com- plex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In this paper, we suggest a learning approach for opertional space control as a direct inverse model learning problem. A first important insight for this paper is that a physically cor- rect solution to the inverse problem with redundant degrees-of-freedom does exist when learning of the inverse map is performed in a suitable piecewise linear way. The second crucial component for our work is based on the insight that many operational space controllers can be understood in terms of a constrained optimal control problem. The cost function as- sociated with this optimal control problem allows us to formulate a learn- ing algorithm that automatically synthesizes a globally consistent desired resolution of redundancy while learning the operational space controller. From the machine learning point of view, this learning problem corre- sponds to a reinforcement learning problem that maximizes an immediate reward. We employ an expectation-maximization policy search algorithm in order to solve this problem. Evaluations on a three degrees of freedom robot arm are used to illustrate the suggested approach. The applica- tion to a physically realistic simulator of the anthropomorphic SARCOS Master arm demonstrates feasibility for complex high degree-of-freedom robots. We also show that the proposed method works in the setting of learning resolved motion rate control on real, physical Mitsubishi PA-10 medical robotics arm.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2001


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Pattern Selection Using the Bias and Variance of Ensemble

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Proc. of the Korean Data Mining Conference, pages: 56-67, Korean Data Mining Conference, December 2001 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

2001

[BibTex]


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Separation of post-nonlinear mixtures using ACE and temporal decorrelation

Ziehe, A., Kawanabe, M., Harmeling, S., Müller, K.

In ICA 2001, pages: 433-438, (Editors: Lee, T.-W. , T.P. Jung, S. Makeig, T. J. Sejnowski), Third International Workshop on Independent Component Analysis and Blind Signal Separation, December 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose an efficient method based on the concept of maximal correlation that reduces the post-nonlinear blind source separation problem (PNL BSS) to a linear BSS problem. For this we apply the Alternating Conditional Expectation (ACE) algorithm – a powerful technique from nonparametric statistics – to approximately invert the (post-)nonlinear functions. Interestingly, in the framework of the ACE method convergence can be proven and in the PNL BSS scenario the optimal transformation found by ACE will coincide with the desired inverse functions. After the nonlinearities have been removed by ACE, temporal decorrelation (TD) allows us to recover the source signals. An excellent performance underlines the validity of our approach and demonstrates the ACE-TD method on realistic examples.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Perception of Planar Shapes in Depth

Wichmann, F., Willems, B., Rosas, P., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 1(3):176, First Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), December 2001 (poster)

Abstract
We investigated the influence of the perceived 3D-orientation of planar elliptical shapes on the perception of the shapes themselves. Ellipses were projected onto the surface of a sphere and subjects were asked to indicate if the projected shapes looked as if they were a circle on the surface of the sphere. The image of the sphere was obtained from a real, (near) perfect sphere using a highly accurate digital camera (real sphere diameter 40 cm; camera-to-sphere distance 320 cm; for details see Willems et al., Perception 29, S96, 2000; Photometrics SenSys 400 digital camera with Rodenstock lens, 12-bit linear luminance resolution). Stimuli were presented monocularly on a carefully linearized Sony GDM-F500 monitor keeping the scene geometry as in the real case (sphere diameter on screen 8.2 cm; viewing distance 66 cm). Experiments were run in a darkened room using a viewing tube to minimize, as far as possible, extraneous monocular cues to depth. Three different methods were used to obtain subjects' estimates of 3D-shape: the method of adjustment, temporal 2-alternative forced choice (2AFC) and yes/no. Several results are noteworthy. First, mismatch between perceived and objective slant tended to decrease with increasing objective slant. Second, the variability of the settings, too, decreased with increasing objective slant. Finally, we comment on the results obtained using different psychophysical methods and compare our results to those obtained using a real sphere and binocular vision (Willems et al.).

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Anabolic and Catabolic Gene Expression Pattern Analysis in Normal Versus Osteoarthritic Cartilage Using Complementary DNA-Array Technology

Aigner, T., Zien, A., Gehrsitz, A., Gebhard, P., McKenna, L.

Arthritis and Rheumatism, 44(12):2777-2789, December 2001 (article)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Nonlinear blind source separation using kernel feature spaces

Harmeling, S., Ziehe, A., Kawanabe, M., Blankertz, B., Müller, K.

In ICA 2001, pages: 102-107, (Editors: Lee, T.-W. , T.P. Jung, S. Makeig, T. J. Sejnowski), Third International Workshop on Independent Component Analysis and Blind Signal Separation, December 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this work we propose a kernel-based blind source separation (BSS) algorithm that can perform nonlinear BSS for general invertible nonlinearities. For our kTDSEP algorithm we have to go through four steps: (i) adapting to the intrinsic dimension of the data mapped to feature space F, (ii) finding an orthonormal basis of this submanifold, (iii) mapping the data into the subspace of F spanned by this orthonormal basis, and (iv) applying temporal decorrelation BSS (TDSEP) to the mapped data. After demixing we get a number of irrelevant components and the original sources. To find out which ones are the components of interest, we propose a criterion that allows to identify the original sources. The excellent performance of kTDSEP is demonstrated in experiments on nonlinearly mixed speech data.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Pattern Selection for ‘Regression’ using the Bias and Variance of Ensemble Network

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Proc. of the Korean Institute of Industrial Engineers Conference, pages: 10-19, Korean Industrial Engineers Conference, November 2001 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Kernel Methods for Extracting Local Image Semantics

Bradshaw, B., Schölkopf, B., Platt, J.

(MSR-TR-2001-99), Microsoft Research, October 2001 (techreport)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Pattern Selection for ‘Classification’ using the Bias and Variance of Ensemble Neural Network

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Proc. of the Korea Information Science Conference, pages: 307-309, Korea Information Science Conference, October 2001, Best Paper Award (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Generalization performance of regularization networks and support vector machines via entropy numbers of compact operators

Williamson, R., Smola, A., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 47(6):2516-2532, September 2001 (article)

Abstract
We derive new bounds for the generalization error of kernel machines, such as support vector machines and related regularization networks by obtaining new bounds on their covering numbers. The proofs make use of a viewpoint that is apparently novel in the field of statistical learning theory. The hypothesis class is described in terms of a linear operator mapping from a possibly infinite-dimensional unit ball in feature space into a finite-dimensional space. The covering numbers of the class are then determined via the entropy numbers of the operator. These numbers, which characterize the degree of compactness of the operator can be bounded in terms of the eigenvalues of an integral operator induced by the kernel function used by the machine. As a consequence, we are able to theoretically explain the effect of the choice of kernel function on the generalization performance of support vector machines.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Hybrid IDM/Impedance learning in human movements

Burdet, E., Teng, K., Chew, C., Peters, J., , B.

In ISHF 2001, 1, pages: 1-9, 1st International Symposium on Measurement, Analysis and Modeling of Human Functions (ISHF2001), September 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In spite of motor output variability and the delay in the sensori-motor, humans routinely perform intrinsically un- stable tasks. The hybrid IDM/impedance learning con- troller presented in this paper enables skilful performance in strong stable and unstable environments. It consid- ers motor output variability identified from experimen- tal data, and contains two modules concurrently learning the endpoint force and impedance adapted to the envi- ronment. The simulations suggest how humans learn to skillfully perform intrinsically unstable tasks. Testable predictions are proposed.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Calibration of Digital Amateur Cameras

Urbanek, M., Horaud, R., Sturm, P.

(RR-4214), INRIA Rhone Alpes, Montbonnot, France, July 2001 (techreport)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Combining Off- and On-line Calibration of a Digital Camera

Urbanek, M., Horaud, R., Sturm, P.

In In Proceedings of Third International Conference on 3-D Digital Imaging and Modeling, pages: 99-106, In Proceedings of Third International Conference on 3-D Digital Imaging and Modeling, June 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We introduce a novel outlook on the self­calibration task, by considering images taken by a camera in motion, allowing for zooming and focusing. Apart from the complex relationship between the lens control settings and the intrinsic camera parameters, a prior off­line calibration allows to neglect the setting of focus, and to fix the principal point and aspect ratio throughout distinct views. Thus, the calibration matrix is dependent only on the zoom position. Given a fully calibrated reference view, one has only one parameter to estimate for any other view of the same scene, in order to calibrate it and to be able to perform metric reconstructions. We provide a close­form solution, and validate the reliability of the algorithm with experiments on real images. An important advantage of our method is a reduced ­ to one ­ number of critical camera configurations, associated with it. Moreover, we propose a method for computing the epipolar geometry of two views, taken from different positions and with different (spatial) resolutions; the idea is to take an appropriate third view, that is "easy" to match with the other two.

ZIP [BibTex]

ZIP [BibTex]


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Centralization: A new method for the normalization of gene expression data

Zien, A., Aigner, T., Zimmer, R., Lengauer, T.

Bioinformatics, 17, pages: S323-S331, June 2001, Mathematical supplement available at http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/574280.html (article)

Abstract
Microarrays measure values that are approximately proportional to the numbers of copies of different mRNA molecules in samples. Due to technical difficulties, the constant of proportionality between the measured intensities and the numbers of mRNA copies per cell is unknown and may vary for different arrays. Usually, the data are normalized (i.e., array-wise multiplied by appropriate factors) in order to compensate for this effect and to enable informative comparisons between different experiments. Centralization is a new two-step method for the computation of such normalization factors that is both biologically better motivated and more robust than standard approaches. First, for each pair of arrays the quotient of the constants of proportionality is estimated. Second, from the resulting matrix of pairwise quotients an optimally consistent scaling of the samples is computed.

PDF PostScript Web [BibTex]

PDF PostScript Web [BibTex]


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Regularized principal manifolds

Smola, A., Mika, S., Schölkopf, B., Williamson, R.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 1, pages: 179-209, June 2001 (article)

Abstract
Many settings of unsupervised learning can be viewed as quantization problems - the minimization of the expected quantization error subject to some restrictions. This allows the use of tools such as regularization from the theory of (supervised) risk minimization for unsupervised learning. This setting turns out to be closely related to principal curves, the generative topographic map, and robust coding. We explore this connection in two ways: (1) we propose an algorithm for finding principal manifolds that can be regularized in a variety of ways; and (2) we derive uniform convergence bounds and hence bounds on the learning rates of the algorithm. In particular, we give bounds on the covering numbers which allows us to obtain nearly optimal learning rates for certain types of regularization operators. Experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Variationsverfahren zur Untersuchung von Grundzustandseigenschaften des Ein-Band Hubbard-Modells

Eichhorn, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden/Germany, May 2001 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
Using different modifications of a new variational approach, statical groundstate properties of the one-band Hubbard model such as energy and staggered magnetisation are calculated. By taking into account additional fluctuations, the method ist gradually improved so that a very good description of the energy in one and two dimensions can be achieved. After a detailed discussion of the application in one dimension, extensions for two dimensions are introduced. By use of a modified version of the variational ansatz in particular a description of the quantum phase transition for the magnetisation should be possible.

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Failure Diagnosis of Discrete Event Systems

Son, HI., Kim, KW., Lee, S.

Journal of Control, Automation and Systems Engineering, 7(5):375-383, May 2001, In Korean (article)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Support vector novelty detection applied to jet engine vibration spectra

Hayton, P., Schölkopf, B., Tarassenko, L., Anuzis, P.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 946-952, (Editors: TK Leen and TG Dietterich and V Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 14th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A system has been developed to extract diagnostic information from jet engine carcass vibration data. Support Vector Machines applied to novelty detection provide a measure of how unusual the shape of a vibration signature is, by learning a representation of normality. We describe a novel method for Support Vector Machines of including information from a second class for novelty detection and give results from the application to Jet Engine vibration analysis.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Four-legged Walking Gait Control Using a Neuromorphic Chip Interfaced to a Support Vector Learning Algorithm

Still, S., Schölkopf, B., Hepp, K., Douglas, R.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 741-747, (Editors: TK Leen and TG Dietterich and V Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 14th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
To control the walking gaits of a four-legged robot we present a novel neuromorphic VLSI chip that coordinates the relative phasing of the robot's legs similar to how spinal Central Pattern Generators are believed to control vertebrate locomotion [3]. The chip controls the leg movements by driving motors with time varying voltages which are the outputs of a small network of coupled oscillators. The characteristics of the chip's output voltages depend on a set of input parameters. The relationship between input parameters and output voltages can be computed analytically for an idealized system. In practice, however, this ideal relationship is only approximately true due to transistor mismatch and offsets.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Algorithmic Stability and Generalization Performance

Bousquet, O., Elisseeff, A.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 196-202, (Editors: Leen, T.K. , T.G. Dietterich, V. Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fourteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a novel way of obtaining PAC-style bounds on the generalization error of learning algorithms, explicitly using their stability properties. A {\em stable} learner being one for which the learned solution does not change much for small changes in the training set. The bounds we obtain do not depend on any measure of the complexity of the hypothesis space (e.g. VC dimension) but rather depend on how the learning algorithm searches this space, and can thus be applied even when the VC dimension in infinite. We demonstrate that regularization networks possess the required stability property and apply our method to obtain new bounds on their generalization performance.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Kernel Trick for Distances

Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 301-307, (Editors: TK Leen and TG Dietterich and V Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 14th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A method is described which, like the kernel trick in support vector machines (SVMs), lets us generalize distance-based algorithms to operate in feature spaces, usually nonlinearly related to the input space. This is done by identifying a class of kernels which can be represented as norm-based distances in Hilbert spaces. It turns out that the common kernel algorithms, such as SVMs and kernel PCA, are actually really distance based algorithms and can be run with that class of kernels, too. As well as providing a useful new insight into how these algorithms work, the present work can form the basis for conceiving new algorithms.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Vicinal Risk Minimization

Chapelle, O., Weston, J., Bottou, L., Vapnik, V.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 416-422, (Editors: Leen, T.K. , T.G. Dietterich, V. Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fourteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS) , April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The Vicinal Risk Minimization principle establishes a bridge between generative models and methods derived from the Structural Risk Minimization Principle such as Support Vector Machines or Statistical Regularization. We explain how VRM provides a framework which integrates a number of existing algorithms, such as Parzen windows, Support Vector Machines, Ridge Regression, Constrained Logistic Classifiers and Tangent-Prop. We then show how the approach implies new algorithms for solving problems usually associated with generative models. New algorithms are described for dealing with pattern recognition problems with very different pattern distributions and dealing with unlabeled data. Preliminary empirical results are presented.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Feature Selection for SVMs

Weston, J., Mukherjee, S., Chapelle, O., Pontil, M., Poggio, T., Vapnik, V.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13, pages: 668-674, (Editors: Leen, T.K. , T.G. Dietterich, V. Tresp), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fourteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), April 2001 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We introduce a method of feature selection for Support Vector Machines. The method is based upon finding those features which minimize bounds on the leave-one-out error. This search can be efficiently performed via gradient descent. The resulting algorithms are shown to be superior to some standard feature selection algorithms on both toy data and real-life problems of face recognition, pedestrian detection and analyzing DNA microarray data.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]