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2008


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Contour-propagation Algorithms for Semi-automated Reconstruction of Neural Processes

Macke, J., Maack, N., Gupta, R., Denk, W., Schölkopf, B., Borst, A.

Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 167(2):349-357, January 2008 (article)

Abstract
A new technique, ”Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy” (SBFSEM), allows for automatic sectioning and imaging of biological tissue with a scanning electron microscope. Image stacks generated with this technology have a resolution sufficient to distinguish different cellular compartments, including synaptic structures, which should make it possible to obtain detailed anatomical knowledge of complete neuronal circuits. Such an image stack contains several thousands of images and is recorded with a minimal voxel size of 10-20nm in the x and y- and 30nm in z-direction. Consequently, a tissue block of 1mm3 (the approximate volume of the Calliphora vicina brain) will produce several hundred terabytes of data. Therefore, highly automated 3D reconstruction algorithms are needed. As a first step in this direction we have developed semiautomated segmentation algorithms for a precise contour tracing of cell membranes. These algorithms were embedded into an easy-to-operate user interface, which allows direct 3D observation of the extracted objects during the segmentation of image stacks. Compared to purely manual tracing, processing time is greatly accelerated.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2008


PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Quantum-Statistical-Mechanical Extension of Gaussian Mixture Model

Tanaka, K., Tsuda, K.

Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 95(012023):1-9, January 2008 (article)

Abstract
We propose an extension of Gaussian mixture models in the statistical-mechanical point of view. The conventional Gaussian mixture models are formulated to divide all points in given data to some kinds of classes. We introduce some quantum states constructed by superposing conventional classes in linear combinations. Our extension can provide a new algorithm in classifications of data by means of linear response formulas in the statistical mechanics.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [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.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Robot System for Biomimetic Navigation: From Snapshots to Metric Embeddings of View Graphs

Franz, MO., Stürzl, W., Reichardt, W., Mallot, HA.

In Robotics and Cognitive Approaches to Spatial Mapping, pages: 297-314, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics ; 38, (Editors: Jefferies, M.E. , W.-K. Yeap), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2008 (inbook)

Abstract
Complex navigation behaviour (way-finding) involves recognizing several places and encoding a spatial relationship between them. Way-finding skills can be classified into a hierarchy according to the complexity of the tasks that can be performed [8]. The most basic form of way-finding is route navigation, followed by topological navigation where several routes are integrated into a graph-like representation. The highest level, survey navigation, is reached when this graph can be embedded into a common reference frame. In this chapter, we present the building blocks for a biomimetic robot navigation system that encompasses all levels of this hierarchy. As a local navigation method, we use scene-based homing. In this scheme, a goal location is characterized either by a panoramic snapshot of the light intensities as seen from the place, or by a record of the distances to the surrounding objects. The goal is found by moving in the direction that minimizes the discrepancy between the recorded intensities or distances and the current sensory input. For learning routes, the robot selects distinct views during exploration that are close enough to be reached by snapshot-based homing. When it encounters already visited places during route learning, it connects the routes and thus forms a topological representation of its environment termed a view graph. The final stage, survey navigation, is achieved by a graph embedding procedure which complements the topologic information of the view graph with odometric position estimates. Calculation of the graph embedding is done with a modified multidimensional scaling algorithm which makes use of distances and angles between nodes.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Learning to control in operational space

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

International Journal of Robotics Research, 27, pages: 197-212, 2008, clmc (article)

Abstract
One of the most general frameworks for phrasing control problems for complex, redundant robots is operational space control. However, while this framework is of essential importance for robotics and well-understood from an analytical point of view, it can be prohibitively hard to achieve accurate control in face of modeling errors, which are inevitable in com- plex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In this paper, we suggest a learning approach for opertional space control as a direct inverse model learning problem. A first important insight for this paper is that a physically cor- rect solution to the inverse problem with redundant degrees-of-freedom does exist when learning of the inverse map is performed in a suitable piecewise linear way. The second crucial component for our work is based on the insight that many operational space controllers can be understood in terms of a constrained optimal control problem. The cost function as- sociated with this optimal control problem allows us to formulate a learn- ing algorithm that automatically synthesizes a globally consistent desired resolution of redundancy while learning the operational space controller. From the machine learning point of view, this learning problem corre- sponds to a reinforcement learning problem that maximizes an immediate reward. We employ an expectation-maximization policy search algorithm in order to solve this problem. Evaluations on a three degrees of freedom robot arm are used to illustrate the suggested approach. The applica- tion to a physically realistic simulator of the anthropomorphic SARCOS Master arm demonstrates feasibility for complex high degree-of-freedom robots. We also show that the proposed method works in the setting of learning resolved motion rate control on real, physical Mitsubishi PA-10 medical robotics arm.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Adaptation to a sub-optimal desired trajectory

M. Mistry, E. A. G. L. T. Y. S. S. M. K.

Advances in Computational Motor Control VII, Symposium at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington DC, 2008, 2008, clmc (article)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Human movement generation based on convergent flow fields: A computational model and a behavioral experiment

Hoffmann, H., Schaal, S.

In Advances in Computational Motor Control VII, Symposium at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington DC, 2008, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Operational space control: A theoretical and emprical comparison

Nakanishi, J., Cory, R., Mistry, M., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

International Journal of Robotics Research, 27(6):737-757, 2008, clmc (article)

Abstract
Dexterous manipulation with a highly redundant movement system is one of the hallmarks of hu- man motor skills. From numerous behavioral studies, there is strong evidence that humans employ compliant task space control, i.e., they focus control only on task variables while keeping redundant degrees-of-freedom as compliant as possible. This strategy is robust towards unknown disturbances and simultaneously safe for the operator and the environment. The theory of operational space con- trol in robotics aims to achieve similar performance properties. However, despite various compelling theoretical lines of research, advanced operational space control is hardly found in actual robotics imple- mentations, in particular new kinds of robots like humanoids and service robots, which would strongly profit from compliant dexterous manipulation. To analyze the pros and cons of different approaches to operational space control, this paper focuses on a theoretical and empirical evaluation of different methods that have been suggested in the literature, but also some new variants of operational space controllers. We address formulations at the velocity, acceleration and force levels. First, we formulate all controllers in a common notational framework, including quaternion-based orientation control, and discuss some of their theoretical properties. Second, we present experimental comparisons of these approaches on a seven-degree-of-freedom anthropomorphic robot arm with several benchmark tasks. As an aside, we also introduce a novel parameter estimation algorithm for rigid body dynamics, which ensures physical consistency, as this issue was crucial for our successful robot implementations. Our extensive empirical results demonstrate that one of the simplified acceleration-based approaches can be advantageous in terms of task performance, ease of parameter tuning, and general robustness and compliance in face of inevitable modeling errors.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Movement reproduction and obstacle avoidance with dynamic movement primitives and potential fields

Park, D., Hoffmann, H., Pastor, P., Schaal, S.

In IEEE International Conference on Humanoid Robots, 2008., 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The dual role of uncertainty in force field learning

Mistry, M., Theodorou, E., Hoffmann, H., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of Neural Control of Movement (NCM), Naples, Florida, April 29-May 4, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Force field experiments have been a successful paradigm for studying the principles of planning, execution, and learning in human arm movements. Subjects have been shown to cope with the disturbances generated by force fields by learning internal models of the underlying dynamics to predict disturbance effects or by increasing arm impedance (via co-contraction) if a predictive approach becomes infeasible. Several studies have addressed the issue uncertainty in force field learning. Scheidt et al. demonstrated that subjects exposed to a viscous force field of fixed structure but varying strength (randomly changing from trial to trial), learn to adapt to the mean disturbance, regardless of the statistical distribution. Takahashi et al. additionally show a decrease in strength of after-effects after learning in the randomly varying environment. Thus they suggest that the nervous system adopts a dual strategy: learning an internal model of the mean of the random environment, while simultaneously increasing arm impedance to minimize the consequence of errors. In this study, we examine what role variance plays in the learning of uncertain force fields. We use a 7 degree-of-freedom exoskeleton robot as a manipulandum (Sarcos Master Arm, Sarcos, Inc.), and apply a 3D viscous force field of fixed structure and strength randomly selected from trial to trial. Additionally, in separate blocks of trials, we alter the variance of the randomly selected strength multiplier (while keeping a constant mean). In each block, after sufficient learning has occurred, we apply catch trials with no force field and measure the strength of after-effects. As expected in higher variance cases, results show increasingly smaller levels of after-effects as the variance is increased, thus implying subjects choose the robust strategy of increasing arm impedance to cope with higher levels of uncertainty. Interestingly, however, subjects show an increase in after-effect strength with a small amount of variance as compared to the deterministic (zero variance) case. This result implies that a small amount of variability aides in internal model formation, presumably a consequence of the additional amount of exploration conducted in the workspace of the task.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dynamic movement primitives for movement generation motivated by convergent force fields in frog

Hoffmann, H., Pastor, P., Schaal, S.

In Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (AMAM), 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient inverse kinematics algorithms for highdimensional movement systems

Tevatia, G., Schaal, S.

CLMC Technical Report: TR-CLMC-2008-1, 2008, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
Real-time control of the endeffector of a humanoid robot in external coordinates requires computationally efficient solutions of the inverse kinematics problem. In this context, this paper investigates methods of resolved motion rate control (RMRC) that employ optimization criteria to resolve kinematic redundancies. In particular we focus on two established techniques, the pseudo inverse with explicit optimization and the extended Jacobian method. We prove that the extended Jacobian method includes pseudo-inverse methods as a special solution. In terms of computational complexity, however, pseudo-inverse and extended Jacobian differ significantly in favor of pseudo-inverse methods. Employing numerical estimation techniques, we introduce a computationally efficient version of the extended Jacobian with performance comparable to the original version. Our results are illustrated in simulation studies with a multiple degree-offreedom robot, and were evaluated on an actual 30 degree-of-freedom full-body humanoid robot.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Behavioral experiments on reinforcement learning in human motor control

Hoffmann, H., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of Neural Control of Movement (NCM), Naples, Florida, April 29-May 4, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning (RL) - learning solely based on reward or cost feedback - is widespread in robotics control and has been also suggested as computational model for human motor control. In human motor control, however, hardly any experiment studied reinforcement learning. Here, we study learning based on visual cost feedback in a reaching task and did three experiments: (1) to establish a simple enough experiment for RL, (2) to study spatial localization of RL, and (3) to study the dependence of RL on the cost function. In experiment (1), subjects sit in front of a drawing tablet and look at a screen onto which the drawing pen's position is projected. Beginning from a start point, their task is to move with the pen through a target point presented on screen. Visual feedback about the pen's position is given only before movement onset. At the end of a movement, subjects get visual feedback only about the cost of this trial. We choose as cost the squared distance between target and virtual pen position at the target line. Above a threshold value, the cost was fixed at this value. In the mapping of the pen's position onto the screen, we added a bias (unknown to subject) and Gaussian noise. As result, subjects could learn the bias, and thus, showed reinforcement learning. In experiment (2), we randomly altered the target position between three different locations (three different directions from start point: -45, 0, 45). For each direction, we chose a different bias. As result, subjects learned all three bias values simultaneously. Thus, RL can be spatially localized. In experiment (3), we varied the sensitivity of the cost function by multiplying the squared distance with a constant value C, while keeping the same cut-off threshold. As in experiment (2), we had three target locations. We assigned to each location a different C value (this assignment was randomized between subjects). Since subjects learned the three locations simultaneously, we could directly compare the effect of the different cost functions. As result, we found an optimal C value; if C was too small (insensitive cost), learning was slow; if C was too large (narrow cost valley), the exploration time was longer and learning delayed. Thus, reinforcement learning in human motor control appears to be sen

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Movement generation by learning from demonstration and generalization to new targets

Pastor, P., Hoffmann, H., Schaal, S.

In Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (AMAM), 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Combining dynamic movement primitives and potential fields for online obstacle avoidance

Park, D., Hoffmann, H., Schaal, S.

In Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (AMAM), Cleveland, Ohio, 2008, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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A library for locally weighted projection regression

Klanke, S., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 9, pages: 623-626, 2008, clmc (article)

Abstract
In this paper we introduce an improved implementation of locally weighted projection regression (LWPR), a supervised learning algorithm that is capable of handling high-dimensional input data. As the key features, our code supports multi-threading, is available for multiple platforms, and provides wrappers for several programming languages.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Computational model for movement learning under uncertain cost

Theodorou, E., Hoffmann, H., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the Society of Neuroscience Meeting (SFN 2008), Washington, DC 2008, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Stochastic optimal control is a framework for computing control commands that lead to an optimal behavior under a given cost. Despite the long history of optimal control in engineering, it has been only recently applied to describe human motion. So far, stochastic optimal control has been mainly used in tasks that are already learned, such as reaching to a target. For learning, however, there are only few cases where optimal control has been applied. The main assumptions of stochastic optimal control that restrict its application to tasks after learning are the a priori knowledge of (1) a quadratic cost function (2) a state space model that captures the kinematics and/or dynamics of musculoskeletal system and (3) a measurement equation that models the proprioceptive and/or exteroceptive feedback. Under these assumptions, a sequence of control gains is computed that is optimal with respect to the prespecified cost function. In our work, we relax the assumption of the a priori known cost function and provide a computational framework for modeling tasks that involve learning. Typically, a cost function consists of two parts: one part that models the task constraints, like squared distance to goal at movement endpoint, and one part that integrates over the squared control commands. In learning a task, the first part of this cost function will be adapted. We use an expectation-maximization scheme for learning: the expectation step optimizes the task constraints through gradient descent of a reward function and the maximizing step optimizes the control commands. Our computational model is tested and compared with data given from a behavioral experiment. In this experiment, subjects sit in front of a drawing tablet and look at a screen onto which the drawing-pen's position is projected. Beginning from a start point, their task is to move with the pen through a target point presented on screen. Visual feedback about the pen's position is given only before movement onset. At the end of a movement, subjects get visual feedback only about the cost of this trial. In the mapping of the pen's position onto the screen, we added a bias (unknown to subject) and Gaussian noise. Therefore the cost is a function of this bias. The subjects were asked to reach to the target and minimize this cost over trials. In this behavioral experiment, subjects could learn the bias and thus showed reinforcement learning. With our computational model, we could model the learning process over trials. Particularly, the dependence on parameters of the reward function (Gaussian width) and the modulation of movement variance over time were similar in experiment and model.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimization strategies in human reinforcement learning

Hoffmann, H., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

Advances in Computational Motor Control VII, Symposium at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington DC, 2008, 2008, clmc (article)

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Bayesian approach to empirical local linearizations for robotics

Ting, J., D’Souza, A., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2008), Pasadena, CA, USA, May 19-23, 2008, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Local linearizations are ubiquitous in the control of robotic systems. Analytical methods, if available, can be used to obtain the linearization, but in complex robotics systems where the the dynamics and kinematics are often not faithfully obtainable, empirical linearization may be preferable. In this case, it is important to only use data for the local linearization that lies within a ``reasonable'' linear regime of the system, which can be defined from the Hessian at the point of the linearization -- a quantity that is not available without an analytical model. We introduce a Bayesian approach to solve statistically what constitutes a ``reasonable'' local regime. We approach this problem in the context local linear regression. In contrast to previous locally linear methods, we avoid cross-validation or complex statistical hypothesis testing techniques to find the appropriate local regime. Instead, we treat the parameters of the local regime probabilistically and use approximate Bayesian inference for their estimation. This approach results in an analytical set of iterative update equations that are easily implemented on real robotics systems for real-time applications. As in other locally weighted regressions, our algorithm also lends itself to complete nonlinear function approximation for learning empirical internal models. We sketch the derivation of our Bayesian method and provide evaluations on synthetic data and actual robot data where the analytical linearization was known.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Do humans plan continuous trajectories in kinematic coordinates?

Hoffmann, H., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the Society of Neuroscience Meeting (SFN 2008), Washington, DC 2008, 2008, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
The planning and execution of human arm movements is still unresolved. An ongoing controversy is whether we plan a movement in kinematic coordinates and convert these coordinates with an inverse internal model into motor commands (like muscle activation) or whether we combine a few muscle synergies or equilibrium points to move a hand, e.g., between two targets. The first hypothesis implies that a planner produces a desired end-effector position for all time points; the second relies on the dynamics of the muscular-skeletal system for a given control command to produce a continuous end-effector trajectory. To distinguish between these two possibilities, we use a visuomotor adaptation experiment. Subjects moved a pen on a graphics tablet and observed the pen's mapped position onto a screen (subjects quickly adapted to this mapping). The task was to move a cursor between two points in a given time window. In the adaptation test, we manipulated the velocity profile of the cursor feedback such that the shape of the trajectories remained unchanged (for straight paths). If humans would use a kinematic plan and map at each time the desired end-effector position onto control commands, subjects should adapt to the above manipulation. In a similar experiment, Wolpert et al (1995) showed adaptation to changes in the curvature of trajectories. This result, however, cannot rule out a shift of an equilibrium point or an additional synergy activation between start and end point of a movement. In our experiment, subjects did two sessions, one control without and one with velocity-profile manipulation. To skew the velocity profile of the cursor trajectory, we added to the current velocity, v, the function 0.8*v*cos(pi + pi*x), where x is the projection of the cursor position onto the start-goal line divided by the distance start to goal (x=0 at the start point). As result, subjects did not adapt to this manipulation: for all subjects, the true hand motion was not significantly modified in a direction consistent with adaptation, despite that the visually presented motion differed significantly from the control motion. One may still argue that this difference in motion was insufficient to be processed visually. Thus, as a control experiment, we replayed control and modified motions to the subjects and asked which of the two motions appeared 'more natural'. Subjects chose the unperturbed motion as more natural significantly better than chance. In summary, for a visuomotor transformation task, the hypothesis of a planned continuous end-effector trajectory predicts adaptation to a modified velocity profile. The current experiment found no adaptation under such transformation.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2004


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Attentional Modulation of Auditory Event-Related Potentials in a Brain-Computer Interface

Hill, J., Lal, T., Bierig, K., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

In BioCAS04, (S3/5/INV- S3/17-20):4, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 2004 IEEE International Workshop on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, December 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Motivated by the particular problems involved in communicating with "locked-in" paralysed patients, we aim to develop a brain-computer interface that uses auditory stimuli. We describe a paradigm that allows a user to make a binary decision by focusing attention on one of two concurrent auditory stimulus sequences. Using Support Vector Machine classification and Recursive Channel Elimination on the independent components of averaged event-related potentials, we show that an untrained user‘s EEG data can be classified with an encouragingly high level of accuracy. This suggests that it is possible for users to modulate EEG signals in a single trial by the conscious direction of attention, well enough to be useful in BCI.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2004


PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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On the representation, learning and transfer of spatio-temporal movement characteristics

Ilg, W., Bakir, GH., Mezger, J., Giese, M.

International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 1(4):613-636, December 2004 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Insect-inspired estimation of egomotion

Franz, MO., Chahl, JS., Krapp, HG.

Neural Computation, 16(11):2245-2260, November 2004 (article)

Abstract
Tangential neurons in the fly brain are sensitive to the typical optic flow patterns generated during egomotion. In this study, we examine whether a simplified linear model based on the organization principles in tangential neurons can be used to estimate egomotion from the optic flow. We present a theory for the construction of an estimator consisting of a linear combination of optic flow vectors that incorporates prior knowledge both about the distance distribution of the environment, and about the noise and egomotion statistics of the sensor. The estimator is tested on a gantry carrying an omnidirectional vision sensor. The experiments show that the proposed approach leads to accurate and robust estimates of rotation rates, whereas translation estimates are of reasonable quality, albeit less reliable.

ei

PDF PostScript Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF PostScript Web DOI [BibTex]


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Efficient face detection by a cascaded support-vector machine expansion

Romdhani, S., Torr, P., Schölkopf, B., Blake, A.

Proceedings of The Royal Society of London A, 460(2501):3283-3297, A, November 2004 (article)

Abstract
We describe a fast system for the detection and localization of human faces in images using a nonlinear ‘support-vector machine‘. We approximate the decision surface in terms of a reduced set of expansion vectors and propose a cascaded evaluation which has the property that the full support-vector expansion is only evaluated on the face-like parts of the image, while the largest part of typical images is classified using a single expansion vector (a simpler and more efficient classifier). As a result, only three reduced-set vectors are used, on average, to classify an image patch. Hence, the cascaded evaluation, presented in this paper, offers a thirtyfold speed-up over an evaluation using the full set of reduced-set vectors, which is itself already thirty times faster than classification using all the support vectors.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [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)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Discrete vs. Continuous: Two Sides of Machine Learning

Zhou, D.

October 2004 (talk)

Abstract
We consider the problem of transductive inference. In many real-world problems, unlabeled data is far easier to obtain than labeled data. Hence transductive inference is very significant in many practical problems. According to Vapnik's point of view, one should predict the function value only on the given points directly rather than a function defined on the whole space, the latter being a more complicated problem. Inspired by this idea, we develop discrete calculus on finite discrete spaces, and then build discrete regularization. A family of transductive algorithms is naturally derived from this regularization framework. We validate the algorithms on both synthetic and real-world data from text/web categorization to bioinformatics problems. A significant by-product of this work is a powerful way of ranking data based on examples including images, documents, proteins and many other kinds of data. This talk is mainly based on the followiing contribution: (1) D. Zhou and B. Sch{\"o}lkopf: Transductive Inference with Graphs, MPI Technical report, August, 2004; (2) D. Zhou, B. Sch{\"o}lkopf and T. Hofmann. Semi-supervised Learning on Directed Graphs. NIPS 2004; (3) D. Zhou, O. Bousquet, T.N. Lal, J. Weston and B. Sch{\"o}lkopf. Learning with Local and Global Consistency. NIPS 2003.

ei

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.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Modelling Spikes with Mixtures of Factor Analysers

Görür, D., Rasmussen, C., Tolias, A., Sinz, F., Logothetis, N.

In Pattern Recognition, pages: 391-398, LNCS 3175, (Editors: Rasmussen, C. E. , H.H. Bülthoff, B. Schölkopf, M.A. Giese), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 26th DAGM Symposium, September 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Identifying the action potentials of individual neurons from extracellular recordings, known as spike sorting, is a challenging problem. We consider the spike sorting problem using a generative model,mixtures of factor analysers, which concurrently performs clustering and feature extraction. The most important advantage of this method is that it quantifies the certainty with which the spikes are classified. This can be used as a means for evaluating the quality of clustering and therefore spike isolation. Using this method, nearly simultaneously occurring spikes can also be modelled which is a hard task for many of the spike sorting methods. Furthermore, modelling the data with a generative model allows us to generate simulated data.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Depth From Stereo

Sinz, F., Candela, J., BakIr, G., Rasmussen, C., Franz, M.

In 26th DAGM Symposium, pages: 245-252, LNCS 3175, (Editors: Rasmussen, C. E., H. H. Bülthoff, B. Schölkopf, M. A. Giese), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 26th DAGM Symposium, September 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We compare two approaches to the problem of estimating the depth of a point in space from observing its image position in two different cameras: 1.~The classical photogrammetric approach explicitly models the two cameras and estimates their intrinsic and extrinsic parameters using a tedious calibration procedure; 2.~A generic machine learning approach where the mapping from image to spatial coordinates is directly approximated by a Gaussian Process regression. Our results show that the generic learning approach, in addition to simplifying the procedure of calibration, can lead to higher depth accuracies than classical calibration although no specific domain knowledge is used.

ei

PDF PostScript Web [BibTex]

PDF PostScript Web [BibTex]


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Grundlagen von Support Vector Maschinen und Anwendungen in der Bildverarbeitung

Eichhorn, J.

September 2004 (talk)

Abstract
Invited talk at the workshop "Numerical, Statistical and Discrete Methods in Image Processing" at the TU M{\"u}nchen (in GERMAN)

ei

PDF [BibTex]


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Advanced Lectures on Machine Learning

Bousquet, O., von Luxburg, U., Rätsch, G.

ML Summer Schools 2003, LNAI 3176, pages: 240, Springer, Berlin, Germany, ML Summer Schools, September 2004 (proceedings)

Abstract
Machine Learning has become a key enabling technology for many engineering applications, investigating scientific questions and theoretical problems alike. To stimulate discussions and to disseminate new results, a summer school series was started in February 2002, the documentation of which is published as LNAI 2600. This book presents revised lectures of two subsequent summer schools held in 2003 in Canberra, Australia, and in T{\"u}bingen, Germany. The tutorial lectures included are devoted to statistical learning theory, unsupervised learning, Bayesian inference, and applications in pattern recognition; they provide in-depth overviews of exciting new developments and contain a large number of references. Graduate students, lecturers, researchers and professionals alike will find this book a useful resource in learning and teaching machine learning.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Pattern Recognition: 26th DAGM Symposium, LNCS, Vol. 3175

Rasmussen, C., Bülthoff, H., Giese, M., Schölkopf, B.

Proceedings of the 26th Pattern Recognition Symposium (DAGM‘04), pages: 581, Springer, Berlin, Germany, 26th Pattern Recognition Symposium, August 2004 (proceedings)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [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.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods in Computational Biology

Schölkopf, B., Tsuda, K., Vert, J.

pages: 410, Computational Molecular Biology, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, August 2004 (book)

Abstract
Modern machine learning techniques are proving to be extremely valuable for the analysis of data in computational biology problems. One branch of machine learning, kernel methods, lends itself particularly well to the difficult aspects of biological data, which include high dimensionality (as in microarray measurements), representation as discrete and structured data (as in DNA or amino acid sequences), and the need to combine heterogeneous sources of information. This book provides a detailed overview of current research in kernel methods and their applications to computational biology. Following three introductory chapters—an introduction to molecular and computational biology, a short review of kernel methods that focuses on intuitive concepts rather than technical details, and a detailed survey of recent applications of kernel methods in computational biology—the book is divided into three sections that reflect three general trends in current research. The first part presents different ideas for the design of kernel functions specifically adapted to various biological data; the second part covers different approaches to learning from heterogeneous data; and the third part offers examples of successful applications of support vector machine methods.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning kernels from biological networks by maximizing entropy

Tsuda, K., Noble, W.

Bioinformatics, 20(Suppl. 1):i326-i333, August 2004 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: The diffusion kernel is a general method for computing pairwise distances among all nodes in a graph, based on the sum of weighted paths between each pair of nodes. This technique has been used successfully, in conjunction with kernel-based learning methods, to draw inferences from several types of biological networks. Results: We show that computing the diffusion kernel is equivalent to maximizing the von Neumann entropy, subject to a global constraint on the sum of the Euclidean distances between nodes. This global constraint allows for high variance in the pairwise distances. Accordingly, we propose an alternative, locally constrained diffusion kernel, and we demonstrate that the resulting kernel allows for more accurate support vector machine prediction of protein functional classifications from metabolic and protein–protein interaction networks.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning to Find Graph Pre-Images

BakIr, G., Zien, A., Tsuda, K.

In Pattern Recognition, pages: 253-261, (Editors: Rasmussen, C. E., H. H. Bülthoff, B. Schölkopf, M. A. Giese), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 26th DAGM Symposium, August 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The recent development of graph kernel functions has made it possible to apply well-established machine learning methods to graphs. However, to allow for analyses that yield a graph as a result, it is necessary to solve the so-called pre-image problem: to reconstruct a graph from its feature space representation induced by the kernel. Here, we suggest a practical solution to this problem.

ei

PostScript PDF DOI [BibTex]

PostScript PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Masking effect produced by Mach bands on the detection of narrow bars of random polarity

Henning, GB., Hoddinott, KT., Wilson-Smith, ZJ., Hill, NJ.

Journal of the Optical Society of America, 21(8):1379-1387, A, August 2004 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Exponential Families for Conditional Random Fields

Altun, Y., Smola, A., Hofmann, T.

In Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI 2004), pages: 2-9, (Editors: Chickering, D.M. , J.Y. Halpern), Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we define conditional random fields in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces and show connections to Gaussian Process classification. More specifically, we prove decomposition results for undirected graphical models and we give constructions for kernels. Finally we present efficient means of solving the optimization problem using reduced rank decompositions and we show how stationarity can be exploited efficiently in the optimization process.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [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.

ei

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.

ei

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.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Riemannian Geometry on Graphs and its Application to Ranking and Classification

Zhou, D.

June 2004 (talk)

Abstract
We consider the problem of transductive inference. In many real-world problems, unlabeled data is far easier to obtain than labeled data. Hence transductive inference is very significant in many practical problems. According to Vapnik's point of view, one should predict the function value only on the given points directly rather than a function defined on the whole space, the latter being a more complicated problem. Inspired by this idea, we develop discrete calculus on finite discrete spaces, and then build discrete regularization. A family of transductive algorithms is naturally derived from this regularization framework. We validate the algorithms on both synthetic and real-world data from text/web categorization to bioinformatics problems. A significant by-product of this work is a powerful way of ranking data based on examples including images, documents, proteins and many other kinds of data.

ei

PDF [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Generic Chaining

Audibert, J., Bousquet, O.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16, pages: 1125-1132 , (Editors: Thrun, S., L.K. Saul, B. Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Seventeenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
There exist many different generalization error bounds for classification. Each of these bounds contains an improvement over the others for certain situations. Our goal is to combine these different improvements into a single bound. In particular we combine the PAC-Bayes approach introduced by McAllester, which is interesting for averaging classifiers, with the optimal union bound provided by the generic chaining technique developed by Fernique and Talagrand. This combination is quite natural since the generic chaining is based on the notion of majorizing measures, which can be considered as priors on the set of classifiers, and such priors also arise in the PAC-bayesian setting.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Prediction on Spike Data Using Kernel Algorithms

Eichhorn, J., Tolias, A., Zien, A., Kuss, M., Rasmussen, C., Weston, J., Logothetis, N., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16, pages: 1367-1374, (Editors: S Thrun and LK Saul and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We report and compare the performance of different learning algorithms based on data from cortical recordings. The task is to predict the orientation of visual stimuli from the activity of a population of simultaneously recorded neurons. We compare several ways of improving the coding of the input (i.e., the spike data) as well as of the output (i.e., the orientation), and report the results obtained using different kernel algorithms.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Warped Gaussian Processes

Snelson, E., Rasmussen, CE., Ghahramani, Z.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16, pages: 337-344, (Editors: Thrun, S., L.K. Saul, B. Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Seventeenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We generalise the Gaussian process (GP) framework for regression by learning a nonlinear transformation of the GP outputs. This allows for non-Gaussian processes and non-Gaussian noise. The learning algorithm chooses a nonlinear transformation such that transformed data is well-modelled by a GP. This can be seen as including a preprocessing transformation as an integral part of the probabilistic modelling problem, rather than as an ad-hoc step. We demonstrate on several real regression problems that learning the transformation can lead to significantly better performance than using a regular GP, or a GP with a fixed transformation.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Ranking on Data Manifolds

Zhou, D., Weston, J., Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 16, pages: 169-176, (Editors: S Thrun and L Saul and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2004 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The Google search engine has enjoyed a huge success with its web page ranking algorithm, which exploits global, rather than local, hyperlink structure of the web using random walks. Here we propose a simple universal ranking algorithm for data lying in the Euclidean space, such as text or image data. The core idea of our method is to rank the data with respect to the intrinsic manifold structure collectively revealed by a great amount of data. Encouraging experimental results from synthetic, image, and text data illustrate the validity of our method.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Support Vector Channel Selection in BCI

Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Weston, J., Bogdan, M., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 51(6):1003-1010, June 2004 (article)

Abstract
Designing a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system one can choose from a variety of features that may be useful for classifying brain activity during a mental task. For the special case of classifying EEG signals we propose the usage of the state of the art feature selection algorithms Recursive Feature Elimination and Zero-Norm Optimization which are based on the training of Support Vector Machines (SVM). These algorithms can provide more accurate solutions than standard filter methods for feature selection. We adapt the methods for the purpose of selecting EEG channels. For a motor imagery paradigm we show that the number of used channels can be reduced significantly without increasing the classification error. The resulting best channels agree well with the expected underlying cortical activity patterns during the mental tasks. Furthermore we show how time dependent task specific information can be visualized.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Distance-Based Classification with Lipschitz Functions

von Luxburg, U., Bousquet, O.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 5, pages: 669-695, June 2004 (article)

Abstract
The goal of this article is to develop a framework for large margin classification in metric spaces. We want to find a generalization of linear decision functions for metric spaces and define a corresponding notion of margin such that the decision function separates the training points with a large margin. It will turn out that using Lipschitz functions as decision functions, the inverse of the Lipschitz constant can be interpreted as the size of a margin. In order to construct a clean mathematical setup we isometrically embed the given metric space into a Banach space and the space of Lipschitz functions into its dual space. To analyze the resulting algorithm, we prove several representer theorems. They state that there always exist solutions of the Lipschitz classifier which can be expressed in terms of distance functions to training points. We provide generalization bounds for Lipschitz classifiers in terms of the Rademacher complexities of some Lipschitz function classes. The generality of our approach can be seen from the fact that several well-known algorithms are special cases of the Lipschitz classifier, among them the support vector machine, the linear programming machine, and the 1-nearest neighbor classifier.

ei

PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]

PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]