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2012


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MICCAI, Workshop on Computational Diffusion MRI, 2012 (electronic publication)

Panagiotaki, E., O’Donnell, L., Schultz, T., Zhang, G.

15th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), Workshop on Computational Diffusion MRI , 2012 (proceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

2012

PDF [BibTex]


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Arabidopsis defense against Botrytis cinerea: chronology and regulation deciphered by high-resolution temporal transcriptomic analysis

Windram, O., Madhou, P., McHattie, S., Hill, C., Hickman, R., Cooke, E., Jenkins, DJ., Penfold, CA., Baxter, Ll., Breeze, E., Kiddle, SJ., Rhodes, J., Atwell, S., Kliebenstein, D., Kim, Y-S., Stegle, O., Borgwardt, KM., others

The Plant Cell Online, 24(9):3530-3557, 2012, all authors: Oliver Windram,Priyadharshini Madhou,Stuart McHattie,Claire Hill,Richard Hickman,Emma Cooke,Dafyd J. Jenkins,Christopher A. Penfold,Laura Baxter,Emily Breeze,Steven J. Kiddle,Johanna Rhodes,Susanna Atwell,Daniel J. (article)

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Improved Linear Mixed Models for Genome-Wide Association Studies

Listgarten, J., Lippert, C., Kadie, CM., Davidson, RI., Eskin, E., Heckerman, D.

Nature Methods, 9, pages: 525–526, 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Calibration of Boltzmann distribution priors in Bayesian data analysis

Mechelke, M., Habeck, M.

Physical Review E, 86(6):066705, 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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CSB: A Python framework for computational structural biology

Kalev, I., Mechelke, M., Kopec, K., Holder, T., Carstens, S., Habeck, M.

Bioinformatics, 28(22):2996-2997, 2012 (article)

Abstract
Summary: Computational Structural Biology Toolbox (CSB) is a cross-platform Python class library for reading, storing and analyzing biomolecular structures with rich support for statistical analyses. CSB is designed for reusability and extensibility and comes with a clean, well-documented API following good object-oriented engineering practice. Availability: Stable release packages are available for download from the Python Package Index (PyPI), as well as from the project’s web site http://csb.codeplex.com.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Towards identifying and validating cognitive correlates in a passive Brain-Computer Interface for detecting Loss of Control

Zander, TO., Pape, AA.

In Proceedings of the 34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, IEEE, EMBC, 2012 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Neural correlates of workload and puzzlement during loss of control

Pape, AA., Gerjets, P., Zander, TO.

In Meeting of the EARLI SIG 22 Neuroscience and Education, 2012 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hypothesis testing using pairwise distances and associated kernels

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

In Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 1111-1118, (Editors: J Langford and J Pineau), Omnipress, New York, NY, USA, ICML, 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Training of Graph-Regularized Multitask SVMs

Widmer, C., Kloft, M., Görnitz, N., Rätsch, G.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases - European Conference, ECML/PKDD 2012, LNCS Vol. 7523, pages: 633-647, (Editors: PA Flach and T De Bie and N Cristianini), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML, 2012 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Domain Adaptation with Copulas

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

Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Design of a Haptic Interface for a Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Simulation

Yu, S., Woo, H. S., Son, H. I., Ahn, W., Jung, H., Lee, D. Y., Yi, S. Y.

Advanced Robotics, 26(18):2115-2143, 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of Whole-Body MR-Based Attenuation Correction in Bone and Soft Tissue Lesions

Bezrukov, I., Mantlik, F., Schmidt, H., Schwenzer, N., Brendle, C., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), 2012 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Embeddings of POMDPs

Nishiyama, Y., Boularias, A., Gretton, A., Fukumizu, K.

In Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Throwing and Catching Skills

Kober, J., Mülling, K., Peters, J.

In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems , pages: 5167-5168, IROS, 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Maximally Informative Interaction Learning for Scene Exploration

van Hoof, H., Kroemer, O., Ben Amor, H., Peters, J.

In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 5152-5158, IROS, 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Beta oscillations propagate as traveling waves in the macaque prefrontal cortex

Panagiotaropoulos, T., Besserve, M., Logothetis, N.

42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), 2012 (talk)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Investigating the Neural Basis of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)-based Stroke Rehabilitation

Meyer, T., Peters, J., Zander, T., Brötz, D., Soekadar, S., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In International Conference on NeuroRehabilitation (ICNR) , pages: 617-621, (Editors: JL Pons, D Torricelli, and M Pajaro), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ICNR, 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Nonparametric Conjugate Prior Distribution for the Maximizing Argument of a Noisy Function

Ortega, P., Grau-Moya, J., Genewein, T., Balduzzi, D., Braun, D.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25, pages: 3014-3022, (Editors: P Bartlett and FCN Pereira and CJC. Burges and L Bottou and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates Inc., 26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Significant global reduction of carbon uptake by water-cycle driven extreme vegetation anomalies

Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M., von Buttlar, J., Harmeling, S., Jung, M., Randerson, J., Reichstein, M.

Nature Geoscience, 2012 (article) In revision

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Algorithms for Learning Markov Field Policies

Boularias, A., Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25, pages: 2186-2194, (Editors: P Bartlett and FCN Pereira and CJC. Burges and L Bottou and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates Inc., 26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Domain Adaptation with Copulas

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

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25, pages: 674-682, (Editors: P Bartlett, FCN Pereira, CJC. Burges, L Bottou, and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates Inc., 26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Gradient Weights help Nonparametric Regressors

Kpotufe, S., Boularias, A.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25, pages: 2870-2878, (Editors: P Bartlett and FCN Pereira and CJC. Burges and L Bottou and KQ Weinberger), 26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Blind Deconvolution Approach for Pseudo CT Prediction from MR Image Pairs

Hirsch, M., Hofmann, M., Mantlik, F., Pichler, B., Schölkopf, B., Habeck, M.

In 19th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) , pages: 2953 -2956, IEEE, ICIP, 2012 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Mining correlated loci at a genome-wide scale

Velkov, V.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2012 (mastersthesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A mixed model approach for joint genetic analysis of alternatively spliced transcript isoforms using RNA-Seq data

Rakitsch, B., Lippert, C., Topa, H., Borgwardt, KM., Honkela, A., Stegle, O.

In 2012 (inproceedings) Submitted

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The PET Performance Measurements of A Next Generation Dedicated Small Animal PET/MR Scanner

Liu, C., Hossain, M., Bezrukov, I., Wehrl, H., Kolb, A., Judenhofer, M., Pichler, B.

World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), 2012 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Evaluation of marginal likelihoods via the density of states

Habeck, M.

In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS 2012) , 22, pages: 486-494, (Editors: N Lawrence and M Girolami), JMLR: W&CP 22, AISTATS, 2012 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Bayesian model comparison involves the evaluation of the marginal likelihood, the expectation of the likelihood under the prior distribution. Typically, this high-dimensional integral over all model parameters is approximated using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Thermodynamic integration is a popular method to estimate the marginal likelihood by using samples from annealed posteriors. Here we show that there exists a robust and flexible alternative. The new method estimates the density of states, which counts the number of states associated with a particular value of the likelihood. If the density of states is known, computation of the marginal likelihood reduces to a one- dimensional integral. We outline a maximum likelihood procedure to estimate the density of states from annealed posterior samples. We apply our method to various likelihoods and show that it is superior to thermodynamic integration in that it is more flexible with regard to the annealing schedule and the family of bridging distributions. Finally, we discuss the relation of our method with Skilling's nested sampling.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Distributed multisensory signals acquisition and analysis in dyadic interactions

Tawari, A., Tran, C., Doshi, A., Zander, TO.

In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, pages: 2261-2266, (Editors: JA Konstan and EH Chi and K Höök), ACM, New York, NY, USA, CHI, 2012 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Measuring Cognitive Load by means of EEG-data - how detailed is the picture we can get?

Scharinger, C., Cierniak, G., Walter, C., Zander, TO., Gerjets, P.

In Meeting of the EARLI SIG 22 Neuroscience and Education, 2012 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimal kernel choice for large-scale two-sample tests

Gretton, A., Sriperumbudur, B., Sejdinovic, D., Strathmann, H., Balakrishnan, S., Pontil, M., Fukumizu, K.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25, pages: 1214-1222, (Editors: P Bartlett and FCN Pereira and CJC. Burges and L Bottou and KQ Weinberger), Curran Associates Inc., 26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2012 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Measurement and calibration of noise bias in weak lensing galaxy shape estimation

Kacprzak, T., Zuntz, J., Rowe, B., Bridle, S., Refregier, A., Amara, A., Voigt, L., Hirsch, M.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 427(4):2711-2722, Oxford University Press, 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Image analysis for cosmology: results from the GREAT10 Galaxy Challenge

Kitching, T. D., Balan, S. T., Bridle, S., Cantale, N., Courbin, F., Eifler, T., Gentile, M., Gill, M. S. S., Harmeling, S., Heymans, C., others,

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 423(4):3163-3208, Oxford University Press, 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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On the Hardness of Domain Adaptation and the Utility of Unlabeled Target Samples

Ben-David, S., Urner, R.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory - 23rd International Conference, 7568, pages: 139-153, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (Editors: Bshouty, NH. and Stoltz, G and Vayatis, N and Zeugmann, T), Springer Berlin Heidelberg, ALT, 2012 (inproceedings)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation–Can Quantity compensate for Quality?

Ben-David, S., Shalev-Shwartz, S., Urner, R.

In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics, ISAIM, 2012 (inproceedings)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Learning from Weak Teachers

Urner, R., Ben-David, S., Shamir, O.

In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, 22, pages: 1252-1260, (Editors: Lawrence, N. and Girolami, M.), JMLR, AISTATS, 2012 (inproceedings)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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First SN Discoveries from the Dark Energy Survey

Abbott, T., Abdalla, F., Achitouv, I., Ahn, E., Aldering, G., Allam, S., Alonso, D., Amara, A., Annis, J., Antonik, M., others,

The Astronomer's Telegram, 4668, pages: 1, 2012 (article)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A sensorimotor paradigm for Bayesian model selection

Genewein, T, Braun, DA

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6(291):1-16, October 2012 (article)

Abstract
Sensorimotor control is thought to rely on predictive internal models in order to cope efficiently with uncertain environments. Recently, it has been shown that humans not only learn different internal models for different tasks, but that they also extract common structure between tasks. This raises the question of how the motor system selects between different structures or models, when each model can be associated with a range of different task-specific parameters. Here we design a sensorimotor task that requires subjects to compensate visuomotor shifts in a three-dimensional virtual reality setup, where one of the dimensions can be mapped to a model variable and the other dimension to the parameter variable. By introducing probe trials that are neutral in the parameter dimension, we can directly test for model selection. We found that model selection procedures based on Bayesian statistics provided a better explanation for subjects’ choice behavior than simple non-probabilistic heuristics. Our experimental design lends itself to the general study of model selection in a sensorimotor context as it allows to separately query model and parameter variables from subjects.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Adaptive Coding of Actions and Observations

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop on Information in Perception and Action, December 2012 (conference)

Abstract
The application of expected utility theory to construct adaptive agents is both computationally intractable and statistically questionable. To overcome these difficulties, agents need the ability to delay the choice of the optimal policy to a later stage when they have learned more about the environment. How should agents do this optimally? An information-theoretic answer to this question is given by the Bayesian control rule—the solution to the adaptive coding problem when there are not only observations but also actions. This paper reviews the central ideas behind the Bayesian control rule.

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Risk-Sensitivity in Bayesian Sensorimotor Integration

Grau-Moya, J, Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

PLoS Computational Biology, 8(9):1-7, sep 2012 (article)

Abstract
Information processing in the nervous system during sensorimotor tasks with inherent uncertainty has been shown to be consistent with Bayesian integration. Bayes optimal decision-makers are, however, risk-neutral in the sense that they weigh all possibilities based on prior expectation and sensory evidence when they choose the action with highest expected value. In contrast, risk-sensitive decision-makers are sensitive to model uncertainty and bias their decision-making processes when they do inference over unobserved variables. In particular, they allow deviations from their probabilistic model in cases where this model makes imprecise predictions. Here we test for risk-sensitivity in a sensorimotor integration task where subjects exhibit Bayesian information integration when they infer the position of a target from noisy sensory feedback. When introducing a cost associated with subjects' response, we found that subjects exhibited a characteristic bias towards low cost responses when their uncertainty was high. This result is in accordance with risk-sensitive decision-making processes that allow for deviations from Bayes optimal decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Our results suggest that both Bayesian integration and risk-sensitivity are important factors to understand sensorimotor integration in a quantitative fashion.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Free Energy and the Generalized Optimality Equations for Sequential Decision Making

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

pages: 1-10, 10th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning (EWRL), July 2012 (conference)

Abstract
The free energy functional has recently been proposed as a variational principle for bounded rational decision-making, since it instantiates a natural trade-off between utility gains and information processing costs that can be axiomatically derived. Here we apply the free energy principle to general decision trees that include both adversarial and stochastic environments. We derive generalized sequential optimality equations that not only include the Bellman optimality equations as a limit case, but also lead to well-known decision-rules such as Expectimax, Minimax and Expectiminimax. We show how these decision-rules can be derived from a single free energy principle that assigns a resource parameter to each node in the decision tree. These resource parameters express a concrete computational cost that can be measured as the amount of samples that are needed from the distribution that belongs to each node. The free energy principle therefore provides the normative basis for generalized optimality equations that account for both adversarial and stochastic environments.

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2011


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Statistical estimation for optimization problems on graphs

Langovoy, M., Sra, S.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning (DISCML): Uncertainty, Generalization and Feedback , December 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Large graphs abound in machine learning, data mining, and several related areas. A useful step towards analyzing such graphs is that of obtaining certain summary statistics — e.g., or the expected length of a shortest path between two nodes, or the expected weight of a minimum spanning tree of the graph, etc. These statistics provide insight into the structure of a graph, and they can help predict global properties of a graph. Motivated thus, we propose to study statistical properties of structured subgraphs (of a given graph), in particular, to estimate the expected objective function value of a combinatorial optimization problem over these subgraphs. The general task is very difficult, if not unsolvable; so for concreteness we describe a more specific statistical estimation problem based on spanning trees. We hope that our position paper encourages others to also study other types of graphical structures for which one can prove nontrivial statistical estimates.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2011

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Projected Newton-type methods in machine learning

Schmidt, M., Kim, D., Sra, S.

In Optimization for Machine Learning, pages: 305-330, (Editors: Sra, S., Nowozin, S. and Wright, S. J.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2011 (inbook)

Abstract
We consider projected Newton-type methods for solving large-scale optimization problems arising in machine learning and related fields. We first introduce an algorithmic framework for projected Newton-type methods by reviewing a canonical projected (quasi-)Newton method. This method, while conceptually pleasing, has a high computation cost per iteration. Thus, we discuss two variants that are more scalable, namely, two-metric projection and inexact projection methods. Finally, we show how to apply the Newton-type framework to handle non-smooth objectives. Examples are provided throughout the chapter to illustrate machine learning applications of our framework.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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On the discardability of data in Support Vector Classification problems

Del Favero, S., Varagnolo, D., Dinuzzo, F., Schenato, L., Pillonetto, G.

In pages: 3210-3215, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC - ECC), December 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We analyze the problem of data sets reduction for support vector classification. The work is also motivated by distributed problems, where sensors collect binary measurements at different locations moving inside an environment that needs to be divided into a collection of regions labeled in two different ways. The scope is to let each agent retain and exchange only those measurements that are mostly informative for the collective reconstruction of the decision boundary. For the case of separable classes, we provide the exact conditions and an efficient algorithm to determine if an element in the training set can become a support vector when new data arrive. The analysis is then extended to the non-separable case deriving a sufficient discardability condition and a general data selection scheme for classification. Numerical experiments relative to the distributed problem show that the proposed procedure allows the agents to exchange a small amount of the collected data to obtain a highly predictive decision boundary.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Combined whole-body PET/MR imaging: MR contrast agents do not affect the quantitative accuracy of PET following attenuation correction

Lois, C., Kupferschläger, J., Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Werner, M., Mannheim, J., Pichler, B., Schwenzer, N., Beyer, T.

(SST15-05 ), 97th Scientific Assemble and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), December 2011 (talk)

Abstract
PURPOSE Combined PET/MR imaging entails the use of MR contrast agents (MRCA) as part of integrated protocols. We assess additional attenuation of the PET emission signals in the presence of oral and intraveneous (iv) MRCA made up of iron oxide and Gd-chelates, respectively. METHOD AND MATERIALS Phantom scans were performed on a clinical PET/CT (Biograph HiRez16, Siemens) and integrated whole-body PET/MR (Biograph mMR, Siemens) using oral (Lumirem) and intraveneous (Gadovist) MRCA. Reference PET attenuation values were determined on a small-animal PET (Inveon, Siemens) using standard PET transmission imaging (TX). Seven syringes of 5mL were filled with (a) Water, (b) Lumirem_100 (100% conc.), (c) Gadovist_100 (100%), (d) Gadovist_18 (18%), (e) Gadovist_02 (0.2%), (f) Imeron-400 CT iv-contrast (100%) and (g) Imeron-400 (2.4%). The same set of syringes was scanned on CT (Sensation16, Siemens) at 120kVp and 160mAs. The effect of MRCA on the attenuation of PET emission data was evaluated using a 20cm cylinder filled uniformly with [18F]-FDG (FDG) in water (BGD). Three 4.5cm diameter cylinders were inserted into the phantom: (C1) Teflon, (C2) Water+FDG (2:1) and (C3) Lumirem_100+FDG (2:1). Two 50mL syringes filled with Gadovist_02+FDG (Sy1) and water+FDG (Sy2) were attached to the sides of (C1) to mimick the effects of iv-contrast in vessels near bone. Syringe-to-background activity ratio was 4-to-1. PET emission data were acquired for 10min each using the PET/CT and the PET/MR. Images were reconstructed using CT- and MR-based attenuation correction. RESULTS Mean linear PET attenuation (cm-1) on TX was (a) 0.098, (b) 0.098, (c) 0.300, (d) 0.134, (e) 0.095, (f) 0.397 and (g) 0.105. Corresponding CT attenuation (HU) was: (a) 5, (b) 14, (c) 3070, (d) 1040, (e) 13, (f) 3070 and (g) 347. Lumirem had little effect on PET attenuation with (C3) being 13% and 10% higher than (C2) on PET/CT and PET/MR, respectively. Gadovist_02 had even smaller effects with (Sy1) being 2.5% lower than (Sy2) on PET/CT and 1.2% higher than (Sy2) on PET/MR. CONCLUSION MRCA in high and clinically relevant concentrations have attenuation values similar to that of CT contrast and water, respectively. In clinical PET/MR scenarios MRCA are not expected to lead to significant attenuation of the PET emission signals.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causal Inference on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

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

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 33(12):2436-2450, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. The case of two random variables is particularly challenging since no (conditional) independences can be exploited. Recent methods that are based on additive noise models suggest the following principle: Whenever the joint distribution {\bf P}^{(X,Y)} admits such a model in one direction, e.g., Y=f(X)+N, N \perp\kern-6pt \perp X, but does not admit the reversed model X=g(Y)+\tilde{N}, \tilde{N} \perp\kern-6pt \perp Y, one infers the former direction to be causal (i.e., X\rightarrow Y). Up to now, these approaches only dealt with continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work, we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. We prove that it almost never occurs that additive noise models can be fit in both directions. We further propose an efficient algorithm that is able to perform this way of causal inference on finite samples of discrete variables. We show that the algorithm works on both synthetic and real data sets.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Spontaneous epigenetic variation in the Arabidopsis thaliana methylome

Becker, C., Hagmann, J., Müller, J., Koenig, D., Stegle, O., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

Nature, 480(7376):245-249, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Heritable epigenetic polymorphisms, such as differential cytosine methylation, can underlie phenotypic variation1, 2. Moreover, wild strains of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana differ in many epialleles3, 4, and these can influence the expression of nearby genes1, 2. However, to understand their role in evolution5, it is imperative to ascertain the emergence rate and stability of epialleles, including those that are not due to structural variation. We have compared genome-wide DNA methylation among 10 A. thaliana lines, derived 30 generations ago from a common ancestor6. Epimutations at individual positions were easily detected, and close to 30,000 cytosines in each strain were differentially methylated. In contrast, larger regions of contiguous methylation were much more stable, and the frequency of changes was in the same low range as that of DNA mutations7. Like individual positions, the same regions were often affected by differential methylation in independent lines, with evidence for recurrent cycles of forward and reverse mutations. Transposable elements and short interfering RNAs have been causally linked to DNA methylation8. In agreement, differentially methylated sites were farther from transposable elements and showed less association with short interfering RNA expression than invariant positions. The biased distribution and frequent reversion of epimutations have important implications for the potential contribution of sequence-independent epialleles to plant evolution.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]