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2007


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Exploring the causal order of binary variables via exponential hierarchies of Markov kernels

Sun, X., Janzing, D.

In ESANN 2007, pages: 465-470, D-Side, Evere, Belgium, 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new algorithm for estimating the causal structure that underlies the observed dependence among n (n>=4) binary variables X_1,...,X_n. Our inference principle states that the factorization of the joint probability into conditional probabilities for X_j given X_1,...,X_{j-1} often leads to simpler terms if the order of variables is compatible with the directed acyclic graph representing the causal structure. We study joint measures of OR/AND gates and show that the complexity of the conditional probabilities (the so-called Markov kernels), defined by a hierarchy of exponential models, depends on the order of the variables. Some toy and real-data experiments support our inference rule.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2007

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Applying the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic Architecture to Motor Primitive Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN 2007), pages: 295-300, D-Side, Evere, Belgium, 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN), April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate motor primitive learning with the Natural Actor-Critic approach. The Natural Actor-Critic consists out of actor updates which are achieved using natural stochastic policy gradients while the critic obtains the natural policy gradient by linear regression. We show that this architecture can be used to learn the “building blocks of movement generation”, called motor primitives. Motor primitives are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. We show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast Newton-type Methods for the Least Squares Nonnegative Matrix Approximation Problem

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

In SDM 2007, pages: 343-354, (Editors: Apte, C. ), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nonnegative Matrix Approximation is an effective matrix decomposition technique that has proven to be useful for a wide variety of applications ranging from document analysis and image processing to bioinformatics. There exist a few algorithms for nonnegative matrix approximation (NNMA), for example, Lee & Seung’s multiplicative updates, alternating least squares, and certain gradient descent based procedures. All of these procedures suffer from either slow convergence, numerical instabilities, or at worst, theoretical unsoundness. In this paper we present new and improved algorithms for the least-squares NNMA problem, which are not only theoretically well-founded, but also overcome many of the deficiencies of other methods. In particular, we use non-diagonal gradient scaling to obtain rapid convergence. Our methods provide numerical results superior to both Lee & Seung’s method as well to the alternating least squares (ALS) heuristic, which is known to work well in some situations but has no theoretical guarantees (Berry et al. 2006). Our approach extends naturally to include regularization and box-constraints, without sacrificing convergence guarantees. We present experimental results on both synthetic and realworld datasets to demonstrate the superiority of our methods, in terms of better approximations as well as efficiency.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing Between Cause and Effect via Kernel-Based Complexity Measures for Conditional Distributions

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks , pages: 441-446, (Editors: M Verleysen), D-Side Publications, Evere, Belgium, ESANN, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a method to evaluate the complexity of probability measures from data that is based on a reproducing kernel Hilbert space seminorm of the logarithm of conditional probability densities. The motivation is to provide a tool for a causal inference method which assumes that conditional probabilities for effects given their causes are typically simpler and smoother than vice-versa. We present experiments with toy data where the quantitative results are consistent with our intuitive understanding of complexity and smoothness. Also in some examples with real-world data the probability measure corresponding to the true causal direction turned out to be less complex than those of the reversed order.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Deterministic Annealing for Multiple-Instance Learning

Gehler, P., Chapelle, O.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 123-130, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we demonstrate how deterministic annealing can be applied to different SVM formulations of the multiple-instance learning (MIL) problem. Our results show that we find better local minima compared to the heuristic methods those problems are usually solved with. However this does not always translate into a better test error suggesting an inadequacy of the objective function. Based on this finding we propose a new objective function which together with the deterministic annealing algorithm finds better local minima and achieves better performance on a set of benchmark datasets. Furthermore the results also show how the structure of MIL datasets influence the performance of MIL algorithms and we discuss how future benchmark datasets for the MIL problem should be designed.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference and Optimal Design in the Sparse Linear Model

Seeger, M., Steinke, F., Tsuda, K.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 444-451, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The sparse linear model has seen many successful applications in Statistics, Machine Learning, and Computational Biology, such as identification of gene regulatory networks from micro-array expression data. Prior work has either approximated Bayesian inference by expensive Markov chain Monte Carlo, or replaced it by point estimation. We show how to obtain a good approximation to Bayesian analysis efficiently, using the Expectation Propagation method. We also address the problems of optimal design and hyperparameter estimation. We demonstrate our framework on a gene network identification task.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Stick-breaking Construction for the Indian Buffet Process

Teh, Y., Görür, D., Ghahramani, Z.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 556-563, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The Indian buffet process (IBP) is a Bayesian nonparametric distribution whereby objects are modelled using an unbounded number of latent features. In this paper we derive a stick-breaking representation for the IBP. Based on this new representation, we develop slice samplers for the IBP that are efficient, easy to implement and are more generally applicable than the currently available Gibbs sampler. This representation, along with the work of Thibaux and Jordan [17], also illuminates interesting theoretical connections between the IBP, Chinese restaurant processes, Beta processes and Dirichlet processes.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast Kernel ICA using an Approximate Newton Method

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

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 476-483, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent approaches to independent component analysis (ICA) have used kernel independence measures to obtain very good performance, particularly where classical methods experience difficulty (for instance, sources with near-zero kurtosis). We present Fast Kernel ICA (FastKICA), a novel optimisation technique for one such kernel independence measure, the Hilbert-Schmidt independence criterion (HSIC). Our search procedure uses an approximate Newton method on the special orthogonal group, where we estimate the Hessian locally about independence. We employ incomplete Cholesky decomposition to efficiently compute the gradient and approximate Hessian. FastKICA results in more accurate solutions at a given cost compared with gradient descent, and is relatively insensitive to local minima when initialised far from independence. These properties allow kernel approaches to be extended to problems with larger numbers of sources and observations. Our method is competitive with other modern and classical ICA approaches in both speed and accuracy.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Transductive Classification via Local Learning Regularization

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 628-635, (Editors: M Meila and X Shen), 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The idea of local learning, classifying a particular point based on its neighbors, has been successfully applied to supervised learning problems. In this paper, we adapt it for Transductive Classification (TC) problems. Specifically, we formulate a Local Learning Regularizer (LL-Reg) which leads to a solution with the property that the label of each data point can be well predicted based on its neighbors and their labels. For model selection, an efficient way to compute the leave-one-out classification error is provided for the proposed and related algorithms. Experimental results using several benchmark datasets illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Applications of Kernel Machines to Structured Data

Eichhorn, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2007, passed with "sehr gut", published online (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A priori Knowledge from Non-Examples

Sinz, FH.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2007 (diplomathesis)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Independent Components of Natural Images are Perceptually Dependent

Bethge, M., Wiecki, T., Wichmann, F.

In Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, pages: 1-12, (Editors: Rogowitz, B. E.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA, SPIE Human Vision and Electronic Imaging Conference, February 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The independent components of natural images are a set of linear filters which are optimized for statistical independence. With such a set of filters images can be represented without loss of information. Intriguingly, the filter shapes are localized, oriented, and bandpass, resembling important properties of V1 simple cell receptive fields. Here we address the question of whether the independent components of natural images are also perceptually less dependent than other image components. We compared the pixel basis, the ICA basis and the discrete cosine basis by asking subjects to interactively predict missing pixels (for the pixel basis) or to predict the coefficients of ICA and DCT basis functions in patches of natural images. Like Kersten (1987) we find the pixel basis to be perceptually highly redundant but perhaps surprisingly, the ICA basis showed significantly higher perceptual dependencies than the DCT basis. This shows a dissociation between statistical and perceptual dependence measures.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Unsupervised learning of a steerable basis for invariant image representations

Bethge, M., Gerwinn, S., Macke, J.

In Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, pages: 1-12, (Editors: Rogowitz, B. E.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA, SPIE Human Vision and Electronic Imaging Conference, February 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
There are two aspects to unsupervised learning of invariant representations of images: First, we can reduce the dimensionality of the representation by finding an optimal trade-off between temporal stability and informativeness. We show that the answer to this optimization problem is generally not unique so that there is still considerable freedom in choosing a suitable basis. Which of the many optimal representations should be selected? Here, we focus on this second aspect, and seek to find representations that are invariant under geometrical transformations occuring in sequences of natural images. We utilize ideas of steerability and Lie groups, which have been developed in the context of filter design. In particular, we show how an anti-symmetric version of canonical correlation analysis can be used to learn a full-rank image basis which is steerable with respect to rotations. We provide a geometric interpretation of this algorithm by showing that it finds the two-dimensional eigensubspaces of the avera ge bivector. For data which exhibits a variety of transformations, we develop a bivector clustering algorithm, which we use to learn a basis of generalized quadrature pairs (i.e. complex cells) from sequences of natural images.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine Learning for Mass Production and Industrial Engineering

Pfingsten, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, February 2007 (phdthesis)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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New Margin- and Evidence-Based Approaches for EEG Signal Classification

Hill, N., Farquhar, J.

Invited talk at the FaSor Jahressymposium, February 2007 (talk)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Subspace Kernel for Nonlinear Feature Extraction

Wu, M., Farquhar, J.

In IJCAI-07, pages: 1125-1130, (Editors: Veloso, M. M.), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, January 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Kernel based nonlinear Feature Extraction (KFE) or dimensionality reduction is a widely used pre-processing step in pattern classification and data mining tasks. Given a positive definite kernel function, it is well known that the input data are implicitly mapped to a feature space with usually very high dimensionality. The goal of KFE is to find a low dimensional subspace of this feature space, which retains most of the information needed for classification or data analysis. In this paper, we propose a subspace kernel based on which the feature extraction problem is transformed to a kernel parameter learning problem. The key observation is that when projecting data into a low dimensional subspace of the feature space, the parameters that are used for describing this subspace can be regarded as the parameters of the kernel function between the projected data. Therefore current kernel parameter learning methods can be adapted to optimize this parameterized kernel function. Experimental results are provided to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Graph kernels for disease outcome prediction from protein-protein interaction networks

Borgwardt, KM., Vishwanathan, SVN., Schraudolph, N., Kriegel, H-P.

In pages: 4-15, (Editors: Altman, R.B. A.K. Dunker, L. Hunter, T. Murray, T.E. Klein), World Scientific, Hackensack, NJ, USA, Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB), January 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
It is widely believed that comparing discrepancies in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of individuals will become an important tool in understanding and preventing diseases. Currently PPI networks for individuals are not available, but gene expression data is becoming easier to obtain and allows us to represent individuals by a co-integrated gene expression/protein interaction network. Two major problems hamper the application of graph kernels – state-of-the-art methods for whole-graph comparison – to compare PPI networks. First, these methods do not scale to graphs of the size of a PPI network. Second, missing edges in these interaction networks are biologically relevant for detecting discrepancies, yet, these methods do not take this into account. In this article we present graph kernels for biological network comparison that are fast to compute and take into account missing interactions. We evaluate their practical performance on two datasets of co-integrated gene expression/PPI networks.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Development of a Brain-Computer Interface Approach Based on Covert Attention to Tactile Stimuli

Raths, C.

University of Tübingen, Germany, University of Tübingen, Germany, January 2007 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Independent Factor Reinforcement Learning for Portfolio Management

Li, J., Zhang, K., Chan, L.

In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning (IDEAL 2007), pages: 1020-1031, (Editors: H Yin and P Tiño and E Corchado and W Byrne and X Yao), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 8th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning (IDEAL), 2007 (inproceedings)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Estimating the Attenuation Map for a Combined PET/MR Scanner

Hofmann, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2007 (diplomathesis)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Kernel-Based Nonlinear Independent Component Analysis

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

In Independent Component Analysis and Signal Separation, 7th International Conference, ICA 2007, pages: 301-308, (Editors: M E Davies and C J James and S A Abdallah and M D Plumbley), Springer, 7th International Conference on Independent Component Analysis and Signal Separation (ICA), 2007, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 4666 (inproceedings)

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Machine Learning of Motor Skills

Peters, J., Schaal, S., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of Autonome Mobile Systeme (AMS), pages: 138-144, (Editors: K Berns and T Luksch), 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Autonomous robots that can adapt to novel situations has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. Early approaches to this goal during the heydays of artificial intelligence research in the late 1980s, however, made it clear that an approach purely based on reasoning or human insights would not be able to model all the perceptuomotor tasks that a robot should fulfill. Instead, new hope was put in the growing wake of machine learning that promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach to motor skill learning in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two ma jor components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution and, secondly, appropriate learning algorithms which can be applied in this setting.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Optimal Control of Arm Movements

Theodorou, E., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the 37st Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience., Neuroscience, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Every day motor behavior consists of a plethora of challenging motor skills from discrete movements such as reaching and throwing to rhythmic movements such as walking, drumming and running. How this plethora of motor skills can be learned remains an open question. In particular, is there any unifying computa-tional framework that could model the learning process of this variety of motor behaviors and at the same time be biologically plausible? In this work we aim to give an answer to these questions by providing a computational framework that unifies the learning mechanism of both rhythmic and discrete movements under optimization criteria, i.e., in a non-supervised trial-and-error fashion. Our suggested framework is based on Reinforcement Learning, which is mostly considered as too costly to be a plausible mechanism for learning com-plex limb movement. However, recent work on reinforcement learning with pol-icy gradients combined with parameterized movement primitives allows novel and more efficient algorithms. By using the representational power of such mo-tor primitives we show how rhythmic motor behaviors such as walking, squash-ing and drumming as well as discrete behaviors like reaching and grasping can be learned with biologically plausible algorithms. Using extensive simulations and by using different reward functions we provide results that support the hy-pothesis that Reinforcement Learning could be a viable candidate for motor learning of human motor behavior when other learning methods like supervised learning are not feasible.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning of Motor Skills for Robotics

Peters, J.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2007, clmc (phdthesis)

Abstract
Autonomous robots that can assist humans in situations of daily life have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. A first step towards this goal is to create robots that can accomplish a multitude of different tasks, triggered by environmental context or higher level instruction. Early approaches to this goal during the heydays of artificial intelligence research in the late 1980s, however, made it clear that an approach purely based on reasoning and human insights would not be able to model all the perceptuomotor tasks that a robot should fulfill. Instead, new hope was put in the growing wake of machine learning that promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this thesis, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach to motor skill learning in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution and, secondly, appropriate learning algorithms which can be applied in this setting. As a theoretical foundation, we first study a general framework to generate control laws for real robots with a particular focus on skills represented as dynamical systems in differential constraint form. We present a point-wise optimal control framework resulting from a generalization of Gauss' principle and show how various well-known robot control laws can be derived by modifying the metric of the employed cost function. The framework has been successfully applied to task space tracking control for holonomic systems for several different metrics on the anthropomorphic SARCOS Master Arm. In order to overcome the limiting requirement of accurate robot models, we first employ learning methods to find learning controllers for task space control. However, when learning to execute a redundant control problem, we face the general problem of the non-convexity of the solution space which can force the robot to steer into physically impossible configurations if supervised learning methods are employed without further consideration. This problem can be resolved using two major insights, i.e., the learning problem can be treated as locally convex and the cost function of the analytical framework can be used to ensure global consistency. Thus, we derive an immediate reinforcement learning algorithm from the expectation-maximization point of view which leads to a reward-weighted regression technique. This method can be used both for operational space control as well as general immediate reward reinforcement learning problems. We demonstrate the feasibility of the resulting framework on the problem of redundant end-effector tracking for both a simulated 3 degrees of freedom robot arm as well as for a simulated anthropomorphic SARCOS Master Arm. While learning to execute tasks in task space is an essential component to a general framework to motor skill learning, learning the actual task is of even higher importance, particularly as this issue is more frequently beyond the abilities of analytical approaches than execution. We focus on the learning of elemental tasks which can serve as the "building blocks of movement generation", called motor primitives. Motor primitives are parameterized task representations based on splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. While imitation learning of parameterized motor primitives is a relatively well-understood problem, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem, tackled in the fourth chapter of this thesis. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and outline both established and novel algorithms for the gradient-based improvement of parameterized policies. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm. In conclusion, in this thesis, we have contributed a general framework for analytically computing robot control laws which can be used for deriving various previous control approaches and serves as foundation as well as inspiration for our learning algorithms. We have introduced two classes of novel reinforcement learning methods, i.e., the Natural Actor-Critic and the Reward-Weighted Regression algorithm. These algorithms have been used in order to replace the analytical components of the theoretical framework by learned representations. Evaluations have been performed on both simulated and real robot arms.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning by reward-weighted regression for operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 745-750, ICML, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many robot control problems of practical importance, including operational space control, can be reformulated as immediate reward reinforcement learning problems. However, few of the known optimization or reinforcement learning algorithms can be used in online learning control for robots, as they are either prohibitively slow, do not scale to interesting domains of complex robots, or require trying out policies generated by random search, which are infeasible for a physical system. Using a generalization of the EM-base reinforcement learning framework suggested by Dayan & Hinton, we reduce the problem of learning with immediate rewards to a reward-weighted regression problem with an adaptive, integrated reward transformation for faster convergence. The resulting algorithm is efficient, learns smoothly without dangerous jumps in solution space, and works well in applications of complex high degree-of-freedom robots.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Policy gradient methods for machine learning

Peters, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 14th INFORMS Conference of the Applied Probability Society, pages: 97-98, Eindhoven, Netherlands, July 9-11, 2007, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present an in-depth survey of policy gradient methods as they are used in the machine learning community for optimizing parameterized, stochastic control policies in Markovian systems with respect to the expected reward. Despite having been developed separately in the reinforcement learning literature, policy gradient methods employ likelihood ratio gradient estimators as also suggested in the stochastic simulation optimization community. It is well-known that this approach to policy gradient estimation traditionally suffers from three drawbacks, i.e., large variance, a strong dependence on baseline functions and a inefficient gradient descent. In this talk, we will present a series of recent results which tackles each of these problems. The variance of the gradient estimation can be reduced significantly through recently introduced techniques such as optimal baselines, compatible function approximations and all-action gradients. However, as even the analytically obtainable policy gradients perform unnaturally slow, it required the step from ÔvanillaÕ policy gradient methods towards natural policy gradients in order to overcome the inefficiency of the gradient descent. This development resulted into the Natural Actor-Critic architecture which can be shown to be very efficient in application to motor primitive learning for robotics.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Policy Learning for Motor Skills

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of 14th International Conference on Neural Information Processing (ICONIP), pages: 233-242, (Editors: Ishikawa, M. , K. Doya, H. Miyamoto, T. Yamakawa), 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Policy learning which allows autonomous robots to adapt to novel situations has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach policy learning with the goal of an application to motor skill refinement in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, we study policy learning algorithms which can be applied in the general setting of motor skill learning, and, secondly, we study a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning for operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages: 2111-2116, IEEE Computer Society, ICRA, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
While operational space control 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 complex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In such cases, learning control methods can offer an interesting alternative to analytical control algorithms. However, the resulting supervised learning problem is ill-defined as it requires to learn an inverse mapping of a usually redundant system, which is well known to suffer from the property of non-convexity of the solution space, i.e., the learning system could generate motor commands that try to steer the robot into physically impossible configurations. The important insight that many operational space control algorithms can be reformulated as optimal control problems, however, allows addressing this inverse learning problem in the framework of reinforcement learning. However, few of the known optimization or reinforcement learning algorithms can be used in online learning control for robots, as they are either prohibitively slow, do not scale to interesting domains of complex robots, or require trying out policies generated by random search, which are infeasible for a physical system. Using a generalization of the EM-based reinforcement learning framework suggested by Dayan & Hinton, we reduce the problem of learning with immediate rewards to a reward-weighted regression problem with an adaptive, integrated reward transformation for faster convergence. The resulting algorithm is efficient, learns smoothly without dangerous jumps in solution space, and works well in applications of complex high degree-of-freedom robots.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Using reward-weighted regression for reinforcement learning of task space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, pages: 262-267, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 1-5, 2007, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we evaluate different versions from the three main kinds of model-free policy gradient methods, i.e., finite difference gradients, `vanilla' policy gradients and natural policy gradients. Each of these methods is first presented in its simple form and subsequently refined and optimized. By carrying out numerous experiments on the cart pole regulator benchmark we aim to provide a useful baseline for future research on parameterized policy search algorithms. Portable C++ code is provided for both plant and algorithms; thus, the results in this paper can be reevaluated, reused and new algorithms can be inserted with ease.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of Policy Gradient Methods and Variants on the Cart-Pole Benchmark

Riedmiller, M., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, pages: 254-261, ADPRL, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we evaluate different versions from the three main kinds of model-free policy gradient methods, i.e., finite difference gradients, `vanilla' policy gradients and natural policy gradients. Each of these methods is first presented in its simple form and subsequently refined and optimized. By carrying out numerous experiments on the cart pole regulator benchmark we aim to provide a useful baseline for future research on parameterized policy search algorithms. Portable C++ code is provided for both plant and algorithms; thus, the results in this paper can be reevaluated, reused and new algorithms can be inserted with ease.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2002


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Gender Classification of Human Faces

Graf, A., Wichmann, F.

In Biologically Motivated Computer Vision, pages: 1-18, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., S.W. Lee, T. A. Poggio and C. Wallraven), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Second International Workshop on Biologically Motivated Computer Vision (BMCV), November 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper addresses the issue of combining pre-processing methods—dimensionality reduction using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Locally Linear Embedding (LLE)—with Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification for a behaviorally important task in humans: gender classification. A processed version of the MPI head database is used as stimulus set. First, summary statistics of the head database are studied. Subsequently the optimal parameters for LLE and the SVM are sought heuristically. These values are then used to compare the original face database with its processed counterpart and to assess the behavior of a SVM with respect to changes in illumination and perspective of the face images. Overall, PCA was superior in classification performance and allowed linear separability.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

2002

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Insect-Inspired Estimation of Self-Motion

Franz, MO., Chahl, JS.

In Biologically Motivated Computer Vision, (2525):171-180, LNCS, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H. , S.W. Lee, T.A. Poggio, C. Wallraven), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Second International Workshop on Biologically Motivated Computer Vision (BMCV), November 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion. In this study, we examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge about the environment. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor. The experiments show that the proposed approach leads to accurate and robust estimates of rotation rates, whereas translation estimates turn out to be less reliable.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Combining sensory Information to Improve Visualization

Ernst, M., Banks, M., Wichmann, F., Maloney, L., Bülthoff, H.

In Proceedings of the Conference on Visualization ‘02 (VIS ‘02), pages: 571-574, (Editors: Moorhead, R. , M. Joy), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Conference on Visualization (VIS '02), October 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Seemingly effortlessly the human brain reconstructs the three-dimensional environment surrounding us from the light pattern striking the eyes. This seems to be true across almost all viewing and lighting conditions. One important factor for this apparent easiness is the redundancy of information provided by the sensory organs. For example, perspective distortions, shading, motion parallax, or the disparity between the two eyes' images are all, at least partly, redundant signals which provide us with information about the three-dimensional layout of the visual scene. Our brain uses all these different sensory signals and combines the available information into a coherent percept. In displays visualizing data, however, the information is often highly reduced and abstracted, which may lead to an altered perception and therefore a misinterpretation of the visualized data. In this panel we will discuss mechanisms involved in the combination of sensory information and their implications for simulations using computer displays, as well as problems resulting from current display technology such as cathode-ray tubes.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Sampling Techniques for Kernel Methods

Achlioptas, D., McSherry, F., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 14 , pages: 335-342, (Editors: TG Dietterich and S Becker and Z Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose randomized techniques for speeding up Kernel Principal Component Analysis on three levels: sampling and quantization of the Gram matrix in training, randomized rounding in evaluating the kernel expansions, and random projections in evaluating the kernel itself. In all three cases, we give sharp bounds on the accuracy of the obtained approximations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Infinite Hidden Markov Model

Beal, MJ., Ghahramani, Z., Rasmussen, CE.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14, pages: 577-584, (Editors: Dietterich, T.G. , S. Becker, Z. Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fifteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We show that it is possible to extend hidden Markov models to have a countably infinite number of hidden states. By using the theory of Dirichlet processes we can implicitly integrate out the infinitely many transition parameters, leaving only three hyperparameters which can be learned from data. These three hyperparameters define a hierarchical Dirichlet process capable of capturing a rich set of transition dynamics. The three hyperparameters control the time scale of the dynamics, the sparsity of the underlying state-transition matrix, and the expected number of distinct hidden states in a finite sequence. In this framework it is also natural to allow the alphabet of emitted symbols to be infinite - consider, for example, symbols being possible words appearing in English text.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A new discriminative kernel from probabilistic models

Tsuda, K., Kawanabe, M., Rätsch, G., Sonnenburg, S., Müller, K.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14, pages: 977-984, (Editors: Dietterich, T.G. , S. Becker, Z. Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fifteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recently, Jaakkola and Haussler proposed a method for constructing kernel functions from probabilistic models. Their so called \Fisher kernel" has been combined with discriminative classi ers such as SVM and applied successfully in e.g. DNA and protein analysis. Whereas the Fisher kernel (FK) is calculated from the marginal log-likelihood, we propose the TOP kernel derived from Tangent vectors Of Posterior log-odds. Furthermore, we develop a theoretical framework on feature extractors from probabilistic models and use it for analyzing the TOP kernel. In experiments our new discriminative TOP kernel compares favorably to the Fisher kernel.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Incorporating Invariances in Non-Linear Support Vector Machines

Chapelle, O., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14, pages: 609-616, (Editors: TG Dietterich and S Becker and Z Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The choice of an SVM kernel corresponds to the choice of a representation of the data in a feature space and, to improve performance, it should therefore incorporate prior knowledge such as known transformation invariances. We propose a technique which extends earlier work and aims at incorporating invariances in nonlinear kernels. We show on a digit recognition task that the proposed approach is superior to the Virtual Support Vector method, which previously had been the method of choice.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Kernel feature spaces and nonlinear blind source separation

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

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14, pages: 761-768, (Editors: Dietterich, T. G., S. Becker, Z. Ghahramani), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Fifteenth Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS), September 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In kernel based learning the data is mapped to a kernel feature space of a dimension that corresponds to the number of training data points. In practice, however, the data forms a smaller submanifold in feature space, a fact that has been used e.g. by reduced set techniques for SVMs. We propose a new mathematical construction that permits to adapt to the intrinsic dimension and to find an orthonormal basis of this submanifold. In doing so, computations get much simpler and more important our theoretical framework allows to derive elegant kernelized blind source separation (BSS) algorithms for arbitrary invertible nonlinear mixings. Experiments demonstrate the good performance and high computational efficiency of our kTDSEP algorithm for the problem of nonlinear BSS.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Algorithms for Learning Function Distinguishable Regular Languages

Fernau, H., Radl, A.

In Joint IAPR International Workshop on Structural, Syntactic, and Statistical Pattern Recognition, pages: 64-73, (Editors: Caelli, T. , A. Amin, R. P.W. Duin, M. Kamel, D. de Ridder), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Joint IAPR International Workshop on Structural, Syntactic, and Statistical Pattern Recognition, August 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Function distinguishable languages were introduced as a new methodology of defining characterizable subclasses of the regular languages which are learnable from text. Here, we give details on the implementation and the analysis of the corresponding learning algorithms. We also discuss problems which might occur in practical applications.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Decision Boundary Pattern Selection for Support Vector Machines

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Proc. of the Korean Data Mining Conference, pages: 33-41, Korean Data Mining Conference, May 2002 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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k-NN based Pattern Selection for Support Vector Classifiers

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Proc. of the Korean Industrial Engineers Conference, pages: 645-651, Korean Industrial Engineers Conference, May 2002 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Microarrays: How Many Do You Need?

Zien, A., Fluck, J., Zimmer, R., Lengauer, T.

In RECOMB 2002, pages: 321-330, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, Sixth Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology, April 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We estimate the number of microarrays that is required in order to gain reliable results from a common type of study: the pairwise comparison of different classes of samples. Current knowlegde seems to suffice for the construction of models that are realistic with respect to searches for individual differentially expressed genes. Such models allow to investigate the dependence of the required number of samples on the relevant parameters: the biological variability of the samples within each class; the fold changes in expression; the detection sensitivity of the microarrays; and the acceptable error rates of the results. We supply experimentalists with general conclusions as well as a freely accessible Java applet at http://cartan.gmd.de/~zien/classsize/ for fine tuning simulations to their particular actualities. Since the situation can be assumed to be very similar for large scale proteomics and metabolomics studies, our methods and results might also apply there.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Nonlinear Multivariate Analysis with Geodesic Kernels

Kuss, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, February 2002 (diplomathesis)

GZIP [BibTex]

GZIP [BibTex]


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Pattern Selection for Support Vector Classifiers

Shin, H., Cho, S.

In Ideal 2002, pages: 97-103, (Editors: Yin, H. , N. Allinson, R. Freeman, J. Keane, S. Hubbard), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Third International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning, January 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
SVMs tend to take a very long time to train with a large data set. If "redundant" patterns are identified and deleted in pre-processing, the training time could be reduced significantly. We propose a k-nearest neighbors(k-NN) based pattern selection method. The method tries to select the patterns that are near the decision boundary and that are correctly labeled. The simulations over synthetic data sets showed promising results: (1) By converting a non-separable problem to a separable one, the search for an optimal error tolerance parameter became unnecessary. (2) SVM training time decreased by two orders of magnitude without any loss of accuracy. (3) The redundant SVs were substantially reduced.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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The leave-one-out kernel

Tsuda, K., Kawanabe, M.

In Artificial Neural Networks -- ICANN 2002, 2415, pages: 727-732, LNCS, (Editors: Dorronsoro, J. R.), Artificial Neural Networks -- ICANN, 2002 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Concentration Inequalities and Empirical Processes Theory Applied to the Analysis of Learning Algorithms

Bousquet, O.

Biologische Kybernetik, Ecole Polytechnique, 2002 (phdthesis) Accepted

Abstract
New classification algorithms based on the notion of 'margin' (e.g. Support Vector Machines, Boosting) have recently been developed. The goal of this thesis is to better understand how they work, via a study of their theoretical performance. In order to do this, a general framework for real-valued classification is proposed. In this framework, it appears that the natural tools to use are Concentration Inequalities and Empirical Processes Theory. Thanks to an adaptation of these tools, a new measure of the size of a class of functions is introduced, which can be computed from the data. This allows, on the one hand, to better understand the role of eigenvalues of the kernel matrix in Support Vector Machines, and on the other hand, to obtain empirical model selection criteria.

PostScript [BibTex]


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Support Vector Machines: Induction Principle, Adaptive Tuning and Prior Knowledge

Chapelle, O.

Biologische Kybernetik, 2002 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis presents a theoretical and practical study of Support Vector Machines (SVM) and related learning algorithms. In a first part, we introduce a new induction principle from which SVMs can be derived, but some new algorithms are also presented in this framework. In a second part, after studying how to estimate the generalization error of an SVM, we suggest to choose the kernel parameters of an SVM by minimizing this estimate. Several applications such as feature selection are presented. Finally the third part deals with the incoporation of prior knowledge in a learning algorithm and more specifically, we studied the case of known invariant transormations and the use of unlabeled data.

GZIP [BibTex]


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Localized Rademacher Complexities

Bartlett, P., Bousquet, O., Mendelson, S.

In Proceedings of the 15th annual conference on Computational Learning Theory, pages: 44-58, Proceedings of the 15th annual conference on Computational Learning Theory, 2002 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We investigate the behaviour of global and local Rademacher averages. We present new error bounds which are based on the local averages and indicate how data-dependent local averages can be estimated without {it a priori} knowledge of the class at hand.

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Film Cooling: A Comparative Study of Different Heaterfoil Configurations for Liquid Crystals Experiments

Vogel, G., Graf, ABA., Weigand, B.

In ASME TURBO EXPO 2002, Amsterdam, GT-2002-30552, ASME TURBO EXPO, Amsterdam, 2002 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]