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2008


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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]

2008

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]

2006


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Global Biclustering of Microarray Data

Wolf, T., Brors, B., Hofmann, T., Georgii, E.

In ICDMW 2006, pages: 125-129, (Editors: Tsumoto, S. , C. W. Clifton, N. Zhong, X. Wu, J. Liu, B. W. Wah, Y.-M. Cheung), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, Sixth IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of simultaneously clustering genes and conditions of a gene expression data matrix. A bicluster is defined as a subset of genes that show similar behavior within a subset of conditions. Finding biclusters can be useful for revealing groups of genes involved in the same molecular process as well as groups of conditions where this process takes place. Previous work either deals with local, bicluster-based criteria or assumes a very specific structure of the data matrix (e.g. checkerboard or block-diagonal) [11]. In contrast, our goal is to find a set of flexibly arranged biclusters which is optimal in regard to a global objective function. As this is a NP-hard combinatorial problem, we describe several techniques to obtain approximate solutions. We benchmarked our approach successfully on the Alizadeh B-cell lymphoma data set [1].

Web DOI [BibTex]

2006

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Conformal Multi-Instance Kernels

Blaschko, M., Hofmann, T.

In NIPS 2006 Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, December 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In the multiple instance learning setting, each observation is a bag of feature vectors of which one or more vectors indicates membership in a class. The primary task is to identify if any vectors in the bag indicate class membership while ignoring vectors that do not. We describe here a kernel-based technique that defines a parametric family of kernels via conformal transformations and jointly learns a discriminant function over bags together with the optimal parameter settings of the kernel. Learning a conformal transformation effectively amounts to weighting regions in the feature space according to their contribution to classification accuracy; regions that are discriminative will be weighted higher than regions that are not. This allows the classifier to focus on regions contributing to classification accuracy while ignoring regions that correspond to vectors found both in positive and in negative bags. We show how parameters of this transformation can be learned for support vector machines by posing the problem as a multiple kernel learning problem. The resulting multiple instance classifier gives competitive accuracy for several multi-instance benchmark datasets from different domains.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Some observations on the pedestal effect or dipper function

Henning, B., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 6(13):50, 2006 Fall Vision Meeting of the Optical Society of America, December 2006 (poster)

Abstract
The pedestal effect is the large improvement in the detectabilty of a sinusoidal “signal” grating observed when the signal is added to a masking or “pedestal” grating of the same spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched noise - noise from which a 1.5-octave band centred on the signal frequency had been removed. Although the pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, it almost disappears in the notched noise. Furthermore, the pedestal effect is substantial when either high- or low-pass masking noise is used. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies different from that of the signal and pedestal. The spatial-frequency components of the notched noise above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and pedestal prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and pedestal. Thus the pedestal or dipper effect measured without notched noise is not a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency tuned channels.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-Sample-Problem

Gretton, A., Borgwardt, K., Rasch, M., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose two statistical tests to determine if two samples are from different distributions. Our test statistic is in both cases the distance between the means of the two samples mapped into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). The first test is based on a large deviation bound for the test statistic, while the second is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. We show that the test statistic can be computed in $O(m^2)$ time. We apply our approach to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where our test performs strongly. We also demonstrate excellent performance when comparing distributions over graphs, for which no alternative tests currently exist.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Ab-initio gene finding using machine learning

Schweikert, G., Zeller, G., Zien, A., Ong, C., de Bona, F., Sonnenburg, S., Phillips, P., Rätsch, G.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning by Reward-Weighted Regression

Peters, J.

NIPS Workshop: Towards a New Reinforcement Learning? , December 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Graph boosting for molecular QSAR analysis

Saigo, H., Kadowaki, T., Kudo, T., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on New Problems and Methods in Computational Biology, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new boosting method that systematically combines graph mining and mathematical programming-based machine learning. Informative and interpretable subgraph features are greedily found by a series of graph mining calls. Due to our mathematical programming formulation, subgraph features and pre-calculated real-valued features are seemlessly integrated. We tested our algorithm on a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) problem, which is basically a regression problem when given a set of chemical compounds. In benchmark experiments, the prediction accuracy of our method favorably compared with the best results reported on each dataset.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A New Projected Quasi-Newton Approach for the Nonnegative Least Squares Problem

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

(TR-06-54), Univ. of Texas, Austin, December 2006 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring Causal Directions by Evaluating the Complexity of Conditional Distributions

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Causality and Feature Selection, December 2006 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a new approach to infer the causal structure that has generated the observed statistical dependences among n random variables. The idea is that the factorization of the joint measure of cause and effect into P(cause)P(effect|cause) leads typically to simpler conditionals than non-causal factorizations. To evaluate the complexity of the conditionals we have tried two methods. First, we have compared them to those which maximize the conditional entropy subject to the observed first and second moments since we consider the latter as the simplest conditionals. Second, we have fitted the data with conditional probability measures being exponents of functions in an RKHS space and defined the complexity by a Hilbert-space semi-norm. Such a complexity measure has several properties that are useful for our purpose. We describe some encouraging results with both methods applied to real-world data. Moreover, we have combined constraint-based approaches to causal discovery (i.e., methods using only information on conditional statistical dependences) with our method in order to distinguish between causal hypotheses which are equivalent with respect to the imposed independences. Furthermore, we compare the performance to Bayesian approaches to causal inference.

Web [BibTex]


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Information-theoretic Metric Learning

Davis, J., Kulis, B., Sra, S., Dhillon, I.

In NIPS 2006 Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, pages: 1-5, NIPS Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, December 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We formulate the metric learning problem as that of minimizing the differential relative entropy between two multivariate Gaussians under constraints on the Mahalanobis distance function. Via a surprising equivalence, we show that this problem can be solved as a low-rank kernel learning problem. Specifically, we minimize the Burg divergence of a low-rank kernel to an input kernel, subject to pairwise distance constraints. Our approach has several advantages over existing methods. First, we present a natural information-theoretic formulation for the problem. Second, the algorithm utilizes the methods developed by Kulis et al. [6], which do not involve any eigenvector computation; in particular, the running time of our method is faster than most existing techniques. Third, the formulation offers insights into connections between metric learning and kernel learning.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Pattern Mining in Frequent Dynamic Subgraphs

Borgwardt, KM., Kriegel, H-P., Wackersreuther, P.

In pages: 818-822, (Editors: Clifton, C.W.), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, Sixth International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), December 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Graph-structured data is becoming increasingly abundant in many application domains. Graph mining aims at finding interesting patterns within this data that represent novel knowledge. While current data mining deals with static graphs that do not change over time, coming years will see the advent of an increasing number of time series of graphs. In this article, we investigate how pattern mining on static graphs can be extended to time series of graphs. In particular, we are considering dynamic graphs with edge insertions and edge deletions over time. We define frequency in this setting and provide algorithmic solutions for finding frequent dynamic subgraph patterns. Existing subgraph mining algorithms can be easily integrated into our framework to make them handle dynamic graphs. Experimental results on real-world data confirm the practical feasibility of our approach.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Structure validation of the Josephin domain of ataxin-3: Conclusive evidence for an open conformation

Nicastro, G., Habeck, M., Masino, L., Svergun, DI., Pastore, A.

Journal of Biomolecular NMR, 36(4):267-277, December 2006 (article)

Abstract
The availability of new and fast tools in structure determination has led to a more than exponential growth of the number of structures solved per year. It is therefore increasingly essential to assess the accuracy of the new structures by reliable approaches able to assist validation. Here, we discuss a specific example in which the use of different complementary techniques, which include Bayesian methods and small angle scattering, resulted essential for validating the two currently available structures of the Josephin domain of ataxin-3, a protein involved in the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and responsible for neurodegenerative spinocerebellar ataxia of type 3. Taken together, our results demonstrate that only one of the two structures is compatible with the experimental information. Based on the high precision of our refined structure, we show that Josephin contains an open cleft which could be directly implicated in the interaction with polyubiquitin chains and other partners.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic inference for solving (PO)MDPs

Toussaint, M., Harmeling, S., Storkey, A.

(934), School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, December 2006 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Unifying View of Wiener and Volterra Theory and Polynomial Kernel Regression

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 18(12):3097-3118, December 2006 (article)

Abstract
Volterra and Wiener series are perhaps the best understood nonlinear system representations in signal processing. Although both approaches have enjoyed a certain popularity in the past, their application has been limited to rather low-dimensional and weakly nonlinear systems due to the exponential growth of the number of terms that have to be estimated. We show that Volterra and Wiener series can be represented implicitly as elements of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space by utilizing polynomial kernels. The estimation complexity of the implicit representation is linear in the input dimensionality and independent of the degree of nonlinearity. Experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability, and system sizes that can be handled.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Minimal Logical Constraint Covering Sets

Sinz, F., Schölkopf, B.

(155), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, December 2006 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a general framework for computing minimal set covers under class of certain logical constraints. The underlying idea is to transform the problem into a mathematical programm under linear constraints. In this sense it can be seen as a natural extension of the vector quantization algorithm proposed by Tipping and Schoelkopf. We show which class of logical constraints can be cast and relaxed into linear constraints and give an algorithm for the transformation.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Optimal EEG Features Across Time, Frequency and Space

Farquhar, J., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B.

NIPS Workshop on Current Trends in Brain-Computer Interfacing, December 2006 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Heilbron, L., Platt, J. C., Schölkopf, B., Simard, P. Y.

United States Patent, No 7155489, December 2006 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Learning

Zien, A.

Advanced Methods in Sequence Analysis Lectures, November 2006 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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3DString: a feature string kernel for 3D object classification on voxelized data

Assfalg, J., Borgwardt, KM., Kriegel, H-P.

In pages: 198-207, (Editors: Yu, P.S. , V.J. Tsotras, E.A. Fox, B. Liu), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 15th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), November 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Classification of 3D objects remains an important task in many areas of data management such as engineering, medicine or biology. As a common preprocessing step in current approaches to classification of voxelized 3D objects, voxel representations are transformed into a feature vector description.In this article, we introduce an approach of transforming 3D objects into feature strings which represent the distribution of voxels over the voxel grid. Attractively, this feature string extraction can be performed in linear runtime with respect to the number of voxels. We define a similarity measure on these feature strings that counts common k-mers in two input strings, which is referred to as the spectrum kernel in the field of kernel methods. We prove that on our feature strings, this similarity measure can be computed in time linear to the number of different characters in these strings. This linear runtime behavior makes our kernel attractive even for large datasets that occur in many application domains. Furthermore, we explain that our similarity measure induces a metric which allows to combine it with an M-tree for handling of large volumes of data. Classification experiments on two published benchmark datasets show that our novel approach is competitive with the best state-of-the-art methods for 3D object classification.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Prediction of Protein Function from Networks

Shin, H., Tsuda, K.

In Semi-Supervised Learning, pages: 361-376, Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning, (Editors: Chapelle, O. , B. Schölkopf, A. Zien), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, November 2006 (inbook)

Abstract
In computational biology, it is common to represent domain knowledge using graphs. Frequently there exist multiple graphs for the same set of nodes, representing information from different sources, and no single graph is sufficient to predict class labels of unlabelled nodes reliably. One way to enhance reliability is to integrate multiple graphs, since individual graphs are partly independent and partly complementary to each other for prediction. In this chapter, we describe an algorithm to assign weights to multiple graphs within graph-based semi-supervised learning. Both predicting class labels and searching for weights for combining multiple graphs are formulated into one convex optimization problem. The graph-combining method is applied to functional class prediction of yeast proteins.When compared with individual graphs, the combined graph with optimized weights performs significantly better than any single graph.When compared with the semidefinite programming-based support vector machine (SDP/SVM), it shows comparable accuracy in a remarkably short time. Compared with a combined graph with equal-valued weights, our method could select important graphs without loss of accuracy, which implies the desirable property of integration with selectivity.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Adapting Spatial Filter Methods for Nonstationary BCIs

Tomioka, R., Hill, J., Blankertz, B., Aihara, K.

In IBIS 2006, pages: 65-70, 2006 Workshop on Information-Based Induction Sciences, November 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A major challenge in applying machine learning methods to Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) is to overcome the possible nonstationarity in the data from the datablock the method is trained on and that the method is applied to. Assuming the joint distributions of the whitened signal and the class label to be identical in two blocks, where the whitening is done in each block independently, we propose a simple adaptation formula that is applicable to a broad class of spatial filtering methods including ICA, CSP, and logistic regression classifiers. We characterize the class of linear transformations for which the above assumption holds. Experimental results on 60 BCI datasets show improved classification accuracy compared to (a) fixed spatial filter approach (no adaptation) and (b) fixed spatial pattern approach (proposed by Hill et al., 2006 [1]).

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Discrete Regularization

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Semi-supervised Learning, pages: 237-250, Adaptive computation and machine learning, (Editors: O Chapelle and B Schölkopf and A Zien), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, November 2006 (inbook)

Abstract
Many real-world machine learning problems are situated on finite discrete sets, including dimensionality reduction, clustering, and transductive inference. A variety of approaches for learning from finite sets has been proposed from different motivations and for different problems. In most of those approaches, a finite set is modeled as a graph, in which the edges encode pairwise relationships among the objects in the set. Consequently many concepts and methods from graph theory are adopted. In particular, the graph Laplacian is widely used. In this chapter we present a systemic framework for learning from a finite set represented as a graph. We develop discrete analogues of a number of differential operators, and then construct a discrete analogue of classical regularization theory based on those discrete differential operators. The graph Laplacian based approaches are special cases of this general discrete regularization framework. An important thing implied in this framework is that we have a wide choices of regularization on graph in addition to the widely-used graph Laplacian based one.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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New Methods for the P300 Visual Speller

Biessmann, F.

(1), (Editors: Hill, J. ), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2006 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Statistical Analysis of Slow Crack Growth Experiments

Pfingsten, T., Glien, K.

Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 26(15):3061-3065, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
A common approach for the determination of Slow Crack Growth (SCG) parameters are the static and dynamic loading method. Since materials with small Weibull module show a large variability in strength, a correct statistical analysis of the data is indispensable. In this work we propose the use of the Maximum Likelihood method and a Baysian analysis, which, in contrast to the standard procedures, take into account that failure strengths are Weibull distributed. The analysis provides estimates for the SCG parameters, the Weibull module, and the corresponding confidence intervals and overcomes the necessity of manual differentiation between inert and fatigue strength data. We compare the methods to a Least Squares approach, which can be considered the standard procedure. The results for dynamic loading data from the glass sealing of MEMS devices show that the assumptions inherent to the standard approach lead to significantly different estimates.

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An Improved Adaptive Power Line Interference Canceller for Electrocardiography

Martens, SMM., Mischi, M., Oei, SG., Bergmans, JWM.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 53(11):2220-2231, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
Power line interference may severely corrupt a biomedical recording. Notch filters and adaptive cancellers have been suggested to suppress this interference. We propose an improved adaptive canceller for the reduction of the fundamental power line interference component and harmonics in electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings. The method tracks the amplitude, phase, and frequency of all the interference components for power line frequency deviations up to about 4 Hz. A comparison is made between the performance of our method, former adaptive cancellers, and a narrow and a wide notch filter in suppressing the fundamental power line interference component. For this purpose a real ECG signal is corrupted by an artificial power line interference signal. The cleaned signal after applying all methods is compared with the original ECG signal. Our improved adaptive canceller shows a signal-to-power-line-interference ratio for the fundamental component up to 30 dB higher than that produced by the other methods. Moreover, our method is also effective for the suppression of the harmonics of the power line interference.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Donagi-Markman cubic for Hitchin systems

Balduzzi, D.

Mathematical Research Letters, 13(6):923-933, November 2006 (article)

Abstract
The Donagi-Markman cubic is the differential of the period map for algebraic completely integrable systems. Here we prove a formula for the cubic in the case of Hitchin’s system for arbitrary semisimple g. This was originally stated (without proof) by Pantev for sln.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Optimizing Spatial Filters for BCI: Margin- and Evidence-Maximization Approaches

Farquhar, J., Hill, N., Schölkopf, B.

Challenging Brain-Computer Interfaces: MAIA Workshop 2006, pages: 1, November 2006 (poster)

Abstract
We present easy-to-use alternatives to the often-used two-stage Common Spatial Pattern + classifier approach for spatial filtering and classification of Event-Related Desychnronization signals in BCI. We report two algorithms that aim to optimize the spatial filters according to a criterion more directly related to the ability of the algorithms to generalize to unseen data. Both are based upon the idea of treating the spatial filter coefficients as hyperparameters of a kernel or covariance function. We then optimize these hyper-parameters directly along side the normal classifier parameters with respect to our chosen learning objective function. The two objectives considered are margin maximization as used in Support-Vector Machines and the evidence maximization framework used in Gaussian Processes. Our experiments assessed generalization error as a function of the number of training points used, on 9 BCI competition data sets and 5 offline motor imagery data sets measured in Tubingen. Both our approaches sho w consistent improvements relative to the commonly used CSP+linear classifier combination. Strikingly, the improvement is most significant in the higher noise cases, when either few trails are used for training, or with the most poorly performing subjects. This a reversal of the usual "rich get richer" effect in the development of CSP extensions, which tend to perform best when the signal is strong enough to accurately find their additional parameters. This makes our approach particularly suitable for clinical application where high levels of noise are to be expected.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Determining the PET Attenuation Map from Magnetic Resonance Images

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Judenhofer, M., Claussen, C., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

IEEE Medical Imaging Conference, November 2006 (talk)

Abstract
A promising new combination in multimodality imaging is MR-PET, where the high soft tissue contrast of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the functional information of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are combined. Although many technical problems have recently been solved, it is still an open problem to determine the attenuation map from the available MR scan, as the MR intensities are not directly related to the attenuation values. One standard approach is an atlas registration where the atlas MR image is aligned with the patient MR thus also yielding an attenuation image for the patient. We also propose another approach, which to our knowledge has not been tried before: Using Support Vector Machines we predict the attenuation value directly from the local image information. We train this well-established machine learning algorithm using small image patches. Although both approaches sometimes yielded acceptable results, they also showed their specific shortcomings: The registration often fails with large deformations whereas the prediction approach is problematic when the local image structure is not characteristic enough. However, the failures often do not coincide and integration of both information sources is promising. We therefore developed a combination method extending Support Vector Machines to use not only local image structure but also atlas registered coordinates. We demonstrate the strength of this combination approach on a number of examples.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]