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2018


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Representation of sensory uncertainty in macaque visual cortex

Goris, R., Henaff, O., Meding, K.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) 2018, March 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

2018

[BibTex]


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Generalized phase locking analysis of electrophysiology data

Safavi, S., Panagiotaropoulos, T., Kapoor, V., Logothetis, N. K., Besserve, M.

7th AREADNE Conference on Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2018 (poster)

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Photorealistic Video Super Resolution

Pérez-Pellitero, E., Sajjadi, M. S. M., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

Workshop and Challenge on Perceptual Image Restoration and Manipulation (PIRM) at the 15th European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Retinal image quality of the human eye across the visual field

Meding, K., Hirsch, M., Wichmann, F. A.

14th Biannual Conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science (KOGWIS 2018), 2018 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2008


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Frequent Subgraph Retrieval in Geometric Graph Databases

Nowozin, S., Tsuda, K.

(180), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

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

PDF [BibTex]

2008

PDF [BibTex]


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Variational Bayesian Model Selection in Linear Gaussian State-Space based Models

Chiappa, S.

International Workshop on Flexible Modelling: Smoothing and Robustness (FMSR 2008), 2008, pages: 1, November 2008 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Simultaneous Implicit Surface Reconstruction and Meshing

Giesen, J., Maier, M., Schölkopf, B.

(179), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate an implicit method to compute a piecewise linear representation of a surface from a set of sample points. As implicit surface functions we use the weighted sum of piecewise linear kernel functions. For such a function we can partition Rd in such a way that these functions are linear on the subsets of the partition. For each subset in the partition we can then compute the zero level set of the function exactly as the intersection of a hyperplane with the subset.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Taxonomy Inference Using Kernel Dependence Measures

Blaschko, M., Gretton, A.

(181), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a family of unsupervised algorithms, numerical taxonomy clustering, to simultaneously cluster data, and to learn a taxonomy that encodes the relationship between the clusters. The algorithms work by maximizing the dependence between the taxonomy and the original data. The resulting taxonomy is a more informative visualization of complex data than simple clustering; in addition, taking into account the relations between different clusters is shown to substantially improve the quality of the clustering, when compared with state-of-the-art algorithms in the literature (both spectral clustering and a previous dependence maximization approach). We demonstrate our algorithm on image and text data.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Infinite Kernel Learning

Gehler, P., Nowozin, S.

(178), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, October 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we consider the problem of automatically learning the kernel from general kernel classes. Specifically we build upon the Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) framework and in particular on the work of (Argyriou, Hauser, Micchelli, & Pontil, 2006). We will formulate a Semi-Infinite Program (SIP) to solve the problem and devise a new algorithm to solve it (Infinite Kernel Learning, IKL). The IKL algorithm is applicable to both the finite and infinite case and we find it to be faster and more stable than SimpleMKL (Rakotomamonjy, Bach, Canu, & Grandvalet, 2007) for cases of many kernels. In the second part we present the first large scale comparison of SVMs to MKL on a variety of benchmark datasets, also comparing IKL. The results show two things: a) for many datasets there is no benefit in linearly combining kernels with MKL/IKL instead of the SVM classifier, thus the flexibility of using more than one kernel seems to be of no use, b) on some datasets IKL yields impressive increases in accuracy over SVM/MKL due to the possibility of using a largely increased kernel set. In those cases, IKL remains practical, whereas both cross-validation or standard MKL is infeasible.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Large Scale Variational Inference and Experimental Design for Sparse Generalized Linear Models

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

(175), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Block-Iterative Algorithms for Non-Negative Matrix Approximation

Sra, S.

(176), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
In this report we present new algorithms for non-negative matrix approximation (NMA), commonly known as the NMF problem. Our methods improve upon the well-known methods of Lee & Seung [19] for both the Frobenius norm as well the Kullback-Leibler divergence versions of the problem. For the latter problem, our results are especially interesting because it seems to have witnessed much lesser algorithmic progress as compared to the Frobenius norm NMA problem. Our algorithms are based on a particular block-iterative acceleration technique for EM, which preserves the multiplicative nature of the updates and also ensures monotonicity. Furthermore, our algorithms also naturally apply to the Bregman-divergence NMA algorithms of Dhillon and Sra [8]. Experimentally, we show that our algorithms outperform the traditional Lee/Seung approach most of the time.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Towards the neural basis of the flash-lag effect

Ecker, A., Berens, P., Hoenselaar, A., Subramaniyan, M., Tolias, A., Bethge, M.

International Workshop on Aspects of Adaptive Cortex Dynamics, 2008, pages: 1, September 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Bregman Clustering Co-clustering and Tensor Clustering

Sra, S., Jegelka, S., Banerjee, A.

(177), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
The Euclidean K-means problem is fundamental to clustering and over the years it has been intensely investigated. More recently, generalizations such as Bregman k-means [8], co-clustering [10], and tensor (multi-way) clustering [40] have also gained prominence. A well-known computational difficulty encountered by these clustering problems is the NP-Hardness of the associated optimization task, and commonly used methods guarantee at most local optimality. Consequently, approximation algorithms of varying degrees of sophistication have been developed, though largely for the basic Euclidean K-means (or `1-norm K-median) problem. In this paper we present approximation algorithms for several Bregman clustering problems by building upon the recent paper of Arthur and Vassilvitskii [5]. Our algorithms obtain objective values within a factor O(logK) for Bregman k-means, Bregman co-clustering, Bregman tensor clustering, and weighted kernel k-means. To our knowledge, except for some special cases, approximation algorithms have not been considered for these general clustering problems. There are several important implications of our work: (i) under the same assumptions as Ackermann et al. [1] it yields a much faster algorithm (non-exponential in K, unlike [1]) for information-theoretic clustering, (ii) it answers several open problems posed by [4], including generalizations to Bregman co-clustering, and tensor clustering, (iii) it provides practical and easy to implement methods—in contrast to several other common approximation approaches.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Combining Appearance and Motion for Human Action Classification in Videos

Dhillon, P., Nowozin, S., Lampert, C.

(174), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We study the question of activity classification in videos and present a novel approach for recognizing human action categories in videos by combining information from appearance and motion of human body parts. Our approach uses a tracking step which involves Particle Filtering and a local non - parametric clustering step. The motion information is provided by the trajectory of the cluster modes of a local set of particles. The statistical information about the particles of that cluster over a number of frames provides the appearance information. Later we use a “Bag ofWords” model to build one histogram per video sequence from the set of these robust appearance and motion descriptors. These histograms provide us characteristic information which helps us to discriminate among various human actions and thus classify them correctly. We tested our approach on the standard KTH and Weizmann human action datasets and the results were comparable to the state of the art. Additionally our approach is able to distinguish between activities that involve the motion of complete body from those in which only certain body parts move. In other words, our method discriminates well between activities with “gross motion” like running, jogging etc. and “local motion” like waving, boxing etc.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Example-based Learning for Single-image Super-resolution and JPEG Artifact Removal

Kim, K., Kwon, Y.

(173), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper proposes a framework for single-image super-resolution and JPEG artifact removal. The underlying idea is to learn a map from input low-quality images (suitably preprocessed low-resolution or JPEG encoded images) to target high-quality images based on example pairs of input and output images. To retain the complexity of the resulting learning problem at a moderate level, a patch-based approach is taken such that kernel ridge regression (KRR) scans the input image with a small window (patch) and produces a patchvalued output for each output pixel location. These constitute a set of candidate images each of which reflects different local information. An image output is then obtained as a convex combination of candidates for each pixel based on estimated confidences of candidates. To reduce the time complexity of training and testing for KRR, a sparse solution is found by combining the ideas of kernel matching pursuit and gradient descent. As a regularized solution, KRR leads to a better generalization than simply storing the examples as it has been done in existing example-based super-resolution algorithms and results in much less noisy images. However, this may introduce blurring and ringing artifacts around major edges as sharp changes are penalized severely. A prior model of a generic image class which takes into account the discontinuity property of images is adopted to resolve this problem. Comparison with existing super-resolution and JPEG artifact removal methods shows the effectiveness of the proposed method. Furthermore, the proposed method is generic in that it has the potential to be applied to many other image enhancement applications.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Policy Learning: A Unified Perspective With Applications In Robotics

Peters, J., Kober, J., Nguyen-Tuong, D.

8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning for Robotics (EWRL 2008), 8, pages: 10, July 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Policy Learning approaches are among the best suited methods for high-dimensional, continuous control systems such as anthropomorphic robot arms and humanoid robots. In this paper, we show two contributions: firstly, we show a unified perspective which allows us to derive several policy learning al- gorithms from a common point of view, i.e, policy gradient algorithms, natural- gradient algorithms and EM-like policy learning. Secondly, we present several applications to both robot motor primitive learning as well as to robot control in task space. Results both from simulation and several different real robots are shown.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning of Perceptual Coupling for Motor Primitives

Kober, J., Peters, J.

8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning for Robotics (EWRL 2008), 8, pages: 16, July 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning is a natural choice for the learning of complex motor tasks by reward-related self-improvement. As the space of movements is high-dimensional and continuous, a policy parametrization is needed which can be used in this context. Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamic systems motor primitives that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such a Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a human would hardly be able to learn this task. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for motor primitives.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Unsupervised Bayesian Time-series Segmentation based on Linear Gaussian State-space Models

Chiappa, S.

(171), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
Unsupervised time-series segmentation in the general scenario in which the number of segment-types and segment boundaries are a priori unknown is a fundamental problem in many applications and requires an accurate segmentation model as well as a way of determining an appropriate number of segment-types. In most approaches, segmentation and determination of number of segment-types are addressed in two separate steps, since the segmentation model assumes a predefined number of segment-types. The determination of number of segment-types is thus achieved by training and comparing several separate models. In this paper, we take a Bayesian approach to a segmentation model based on linear Gaussian state-space models to achieve structure selection within the model. An appropriate prior distribution on the parameters is used to enforce a sparse parametrization, such that the model automatically selects the smallest number of underlying dynamical systems that explain the data well and a parsimonious structure for each dynamical system. As the resulting model is computationally intractable, we introduce a variational approximation, in which a reformulation of the problem enables to use an efficient inference algorithm.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A New Non-monotonic Gradient Projection Method for the Non-negative Least Squares Problem

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

(TR-08-28), University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA, June 2008 (techreport)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Flexible Models for Population Spike Trains

Bethge, M., Macke, J., Berens, P., Ecker, A., Tolias, A.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 52, June 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Pairwise Correlations and Multineuronal Firing Patterns in the Primary Visual Cortex of the Awake, Behaving Macaque

Berens, P., Ecker, A., Subramaniyan, M., Macke, J., Hauck, P., Bethge, M., Tolias, A.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 48, June 2008 (poster)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Visual saliency re-visited: Center-surround patterns emerge as optimal predictors for human fixation targets

Wichmann, F., Kienzle, W., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

Journal of Vision, 8(6):635, 8th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), June 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Humans perceives the world by directing the center of gaze from one location to another via rapid eye movements, called saccades. In the period between saccades the direction of gaze is held fixed for a few hundred milliseconds (fixations). It is primarily during fixations that information enters the visual system. Remarkably, however, after only a few fixations we perceive a coherent, high-resolution scene despite the visual acuity of the eye quickly decreasing away from the center of gaze: This suggests an effective strategy for selecting saccade targets. Top-down effects, such as the observer's task, thoughts, or intentions have an effect on saccadic selection. Equally well known is that bottom-up effects-local image structure-influence saccade targeting regardless of top-down effects. However, the question of what the most salient visual features are is still under debate. Here we model the relationship between spatial intensity patterns in natural images and the response of the saccadic system using tools from machine learning. This allows us to identify the most salient image patterns that guide the bottom-up component of the saccadic selection system, which we refer to as perceptive fields. We show that center-surround patterns emerge as the optimal solution to the problem of predicting saccade targets. Using a novel nonlinear system identification technique we reduce our learned classifier to a one-layer feed-forward network which is surprisingly simple compared to previously suggested models assuming more complex computations such as multi-scale processing, oriented filters and lateral inhibition. Nevertheless, our model is equally predictive and generalizes better to novel image sets. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with neurophysiological hardware in the superior colliculus. Bottom-up visual saliency may thus not be computed cortically as has been thought previously.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Non-monotonic Poisson Likelihood Maximization

Sra, S., Kim, D., Schölkopf, B.

(170), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This report summarizes the theory and some main applications of a new non-monotonic algorithm for maximizing a Poisson Likelihood, which for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is equivalent to minimizing the associated Kullback-Leibler Divergence, and for Transmission Tomography is similar to maximizing the dual of a maximum entropy problem. We call our method non-monotonic maximum likelihood (NMML) and show its application to different problems such as tomography and image restoration. We discuss some theoretical properties such as convergence for our algorithm. Our experimental results indicate that speedups obtained via our non-monotonic methods are substantial.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Analysis of Pattern Recognition Methods in Classifying Bold Signals in Monkeys at 7-Tesla

Ku, S., Gretton, A., Macke, J., Tolias, A., Logothetis, N.

AREADNE 2008: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2, pages: 67, June 2008 (poster)

Abstract
Pattern recognition methods have shown that fMRI data can reveal significant information about brain activity. For example, in the debate of how object-categories are represented in the brain, multivariate analysis has been used to provide evidence of distributed encoding schemes. Many follow-up studies have employed different methods to analyze human fMRI data with varying degrees of success. In this study we compare four popular pattern recognition methods: correlation analysis, support-vector machines (SVM), linear discriminant analysis and Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), using data collected at high field (7T) with higher resolution than usual fMRI studies. We investigate prediction performance on single trials and for averages across varying numbers of stimulus presentations. The performance of the various algorithms depends on the nature of the brain activity being categorized: for several tasks, many of the methods work well, whereas for others, no methods perform above chance level. An important factor in overall classification performance is careful preprocessing of the data, including dimensionality reduction, voxel selection, and outlier elimination.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-sample Problem

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

(157), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics Tübingen, April 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a framework for analyzing and comparing distributions, allowing us to design statistical tests to determine if two samples are drawn from different distributions. Our test statistic is the largest difference in expectations over functions in the unit ball of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). We present two tests based on large deviation bounds for the test statistic, while a third is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. The test statistic can be computed in quadratic time, although efficient linear time approximations are available. Several classical metrics on distributions are recovered when the function space used to compute the difference in expectations is allowed to be more general (eg.~a Banach space). We apply our two-sample tests to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where they perform strongly. Excellent performance is also obtained when comparing distributions over graphs, for which these are the first such tests.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The role of stimulus correlations for population decoding in the retina

Schwartz, G., Macke, J., Berry, M.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience 2008 (COSYNE 2008), 5, pages: 172, March 2008 (poster)

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Energy Functionals for Manifold-valued Mappings and Their Properties

Hein, M., Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

(167), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, January 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report is merely an extended version of the appendix of Steinke et.al. "Manifold-valued Thin-Plate Splines with Applications in Computer Graphics" (2008) with complete proofs, which had to be omitted due to space restrictions. This technical report requires a basic knowledge of differential geometry. However, apart from that requirement the technical report is self-contained.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2004


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Fast Binary and Multi-Output Reduced Set Selection

Weston, J., Bakir, G.

(132), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose fast algorithms for reducing the number of kernel evaluations in the testing phase for methods such as Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Ridge Regression (RR). For non-sparse methods such as RR this results in significantly improved prediction time. For binary SVMs, which are already sparse in their expansion, the pay off is mainly in the cases of noisy or large-scale problems. However, we then further develop our method for multi-class problems where, after choosing the expansion to find vectors which describe all the hyperplanes jointly, we again achieve significant gains.

PostScript [BibTex]

2004

PostScript [BibTex]


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Joint Kernel Maps

Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Bousquet, O., Mann, .., Noble, W.

(131), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, November 2004 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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S-cones contribute to flicker brightness in human vision

Wehrhahn, C., Hill, NJ., Dillenburger, B.

34(174.12), 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), October 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In the retina of primates three cone types sensitive to short, middle and long wavelengths of light convert photons into electrical signals. Many investigators have presented evidence that, in color normal observers, the signals of cones sensitive to short wavelengths of light (S-cones) do not contribute to the perception of brightness of a colored surface when this is alternated with an achromatic reference (flicker brightness). Other studies indicate that humans do use S-cone signals when performing this task. Common to all these studies is the small number of observers, whose performance data are reported. Considerable variability in the occurrence of cone types across observers has been found, but, to our knowledge, no cone counts exist from larger populations of humans. We reinvestigated how much the S-cones contribute to flicker brightness. 76 color normal observers were tested in a simple psychophysical procedure neutral to the cone type occurence (Teufel & Wehrhahn (2000), JOSA A 17: 994 - 1006). The data show that, in the majority of our observers, S-cones provide input with a negative sign - relative to L- and M-cone contribution - in the task in question. There is indeed considerable between-subject variability such that for 20 out of 76 observers the magnitude of this input does not differ significantly from 0. Finally, we argue that the sign of S-cone contribution to flicker brightness perception by an observer cannot be used to infer the relative sign their contributions to the neuronal signals carrying the information leading to the perception of flicker brightness. We conclude that studies which use only a small number of observers may easily fail to find significant evidence for the small but significant population tendency for the S-cones to contribute to flicker brightness. Our results confirm all earlier results and reconcile their contradictory interpretations.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

AAAI Fall Symposium on Real-Life Reinforcement Learning 2004, 2004, pages: 1, October 2004 (poster)

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Induction

Yu, K., Tresp, V., Zhou, D.

(141), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, August 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Considerable progress was recently achieved on semi-supervised learning, which differs from the traditional supervised learning by additionally exploring the information of the unlabelled examples. However, a disadvantage of many existing methods is that it does not generalize to unseen inputs. This paper investigates learning methods that effectively make use of both labelled and unlabelled data to build predictive functions, which are defined on not just the seen inputs but the whole space. As a nice property, the proposed method allows effcient training and can easily handle new test points. We validate the method based on both toy data and real world data sets.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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On Hausdorff Distance Measures

Shapiro, MD., Blaschko, MB.

Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, August 2004 (techreport)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Object categorization with SVM: kernels for local features

Eichhorn, J., Chapelle, O.

(137), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper, we propose to combine an efficient image representation based on local descriptors with a Support Vector Machine classifier in order to perform object categorization. For this purpose, we apply kernels defined on sets of vectors. After testing different combinations of kernel / local descriptors, we have been able to identify a very performant one.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Hilbertian Metrics and Positive Definite Kernels on Probability Measures

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(126), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate the problem of defining Hilbertian metrics resp. positive definite kernels on probability measures, continuing previous work. This type of kernels has shown very good results in text classification and has a wide range of possible applications. In this paper we extend the two-parameter family of Hilbertian metrics of Topsoe such that it now includes all commonly used Hilbertian metrics on probability measures. This allows us to do model selection among these metrics in an elegant and unified way. Second we investigate further our approach to incorporate similarity information of the probability space into the kernel. The analysis provides a better understanding of these kernels and gives in some cases a more efficient way to compute them. Finally we compare all proposed kernels in two text and one image classification problem.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernels, Associated Structures and Generalizations

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(127), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper gives a survey of results in the mathematical literature on positive definite kernels and their associated structures. We concentrate on properties which seem potentially relevant for Machine Learning and try to clarify some results that have been misused in the literature. Moreover we consider different lines of generalizations of positive definite kernels. Namely we deal with operator-valued kernels and present the general framework of Hilbertian subspaces of Schwartz which we use to introduce kernels which are distributions. Finally indefinite kernels and their associated reproducing kernel spaces are considered.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Triangle Fixing Algorithms for the Metric Nearness Problem

Dhillon, I., Sra, S., Tropp, J.

Univ. of Texas at Austin, June 2004 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

11th Joint Symposium on Neural Computation (JSNC 2004), 11, pages: 1, May 2004 (poster)

Abstract
One of the major challenges in action generation for robotics and in the understanding of human motor control is to learn the "building blocks of move- ment generation," or more precisely, motor primitives. Recently, Ijspeert et al. [1, 2] suggested a novel framework how to use nonlinear dynamical systems as motor primitives. While a lot of progress has been made in teaching these mo- tor primitives using supervised or imitation learning, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem. In this poster, we evaluate different reinforcement learning approaches can be used in order to improve the performance of motor primitives. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and line out how these lead to a novel algorithm which is based on natural policy gradients [3]. We compare this algorithm to previous reinforcement learning algorithms in the context of dynamic motor primitive learning, and show that it outperforms these by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of the resulting reinforcement learning method for creating complex behaviors for automous robotics. The studied behaviors will include both discrete, finite tasks such as baseball swings, as well as complex rhythmic patterns as they occur in biped locomotion.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Kamerakalibrierung und Tiefenschätzung: Ein Vergleich von klassischer Bündelblockausgleichung und statistischen Lernalgorithmen

Sinz, FH.

Wilhelm-Schickard-Institut für Informatik, Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Die Arbeit verleicht zwei Herangehensweisen an das Problem der Sch{\"a}tzung der r{\"a}umliche Position eines Punktes aus den Bildkoordinaten in zwei verschiedenen Kameras. Die klassische Methode der B{\"u}ndelblockausgleichung modelliert zwei Einzelkameras und sch{\"a}tzt deren {\"a}ußere und innere Orientierung mit einer iterativen Kalibrationsmethode, deren Konvergenz sehr stark von guten Startwerten abh{\"a}ngt. Die Tiefensch{\"a}tzung eines Punkts geschieht durch die Invertierung von drei der insgesamt vier Projektionsgleichungen der Einzalkameramodelle. Die zweite Methode benutzt Kernel Ridge Regression und Support Vector Regression, um direkt eine Abbildung von den Bild- auf die Raumkoordinaten zu lernen. Die Resultate zeigen, daß der Ansatz mit maschinellem Lernen, neben einer erheblichen Vereinfachung des Kalibrationsprozesses, zu h{\"o}heren Positionsgenaugikeiten f{\"u}hren kann.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Human Classification Behaviour Revisited by Machine Learning

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

7, pages: 134, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), Febuary 2004 (poster)

Abstract
We attempt to understand visual classication in humans using both psychophysical and machine learning techniques. Frontal views of human faces were used for a gender classication task. Human subjects classied the faces and their gender judgment, reaction time (RT) and condence rating (CR) were recorded for each face. RTs are longer for incorrect answers than for correct ones, high CRs are correlated with low classication errors and RTs decrease as the CRs increase. This results suggest that patterns difcult to classify need more computation by the brain than patterns easy to classify. Hyperplane learning algorithms such as Support Vector Machines (SVM), Relevance Vector Machines (RVM), Prototype learners (Prot) and K-means learners (Kmean) were used on the same classication task using the Principal Components of the texture and oweld representation of the faces. The classication performance of the learning algorithms was estimated using the face database with the true gender of the faces as labels, and also with the gender estimated by the subjects. Kmean yield a classication performance close to humans while SVM and RVM are much better. This surprising behaviour may be due to the fact that humans are trained on real faces during their lifetime while they were here tested on articial ones, while the algorithms were trained and tested on the same set of stimuli. We then correlated the human responses to the distance of the stimuli to the separating hyperplane (SH) of the learning algorithms. On the whole stimuli far from the SH are classied more accurately, faster and with higher condence than those near to the SH if we pool data across all our subjects and stimuli. We also nd three noteworthy results. First, SVMs and RVMs can learn to classify faces using the subjects' labels but perform much better when using the true labels. Second, correlating the average response of humans (classication error, RT or CR) with the distance to the SH on a face-by-face basis using Spearman's rank correlation coefcients shows that RVMs recreate human performance most closely in every respect. Third, the mean-of-class prototype, its popularity in neuroscience notwithstanding, is the least human-like classier in all cases examined.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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m-Alternative-Forced-Choice: Improving the Efficiency of the Method of Constant Stimuli

Jäkel, F., Hill, J., Wichmann, F.

7, pages: 118, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
We explored several ways to improve the efficiency of measuring psychometric functions without resorting to adaptive procedures. a) The number m of alternatives in an m-alternative-forced-choice (m-AFC) task improves the efficiency of the method of constant stimuli. b) When alternatives are presented simultaneously on different positions on a screen rather than sequentially time can be saved and memory load for the subject can be reduced. c) A touch-screen can further help to make the experimental procedure more intuitive. We tested these ideas in the measurement of contrast sensitivity and compared them to results obtained by sequential presentation in two-interval-forced-choice (2-IFC). Qualitatively all methods (m-AFC and 2-IFC) recovered the characterictic shape of the contrast sensitivity function in three subjects. The m-AFC paradigm only took about 60% of the time of the 2-IFC task. We tried m=2,4,8 and found 4-AFC to give the best model fits and 2-AFC to have the least bias.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Approximations for Support Vector Classifiers

Kienzle, W., Franz, M.

7, pages: 68, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In face detection, support vector machines (SVM) and neural networks (NN) have been shown to outperform most other classication methods. While both approaches are learning-based, there are distinct advantages and drawbacks to each method: NNs are difcult to design and train but can lead to very small and efcient classiers. In comparison, SVM model selection and training is rather straightforward, and, more importantly, guaranteed to converge to a globally optimal (in the sense of training errors) solution. Unfortunately, SVM classiers tend to have large representations which are inappropriate for time-critical image processing applications. In this work, we examine various existing and new methods for simplifying support vector decision rules. Our goal is to obtain efcient classiers (as with NNs) while keeping the numerical and statistical advantages of SVMs. For a given SVM solution, we compute a cascade of approximations with increasing complexities. Each classier is tuned so that the detection rate is near 100%. At run-time, the rst (simplest) detector is evaluated on the whole image. Then, any subsequent classier is applied only to those positions that have been classied as positive throughout all previous stages. The false positive rate at the end equals that of the last (i.e. most complex) detector. In contrast, since many image positions are discarded by lower-complexity classiers, the average computation time per patch decreases signicantly compared to the time needed for evaluating the highest-complexity classier alone.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Selective Attention to Auditory Stimuli: A Brain-Computer Interface Paradigm

Hill, N., Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

7, pages: 102, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
During the last 20 years several paradigms for Brain Computer Interfaces have been proposed— see [1] for a recent review. They can be divided into (a) stimulus-driven paradigms, using e.g. event-related potentials or visual evoked potentials from an EEG signal, and (b) patient-driven paradigms such as those that use premotor potentials correlated with imagined action, or slow cortical potentials (e.g. [2]). Our aim is to develop a stimulus-driven paradigm that is applicable in practice to patients. Due to the unreliability of visual perception in “locked-in” patients in the later stages of disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, we concentrate on the auditory modality. Speci- cally, we look for the effects, in the EEG signal, of selective attention to one of two concurrent auditory stimulus streams, exploiting the increased activation to attended stimuli that is seen under some circumstances [3]. We present the results of our preliminary experiments on normal subjects. On each of 400 trials, two repetitive stimuli (sequences of drum-beats or other pulsed stimuli) could be heard simultaneously. The two stimuli were distinguishable from one another by their acoustic properties, by their source location (one from a speaker to the left of the subject, the other from the right), and by their differing periodicities. A visual cue preceded the stimulus by 500 msec, indicating which of the two stimuli to attend to, and the subject was instructed to count the beats in the attended stimulus stream. There were up to 6 beats of each stimulus: with equal probability on each trial, all 6 were played, or the fourth was omitted, or the fth was omitted. The 40-channel EEG signals were analyzed ofine to reconstruct which of the streams was attended on each trial. A linear Support Vector Machine [4] was trained on a random subset of the data and tested on the remainder. Results are compared from two types of pre-processing of the signal: for each stimulus stream, (a) EEG signals at the stream's beat periodicity are emphasized, or (b) EEG signals following beats are contrasted with those following missing beats. Both forms of pre-processing show promising results, i.e. that selective attention to one or the other auditory stream yields signals that are classiable signicantly above chance performance. In particular, the second pre-processing was found to be robust to reduction in the number of features used for classication (cf. [5]), helping us to eliminate noise.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Texture and Haptic Cues in Slant Discrimination: Measuring the Effect of Texture Type

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

7, pages: 165, (Editors: Bülthoff, H. H., H. A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F. A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (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 inuence of each cue in such average depends on the reliability of the source of information [1,5]. In particular, Ernst and Banks (2002) formulate such combination as that of the minimum variance unbiased estimator that can be constructed from the available cues. We have observed systematic differences in slant discrimination performance of human observers when different types of textures were used as cue to slant [4]. 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. However, the results for slant discrimination obtained when combining these texture types with object motion results are difcult to reconcile with the minimum variance unbiased estimator model [3]. 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, and Landy (2002) [2] have shown that while for between-modality combination the human visual system has access to the single-cue information, for withinmodality combination (visual cues) the single-cue information is lost. This suggests a coupling between visual cues and independence between visual and haptic cues. Then, in the present study we combined the different texture types with haptic information in a slant discrimination task, to test whether in the between-modality condition these cues are combined as predicted by an unbiased, minimum variance estimator model. The measured weights for the cues were consistent with a combination rule sensitive to the reliability of the sources of information, but did not match the predictions of a statistically optimal combination.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Approximations for Support Vector Classiers

Kienzle, W., Franz, M.

7, pages: 68, 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
In face detection, support vector machines (SVM) and neural networks (NN) have been shown to outperform most other classication methods. While both approaches are learning-based, there are distinct advantages and drawbacks to each method: NNs are difcult to design and train but can lead to very small and efcient classiers. In comparison, SVM model selection and training is rather straightforward, and, more importantly, guaranteed to converge to a globally optimal (in the sense of training errors) solution. Unfortunately, SVM classiers tend to have large representations which are inappropriate for time-critical image processing applications. In this work, we examine various existing and new methods for simplifying support vector decision rules. Our goal is to obtain efcient classiers (as with NNs) while keeping the numerical and statistical advantages of SVMs. For a given SVM solution, we compute a cascade of approximations with increasing complexities. Each classier is tuned so that the detection rate is near 100%. At run-time, the rst (simplest) detector is evaluated on the whole image. Then, any subsequent classier is applied only to those positions that have been classied as positive throughout all previous stages. The false positive rate at the end equals that of the last (i.e. most complex) detector. In contrast, since many image positions are discarded by lower-complexity classiers, the average computation time per patch decreases signicantly compared to the time needed for evaluating the highest-complexity classier alone.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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EEG Channel Selection for Brain Computer Interface Systems Based on Support Vector Methods

Schröder, M., Lal, T., Bogdan, M., Schölkopf, B.

7, pages: 50, (Editors: Bülthoff, H.H., H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich and F.A. Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
A Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system allows the direct interpretation of brain activity patterns (e.g. EEG signals) by a computer. Typical BCI applications comprise spelling aids or environmental control systems supporting paralyzed patients that have lost motor control completely. The design of an EEG based BCI system requires good answers for the problem of selecting useful features during the performance of a mental task as well as for the problem of classifying these features. For the special case of choosing appropriate EEG channels from several available channels, we propose the application of variants of the Support Vector Machine (SVM) for both problems. Although these algorithms do not rely on prior knowledge they can provide more accurate solutions than standard lter methods [1] for feature selection which usually incorporate prior knowledge about neural activity patterns during the performed mental tasks. For judging the importance of features we introduce a new relevance measure and apply it to EEG channels. Although we base the relevance measure for this purpose on the previously introduced algorithms, it does in general not depend on specic algorithms but can be derived using arbitrary combinations of feature selectors and classifiers.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning Depth

Sinz, F., Franz, MO.

pages: 69, (Editors: H.H.Bülthoff, H.A.Mallot, R.Ulrich,F.A.Wichmann), 7th T{\"u}bingen Perception Conference (TWK), February 2004 (poster)

Abstract
The depth of a point in space can be estimated by observing its image position from two different viewpoints. The classical approach to stereo vision calculates depth from the two projection equations which together form a stereocamera model. An unavoidable preparatory work for this solution is a calibration procedure, i.e., estimating the external (position and orientation) and internal (focal length, lens distortions etc.) parameters of each camera from a set of points with known spatial position and their corresponding image positions. This is normally done by iteratively linearizing the single camera models and reestimating their parameters according to the error on the known datapoints. The advantage of the classical method is the maximal usage of prior knowledge about the underlying physical processes and the explicit estimation of meaningful model parameters such as focal length or camera position in space. However, the approach neglects the nonlinear nature of the problem such that the results critically depend on the choice of the initial values for the parameters. In this study, we approach the depth estimation problem from a different point of view by applying generic machine learning algorithms to learn the mapping from image coordinates to spatial position. These algorithms do not require any domain knowledge and are able to learn nonlinear functions by mapping the inputs into a higher-dimensional space. Compared to classical calibration, machine learning methods give a direct solution to the depth estimation problem which means that the values of the stereocamera parameters cannot be extracted from the learned mapping. On the poster, we compare the performance of classical camera calibration to that of different machine learning algorithms such as kernel ridge regression, gaussian processes and support vector regression. Our results indicate that generic learning approaches can lead to higher depth accuracies than classical calibration although no domain knowledge is used.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multivariate Regression with Stiefel Constraints

Bakir, G., Gretton, A., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(128), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstr 38, 72076, Tuebingen, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a new framework for regression between multi-dimensional spaces. Standard methods for solving this problem typically reduce the problem to one-dimensional regression by choosing features in the input and/or output spaces. These methods, which include PLS (partial least squares), KDE (kernel dependency estimation), and PCR (principal component regression), select features based on different a-priori judgments as to their relevance. Moreover, loss function and constraints are chosen not primarily on statistical grounds, but to simplify the resulting optimisation. By contrast, in our approach the feature construction and the regression estimation are performed jointly, directly minimizing a loss function that we specify, subject to a rank constraint. A major advantage of this approach is that the loss is no longer chosen according to the algorithmic requirements, but can be tailored to the characteristics of the task at hand; the features will then be optimal with respect to this objective. Our approach also allows for the possibility of using a regularizer in the optimization. Finally, by processing the observations sequentially, our algorithm is able to work on large scale problems.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Neural mechanisms underlying control of a Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI): Simultaneous recording of bold-response and EEG

Hinterberger, T., Wilhelm, B., Veit, R., Weiskopf, N., Lal, TN., Birbaumer, N.

2004 (poster)

Abstract
Brain computer interfaces (BCI) enable humans or animals to communicate or activate external devices without muscle activity using electric brain signals. The BCI Thought Translation Device (TTD) uses learned regulation of slow cortical potentials (SCPs), a skill most people and paralyzed patients can acquire with training periods of several hours up to months. The neurophysiological mechanisms and anatomical sources of SCPs and other event-related brain macro-potentials are well understood, but the neural mechanisms underlying learning of the self-regulation skill for BCI-use are unknown. To uncover the relevant areas of brain activation during regulation of SCPs, the TTD was combined with functional MRI and EEG was recorded inside the MRI scanner in twelve healthy participants who have learned to regulate their SCP with feedback and reinforcement. The results demonstrate activation of specific brain areas during execution of the brain regulation skill: successf! ul control of cortical positivity allowing a person to activate an external device was closely related to an increase of BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) response in the basal ganglia and frontal premotor deactivation indicating learned regulation of a cortical-striatal loop responsible for local excitation thresholds of cortical assemblies. The data suggest that human users of a BCI learn the regulation of cortical excitation thresholds of large neuronal assemblies as a prerequisite of direct brain communication: the learning of this skill depends critically on an intact and flexible interaction between these cortico-basal ganglia-circuits. Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data Using Random Walks

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the general problem of learning from labeled and unlabeled data. Given a set of points, some of them are labeled, and the remaining points are unlabeled. The goal is to predict the labels of the unlabeled points. Any supervised learning algorithm can be applied to this problem, for instance, Support Vector Machines (SVMs). The problem of our interest is if we can implement a classifier which uses the unlabeled data information in some way and has higher accuracy than the classifiers which use the labeled data only. Recently we proposed a simple algorithm, which can substantially benefit from large amounts of unlabeled data and demonstrates clear superiority to supervised learning methods. In this paper we further investigate the algorithm using random walks and spectral graph theory, which shed light on the key steps in this algorithm.

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]