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2007


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Evaluation of Policy Gradient Methods and Variants on the Cart-Pole Benchmark

Riedmiller, M., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, pages: 254-261, ADPRL, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we evaluate different versions from the three main kinds of model-free policy gradient methods, i.e., finite difference gradients, `vanilla' policy gradients and natural policy gradients. Each of these methods is first presented in its simple form and subsequently refined and optimized. By carrying out numerous experiments on the cart pole regulator benchmark we aim to provide a useful baseline for future research on parameterized policy search algorithms. Portable C++ code is provided for both plant and algorithms; thus, the results in this paper can be reevaluated, reused and new algorithms can be inserted with ease.

am ei

PDF [BibTex]

2007


PDF [BibTex]


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Circular differential double diffraction in chiral media

Ghosh, A., Fazal, F. M., Fischer, P.

OPTICS LETTERS, 32(13):1836-1838, 2007 (article)

Abstract
In an optically active liquid the diffraction angle depends on the circular polarization state of the incident light beam. We report the observation of circular differential diffraction in an isotropic chiral medium, and we demonstrate that double diffraction is an alternate means to determine the handedness (enantiomeric excess) of a solution. (c) 2007 Optical Society of America.

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Space exploration-towards bio-inspired climbing robots

Menon, C., Murphy, M., Sitti, M., Lan, N.

INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2007 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bacterial flagella-based propulsion and on/off motion control of microscale objects

Behkam, B., Sitti, M.

Applied Physics Letters, 90(2):023902, AIP, 2007 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A strategy for vision-based controlled pushing of microparticles

Lynch, N. A., Onal, C., Schuster, E., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation, 2007 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 1413-1418, 2007 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Friction of partially embedded vertically aligned carbon nanofibers inside elastomers

Aksak, B., Sitti, M., Cassell, A., Li, J., Meyyappan, M., Callen, P.

Applied Physics Letters, 91(6):061906, AIP, 2007 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Enhanced friction of elastomer microfiber adhesives with spatulate tips

Kim, S., Aksak, B., Sitti, M.

Applied Physics Letters, 91(22):221913, AIP, 2007 (article)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Uncertain 3D Force Fields in Reaching Movements: Do Humans Favor Robust or Average Performance?

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

In Abstracts of the 37th Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Applying the episodic natural actor-critic architecture to motor primitive learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN), Bruges, Belgium, April 25-27, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate motor primitive learning with the Natural Actor-Critic approach. The Natural Actor-Critic consists out of actor updates which are achieved using natural stochastic policy gradients while the critic obtains the natural policy gradient by linear regression. We show that this architecture can be used to learn the Òbuilding blocks of movement generationÓ, called motor primitives. Motor primitives are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. We show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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The new robotics - towards human-centered machines

Schaal, S.

HFSP Journal Frontiers of Interdisciplinary Research in the Life Sciences, 1(2):115-126, 2007, clmc (article)

Abstract
Research in robotics has moved away from its primary focus on industrial applications. The New Robotics is a vision that has been developed in past years by our own university and many other national and international research instiutions and addresses how increasingly more human-like robots can live among us and take over tasks where our current society has shortcomings. Elder care, physical therapy, child education, search and rescue, and general assistance in daily life situations are some of the examples that will benefit from the New Robotics in the near future. With these goals in mind, research for the New Robotics has to embrace a broad interdisciplinary approach, ranging from traditional mathematical issues of robotics to novel issues in psychology, neuroscience, and ethics. This paper outlines some of the important research problems that will need to be resolved to make the New Robotics a reality.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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A computational model of human trajectory planning based on convergent flow fields

Hoffman, H., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the 37st Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, Nov. 3-7, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
A popular computational model suggests that smooth reaching movements are generated in humans by minimizing a difference vector between hand and target in visual coordinates (Shadmehr and Wise, 2005). To achieve such a task, the optimal joint accelerations may be pre-computed. However, this pre-planning is inflexible towards perturbations of the limb, and there is strong evidence that reaching movements can be modified on-line at any moment during the movement. Thus, next-state planning models (Bullock and Grossberg, 1988) have been suggested that compute the current control command from a function of the goal state such that the overall movement smoothly converges to the goal (see Shadmehr and Wise (2005) for an overview). So far, these models have been restricted to simple point-to-point reaching movements with (approximately) straight trajectories. Here, we present a computational model for learning and executing arbitrary trajectories that combines ideas from pattern generation with dynamic systems and the observation of convergent force fields, which control a frog leg after spinal stimulation (Giszter et al., 1993). In our model, we incorporate the following two observations: first, the orientation of vectors in a force field is invariant over time, but their amplitude is modulated by a time-varying function, and second, two force fields add up when stimulated simultaneously (Giszter et al., 1993). This addition of convergent force fields varying over time results in a virtual trajectory (a moving equilibrium point) that correlates with the actual leg movement (Giszter et al., 1993). Our next-state planner is a set of differential equations that provide the desired end-effector or joint accelerations using feedback of the current state of the limb. These accelerations can be interpreted as resulting from a damped spring that links the current limb position with a virtual trajectory. This virtual trajectory can be learned to realize any desired limb trajectory and velocity profile, and learning is efficient since the time-modulated sum of convergent force fields equals a sum of weighted basis functions (Gaussian time pulses). Thus, linear algebra is sufficient to compute these weights, which correspond to points on the virtual trajectory. During movement execution, the differential equation corrects automatically for perturbations and brings back smoothly the limb towards the goal. Virtual trajectories can be rescaled and added allowing to build a set of movement primitives to describe movements more complex than previously learned. We demonstrate the potential of the suggested model by learning and generating a wide variety of movements.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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On the theory of magnetization dynamics of non-collinear spin systems in the s-d model

De Angeli, L.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Zur ab-initio Elektronentheorie des Magnetismus bei endlichen Temperaturen

Dietermann, F.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Röntgenzirkulardichroische Untersuchungen an ferromagnetischen verdünnten Halbleitersystemen

Tietze, T.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Low-dimensional Fe on vicinal Ir(997): Growth and magnetic properties

Kawwam, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Micromagnetic simulations of switching processes and the role of thermal fluctuations

Macke, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hydrogen storage in metal-organic frameworks

Hirscher, M., Panella, B.

{Scripta Materialia}, 56, pages: 809-812, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Substrate-induced current anisotropy in YBa2Cu3O7-δthin films

Djupmyr, M., Albrecht, J.

{Physica C}, 460-462, pages: 1190-1191, 2007 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A micellar approach to magnetic ultrahigh-density data-storage media: extending the limits of current colloidal methods

Ethirajan, A., Wiedwald, U., Boyen, H.-G., Kern, B., Han, L., Klimmer, A., Weigl, F., Kästle, G., Ziemann, P., Fauth, K., Cai, J., Behm, J., Romanyuk, A., Oelhafen, P., Walther, P., Biskupek, J., Kaiser, U.

{Advanced Materials}, 19, pages: 406-410, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Size dependence in the magnetization reversal of Fe/Gd multilayers on self-assembled arrays of nanospheres

Amaladass, E., Ludescher, B., Schütz, G., Tyliszczak, T., Eimüller, T.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 91, 2007 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ma\ssgeschneiderte Wasserstoffspeicher

Hirscher, M., Panella, B.

{Nachrichten aus der Gdch-Energieinitiative}, (Sonderheft April 2007):12-13, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Reconstruction of historical alloys for pipe organs brings true Baroque music back to life.

Baretzky, B., Friesel, M., Straumal, B.

{MRS Bulletin}, 32, pages: 249-255, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Analysis of results from X-ray magnetic reflectometry for magnetic multilayer systems

Fähnle, M., Steiauf, D., Martosiswoyo, L., Goering, E., Brück, S., Schütz, G.

{Physical Review B}, 75, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dramatic role of critical current anisotropy on flux avalanches in MgB2 films

Albrecht, J., Matveev, A. T., Strempfer, J., Habermeier, H.-U., Shantsev, D. V., Galperin, Y. M., Johansen, T. H.

{Physical Review Letters}, 98, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Transport properties of LCMO/YBCO hybrid structures

Soltan, S., Albrecht, J., Habermeier, H.-U.

{Materials Science and Engineering B}, 144, pages: 15-18, 2007 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Hand placement during quadruped locomotion in a humanoid robot: A dynamical system approach

Degallier, S., Righetti, L., Ijspeert, A.

In 2007 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 2047-2052, IEEE, San Diego, USA, 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Locomotion on an irregular surface is a challenging task in robotics. Among different problems to solve to obtain robust locomotion, visually guided locomotion and accurate foot placement are of crucial importance. Robust controllers able to adapt to sensory-motor feedbacks, in particular to properly place feet on specific locations, are thus needed. Dynamical systems are well suited for this task as any online modification of the parameters leads to a smooth adaptation of the trajectories, allowing a safe integration of sensory-motor feedback. In this contribution, as a first step in the direction of locomotion on irregular surfaces, we present a controller that allows hand placement during crawling in a simulated humanoid robot. The goal of the controller is to superimpose rhythmic movements for crawling with discrete (i.e. short-term) modulations of the hand placements to reach specific marks on the ground.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Microscale and nanoscale robotics systems [grand challenges of robotics]

Sitti, M.

IEEE Robotics \& Automation Magazine, 14(1):53-60, IEEE, 2007 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A new biomimetic adhesive for therapeutic capsule endoscope applications in the gastrointestinal tract

Glass, P., Sitti, M., Appasamy, R.

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 65(5):AB91, Mosby, 2007 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Visual servoing-based autonomous 2-D manipulation of microparticles using a nanoprobe

Onal, C. D., Sitti, M.

IEEE Transactions on control systems technology, 15(5):842-852, IEEE, 2007 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Computational Model of Arm Trajectory Modification Using Dynamic Movement Primitives

Mohajerian, P., Hoffmann, H., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the 37st Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, Nov 3-7, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Several scientists used a double-step target-displacement protocol to investigate how an unexpected upcoming new target modifies ongoing discrete movements. Interesting observations are the initial direction of the movement, the spatial path of the movement to the second target, and the amplification of the speed in the second movement. Experimental data show that the above properties are influenced by the movement reaction time and the interstimulus interval between the onset of the first and second target. Hypotheses in the literature concerning the interpretation of the observed data include a) the second movement is superimposed on the first movement (Henis and Flash, 1995), b) the first movement is aborted and the second movement is planned to smoothly connect the current state of the arm with the new target (Hoff and Arbib, 1992), c) the second movement is initiated by a new control signal that replaces the first movement's control signal, but does not take the state of the system into account (Flanagan et al., 1993), and (d) the second movement is initiated by a new goal command, but the control structure stays unchanged, and feed-back from the current state is taken into account (Hoff and Arbib, 1993). We investigate target switching from the viewpoint of Dynamic Movement Primitives (DMPs). DMPs are trajectory planning units that are formalized as stable nonlinear attractor systems (Ijspeert et al., 2002). They are a useful framework for biological motor control as they are highly flexible in creating complex rhythmic and discrete behaviors that can quickly adapt to the inevitable perturbations of dynamically changing, stochastic environments. In this model, target switching is accomplished simply by updating the target input to the discrete movement primitive for reaching. The reaching trajectory in this model can be straight or take any other route; in contrast, the Hoff and Arbib (1993) model is restricted to straight reaching movement plans. In the present study, we use DMPs to reproduce in simulation a large number of target-switching experimental data from the literature and to show that online correction and the observed target switching phenomena can be accomplished by changing the goal state of an on-going DMP, without the need to switch to different movement primitives or to re-plan the movement. :

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inverse dynamics control with floating base and constraints

Nakanishi, J., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2007), pages: 1942-1947, Rome, Italy, April 10-14, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we address the issues of compliant control of a robot under contact constraints with a goal of using joint space based pattern generators as movement primitives, as often considered in the studies of legged locomotion and biological motor control. For this purpose, we explore inverse dynamics control of constrained dynamical systems. When the system is overconstrained, it is not straightforward to formulate an inverse dynamics control law since the problem becomes an ill-posed one, where infinitely many combinations of joint torques are possible to achieve the desired joint accelerations. The goal of this paper is to develop a general and computationally efficient inverse dynamics algorithm for a robot with a free floating base and constraints. We suggest an approximate way of computing inverse dynamics algorithm by treating constraint forces computed with a Lagrange multiplier method as simply external forces based on FeatherstoneÕs floating base formulation of inverse dynamics. We present how all the necessary quantities to compute our controller can be efficiently extracted from FeatherstoneÕs spatial notation of robot dynamics. We evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested approach on a simulated biped robot model.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Lower body realization of the baby humanoid - ‘iCub’

Tsagarakis, N., Becchi, F., Righetti, L., Ijspeert, A., Caldwell, D.

In 2007 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 3616-3622, IEEE, San Diego, USA, 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nowadays, the understanding of the human cognition and it application to robotic systems forms a great challenge of research. The iCub is a robotic platform that was developed within the RobotCub European project to provide the cognition research community with an open baby- humanoid platform for understanding and development of cognitive systems. In this paper we present the design requirements and mechanical realization of the lower body developed for the "iCub". In particular the leg and the waist mechanisms adopted for lower body to match the size and physical abilities of a 2 frac12 year old human baby are introduced.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Physisorption von Wasserstoff in neuen Materialien mit gro\sser spezifischer Oberfläche

Schmitz, B.

Universität Bonn, Bonn, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Cluster expansions in multicomponent systems: precise expansions from noisy databases

Diaz-Ortiz, A., Dosch, H., Drautz, R.

{Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter}, 19, 2007 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Towards spin injection into silicon

Dash, S. P.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Bestimmung der kritischen Schichtdicken ferromagnetischer Plättchen für Eindomänenverhalten

Soehnle, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Unusual propagation of magnetic avalanches in gold covered MgB2

Albrecht, J., Matveev, A. T., Habermeier, H.-U.

{Physica C}, 460-462, pages: 1245-1246, 2007 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Lowering of the L10 ordering temperature of FePt nanoparticles by He+ ion irradiation

Wiedwald, U., Klimmer, A., Kern, B., Han, L., Boyen, H.-G., Ziemann, P., Fauth, K.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 90, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Magnetic core shell nanoparticles characterized by X-ray absorption and magnetic circular dichroism

Fauth, K.

{Modern Physics Letters B}, 21(18):1179-1187, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Magnetic moment of Fe in oxide-free FePt nanoparticles

Dmitrieva, O., Spasova, M., Antoniak, C., Acet, M., Dumpich, G., Kästner, J., Farle, M., Fauth, K., Wiedwald, U., Boyen, H.-G., Ziemann, P.

{Physical Review B}, 76, 2007 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The effect of bismuth segregation on the faceting of \Sigma3 and \Sigma9 coincidence boundaries in copper bicrystals

Straumal, B. B., Polyakov, S. A., Chang, L.-S., Mittemeijer, E. J.

{International Journal of Materials Research}, 98, pages: 451-456, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hot isostatic pressing of Cu-Bi polycrystals with liquid-like grain boundary layers

Chang, L.-S., Straumal, B., Rabkin, E., Lojkowski, W., Gust, W.

{Acta Materialia}, 55, pages: 335-343, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Spatially resolved magnetic response in core shell nanoparticles

Fauth, K., Goering, E., Theil Kuhn, L.

{Modern Physics Letters B}, 21(18):1197-1200, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Interfaces in semiconductor/metal radial superlattices

Deneke, C., Sigle, W., Eigenthaler, U., van Aken, P. A., Schütz, G., Schmidt, O. G.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 90, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Live cell adhesion assay with attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy

Schmidt, M., Wolfram, T., Rumpler, M., Tripp, C. P., Grunze, M.

{Biointerphases}, 2(1):1-5, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Unusual Co moment reduction in the NiCoO/Co exchange bias system

Brück, S., Goering, E., Tang, Y. J., Schütz, G., Berkowitz, A. E.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 310, pages: 2316-2318, 2007 (article)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dynamics systems vs. optimal control ? a unifying view

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

In Progress in Brain Research, (165):425-445, 2007, clmc (inbook)

Abstract
In the past, computational motor control has been approached from at least two major frameworks: the dynamic systems approach and the viewpoint of optimal control. The dynamic system approach emphasizes motor control as a process of self-organization between an animal and its environment. Nonlinear differential equations that can model entrainment and synchronization behavior are among the most favorable tools of dynamic systems modelers. In contrast, optimal control approaches view motor control as the evolutionary or development result of a nervous system that tries to optimize rather general organizational principles, e.g., energy consumption or accurate task achievement. Optimal control theory is usually employed to develop appropriate theories. Interestingly, there is rather little interaction between dynamic systems and optimal control modelers as the two approaches follow rather different philosophies and are often viewed as diametrically opposing. In this paper, we develop a computational approach to motor control that offers a unifying modeling framework for both dynamic systems and optimal control approaches. In discussions of several behavioral experiments and some theoretical and robotics studies, we demonstrate how our computational ideas allow both the representation of self-organizing processes and the optimization of movement based on reward criteria. Our modeling framework is rather simple and general, and opens opportunities to revisit many previous modeling results from this novel unifying view.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Kernel carpentry for onlne regression using randomly varying coefficient model

Edakunni, N. U., Schaal, S., Vijayakumar, S.

In Proceedings of the 20th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Hyderabad, India: Jan. 6-12, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a Bayesian formulation of locally weighted learning (LWL) using the novel concept of a randomly varying coefficient model. Based on this, we propose a mechanism for multivariate non-linear regression using spatially localised linear models that learns completely independent of each other, uses only local information and adapts the local model complexity in a data driven fashion. We derive online updates for the model parameters based on variational Bayesian EM. The evaluation of the proposed algorithm against other state-of-the-art methods reveal the excellent, robust generalization performance beside surprisingly efficient time and space complexity properties. This paper, for the first time, brings together the computational efficiency and the adaptability of Õnon-competitiveÕ locally weighted learning schemes and the modeling guarantees of the Bayesian formulation.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]