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2009


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Learning Probabilistic Models via Bayesian Inverse Planning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

2009

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Quadratic Reinforcement Learning

Hennig, P., Stern, D., Graepel, T.

NIPS Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robotics and Control, December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Policy Transfer in Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

NIPS Workshop on Transfer Learning for Structured Data (TLSD-09), December 2009 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Methods for feature selection in a learning machine

Weston, J., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Pérez-Cruz, F.

United States Patent, No 7624074, November 2009 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Clinical PET/MRI-System and Its Applications with MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS/MIC 2009), 2009, pages: 1, October 2009 (poster)

Abstract
Clinical PET/MRI is an emerging new hybrid imaging modality. In addition to provide an unique possibility for multifunctional imaging with temporally and spatially matched data, it also provides anatomical information that can also be used for attenuation correction with no radiation exposure to the subjects. A plus of combined compared to sequential PET and MR imaging is the reduction of total scan time. Here we present our initial experience with a hybrid brain PET/MRI system. Due to the ethical approval patient scans could only be performed after a diagnostic PET/CT. We estimate that in approximately 50% of the cases PET/MRI was of superior diagnostic value compared to PET/CT and was able to provide additional information, such as DTI, spectroscopy and Time Of Flight (TOF) angiography. Here we present 3 patient cases in oncology, a retropharyngeal carcinoma in neurooncology, a relapsing meningioma and in neurology a pharyngeal carcinoma in addition to an infraction of the right hemisphere. For quantitative PET imaging attenuation correction is obligatory. In current PET/MRI setup we used our MRI based atlas method for calculating the mu-map for attenuation correction. MR-based attenuation correction accuracy was quantitatively compared to CT-based PET attenuation correction. Extensive studies to assess potential mutual interferences between PET and MR imaging modalities as well as NEMA measurements have been performed. The first patient studies as well as the phantom tests clearly demonstrated the overall good imaging performance of this first human PET/MRI system. Ongoing work concentrates on advanced normalization and reconstruction methods incorporating count-rate based algorithms.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A flowering-time gene network model for association analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Klotzbücher, K., Kobayashi, Y., Shervashidze, N., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

2009(39):95-96, German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB '09), September 2009 (poster)

Abstract
In our project we want to determine a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have a major effect on the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana. Instead of performing a genome-wide association study on all SNPs in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, we examine the subset of SNPs from the flowering-time gene network model. We are interested in how the results of the association study vary when using only the ascertained subset of SNPs from the flowering network model, and when additionally using the information encoded by the structure of the network model. The network model is compiled from the literature by manual analysis and contains genes which have been found to affect the flowering time of Arabidopsis thaliana [Far+08; KW07]. The genes in this model are annotated with the SNPs that are located in these genes, or in near proximity to them. In a baseline comparison between the subset of SNPs from the graph and the set of all SNPs, we omit the structural information and calculate the correlation between the individual SNPs and the flowering time phenotype by use of statistical methods. Through this we can determine the subset of SNPs with the highest correlation to the flowering time. In order to further refine this subset, we include the additional information provided by the network structure by conducting a graph-based feature pre-selection. In the further course of this project we want to validate and examine the resulting set of SNPs and their corresponding genes with experimental methods.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Initial Data from a first PET/MRI-System and its Applications in Clinical Studies Using MRI Based Attenuation Correction

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sossi, V., Wehrl, H., Sauter, A., Schmid, A., Judenhofer, M., Schlemmer, H., Claussen, C., Pichler, B.

2009 World Molecular Imaging Congress, 2009, pages: 1200, September 2009 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A High-Speed Object Tracker from Off-the-Shelf Components

Lampert, C., Peters, J.

First IEEE Workshop on Computer Vision for Humanoid Robots in Real Environments at ICCV 2009, 1, pages: 1, September 2009 (poster)

Abstract
We introduce RTblob, an open-source real-time vision system for 3D object detection that achieves over 200 Hz tracking speed with only off-the-shelf hardware component. It allows fast and accurate tracking of colored objects in 3D without expensive and often custom-built hardware, instead making use of the PC graphics cards for the necessary image processing operations.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Estimating Critical Stimulus Features from Psychophysical Data: The Decision-Image Technique Applied to Human Faces

Macke, J., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 9(8):31, 9th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), August 2009 (poster)

Abstract
One of the main challenges in the sensory sciences is to identify the stimulus features on which the sensory systems base their computations: they are a pre-requisite for computational models of perception. We describe a technique---decision-images--- for extracting critical stimulus features based on logistic regression. Rather than embedding the stimuli in noise, as is done in classification image analysis, we want to infer the important features directly from physically heterogeneous stimuli. A Decision-image not only defines the critical region-of-interest within a stimulus but is a quantitative template which defines a direction in stimulus space. Decision-images thus enable the development of predictive models, as well as the generation of optimized stimuli for subsequent psychophysical investigations. Here we describe our method and apply it to data from a human face discrimination experiment. We show that decision-images are able to predict human responses not only in terms of overall percent correct but are able to predict, for individual observers, the probabilities with which individual faces are (mis-) classified. We then test the predictions of the models using optimized stimuli. Finally, we discuss possible generalizations of the approach and its relationships with other models.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Analysis of Human fMRI Data

Shelton, JA., Blaschko, MB., Lampert, CH., Bartels, A.

Berlin Brain Computer Interface Workshop on Advances in Neurotechnology, 2009, pages: 1, July 2009 (poster)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis (KCCA) is a general technique for subspace learning that incorporates principal components analysis (PCA) and Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as special cases. By finding directions that maximize correlation, CCA learns representations tied more closely to underlying process generating the the data and can ignore high-variance noise directions. However, for data where acquisition in a given modality is expensive or otherwise limited, CCA may suffer from small sample effects. We propose to use semisupervised Laplacian regularization to utilize data that are present in only one modality. This approach is able to find highly correlated directions that also lie along the data manifold, resulting in a more robust estimate of correlated subspaces. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data are naturally amenable to subspace techniques as data are well aligned. fMRI data of the human brain are a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of CCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single and multivariate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, the semi-supervised variants of CCA performed better than the supervised variants, including a supervised variant with Laplacian regularization. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important to different types of visual processing.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Acquiring web page information without commitment to downloading the web page

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

United States Patent, No 7565409, July 2009 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimization of k-Space Trajectories by Bayesian Experimental Design

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

17(2627), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
MR image reconstruction from undersampled k-space can be improved by nonlinear denoising estimators since they incorporate statistical prior knowledge about image sparsity. Reconstruction quality depends crucially on the undersampling design (k-space trajectory), in a manner complicated by the nonlinear and signal-dependent characteristics of these methods. We propose an algorithm to assess and optimize k-space trajectories for sparse MRI reconstruction, based on Bayesian experimental design, which is scaled up to full MR images by a novel variational relaxation to iteratively reweighted FFT or gridding computations. Designs are built sequentially by adding phase encodes predicted to be most informative, given the combination of previous measurements with image prior information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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MR-Based Attenuation Correction for PET/MR

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Aschoff, P., Lichy, M., Erb, M., Nägele, T., Brady, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

17(260), 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 2009 (poster)

Abstract
There has recently been a growing interest in combining PET and MR. Attenuation correction (AC), which accounts for radiation attenuation properties of the tissue, is mandatory for quantitative PET. In the case of PET/MR the attenuation map needs to be determined from the MR image. This is intrinsically difficult as MR intensities are not related to the electron density information of the attenuation map. Using ultra-short echo (UTE) acquisition, atlas registration and machine learning, we present methods that allow prediction of the attenuation map based on the MR image both for brain and whole body imaging.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Pre−processed feature ranking for a support vector machine

Weston, J., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Pérez-Cruz, F., Guyon, I.

United States Patent, No. 7475048, January 2009 (patent)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2003


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Natural Actor-Critic

Peters, J., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

NIPS Workshop " Planning for the Real World: The promises and challenges of dealing with uncertainty", December 2003 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

2003

PDF Web [BibTex]


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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]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A unifying computational framework for optimization and dynamic systemsapproaches to motor control

Mohajerian, P., Peters, J., Ijspeert, A., Schaal, S.

10th Joint Symposium on Neural Computation (JSNC 2003), 10, pages: 1, May 2003 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Unifying Computational Framework for Optimization and Dynamic Systems Approaches to Motor Control

Mohajerian, P., Peters, J., Ijspeert, A., Schaal, S.

13th Annual Neural Control of Movement Meeting 2003, 13, pages: 1, April 2003 (poster)

[BibTex]

[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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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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Real-Time Statistical Learning for Oculomotor Control and Visuomotor Coordination

Vijayakumar, S., Souza, A., Peters, J., Conradt, J., Rutkowski, T., Ijspeert, A., Nakanishi, J., Inoue, M., Shibata, T., Wiryo, A., Itti, L., Amari, S., Schaal, S.

(Editors: Becker, S. , S. Thrun, K. Obermayer), Sixteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), December 2002 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

2002

Web [BibTex]


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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]

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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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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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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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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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]