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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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SPINDLE: End-to-end learning from EEG/EMG to extrapolate animal sleep scoring across experimental settings, labs and species

Miladinovic, D., Muheim, C., Bauer, S., Spinnler, A., Noain, D., Bandarabadi, M., Gallusser, B., Krummenacher, G., Baumann, C., Adamantidis, A., Brown, S. A., Buhmann, J. M.

PLOS Computational Biology, 15(4):1-30, Public Library of Science, April 2019 (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]


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TD-regularized actor-critic methods

Parisi, S., Tangkaratt, V., Peters, J., Khan, M. E.

Machine Learning, 108(8):1467-1501, (Editors: Karsten Borgwardt, Po-Ling Loh, Evimaria Terzi, and Antti Ukkonen), 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

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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Entropic Regularization of Markov Decision Processes

Belousov, B., Peters, J.

Entropy, 21(7):674, 2019 (article)

link (url) DOI [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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Analysis of cause-effect inference by comparing regression errors

Blöbaum, P., Janzing, D., Washio, T., Shimizu, S., Schölkopf, B.

PeerJ Computer Science, 5, pages: e169, 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Intention Aware Online Adaptation of Movement Primitives

Koert, D., Pajarinen, J., Schotschneider, A., Trick, S., Rothkopf, C., Peters, J.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(4):3719-3726, 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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Learning Trajectory Distributions for Assisted Teleoperation and Path Planning

Ewerton, M., Arenz, O., Maeda, G., Koert, D., Kolev, Z., Takahashi, M., Peters, J.

Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 6, pages: 89, 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Dense connectomic reconstruction in layer 4 of the somatosensory cortex

Motta, A., Berning, M., Boergens, K. M., Staffler, B., Beining, M., Loomba, S., Hennig, P., Wissler, H., Helmstaedter, M.

Science, 366(6469):eaay3134, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [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]


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Workshops of the seventh international brain-computer interface meeting: not getting lost in translation

Huggins, J. E., Guger, C., Aarnoutse, E., Allison, B., Anderson, C. W., Bedrick, S., Besio, W., Chavarriaga, R., Collinger, J. L., Do, A. H., Herff, C., Hohmann, M., Kinsella, M., Lee, K., Lotte, F., Müller-Putz, G., Nijholt, A., Pels, E., Peters, B., Putze, F., Rupp, R. S. G., Scott, S., Tangermann, M., Tubig, P., Zander, T.

Brain-Computer Interfaces, 6(3):71-101, Taylor & Francis, 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Compatible natural gradient policy search

Pajarinen, J., Thai, H. L., Akrour, R., Peters, J., Neumann, G.

Machine Learning, 108(8):1443-1466, (Editors: Karsten Borgwardt, Po-Ling Loh, Evimaria Terzi, and Antti Ukkonen), 2019 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2012


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Support Vector Machines, Support Measure Machines, and Quasar Target Selection

Muandet, K.

Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics (CCPP), New York University, December 2012 (talk)

[BibTex]

2012

[BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Embedding for Dirichlet Process Mixtures

Muandet, K.

NIPS Workshop on Confluence between Kernel Methods and Graphical Models, December 2012 (talk)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Jensen-Bregman LogDet Divergence with Application to Efficient Similarity Search for Covariance Matrices

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Banerjee, A., Papanikolopoulos, N.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 35(9):2161-2174, December 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Hippocampal-Cortical Interaction during Periods of Subcortical Silence

Logothetis, N., Eschenko, O., Murayama, Y., Augath, M., Steudel, T., Evrard, H., Besserve, M., Oeltermann, A.

Nature, 491, pages: 547-553, November 2012 (article)

Abstract
Hippocampal ripples, episodic high-frequency field-potential oscillations primarily occurring during sleep and calmness, have been described in mice, rats, rabbits, monkeys and humans, and so far they have been associated with retention of previously acquired awake experience. Although hippocampal ripples have been studied in detail using neurophysiological methods, the global effects of ripples on the entire brain remain elusive, primarily owing to a lack of methodologies permitting concurrent hippocampal recordings and whole-brain activity mapping. By combining electrophysiological recordings in hippocampus with ripple-triggered functional magnetic resonance imaging, here we show that most of the cerebral cortex is selectively activated during the ripples, whereas most diencephalic, midbrain and brainstem regions are strongly and consistently inhibited. Analysis of regional temporal response patterns indicates that thalamic activity suppression precedes the hippocampal population burst, which itself is temporally bounded by massive activations of association and primary cortical areas. These findings suggest that during off-line memory consolidation, synergistic thalamocortical activity may be orchestrating a privileged interaction state between hippocampus and cortex by silencing the output of subcortical centres involved in sensory processing or potentially mediating procedural learning. Such a mechanism would cause minimal interference, enabling consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Thermodynamic limits of dynamic cooling

Allahverdyan, A., Hovhannisyan, K., Janzing, D., Mahler, G.

Physical Review E, 84(4):16, October 2012 (article)

Abstract
We study dynamic cooling, where an externally driven two-level system is cooled via reservoir, a quantum system with initial canonical equilibrium state. We obtain explicitly the minimal possible temperature Tmin>0 reachable for the two-level system. The minimization goes over all unitary dynamic processes operating on the system and reservoir and over the reservoir energy spectrum. The minimal work needed to reach Tmin grows as 1/Tmin. This work cost can be significantly reduced, though, if one is satisfied by temperatures slightly above Tmin. Our results on Tmin>0 prove unattainability of the absolute zero temperature without ambiguities that surround its derivation from the entropic version of the third law. We also study cooling via a reservoir consisting of N≫1 identical spins. Here we show that Tmin∝1/N and find the maximal cooling compatible with the minimal work determined by the free energy. Finally we discuss cooling by reservoir with an initially microcanonic state and show that although a purely microcanonic state can yield the zero temperature, the unattainability is recovered when taking into account imperfections in preparing the microcanonic state.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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GLIDE: GPU-Based Linear Regression for Detection of Epistasis

Kam-Thong, T., Azencott, C., Cayton, L., Pütz, B., Altmann, A., Karbalai, N., Sämann, P., Schölkopf, B., Müller-Myhsok, B., Borgwardt, K.

Human Heredity, 73(4):220-236, September 2012 (article)

Abstract
Due to recent advances in genotyping technologies, mapping phenotypes to single loci in the genome has become a standard technique in statistical genetics. However, one-locus mapping fails to explain much of the phenotypic variance in complex traits. Here, we present GLIDE, which maps phenotypes to pairs of genetic loci and systematically searches for the epistatic interactions expected to reveal part of this missing heritability. GLIDE makes use of the computational power of consumer-grade graphics cards to detect such interactions via linear regression. This enabled us to conduct a systematic two-locus mapping study on seven disease data sets from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and on in-house hippocampal volume data in 6 h per data set, while current single CPU-based approaches require more than a year’s time to complete the same task.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Fast projection onto mixed-norm balls with applications

Sra, S.

Minining and Knowledge Discovery (DMKD), 25(2):358-377, September 2012 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian estimation of free energies from equilibrium simulations

Habeck, M.

Physical Review Letters, 109(10):5, September 2012 (article)

Abstract
Free energy calculations are an important tool in statistical physics and biomolecular simulation. This Letter outlines a Bayesian method to estimate free energies from equilibrium Monte Carlo simulations. A Gibbs sampler is developed that allows efficient sampling of free energies and the density of states. The Gibbs sampling output can be used to estimate expected free energy differences and their uncertainties. The probabilistic formulation offers a unifying framework for existing methods such as the weighted histogram analysis method and the multistate Bennett acceptance ratio; both are shown to be approximate versions of the full probabilistic treatment.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Inequalities for Martingales

Seldin, Y., Laviolette, F., Cesa-Bianchi, N., Shawe-Taylor, J., Auer, P.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 58(12):7086-7093, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
We present a set of high-probability inequalities that control the concentration of weighted averages of multiple (possibly uncountably many) simultaneously evolving and interdependent martingales. We also present a comparison inequality that bounds expectation of a convex function of martingale difference type variables by expectation of the same function of independent Bernoulli variables. This inequality is applied to derive a tighter analog of Hoeffding-Azuma inequality.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


Entropy Search for Information-Efficient Global Optimization
Entropy Search for Information-Efficient Global Optimization

Hennig, P., Schuler, C.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1809-1837, -, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
Contemporary global optimization algorithms are based on local measures of utility, rather than a probability measure over location and value of the optimum. They thus attempt to collect low function values, not to learn about the optimum. The reason for the absence of probabilistic global optimizers is that the corresponding inference problem is intractable in several ways. This paper develops desiderata for probabilistic optimization algorithms, then presents a concrete algorithm which addresses each of the computational intractabilities with a sequence of approximations and explicitly adresses the decision problem of maximizing information gain from each evaluation.

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


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A Neuromorphic Architecture for Object Recognition and Motion Anticipation Using Burst-STDP

Nere, A., Olcese, U., Balduzzi, D., Tononi, G.

PLoS ONE, 7(5):17, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
In this work we investigate the possibilities offered by a minimal framework of artificial spiking neurons to be deployed in silico. Here we introduce a hierarchical network architecture of spiking neurons which learns to recognize moving objects in a visual environment and determine the correct motor output for each object. These tasks are learned through both supervised and unsupervised spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP). STDP is responsible for the strengthening (or weakening) of synapses in relation to pre- and post-synaptic spike times and has been described as a Hebbian paradigm taking place both in vitro and in vivo. We utilize a variation of STDP learning, called burst-STDP, which is based on the notion that, since spikes are expensive in terms of energy consumption, then strong bursting activity carries more information than single (sparse) spikes. Furthermore, this learning algorithm takes advantage of homeostatic renormalization, which has been hypothesized to promote memory consolidation during NREM sleep. Using this learning rule, we design a spiking neural network architecture capable of object recognition, motion detection, attention towards important objects, and motor control outputs. We demonstrate the abilities of our design in a simple environment with distractor objects, multiple objects moving concurrently, and in the presence of noise. Most importantly, we show how this neural network is capable of performing these tasks using a simple leaky-integrate-and-fire (LIF) neuron model with binary synapses, making it fully compatible with state-of-the-art digital neuromorphic hardware designs. As such, the building blocks and learning rules presented in this paper appear promising for scalable fully neuromorphic systems to be implemented in hardware chips.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Simultaneous small animal PET/MR in activated and resting state reveals multiple brain networks

Wehrl, H., Lankes, K., Hossain, M., Bezrukov, I., Liu, C., Martirosian, P., Schick, F., Pichler, B.

20th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), May 2012 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Online Kernel-based Learning for Task-Space Tracking Robot Control

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 23(9):1417-1425, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
Abstract—Task-space control of redundant robot systems based on analytical models is known to be susceptive to modeling errors. Here, data driven model learning methods may present an interesting alternative approach. However, learning models for task-space tracking control from sampled data is an illposed problem. In particular, the same input data point can yield many different output values, which can form a non-convex solution space. Because the problem is ill-posed, models cannot be learned from such data using common regression methods. While learning of task-space control mappings is globally illposed, it has been shown in recent work that it is locally a well-defined problem. In this paper, we use this insight to formulate a local, kernel-based learning approach for online model learning for task-space tracking control. We propose a parametrization for the local model which makes an application in task-space tracking control of redundant robots possible. The model parametrization further allows us to apply the kerneltrick and, therefore, enables a formulation within the kernel learning framework. For evaluations, we show the ability of the method for online model learning for task-space tracking control of redundant robots.

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Blind Retrospective Motion Correction of MR Images

Loktyushin, A., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B.

20th Annual Scientific Meeting ISMRM, May 2012 (poster)

Abstract
Patient motion in the scanner is one of the most challenging problems in MRI. We propose a new retrospective motion correction method for which no tracking devices or specialized sequences are required. We seek the motion parameters such that the image gradients in the spatial domain become sparse. We then use these parameters to invert the motion and recover the sharp image. In our experiments we acquired 2D TSE images and 3D FLASH/MPRAGE volumes of the human head. Major quality improvements are possible in the 2D case and substantial improvements in the 3D case.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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glm-ie: The Generalised Linear Models Inference and Estimation Toolbox

Nickisch, H.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1699-1703, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
The glm-ie toolbox contains scalable estimation routines for GLMs (generalised linear models) and SLMs (sparse linear models) as well as an implementation of a scalable convex variational Bayesian inference relaxation. We designed the glm-ie package to be simple, generic and easily expansible. Most of the code is written in Matlab including some The code is fully compatible to both Matlab 7.x and GNU Octave 3.3.x. Abstract Probabilistic classification, sparse linear modelling and logistic regression are covered in a common algorithmical framework.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Information-geometric approach to inferring causal directions

Janzing, D., Mooij, J., Zhang, K., Lemeire, J., Zscheischler, J., Daniušis, P., Steudel, B., Schölkopf, B.

Artificial Intelligence, 182-183, pages: 1-31, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
While conventional approaches to causal inference are mainly based on conditional (in)dependences, recent methods also account for the shape of (conditional) distributions. The idea is that the causal hypothesis “X causes Y” imposes that the marginal distribution PX and the conditional distribution PY|X represent independent mechanisms of nature. Recently it has been postulated that the shortest description of the joint distribution PX,Y should therefore be given by separate descriptions of PX and PY|X. Since description length in the sense of Kolmogorov complexity is uncomputable, practical implementations rely on other notions of independence. Here we define independence via orthogonality in information space. This way, we can explicitly describe the kind of dependence that occurs between PY and PX|Y making the causal hypothesis “Y causes X” implausible. Remarkably, this asymmetry between cause and effect becomes particularly simple if X and Y are deterministically related. We present an inference method that works in this case. We also discuss some theoretical results for the non-deterministic case although it is not clear how to employ them for a more general inference method.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A new PET insert for simultaneous PET/MR small animal imaging

Wehrl, H., Lankes, K., Hossain, M., Bezrukov, I., Liu, C., Martirosian, P., Reischl, G., Schick, F., Pichler, B.

20th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), May 2012 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Sparse regularized regression identifies behaviorally-relevant stimulus features from psychophysical data

Schönfelder, V., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(5):3953-3969, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
As a prerequisite to quantitative psychophysical models of sensory processing it is necessary to learn to what extent decisions in behavioral tasks depend on specific stimulus features, the perceptual cues. Based on relative linear combination weights, this study demonstrates how stimulus-response data can be analyzed in this regard relying on an L1-regularized multiple logistic regression, a modern statistical procedure developed in machine learning. This method prevents complex models from over-fitting to noisy data. In addition, it enforces “sparse” solutions, a computational approximation to the postulate that a good model should contain the minimal set of predictors necessary to explain the data. In simulations, behavioral data from a classical auditory tone-in-noise detection task were generated. The proposed method is shown to precisely identify observer cues from a large set of covarying, interdependent stimulus features—a setting where standard correlational and regression methods fail. The proposed method succeeds for a wide range of signal-to-noise ratios and for deterministic as well as probabilistic observers. Furthermore, the detailed decision rules of the simulated observers were reconstructed from the estimated linear model weights allowing predictions of responses on the basis of individual stimuli.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Feature Selection via Dependence Maximization

Song, L., Smola, A., Gretton, A., Bedo, J., Borgwardt, K.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1393-1434, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
We introduce a framework of feature selection based on dependence maximization between the selected features and the labels of an estimation problem, using the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion. The key idea is that good features should be highly dependent on the labels. Our approach leads to a greedy procedure for feature selection. We show that a number of existing feature selectors are special cases of this framework. Experiments on both artificial and real-world data show that our feature selector works well in practice.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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High gamma-power predicts performance in sensorimotor-rhythm brain-computer interfaces

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 9(4):046001, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
Subjects operating a brain–computer interface (BCI) based on sensorimotor rhythms exhibit large variations in performance over the course of an experimental session. Here, we show that high-frequency γ-oscillations, originating in fronto-parietal networks, predict such variations on a trial-to-trial basis. We interpret this finding as empirical support for an influence of attentional networks on BCI performance via modulation of the sensorimotor rhythm.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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ShapePheno: Unsupervised extraction of shape phenotypes from biological image collections

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

Bioinformatics, 28(7):1001-1008, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Accurate large-scale phenotyping has recently gained considerable importance in biology. For example, in genome wide association studies technological advances have rendered genotyping cheap, leaving phenotype acquisition as the major bottleneck. Automatic image analysis is one major strategy to phenotype individuals in large numbers. Current approaches for visual phenotyping focus predominantly on summarizing statistics and geometric measures, such as height and width of an individual, or color histograms and patterns. However, more subtle, but biologically informative phenotypes, such as the local deformation of the shape of an individual with respect to the population mean cannot be automatically extracted and quantified by current techniques. Results: We propose a probabilistic machine learning model that allows for the extraction of deformation phenotypes from biological images, making them available as quantitative traits for downstream analysis. Our approach jointly models a collection of images using a learned common template that is mapped onto each image through a deformable smooth transformation. In a case study we analyze the shape deformations of 388 guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata). We find that the flexible shape phenotypes our model extracts are complementary to basic geometric measures. Moreover, these quantitative traits assort the observations into distinct groups and can be mapped to polymorphic genetic loci of the sample set.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A New Perceptual Bias Reveals Suboptimal Population Decoding of Sensory Responses

Putzeys, T., Bethge, M., Wichmann, F., Wagemans, J., Goris, R.

PLoS Computational Biology, 8(4):1-13, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
Several studies have reported optimal population decoding of sensory responses in two-alternative visual discrimination tasks. Such decoding involves integrating noisy neural responses into a more reliable representation of the likelihood that the stimuli under consideration evoked the observed responses. Importantly, an ideal observer must be able to evaluate likelihood with high precision and only consider the likelihood of the two relevant stimuli involved in the discrimination task. We report a new perceptual bias suggesting that observers read out the likelihood representation with remarkably low precision when discriminating grating spatial frequencies. Using spectrally filtered noise, we induced an asymmetry in the likelihood function of spatial frequency. This manipulation mainly affects the likelihood of spatial frequencies that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Nevertheless, we find a significant shift in perceived grating frequency, indicating that observers evaluate likelihoods of a broad range of irrelevant frequencies and discard prior knowledge of stimulus alternatives when performing two-alternative discrimination.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of a new, large field of view, small animal PET/MR system

Hossain, M., Wehrl, H., Lankes, K., Liu, C., Bezrukov, I., Reischl, G., Pichler, B.

50. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft fuer Nuklearmedizin (NuklearMedizin), April 2012 (talk)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Patterns of cis regulatory variation in diverse human populations

Stranger, BE., Montgomery, SB., Dimas, AS., Parts, L., Stegle, O., Ingle, CE., Sekowska, M., Smith, GD., Evans, D., Gutierrez-Arcelus, M., others

PLoS genetics, 8(4):e1002639, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
he genetic basis of gene expression variation has long been studied with the aim to understand the landscape of regulatory variants, but also more recently to assist in the interpretation and elucidation of disease signals. To date, many studies have looked in specific tissues and population-based samples, but there has been limited assessment of the degree of inter-population variability in regulatory variation. We analyzed genome-wide gene expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines from a total of 726 individuals from 8 global populations from the HapMap3 project and correlated gene expression levels with HapMap3 SNPs located in cis to the genes. We describe the influence of ancestry on gene expression levels within and between these diverse human populations and uncover a non-negligible impact on global patterns of gene expression. We further dissect the specific functional pathways differentiated between populations. We also identify 5,691 expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) after controlling for both non-genetic factors and population admixture and observe that half of the cis-eQTLs are replicated in one or more of the populations. We highlight patterns of eQTL-sharing between populations, which are partially determined by population genetic relatedness, and discover significant sharing of eQTL effects between Asians, European-admixed, and African subpopulations. Specifically, we observe that both the effect size and the direction of effect for eQTLs are highly conserved across populations. We observe an increasing proximity of eQTLs toward the transcription start site as sharing of eQTLs among populations increases, highlighting that variants close to TSS have stronger effects and therefore are more likely to be detected across a wider panel of populations. Together these results offer a unique picture and resource of the degree of differentiation among human populations in functional regulatory variation and provide an estimate for the transferability of complex trait variants across populations.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]