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2010


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

Martens, SMM., Leiva, JM.

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

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

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

2010

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Embeddings and Metrics on Probability Measures

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

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

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Graph Kernels

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

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

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

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gene function prediction from synthetic lethality networks via ranking on demand

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

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

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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine-Learning Methods for Decoding Intentional Brain States

Hill, NJ.

Symposium "Non-Invasive Brain Computer Interfaces: Current Developments and Applications" (BIOMAG), March 2010 (talk)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) work by making the user perform a specific mental task, such as imagining moving body parts or performing some other covert mental activity, or attending to a particular stimulus out of an array of options, in order to encode their intention into a measurable brain signal. Signal-processing and machine-learning techniques are then used to decode the measured signal to identify the encoded mental state and hence extract the user‘s initial intention. The high-noise high-dimensional nature of brain-signals make robust decoding techniques a necessity. Generally, the approach has been to use relatively simple feature extraction techniques, such as template matching and band-power estimation, coupled to simple linear classifiers. This has led to a prevailing view among applied BCI researchers that (sophisticated) machine-learning is irrelevant since “it doesn‘t matter what classifier you use once your features are extracted.” Using examples from our own MEG and EEG experiments, I‘ll demonstrate how machine-learning principles can be applied in order to improve BCI performance, if they are formulated in a domain-specific way. The result is a type of data-driven analysis that is more than “just” classification, and can be used to find better feature extractors.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A toolbox for predicting G-quadruplex formation and stability

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

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

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

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis in Unsupervised Learning

Seldin, Y.

Foundations and New Trends of PAC Bayesian Learning Workshop, March 2010 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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

Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

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

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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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On the Entropy Production of Time Series with Unidirectional Linearity

Janzing, D.

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

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

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Experiments with Motor Primitives to learn Table Tennis

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Kober, J.

In Experimental Robotics, pages: 1-13, (Editors: Khatib, O. , V. Kumar, G. Sukhatme), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), March 2010 (inproceedings)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Derivatives of Logarithmic Stationary Distributions for Policy Gradient Reinforcement Learning

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

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

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

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causality: Objectives and Assessment

Guyon, I., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6 , pages: 1-42, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , February 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The NIPS 2008 workshop on causality provided a forum for researchers from different horizons to share their view on causal modeling and address the difficult question of assessing causal models. There has been a vivid debate on properly separating the notion of causality from particular models such as graphical models, which have been dominating the field in the past few years. Part of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the results of a challenge, which offered a wide variety of applications of causal modeling. We have regrouped in these proceedings the best papers presented. Most lectures were videotaped or recorded. All information regarding the challenge and the lectures are found at http://www.clopinet.com/isabelle/Projects/NIPS2008/. This introduction provides a synthesis of the findings and a gentle introduction to causality topics, which are the object of active research.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Online Multitask Learning of Gaussian Processes

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

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

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

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

EVENT Lab: Reinforcement Learning in Robotics and Virtual Reality, January 2010 (talk)

Abstract
The acquisition and self-improvement of novel motor skills is among the most important problems in robotics. Motor primitives offer one of the most promising frameworks for the application of machine learning techniques in this context. Employing the Dynamic Systems Motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. (2003), appropriate learning algorithms for a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning are presented. Using these algorithms new motor skills, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup, Ball-Paddling and Dart-Throwing, are learned.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The semigroup approach to transport processes in networks

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

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

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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning functional dependencies with kernel methods

Dinuzzo, F.

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

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

Web [BibTex]


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Leveraging Sequence Classification by Taxonomy-based Multitask Learning

Widmer, C., Leiva, J., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, LNCS, Vol. 6044, pages: 522-534, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th Annual International Conference, RECOMB, 2010 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic latent variable models for distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Stegle, O., Janzing, D., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 1687-1695, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a novel method for inferring whether X causes Y or vice versa from joint observations of X and Y. The basic idea is to model the observed data using probabilistic latent variable models, which incorporate the effects of unobserved noise. To this end, we consider the hypothetical effect variable to be a function of the hypothetical cause variable and an independent noise term (not necessarily additive). An important novel aspect of our work is that we do not restrict the model class, but instead put general non-parametric priors on this function and on the distribution of the cause. The causal direction can then be inferred by using standard Bayesian model selection. We evaluate our approach on synthetic data and real-world data and report encouraging results.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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JigPheno: Semantic Feature Extraction in biological images

Karaletsos, T., Stegle, O., Winn, J., Borgwardt, K.

In NIPS, Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, 2010 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nonparametric Tree Graphical Models

Song, L., Gretton, A., Guestrin, C.

In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Volume 9 , pages: 765-772, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington ), JMLR, AISTATS, 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Novel machine learning methods for MHC Class I binding prediction

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

In Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics, pages: 98-109, (Editors: TMH Dijkstra and E Tsivtsivadze and E Marchiori and T Heskes), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 5th IAPR International Conference, PRIB, 2010 (inproceedings)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bootstrapping Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 289-297, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning where the examples, demonstrated by an expert, cover only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient tool for generalizing the demonstration, based on the assumption that the expert is maximizing a utility function that is a linear combination of state-action features. Most IRL algorithms use a simple Monte Carlo estimation to approximate the expected feature counts under the expert's policy. In this paper, we show that the quality of the learned policies is highly sensitive to the error in estimating the feature counts. To reduce this error, we introduce a novel approach for bootstrapping the demonstration by assuming that: (i), the expert is (near-)optimal, and (ii), the dynamics of the system is known. Empirical results on gridworlds and car racing problems show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing Causes from Effects using Nonlinear Acyclic Causal Models

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, Volume 6, pages: 157-164, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop), 2010 (inproceedings)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Clustering Based Approach to Learning Regular Expressions over Large Alphabet for Noisy Unstructured Text

Babbar, R., Singh, N.

In Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Analytics for Noisy Unstructured Text Data, pages: 43-50, (Editors: R Basili and DP Lopresti and C Ringlstetter and S Roy and KU Schulz and LV Subramaniam), ACM, AND (in conjunction with CIKM), 2010 (inproceedings)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Consistent Nonparametric Tests of Independence

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

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

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Characteristic Kernels on Structured Domains Excel in Robotics and Human Action Recognition

Danafar, S., Gretton, A., Schmidhuber, J.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, LNCS Vol. 6321, pages: 264-279, (Editors: JL Balcázar and F Bonchi and A Gionis and M Sebag), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Embedding probability distributions into a sufficiently rich (characteristic) reproducing kernel Hilbert space enables us to take higher order statistics into account. Characterization also retains effective statistical relation between inputs and outputs in regression and classification. Recent works established conditions for characteristic kernels on groups and semigroups. Here we study characteristic kernels on periodic domains, rotation matrices, and histograms. Such structured domains are relevant for homogeneity testing, forward kinematics, forward dynamics, inverse dynamics, etc. Our kernel-based methods with tailored characteristic kernels outperform previous methods on robotics problems and also on a widely used benchmark for recognition of human actions in videos.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring latent task structure for Multitask Learning by Multiple Kernel Learning

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

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

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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Movement extraction by detecting dynamics switches and repetitions

Chiappa, S., Peters, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 388-396, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many time-series such as human movement data consist of a sequence of basic actions, e.g., forehands and backhands in tennis. Automatically extracting and characterizing such actions is an important problem for a variety of different applications. In this paper, we present a probabilistic segmentation approach in which an observed time-series is modeled as a concatenation of segments corresponding to different basic actions. Each segment is generated through a noisy transformation of one of a few hidden trajectories representing different types of movement, with possible time re-scaling. We analyze three different approximation methods for dealing with model intractability, and demonstrate how the proposed approach can successfully segment table tennis movements recorded using a robot arm as haptic input device.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Space-Variant Single-Image Blind Deconvolution for Removing Camera Shake

Harmeling, S., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 829-837, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Modelling camera shake as a space-invariant convolution simplifies the problem of removing camera shake, but often insufficiently models actual motion blur such as those due to camera rotation and movements outside the sensor plane or when objects in the scene have different distances to the camera. In an effort to address these limitations, (i) we introduce a taxonomy of camera shakes, (ii) we build on a recently introduced framework for space-variant filtering by Hirsch et al. and a fast algorithm for single image blind deconvolution for space-invariant filters by Cho and Lee to construct a method for blind deconvolution in the case of space-variant blur, and (iii), we present an experimental setup for evaluation that allows us to take images with real camera shake while at the same time recording the spacevariant point spread function corresponding to that blur. Finally, we demonstrate that our method is able to deblur images degraded by spatially-varying blur originating from real camera shake, even without using additionally motion sensor information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Getting lost in space: Large sample analysis of the resistance distance

von Luxburg, U., Radl, A., Hein, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 2622-2630, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The commute distance between two vertices in a graph is the expected time it takes a random walk to travel from the first to the second vertex and back. We study the behavior of the commute distance as the size of the underlying graph increases. We prove that the commute distance converges to an expression that does not take into account the structure of the graph at all and that is completely meaningless as a distance function on the graph. Consequently, the use of the raw commute distance for machine learning purposes is strongly discouraged for large graphs and in high dimensions. As an alternative we introduce the amplified commute distance that corrects for the undesired large sample effects.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Janzing, D.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6, pages: 147-156, (Editors: Guyon, I. , D. Janzing, B. Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe eight data sets that together formed the CauseEffectPairs task in the Causality Challenge #2: Pot-Luck competition. Each set consists of a sample of a pair of statistically dependent random variables. One variable is known to cause the other one, but this information was hidden from the participants; the task was to identify which of the two variables was the cause and which one the effect, based upon the observed sample. The data sets were chosen such that we expect common agreement on the ground truth. Even though part of the statistical dependences may also be due to hidden common causes, common sense tells us that there is a significant cause-effect relation between the two variables in each pair. We also present baseline results using three different causal inference methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods for Detecting the Direction of Time Series

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

In Advances in Data Analysis, Data Handling and Business Intelligence, pages: 57-66, (Editors: A Fink and B Lausen and W Seidel and A Ultsch), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 32nd Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft f{\"u}r Klassifikation e.V. (GfKl), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose two kernel based methods for detecting the time direction in empirical time series. First we apply a Support Vector Machine on the finite-dimensional distributions of the time series (classification method) by embedding these distributions into a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space. For the ARMA method we fit the observed data with an autoregressive moving average process and test whether the regression residuals are statistically independent of the past values. Whenever the dependence in one direction is significantly weaker than in the other we infer the former to be the true one. Both approaches were able to detect the direction of the true generating model for simulated data sets. We also applied our tests to a large number of real world time series. The ARMA method made a decision for a significant fraction of them, in which it was mostly correct, while the classification method did not perform as well, but still exceeded chance level.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Switched Latent Force Models for Movement Segmentation

Alvarez, M., Peters, J., Schölkopf, B., Lawrence, N.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 23, pages: 55-63, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Latent force models encode the interaction between multiple related dynamical systems in the form of a kernel or covariance function. Each variable to be modeled is represented as the output of a differential equation and each differential equation is driven by a weighted sum of latent functions with uncertainty given by a Gaussian process prior. In this paper we consider employing the latent force model framework for the problem of determining robot motor primitives. To deal with discontinuities in the dynamical systems or the latent driving force we introduce an extension of the basic latent force model, that switches between different latent functions and potentially different dynamical systems. This creates a versatile representation for robot movements that can capture discrete changes and non-linearities in the dynamics. We give illustrative examples on both synthetic data and for striking movements recorded using a BarrettWAM robot as haptic input device. Our inspiration is robot motor primitives, but we expect our model to have wide application for dynamical systems including models for human motion capture data and systems biology.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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On a disparity between relative cliquewidth and relative NLC-width

Müller, H., Urner, R.

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

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Naı̈ve Security in a Wi-Fi World

Swanson, C., Urner, R., Lank, E.

In Trust Management IV - 4th IFIP WG 11.11 International Conference Proceedings, pages: 32-47, (Editors: Nishigaki, M., Josang, A., Murayama, Y., Marsh, S.), IFIPTM, 2010 (inproceedings)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2008


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BCPy2000

Hill, N., Schreiner, T., Puzicha, C., Farquhar, J.

Workshop "Machine Learning Open-Source Software" at NIPS, December 2008 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

2008

Web [BibTex]


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A Predictive Model for Imitation Learning in Partially Observable Environments

Boularias, A.

In ICMLA 2008, pages: 83-90, (Editors: Wani, M. A., X.-W. Chen, D. Casasent, L. A. Kurgan, T. Hu, K. Hafeez), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Seventh International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Learning by imitation has shown to be a powerful paradigm for automated learning in autonomous robots. This paper presents a general framework of learning by imitation for stochastic and partially observable systems. The model is a Predictive Policy Representation (PPR) whose goal is to represent the teacher‘s policies without any reference to states. The model is fully described in terms of actions and observations only. We show how this model can efficiently learn the personal behavior and preferences of an assistive robot user.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Stereo Matching for Calibrated Cameras without Correspondence

Helmke, U., Hüper, K., Vences, L.

In CDC 2008, pages: 2408-2413, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 47th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the stereo matching problem for reconstruction of the location of 3D-points on an unknown surface patch from two calibrated identical cameras without using any a priori information about the pointwise correspondences. We assume that camera parameters and the pose between the cameras are known. Our approach follows earlier work for coplanar cameras where a gradient flow algorithm was proposed to match associated Gramians. Here we extend this method by allowing arbitrary poses for the cameras. We introduce an intrinsic Riemannian Newton algorithm that achieves local quadratic convergence rates. A closed form solution is presented, too. The efficiency of both algorithms is demonstrated by numerical experiments.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Joint Kernel Support Estimation for Structured Prediction

Lampert, C., Blaschko, M.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2008 Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO 2008), pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO), December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new technique for structured prediction that works in a hybrid generative/ discriminative way, using a one-class support vector machine to model the joint probability of (input, output)-pairs in a joint reproducing kernel Hilbert space. Compared to discriminative techniques, like conditional random elds or structured out- put SVMs, the proposed method has the advantage that its training time depends only on the number of training examples, not on the size of the label space. Due to its generative aspect, it is also very tolerant against ambiguous, incomplete or incorrect labels. Experiments on realistic data show that our method works eciently and robustly in situations for which discriminative techniques have computational or statistical problems.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Metropolis Algorithms for Representative Subgraph Sampling

Hübler, C., Kriegel, H., Borgwardt, K., Ghahramani, Z.

In pages: 283-292, (Editors: Giannotti, F.), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Eighth IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM '08) , December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
While data mining in chemoinformatics studied graph data with dozens of nodes, systems biology and the Internet are now generating graph data with thousands and millions of nodes. Hence data mining faces the algorithmic challenge of coping with this significant increase in graph size: Classic algorithms for data analysis are often too expensive and too slow on large graphs. While one strategy to overcome this problem is to design novel efficient algorithms, the other is to 'reduce' the size of the large graph by sampling. This is the scope of this paper: We will present novel Metropolis algorithms for sampling a 'representative' small subgraph from the original large graph, with 'representative' describing the requirement that the sample shall preserve crucial graph properties of the original graph. In our experiments, we improve over the pioneering work of Leskovec and Faloutsos (KDD 2006), by producing representative subgraph samples that are both smaller and of higher quality than those produced by other methods from the literature.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Frequent Subgraph Retrieval in Geometric Graph Databases

Nowozin, S., Tsuda, K.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 953-958, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 8th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Discovery of knowledge from geometric graph databases is of particular importance in chemistry and biology, because chemical compounds and proteins are represented as graphs with 3D geometric coordinates. In such applications, scientists are not interested in the statistics of the whole database. Instead they need information about a novel drug candidate or protein at hand, represented as a query graph. We propose a polynomial-delay algorithm for geometric frequent subgraph retrieval. It enumerates all subgraphs of a single given query graph which are frequent geometric $epsilon$-subgraphs under the entire class of rigid geometric transformations in a database. By using geometric$epsilon$-subgraphs, we achieve tolerance against variations in geometry. We compare the proposed algorithm to gSpan on chemical compound data, and we show that for a given minimum support the total number of frequent patterns is substantially limited by requiring geometric matching. Although the computation time per pattern is lar ger than for non-geometric graph mining,the total time is within a reasonable level even for small minimum support.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Block Iterative Algorithms for Non-negative Matrix Approximation

Sra, S.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 1037-1042, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Eighth IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we present new algorithms for non-negative matrix approximation (NMA), commonly known as the NMF problem. Our methods improve upon the well-known methods of Lee & Seung~cite{lee00} for both the Frobenius norm as well the Kullback-Leibler divergence versions of the problem. For the latter problem, our results are especially interesting because it seems to have witnessed much lesser algorithmic progress as compared to the Frobenius norm NMA problem. Our algorithms are based on a particular textbf {block-iterative} acceleration technique for EM, which preserves the multiplicative nature of the updates and also ensures monotonicity. Furthermore, our algorithms also naturally apply to the Bregman-divergence NMA algorithms of~cite{suv.nips}. Experimentally, we show that our algorithms outperform the traditional Lee/Seung approach most of the time.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Bayesian Approach to Switching Linear Gaussian State-Space Models for Unsupervised Time-Series Segmentation

Chiappa, S.

In ICMLA 2008, pages: 3-9, (Editors: Wani, M. A., X.-W. Chen, D. Casasent, L. Kurgan, T. Hu, K. Hafeez), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 7th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Time-series segmentation in the fully unsupervised scenario in which the number of segment-types is a priori unknown is a fundamental problem in many applications. We propose a Bayesian approach to a segmentation model based on the switching linear Gaussian state-space model that enforces a sparse parametrization, such as to use only a small number of a priori available different dynamics to explain the data. This enables us to estimate the number of segment-types within the model, in contrast to previous non-Bayesian approaches where training and comparing several separate models was required. As the resulting model is computationally intractable, we introduce a variational approximation where a reformulation of the problem enables the use of efficient inference algorithms.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Infinite Kernel Learning

Gehler, P., Nowozin, S.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2008 Workshop on "Kernel Learning: Automatic Selection of Optimal Kernels", pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop on "Kernel Learning: Automatic Selection of Optimal Kernels" (LK ASOK´08), December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we build upon the Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) framework and in particular on [1] which generalized it to infinitely many kernels. We rewrite the problem in the standard MKL formulation which leads to a Semi-Infinite Program. We devise a new algorithm to solve it (Infinite Kernel Learning, IKL). The IKL algorithm is applicable to both the finite and infinite case and we find it to be faster and more stable than SimpleMKL [2]. Furthermore we present the first large scale comparison of SVMs to MKL on a variety of benchmark datasets, also comparing IKL. The results show two things: a) for many datasets there is no benefit in using MKL/IKL instead of the SVM classifier, thus the flexibility of using more than one kernel seems to be of no use, b) on some datasets IKL yields massive increases in accuracy over SVM/MKL due to the possibility of using a largely increased kernel set. For those cases parameter selection through Cross-Validation or MKL is not applicable.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Logistic Regression for Graph Classification

Shervashidze, N., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO), December 2008 (talk)

Abstract
In this paper we deal with graph classification. We propose a new algorithm for performing sparse logistic regression for graphs, which is comparable in accuracy with other methods of graph classification and produces probabilistic output in addition. Sparsity is required for the reason of interpretability, which is often necessary in domains such as bioinformatics or chemoinformatics.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Prediction-Directed Compression of POMDPs

Boularias, A., Izadi, M., Chaib-Draa, B.

In ICMLA 2008, pages: 99-105, (Editors: Wani, M. A., X.-W. Chen, D. Casasent, L. A. Kurgan, T. Hu, K. Hafeez), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Seventh International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
High dimensionality of belief space in partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) is one of the major causes that severely restricts the applicability of this model. Previous studies have demonstrated that the dimensionality of a POMDP can eventually be reduced by transforming it into an equivalent predictive state representation (PSR). In this paper, we address the problem of finding an approximate and compact PSR model corresponding to a given POMDP model. We formulate this problem in an optimization framework. Our algorithm tries to minimize the potential error that missing some core tests may cause. We also present an empirical evaluation on benchmark problems, illustrating the performance of this approach.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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New Projected Quasi-Newton Methods with Applications

Sra, S.

Microsoft Research Tech-talk, December 2008 (talk)

Abstract
Box-constrained convex optimization problems are central to several applications in a variety of fields such as statistics, psychometrics, signal processing, medical imaging, and machine learning. Two fundamental examples are the non-negative least squares (NNLS) problem and the non-negative Kullback-Leibler (NNKL) divergence minimization problem. The non-negativity constraints are usually based on an underlying physical restriction, for e.g., when dealing with applications in astronomy, tomography, statistical estimation, or image restoration, the underlying parameters represent physical quantities such as concentration, weight, intensity, or frequency counts and are therefore only interpretable with non-negative values. Several modern optimization methods can be inefficient for simple problems such as NNLS and NNKL as they are really designed to handle far more general and complex problems. In this work we develop two simple quasi-Newton methods for solving box-constrained (differentiable) convex optimization problems that utilize the well-known BFGS and limited memory BFGS updates. We position our method between projected gradient (Rosen, 1960) and projected Newton (Bertsekas, 1982) methods, and prove its convergence under a simple Armijo step-size rule. We illustrate our method by showing applications to: Image deblurring, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image reconstruction, and Non-negative Matrix Approximation (NMA). On medium sized data we observe performance competitive to established procedures, while for larger data the results are even better.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Iterative Subgraph Mining for Principal Component Analysis

Saigo, H., Tsuda, K.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 1007-1012, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Graph mining methods enumerate frequent subgraphs efficiently, but they are not necessarily good features for machine learning due to high correlation among features. Thus it makes sense to perform principal component analysis to reduce the dimensionality and create decorrelated features. We present a novel iterative mining algorithm that captures informative patterns corresponding to major entries of top principal components. It repeatedly calls weighted substructure mining where example weights are updated in each iteration. The Lanczos algorithm, a standard algorithm of eigendecomposition, is employed to update the weights. In experiments, our patterns are shown to approximate the principal components obtained by frequent mining.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modelling contrast discrimination data suggest both the pedestal effect and stochastic resonance to be caused by the same mechanism

Goris, R., Wagemans, J., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 8(15):1-21, November 2008 (article)

Abstract
Computational models of spatial vision typically make use of a (rectified) linear filter, a nonlinearity and dominant late noise to account for human contrast discrimination data. Linear–nonlinear cascade models predict an improvement in observers' contrast detection performance when low, subthreshold levels of external noise are added (i.e., stochastic resonance). Here, we address the issue whether a single contrast gain-control model of early spatial vision can account for both the pedestal effect, i.e., the improved detectability of a grating in the presence of a low-contrast masking grating, and stochastic resonance. We measured contrast discrimination performance without noise and in both weak and moderate levels of noise. Making use of a full quantitative description of our data with few parameters combined with comprehensive model selection assessments, we show the pedestal effect to be more reduced in the presence of weak noise than in moderate noise. This reduction rules out independent, additive sources of performance improvement and, together with a simulation study, supports the parsimonious explanation that a single mechanism underlies the pedestal effect and stochastic resonance in contrast perception.

Web DOI [BibTex]