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2019


Semi-supervised learning, causality, and the conditional cluster assumption
Semi-supervised learning, causality, and the conditional cluster assumption

von Kügelgen, J., Mey, A., Loog, M., Schölkopf, B.

NeurIPS 2019 Workshop “Do the right thing”: machine learning and causal inference for improved decision making, December 2019 (poster)

Poster PDF link (url) [BibTex]

2019

Poster PDF link (url) [BibTex]


Optimal experimental design via Bayesian optimization: active causal structure learning for Gaussian process networks
Optimal experimental design via Bayesian optimization: active causal structure learning for Gaussian process networks

von Kügelgen, J., Rubenstein, P. K., Schölkopf, B., Weller, A.

NeurIPS 2019 Workshop “Do the right thing”: machine learning and causal inference for improved decision making, December 2019 (poster)

arXiv Poster link (url) [BibTex]

arXiv Poster link (url) [BibTex]


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Convolutional neural networks: A magic bullet for gravitational-wave detection?

Gebhard, T., Kilbertus, N., Harry, I., Schölkopf, B.

Physical Review D, 100(6):063015, American Physical Society, September 2019 (article)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Data scarcity, robustness and extreme multi-label classification

Babbar, R., Schölkopf, B.

Machine Learning, 108(8):1329-1351, September 2019, Special Issue of the ECML PKDD 2019 Journal Track (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A 32-channel multi-coil setup optimized for human brain shimming at 9.4T

Aghaeifar, A., Zhou, J., Heule, R., Tabibian, B., Schölkopf, B., Jia, F., Zaitsev, M., Scheffler, K.

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2019, (Early View) (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Multidimensional Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization
Multidimensional Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization

Stimper, V., Bauer, S., Ernstorfer, R., Schölkopf, B., Xian, R. P.

IEEE Access, 7, pages: 165437-165447, 2019 (article)

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Learning to Control Highly Accelerated Ballistic Movements on Muscular Robots
Learning to Control Highly Accelerated Ballistic Movements on Muscular Robots

Büchler, D., Calandra, R., Peters, J.

2019 (article) Submitted

Abstract
High-speed and high-acceleration movements are inherently hard to control. Applying learning to the control of such motions on anthropomorphic robot arms can improve the accuracy of the control but might damage the system. The inherent exploration of learning approaches can lead to instabilities and the robot reaching joint limits at high speeds. Having hardware that enables safe exploration of high-speed and high-acceleration movements is therefore desirable. To address this issue, we propose to use robots actuated by Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAMs). In this paper, we present a four degrees of freedom (DoFs) robot arm that reaches high joint angle accelerations of up to 28000 °/s^2 while avoiding dangerous joint limits thanks to the antagonistic actuation and limits on the air pressure ranges. With this robot arm, we are able to tune control parameters using Bayesian optimization directly on the hardware without additional safety considerations. The achieved tracking performance on a fast trajectory exceeds previous results on comparable PAM-driven robots. We also show that our system can be controlled well on slow trajectories with PID controllers due to careful construction considerations such as minimal bending of cables, lightweight kinematics and minimal contact between PAMs and PAMs with the links. Finally, we propose a novel technique to control the the co-contraction of antagonistic muscle pairs. Experimental results illustrate that choosing the optimal co-contraction level is vital to reach better tracking performance. Through the use of PAM-driven robots and learning, we do a small step towards the future development of robots capable of more human-like motions.

Arxiv Video [BibTex]


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Perception of temporal dependencies in autoregressive motion

Meding, K., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F. A.

European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), 2019 (poster)

[BibTex]


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Robustifying Independent Component Analysis by Adjusting for Group-Wise Stationary Noise

Pfister*, N., Weichwald*, S., Bühlmann, P., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 20(147):1-50, 2019, *equal contribution (article)

ArXiv Code Project page PDF link (url) Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Enhancing Human Learning via Spaced Repetition Optimization

Tabibian, B., Upadhyay, U., De, A., Zarezade, A., Schölkopf, B., Gomez Rodriguez, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(10):3988-3993, National Academy of Sciences, 2019 (article)

link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Quantum mean embedding of probability distributions

Kübler, J. M., Muandet, K., Schölkopf, B.

Physical Review Research, 1(3):033159, American Physical Society, 2019 (article)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring causation from time series with perspectives in Earth system sciences

Runge, J., Bathiany, S., Bollt, E., Camps-Valls, G., Coumou, D., Deyle, E., Glymour, C., Kretschmer, M., Mahecha, M., Munoz-Mari, J., van Nes, E., Peters, J., Quax, R., Reichstein, M., Scheffer, M., Schölkopf, B., Spirtes, P., Sugihara, G., Sun, J., Zhang, K., Zscheischler, J.

Nature Communications, 10(2553), 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Phenomenal Causality and Sensory Realism

Bruijns, S. A., Meding, K., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F. A.

European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), 2019 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Eigendecompositions of Transfer Operators in Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces

Klus, S., Schuster, I., Muandet, K.

Journal of Nonlinear Science, 2019, First Online: 21 August 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2003


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Texture and haptic cues in slant discrimination: Measuring the effect of texture type on cue combination

Rosas, P., Wichmann, F., Ernst, M., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 3(12):26, 2003 Fall Vision Meeting of the Optical Society of America, December 2003 (poster)

Abstract
In a number of models of depth cue combination the depth percept is constructed via a weighted average combination of independent depth estimations. The influence of each cue in such average depends on the reliability of the source of information. (Young, Landy, & Maloney, 1993; Ernst & Banks, 2002.) In particular, Ernst & Banks (2002) formulate the combination performed by the human brain as that of the minimum variance unbiased estimator that can be constructed from the available cues. Using slant discrimination and slant judgment via probe adjustment as tasks, we have observed systematic differences in performance of human observers when a number of different types of textures were used as cue to slant (Rosas, Wichmann & Wagemans, 2003). If the depth percept behaves as described above, our measurements of the slopes of the psychometric functions provide the predicted weights for the texture cue for the ranked texture types. We have combined these texture types with object motion but the obtained results are difficult to reconcile with the unbiased minimum variance estimator model (Rosas & Wagemans, 2003). This apparent failure of such model might be explained by the existence of a coupling of texture and motion, violating the assumption of independence of cues. Hillis, Ernst, Banks, & Landy (2002) have shown that while for between-modality combination the human visual system has access to the single-cue information, for within-modality combination (visual cues: disparity and texture) the single-cue information is lost, suggesting a coupling between these cues. Then, in the present study we combine the different texture types with haptic information in a slant discrimination task, to test whether in the between-modality condition the texture cue and the haptic cue to slant are combined as predicted by an unbiased, minimum variance estimator model.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2003

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Concentration Inequalities for Sub-Additive Functions Using the Entropy Method

Bousquet, O.

Stochastic Inequalities and Applications, 56, pages: 213-247, Progress in Probability, (Editors: Giné, E., C. Houdré and D. Nualart), November 2003 (article)

Abstract
We obtain exponential concentration inequalities for sub-additive functions of independent random variables under weak conditions on the increments of those functions, like the existence of exponential moments for these increments. As a consequence of these general inequalities, we obtain refinements of Talagrand's inequality for empirical processes and new bounds for randomized empirical processes. These results are obtained by further developing the entropy method introduced by Ledoux.

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Statistical Learning Theory, Capacity and Complexity

Schölkopf, B.

Complexity, 8(4):87-94, July 2003 (article)

Abstract
We give an exposition of the ideas of statistical learning theory, followed by a discussion of how a reinterpretation of the insights of learning theory could potentially also benefit our understanding of a certain notion of complexity.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Dealing with large Diagonals in Kernel Matrices

Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Eskin, E., Leslie, C., Noble, W.

Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 55(2):391-408, June 2003 (article)

Abstract
In kernel methods, all the information about the training data is contained in the Gram matrix. If this matrix has large diagonal values, which arises for many types of kernels, then kernel methods do not perform well: We propose and test several methods for dealing with this problem by reducing the dynamic range of the matrix while preserving the positive definiteness of the Hessian of the quadratic programming problem that one has to solve when training a Support Vector Machine, which is a common kernel approach for pattern recognition.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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The em Algorithm for Kernel Matrix Completion with Auxiliary Data

Tsuda, K., Akaho, S., Asai, K.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 4, pages: 67-81, May 2003 (article)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Constructing Descriptive and Discriminative Non-linear Features: Rayleigh Coefficients in Kernel Feature Spaces

Mika, S., Rätsch, G., Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A., Müller, K.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 25(5):623-628, May 2003 (article)

Abstract
We incorporate prior knowledge to construct nonlinear algorithms for invariant feature extraction and discrimination. Employing a unified framework in terms of a nonlinearized variant of the Rayleigh coefficient, we propose nonlinear generalizations of Fisher‘s discriminant and oriented PCA using support vector kernel functions. Extensive simulations show the utility of our approach.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Tractable Inference for Probabilistic Data Models

Csato, L., Opper, M., Winther, O.

Complexity, 8(4):64-68, April 2003 (article)

Abstract
We present an approximation technique for probabilistic data models with a large number of hidden variables, based on ideas from statistical physics. We give examples for two nontrivial applications. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PDF GZIP Web [BibTex]

PDF GZIP Web [BibTex]


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Feature selection and transduction for prediction of molecular bioactivity for drug design

Weston, J., Perez-Cruz, F., Bousquet, O., Chapelle, O., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B.

Bioinformatics, 19(6):764-771, April 2003 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: In drug discovery a key task is to identify characteristics that separate active (binding) compounds from inactive (non-binding) ones. An automated prediction system can help reduce resources necessary to carry out this task. Results: Two methods for prediction of molecular bioactivity for drug design are introduced and shown to perform well in a data set previously studied as part of the KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) Cup 2001. The data is characterized by very few positive examples, a very large number of features (describing three-dimensional properties of the molecules) and rather different distributions between training and test data. Two techniques are introduced specifically to tackle these problems: a feature selection method for unbalanced data and a classifier which adapts to the distribution of the the unlabeled test data (a so-called transductive method). We show both techniques improve identification performance and in conjunction provide an improvement over using only one of the techniques. Our results suggest the importance of taking into account the characteristics in this data which may also be relevant in other problems of a similar type.

Web [BibTex]


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Use of the Zero-Norm with Linear Models and Kernel Methods

Weston, J., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Tipping, M.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 3, pages: 1439-1461, March 2003 (article)

Abstract
We explore the use of the so-called zero-norm of the parameters of linear models in learning. Minimization of such a quantity has many uses in a machine learning context: for variable or feature selection, minimizing training error and ensuring sparsity in solutions. We derive a simple but practical method for achieving these goals and discuss its relationship to existing techniques of minimizing the zero-norm. The method boils down to implementing a simple modification of vanilla SVM, namely via an iterative multiplicative rescaling of the training data. Applications we investigate which aid our discussion include variable and feature selection on biological microarray data, and multicategory classification.

PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]

PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]


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Phase Information and the Recognition of Natural Images

Braun, D., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

6, pages: 138, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image showing a ower is swapped with the phase spectrum of an image showing a tank, then we will usually perceive a tank in the resulting image, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the ower. Also, when the phases of an image are randomly swapped across frequencies, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognize. Our goal was to evaluate the e ect of phase manipulations in a more quantitative manner. On each trial subjects viewed two images of natural scenes. The subject had to indicate which one of the two images contained an animal. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was uniformly distributed in the interval [;+], where  was varied between 0 degree and 180 degrees. Image pairs were displayed for 100 msec. Subjects were remarkably resistant to the addition of phase noise. Even with [120; 120] degree noise, subjects still were at a level of 75% correct. The introduction of phase noise leads to a reduction of image contrast. Subjects were slightly better than a simple prediction based on this contrast reduction. However, when contrast response functions were measured in the same experimental paradigm, we found that performance in the phase noise experiment was signi cantly lower than that predicted by the corresponding contrast reduction.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Constraints measures and reproduction of style in robot imitation learning

Bakir, GH., Ilg, W., Franz, MO., Giese, M.

6, pages: 70, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Imitation learning is frequently discussed as a method for generating complex behaviors in robots by imitating human actors. The kinematic and the dynamic properties of humans and robots are typically quite di erent, however. For this reason observed human trajectories cannot be directly transferred to robots, even if their geometry is humanoid. Instead the human trajectory must be approximated by trajectories that can be realized by the robot. During this approximation deviations from the human trajectory may arise that change the style of the executed movement. Alternatively, the style of the movement might be well reproduced, but the imitated trajectory might be suboptimal with respect to di erent constraint measures from robotics control, leading to non-robust behavior. Goal of the presented work is to quantify this trade-o between \imitation quality" and constraint compatibility for the imitation of complex writing movements. In our experiment, we used trajectory data from human writing movements (see the abstract of Ilg et al. in this volume). The human trajectories were mapped onto robot trajectories by minimizing an error measure that integrates constraints that are important for the imitation of movement style and a regularizing constraint that ensures smooth joint trajectories with low velocities. In a rst experiment, both the end-e ector position and the shoulder angle of the robot were optimized in order to achieve good imitation together with accurate control of the end-e ector position. In a second experiment only the end-e ector trajectory was imitated whereas the motion of the elbow joint was determined using the optimal inverse kinematic solution for the robot. For both conditions di erent constraint measures (dexterity and relative jointlimit distances) and a measure for imitation quality were assessed. By controling the weight of the regularization term we can vary continuously between robot behavior optimizing imitation quality, and behavior minimizing joint velocities.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Study of Human Classification using Psychophysics and Machine Learning

Graf, A., Wichmann, F., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B.

6, pages: 149, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), Febuary 2003 (poster)

Abstract
We attempt to reach a better understanding of classi cation in humans using both psychophysical and machine learning techniques. In our psychophysical paradigm the stimuli presented to the human subjects are modi ed using machine learning algorithms according to their responses. Frontal views of human faces taken from a processed version of the MPI face database are employed for a gender classi cation task. The processing assures that all heads have same mean intensity, same pixel-surface area and are centered. This processing stage is followed by a smoothing of the database in order to eliminate, as much as possible, scanning artifacts. Principal Component Analysis is used to obtain a low-dimensional representation of the faces in the database. A subject is asked to classify the faces and experimental parameters such as class (i.e. female/male), con dence ratings and reaction times are recorded. A mean classi cation error of 14.5% is measured and, on average, 0.5 males are classi ed as females and 21.3females as males. The mean reaction time for the correctly classi ed faces is 1229 +- 252 [ms] whereas the incorrectly classi ed faces have a mean reaction time of 1769 +- 304 [ms] showing that the reaction times increase with the subject's classi- cation error. Reaction times are also shown to decrease with increasing con dence, both for the correct and incorrect classi cations. Classi cation errors, reaction times and con dence ratings are then correlated to concepts of machine learning such as separating hyperplane obtained when considering Support Vector Machines, Relevance Vector Machines, boosted Prototype and K-means Learners. Elements near the separating hyperplane are found to be classi ed with more errors than those away from it. In addition, the subject's con dence increases when moving away from the hyperplane. A preliminary analysis on the available small number of subjects indicates that K-means classi cation seems to re ect the subject's classi cation behavior best. The above learnersare then used to generate \special" elements, or representations, of the low-dimensional database according to the labels given by the subject. A memory experiment follows where the representations are shown together with faces seen or unseen during the classi cation experiment. This experiment aims to assess the representations by investigating whether some representations, or special elements, are classi ed as \seen before" despite that they never appeared in the classi cation experiment, possibly hinting at their use during human classi cation.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Representation of Complex Movement Sequences Based on Hierarchical Spatio-Temporal Correspondence for Imitation Learning in Robotics

Ilg, W., Bakir, GH., Franz, MO., Giese, M.

6, pages: 74, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (poster)

Abstract
Imitation learning of complex movements has become a popular topic in neuroscience, as well as in robotics. A number of conceptual as well as practical problems are still unsolved. One example is the determination of the aspects of movements which are relevant for imitation. Problems concerning the movement representation are twofold: (1) The movement characteristics of observed movements have to be transferred from the perceptual level to the level of generated actions. (2) Continuous spaces of movements with variable styles have to be approximated based on a limited number of learned example sequences. Therefore, one has to use representation with a high generalisation capability. We present methods for the representation of complex movement sequences that addresses these questions in the context of the imitation learning of writing movements using a robot arm with human-like geometry. For the transfer of complex movements from perception to action we exploit a learning-based method that represents complex action sequences by linear combination of prototypical examples (Ilg and Giese, BMCV 2002). The method of hierarchical spatio-temporal morphable models (HSTMM) decomposes action sequences automatically into movement primitives. These primitives are modeled by linear combinations of a small number of learned example trajectories. The learned spatio-temporal models are suitable for the analysis and synthesis of long action sequences, which consist of movement primitives with varying style parameters. The proposed method is illustrated by imitation learning of complex writing movements. Human trajectories were recorded using a commercial motion capture system (VICON). In the rst step the recorded writing sequences are decomposed into movement primitives. These movement primitives can be analyzed and changed in style by de ning linear combinations of prototypes with di erent linear weight combinations. Our system can imitate writing movements of di erent actors, synthesize new writing styles and can even exaggerate the writing movements of individual actors. Words and writing movements of the robot look very natural, and closely match the natural styles. These preliminary results makes the proposed method promising for further applications in learning-based robotics. In this poster we focus on the acquisition of the movement representation (identi cation and segmentation of movement primitives, generation of new writing styles by spatio-temporal morphing). The transfer of the generated writing movements to the robot considering the given kinematic and dynamic constraints is discussed in Bakir et al (this volume).

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Introduction to Variable and Feature Selection.

Guyon, I., Elisseeff, A.

Journal of Machine Learning, 3, pages: 1157-1182, 2003 (article)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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New Approaches to Statistical Learning Theory

Bousquet, O.

Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 55(2):371-389, 2003 (article)

Abstract
We present new tools from probability theory that can be applied to the analysis of learning algorithms. These tools allow to derive new bounds on the generalization performance of learning algorithms and to propose alternative measures of the complexity of the learning task, which in turn can be used to derive new learning algorithms.

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Models of contrast transfer as a function of presentation time and spatial frequency.

Wichmann, F.

2003 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast transduction is essential for understanding spatial vision. Using standard 2AFC contrast discrimination experiments conducted using a carefully calibrated display we previously showed that the shape of the threshold versus (pedestal) contrast (TvC) curve changes with presentation time and the performance level defined as threshold (Wichmann, 1999; Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Additional experiments looked at the change of the TvC curve with spatial frequency (Bird, Henning & Wichmann, 2002), and at how to constrain the parameters of models of contrast processing (Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results both across spatial frequency and presentation time. An extensive model-selection exploration was performed using Bayesian confidence regions for the fitted parameters as well as cross-validation methods. Bird, C.M., G.B. Henning and F.A. Wichmann (2002). Contrast discrimination with sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19, 1267-1273. Wichmann, F.A. (1999). Some aspects of modelling human spatial vision: contrast discrimination. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Oxford. Wichmann, F.A. & Henning, G.B. (1999). Implications of the Pedestal Effect for Models of Contrast-Processing and Gain-Control. OSA Annual Meeting Program, 62. Wichmann, F.A. (2002). Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 2, 7a.

[BibTex]

2002


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Surface-slant-from-texture discrimination: Effects of slant level and texture type

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

Journal of Vision, 2(7):300, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The problem of surface-slant-from-texture was studied psychophysically by measuring the performances of five human subjects in a slant-discrimination task with a number of different types of textures: uniform lattices, randomly displaced lattices, polka dots, Voronoi tessellations, orthogonal sinusoidal plaid patterns, fractal or 1/f noise, “coherent” noise and a “diffusion-based” texture (leopard skin-like). The results show: (1) Improving performance with larger slants for all textures. (2) A “non-symmetrical” performance around a particular slant characterized by a psychometric function that is steeper in the direction of the more slanted orientation. (3) For sufficiently large slants (66 deg) there are no major differences in performance between any of the different textures. (4) For slants at 26, 37 and 53 degrees, however, there are marked differences between the different textures. (5) The observed differences in performance across textures for slants up to 53 degrees are systematic within subjects, and nearly so across them. This allows a rank-order of textures to be formed according to their “helpfulness” — that is, how easy the discrimination task is when a particular texture is mapped on the surface. Polka dots tended to allow the best slant discrimination performance, noise patterns the worst up to the large slant of 66 degrees at which performance was almost independent of the particular texture chosen. Finally, our large number of 2AFC trials (approximately 2800 trials per texture across subjects) and associated tight confidence intervals may enable us to find out about which statistical properties of the textures could be responsible for surface-slant-from-texture estimation, with the ultimate goal of being able to predict observer performance for any arbitrary texture.

Web DOI [BibTex]

2002

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modelling Contrast Transfer in Spatial Vision

Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 2(10):7, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast, the results of which allow different models of contrast processing (e.g. energy versus gain-control models) to be critically assessed (Wichmann & Henning, 1999). Studies of detection and discrimination using pulse train stimuli in noise, on the other hand, make predictions about the number, position and properties of noise sources within the processing stream (Henning, Bird & Wichmann, 2002). Here I report modelling results combining data from both sinusoidal and pulse train experiments in and without noise to arrive at a more tightly constrained model of early spatial vision.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Pulse train detection and discrimination in pink noise

Henning, G., Wichmann, F., Bird, C.

Journal of Vision, 2(7):229, Second Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), November 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on the display was measured and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband "pink" noise, designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train, made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. In contrast, a 2.09-c/deg "super train," constructed to have 8 equally detectable harmonics, was a factor of five more detectable than any of its components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Constructing Boosting algorithms from SVMs: an application to one-class classification.

Rätsch, G., Mika, S., Schölkopf, B., Müller, K.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 24(9):1184-1199, September 2002 (article)

Abstract
We show via an equivalence of mathematical programs that a support vector (SV) algorithm can be translated into an equivalent boosting-like algorithm and vice versa. We exemplify this translation procedure for a new algorithm—one-class leveraging—starting from the one-class support vector machine (1-SVM). This is a first step toward unsupervised learning in a boosting framework. Building on so-called barrier methods known from the theory of constrained optimization, it returns a function, written as a convex combination of base hypotheses, that characterizes whether a given test point is likely to have been generated from the distribution underlying the training data. Simulations on one-class classification problems demonstrate the usefulness of our approach.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Phase information in the recognition of natural images

Braun, D., Wichmann, F., Gegenfurtner, K.

Perception, 31(ECVP Abstract Supplement):133, 25th European Conference on Visual Perception, August 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Fourier phase plays an important role in determining global image structure. For example, when the phase spectrum of an image of a flower is swapped with that of a tank, we usually perceive a tank, even though the amplitude spectrum is still that of the flower. Similarly, when the phase spectrum of an image is randomly swapped across frequencies, that is its Fourier energy is randomly distributed over the image, the resulting image becomes impossible to recognise. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of phase manipulations in a quantitative manner. Subjects viewed two images of natural scenes, one of which contained an animal (the target) embedded in the background. The spectra of the images were manipulated by adding random phase noise at each frequency. The phase noise was the independent variable, uniformly distributed between 0° and ±180°. Subjects were remarkably resistant to phase noise. Even with ±120° noise, subjects were still 75% correct. The proportion of correct answers closely followed the correlation between original and noise-distorted images. Thus it appears as if it was not the global phase information per se that determines our percept of natural images, but rather the effect of phase on local image features.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The contributions of color to recognition memory for natural scenes

Wichmann, F., Sharpe, L., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 28(3):509-520, May 2002 (article)

Abstract
The authors used a recognition memory paradigm to assess the influence of color information on visual memory for images of natural scenes. Subjects performed 5-10% better for colored than for black-and-white images independent of exposure duration. Experiment 2 indicated little influence of contrast once the images were suprathreshold, and Experiment 3 revealed that performance worsened when images were presented in color and tested in black and white, or vice versa, leading to the conclusion that the surface property color is part of the memory representation. Experiments 4 and 5 exclude the possibility that the superior recognition memory for colored images results solely from attentional factors or saliency. Finally, the recognition memory advantage disappears for falsely colored images of natural scenes: The improvement in recognition memory depends on the color congruence of presented images with learned knowledge about the color gamut found within natural scenes. The results can be accounted for within a multiple memory systems framework.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Detection and discrimination in pink noise

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

5, pages: 100, 5. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2002 (poster)

Abstract
Much of our information about early spatial vision comes from detection experiments involving low-contrast stimuli, which are not, perhaps, particularly "natural" stimuli. Contrast discrimination experiments provide one way to explore the visual system's response to stimuli of higher contrast whilst keeping the number of unknown parameters comparatively small. We explored both detection and contrast discrimination performance with sinusoidal and "pulse-train" (or line) gratings. Both types of grating had a fundamental spatial frequency of 2.09-c/deg but the pulse-train, ideally, contains, in addition to its fundamental component, all the harmonics of the fundamental. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train produced on our display was measured using a high-performance digital camera (Photometrics) and shown to contain at least 8 harmonics at equal contrast, it was no more detectable than its most detectable component; no benefit from having additional information at the harmonics was measurable. The addition of broadband 1-D "pink" noise made it about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with an in-phase pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not improve the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that of its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Training invariant support vector machines

DeCoste, D., Schölkopf, B.

Machine Learning, 46(1-3):161-190, January 2002 (article)

Abstract
Practical experience has shown that in order to obtain the best possible performance, prior knowledge about invariances of a classification problem at hand ought to be incorporated into the training procedure. We describe and review all known methods for doing so in support vector machines, provide experimental results, and discuss their respective merits. One of the significant new results reported in this work is our recent achievement of the lowest reported test error on the well-known MNIST digit recognition benchmark task, with SVM training times that are also significantly faster than previous SVM methods.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Contrast discrimination with sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency

Bird, C., Henning, G., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(7), pages: 1267-1273, 2002 (article)

Abstract
The detectability of contrast increments was measured as a function of the contrast of a masking or “pedestal” grating at a number of different spatial frequencies ranging from 2 to 16 cycles per degree of visual angle. The pedestal grating always had the same orientation, spatial frequency and phase as the signal. The shape of the contrast increment threshold versus pedestal contrast (TvC) functions depend of the performance level used to define the “threshold,” but when both axes are normalized by the contrast corresponding to 75% correct detection at each frequency, the (TvC) functions at a given performance level are identical. Confidence intervals on the slope of the rising part of the TvC functions are so wide that it is not possible with our data to reject Weber’s Law.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Application of Monte Carlo Methods to Psychometric Function Fitting

Wichmann, F.

Proceedings of the 33rd European Conference on Mathematical Psychology, pages: 44, 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The psychometric function relates an observer's performance to an independent variable, usually some physical quantity of a stimulus in a psychophysical task. Here I describe methods to (1) fitting psychometric functions, (2) assessing goodness-of-fit, and (3) providing confidence intervals for the function's parameters and other estimates derived from them. First I describe a constrained maximum-likelihood method for parameter estimation. Using Monte-Carlo simulations I demonstrate that it is important to have a fitting method that takes stimulus-independent errors (or "lapses") into account. Second, a number of goodness-of-fit tests are introduced. Because psychophysical data sets are usually rather small I advocate the use of Monte Carlo resampling techniques that do not rely on asymptotic theory for goodness-of-fit assessment. Third, a parametric bootstrap is employed to estimate the variability of fitted parameters and derived quantities such as thresholds and slopes. I describe how the bootstrap bridging assumption, on which the validity of the procedure depends, can be tested without incurring too high a cost in computation time. Finally I describe how the methods can be extended to test hypotheses concerning the form and shape of several psychometric functions. Software describing the methods is available (http://www.bootstrap-software.com/psignifit/), as well as articles describing the methods in detail (Wichmann&Hill, Perception&Psychophysics, 2001a,b).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Contrast discrimination with pulse-trains in pink noise

Henning, G., Bird, C., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 19(7), pages: 1259-1266, 2002 (article)

Abstract
Detection performance was measured with sinusoidal and pulse-train gratings. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train, or line gratings, contained at least 8 harmonics all at equal contrast, they were no more detectable than their most detectable component. The addition of broadband pink noise designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train made the pulse train about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with a pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not affect the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that obtained with its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Optimal linear estimation of self-motion - a real-world test of a model of fly tangential neurons

Franz, MO.

SAB 02 Workshop, Robotics as theoretical biology, 7th meeting of the International Society for Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour (SAB), (Editors: Prescott, T.; Webb, B.), 2002 (poster)

Abstract
The tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during self-motion (see example in Fig.1). We examine whether a simplified linear model of these neurons can be used to estimate self-motion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an optimal linear estimator incorporating prior knowledge both about the distance distribution of the environment, and about the noise and self-motion statistics of the sensor. The optimal estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor that can be moved along three translational and one rotational degree of freedom. The experiments indicate that the proposed approach yields accurate results for rotation estimates, independently of the current translation and scene layout. Translation estimates, however, turned out to be sensitive to simultaneous rotation and to the particular distance distribution of the scene. The gantry experiments confirm that the receptive field organization of the tangential neurons allows them, as an ensemble, to extract self-motion from the optic flow.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2001


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Regularized principal manifolds

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

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

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

PDF [BibTex]

2001

PDF [BibTex]


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The psychometric function: II. Bootstrap-based confidence intervals and sampling

Wichmann, F., Hill, N.

Perception and Psychophysics, 63 (8), pages: 1314-1329, 2001 (article)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]