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2013


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Erratum: Generalized Gilbert equation including inertial damping: Derivation from an extended breathing Fermi surface model [Phys. Rev. B 84, 172403 (2011)]

Fähnle, M., Steiauf, D., Illg, C.

{Physical Review B}, 88, American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

2013


DOI [BibTex]


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Strain and composition dependence of orbital polarization in nickel oxide superlattices

Wu, M., Benckiser, E., Haverkort, M. W., Franco, A., Lu, J., Nwankwo, U., Brück, S., Audehm, P., Goering, E., Macke, S., Hinkov, V., Wochner, P., Christiani, G., Heinze, S., Logvenov, G., Habermeier, H., Keimer, B.

{Physical Review B}, 88, Published by the American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Efficient focusing of 8 keV X-rays with multilayer Fresnel zone plates fabricated by atomic layer deposition and focused ion beam milling

Mayer, M., Keskinbora, K., Grévent, C., Szeghalmi, A., Knez, M., Weigand, M., Snigirev, A., Snigereva, I., Schütz, G.

{Journal of Synchrotron Radiation}, 20, pages: 433-440, Published for the International Union of Crystallography by Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Rapid prototyping of Fresnel zone plates via direct Ga+ ion beam lithography for high-resolution x-ray imaging

Keskinbora, K., Grévent, C., Eigenthaler, U., Weigand, M., Schütz, G.

{ACS Nano}, 7(11):9788-9797, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Eine kryoflexible kovalente organische Gerüststruktur für die effiziente Trennung von Wasserstoffisotopien durch Quantensieben

Oh, H., Kalidindi, S. B., Um, Y., Bureekaew, S., Schmid, R., Fischer, R. A., Hirscher, M.

{Angewandte Chemie}, 125(50):13461-13464, Wiley-VCH Verl., Weinheim, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ultrafast demagnetization after laser irradiation in transition metals: Ab initio calculations of the spin-flip electron-phonon scattering with reduced exchange splitting

Illg, C., Haag, M., Fähnle, M.

{Physical Review B}, 88, American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Phase diagram for magnetic vortex core switching studied by ferromagnetic absorption spectroscopy and time-resolved transmission x-ray microscopy

Martens, M., Kamionka, T., Weigand, M., Stoll, H., Tyliszczak, T., Meier, G.

{Physical Review B}, 87, Published by the American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Optimal distribution of contact forces with inverse-dynamics control

Righetti, L., Buchli, J., Mistry, M., Kalakrishnan, M., Schaal, S.

The International Journal of Robotics Research, 32(3):280-298, March 2013 (article)

Abstract
The development of legged robots for complex environments requires controllers that guarantee both high tracking performance and compliance with the environment. More specifically the control of the contact interaction with the environment is of crucial importance to ensure stable, robust and safe motions. In this contribution we develop an inverse-dynamics controller for floating-base robots under contact constraints that can minimize any combination of linear and quadratic costs in the contact constraints and the commands. Our main result is the exact analytical derivation of the controller. Such a result is particularly relevant for legged robots as it allows us to use torque redundancy to directly optimize contact interactions. For example, given a desired locomotion behavior, we can guarantee the minimization of contact forces to reduce slipping on difficult terrains while ensuring high tracking performance of the desired motion. The main advantages of the controller are its simplicity, computational efficiency and robustness to model inaccuracies. We present detailed experimental results on simulated humanoid and quadruped robots as well as a real quadruped robot. The experiments demonstrate that the controller can greatly improve the robustness of locomotion of the robots.1

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Thermodynamics as a theory of decision-making with information-processing costs

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A, 469(2153):1-18, May 2013 (article)

Abstract
Perfectly rational decision-makers maximize expected utility, but crucially ignore the resource costs incurred when determining optimal actions. Here, we propose a thermodynamically inspired formalization of bounded rational decision-making where information processing is modelled as state changes in thermodynamic systems that can be quantified by differences in free energy. By optimizing a free energy, bounded rational decision-makers trade off expected utility gains and information-processing costs measured by the relative entropy. As a result, the bounded rational decision-making problem can be rephrased in terms of well-known variational principles from statistical physics. In the limit when computational costs are ignored, the maximum expected utility principle is recovered. We discuss links to existing decision-making frameworks and applications to human decision-making experiments that are at odds with expected utility theory. Since most of the mathematical machinery can be borrowed from statistical physics, the main contribution is to re-interpret the formalism of thermodynamic free-energy differences in terms of bounded rational decision-making and to discuss its relationship to human decision-making experiments.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Tank-like module-based climbing robot using passive compliant joints

Seo, T., Sitti, M.

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 18(1):397-408, 2013 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Enhanced fabrication and characterization of gecko-inspired mushroom-tipped microfiber adhesives

Song, J., Mengüç, Y., Sitti, M.

Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 27(17):1921-1932, Routledge, 2013 (article)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Linear combination of one-step predictive information with an external reward in an episodic policy gradient setting: a critical analysis

Zahedi, K., Martius, G., Ay, N.

Frontiers in Psychology, 4(801), 2013 (article)

Abstract
One of the main challenges in the field of embodied artificial intelligence is the open-ended autonomous learning of complex behaviours. Our approach is to use task-independent, information-driven intrinsic motivation(s) to support task-dependent learning. The work presented here is a preliminary step in which we investigate the predictive information (the mutual information of the past and future of the sensor stream) as an intrinsic drive, ideally supporting any kind of task acquisition. Previous experiments have shown that the predictive information (PI) is a good candidate to support autonomous, open-ended learning of complex behaviours, because a maximisation of the PI corresponds to an exploration of morphology- and environment-dependent behavioural regularities. The idea is that these regularities can then be exploited in order to solve any given task. Three different experiments are presented and their results lead to the conclusion that the linear combination of the one-step PI with an external reward function is not generally recommended in an episodic policy gradient setting. Only for hard tasks a great speed-up can be achieved at the cost of an asymptotic performance lost.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Switching modes in easy and hard axis magnetic reversal in a self-assembled antidot array

Haering, F., Wiedwald, U., Nothelfer, S., Koslowski, B., Ziemann, P., Lechner, L., Wallucks, A., Lebecki, K., Nowak, U., Gräfe, J., Goering, E., Schütz, G.

{Nanotechnology}, 24, IOP Pub., Bristol, UK, 2013 (article)

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DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Time-resolved imaging of nonlinear magnetic domain-wall dynamics in ferromagnetic nanowires

Stein, F.-U., Bocklage, L., Weigand, M., Meier, G.

{Scientific Reports}, 3, Nature Publishing Group, London, UK, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A cryogenically flexible covalent organic framework for efficient hydrogen isotrope separation by quantum sieving

Oh, H., Kalidindi, S. B., Um, Y., Bureekaew, S., Schmid, R., Fischer, R. A., Hirscher, M.

{Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English}, 52(50):13219-13222, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, D-69451 Weinheim, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Unexpected room-temperature ferromagnetism in bulk ZnO

Chen, Y., Goering, E., Jeurgens, L., Wang, Z., Phillipp, F., Baier, J., Tietze, T., Schütz, G.

{Applied Physics Letters}, (103), American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Large-area hard magnetic L10-FePt and composite L10-FePt based nanopatterns

Goll, D., Bublat, T.

{Physica Status Solidi A-Applications and Materials Science}, 210(7):1261-1271, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Wave modes of collective vortex gyration in dipolar-coupled-dot-array magnonic crystals

Han, D., Vogel, A., Jung, H., Lee, K., Weigand, M., Stoll, H., Schütz, G., Fischer, P., Meier, G., Kim, S.

{Scientific Reports}, 3, Nature Publishing Group, London, UK, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Micro-scale mobile robotics

Diller, E., Sitti, M.

Foundations and Trends in Robotics, 2(3):143-259, Now Publishers Incorporated, 2013 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Survey and Introduction to the Focused Section on Bio-Inspired Mechatronics

Sitti, M., Menciassi, A., Ijspeert, A., Low, K. H., Kim, S.

Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on, 18(2):409-418, DOI: 10.1109/TMECH.2012. 2233492, 2013 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Robustness of guided self-organization against sensorimotor disruptions

Martius, G.

Advances in Complex Systems, 16(02n03):1350001, 2013 (article)

Abstract
Self-organizing processes are crucial for the development of living beings. Practical applications in robots may benefit from the self-organization of behavior, e.g.~to increase fault tolerance and enhance flexibility, provided that external goals can also be achieved. We present results on the guidance of self-organizing control by visual target stimuli and show a remarkable robustness to sensorimotor disruptions. In a proof of concept study an autonomous wheeled robot is learning an object finding and ball-pushing task from scratch within a few minutes in continuous domains. The robustness is demonstrated by the rapid recovery of the performance after severe changes of the sensor configuration.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Controlled Reduction with Unactuated Cyclic Variables: Application to 3D Bipedal Walking with Passive Yaw Rotation

Gregg, R., Righetti, L.

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 58(10):2679-2685, October 2013 (article)

Abstract
This technical note shows that viscous damping can shape momentum conservation laws in a manner that stabilizes yaw rotation and enables steering for underactuated 3D walking. We first show that unactuated cyclic variables can be controlled by passively shaped conservation laws given a stabilizing controller in the actuated coordinates. We then exploit this result to realize controlled geometric reduction with multiple unactuated cyclic variables. We apply this underactuated control strategy to a five-link 3D biped to produce exponentially stable straight-ahead walking and steering in the presence of passive yawing.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Ferromagnetism of zinc oxide nanograined films

Straumal, B. B., Protasova, S. G., Mazilkin, A. A., Schütz, G., Goering, E., Baretzky, B., Straumal, P. B.

{Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics Letters}, 97(6):367-377, Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Hydrogen adsorption properties of platinum decorated hierarchically structured templated carbons

Oh, H., Gennett, T., Atanassov, P., Kurttepeli, M., Bals, S., Hurst, K. E., Hirscher, M.

{Microporous and Mesoporous Materials}, pages: 66-74, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Extended s-d models for the dynamics of noncollinear magnetization: Short review of two different approaches

Fähnle, M., Zhang, S.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 326, pages: 232-234, NH, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Correlation between spin structure oscillations and domain wall velocities

Bisig, A., Stärk, M., Mawass, M., Moutafis, C., Rhensius, J., Heidler, J., Büttner, F., Noske, M., Weigand, M., Eisebitt, S., Tyliszczak, T., Van Wayenberge, B., Stoll, H., Schütz, G., Kläui, M.

{Nature Communications}, 4, Nature Publishing Group, London, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Recent advances in use of atomic layer deposition and focused ion beams for fabrication of Fresnel zone plates for hard x-rays

Keskinbora, K., Robisch, A., Mayer, M., Grévent, C., Szeghalmi, A. V., Knez, M., Weigand, M., Snigireva, I., Snigirev, A., Salditt, T., Schütz, G.

{Proceedings of SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering)}, 8851, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic states in low-pinning high-anisotropy material nanostructures suitable for dynamic imaging

Büttner, F., Moutafis, C., Bisig, A., Wohlhüter, P., Günther, C. M., Mohanty, J., Geilhufe, J., Schneider, M., v. Korff Schmising, C., Schaffert, S., Pfau, B., Hantschmann, M., Riemeier, M., Emmel, M., Finizio, S., Jakob, G., Weigand, M., Rhensius, J., Franken, J. H., Lavrijsen, R., Swagten, H. J. M., Stoll, H., Eisebitt, S., Kläui, M.

{Physical Review B}, 87, Published by the American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, NY, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Experimental and theoretical study of D2/H2 quantum sieving in a carbon molecular sieve

Gotzias, A., Charalambopoulou, G., Ampoumogli, A., Krkljus, I., Hirscher, M., Steriotis, T.

{Adsorption}, 19(2-4):373-379, Springer Science+Business Media, New York, 2013 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Non-parametric hand pose estimation with object context
Non-parametric hand pose estimation with object context

Romero, J., Kjellström, H., Ek, C. H., Kragic, D.

Image and Vision Computing , 31(8):555 - 564, 2013 (article)

Abstract
In the spirit of recent work on contextual recognition and estimation, we present a method for estimating the pose of human hands, employing information about the shape of the object in the hand. Despite the fact that most applications of human hand tracking involve grasping and manipulation of objects, the majority of methods in the literature assume a free hand, isolated from the surrounding environment. Occlusion of the hand from grasped objects does in fact often pose a severe challenge to the estimation of hand pose. In the presented method, object occlusion is not only compensated for, it contributes to the pose estimation in a contextual fashion; this without an explicit model of object shape. Our hand tracking method is non-parametric, performing a nearest neighbor search in a large database (.. entries) of hand poses with and without grasped objects. The system that operates in real time, is robust to self occlusions, object occlusions and segmentation errors, and provides full hand pose reconstruction from monocular video. Temporal consistency in hand pose is taken into account, without explicitly tracking the hand in the high-dim pose space. Experiments show the non-parametric method to outperform other state of the art regression methods, while operating at a significantly lower computational cost than comparable model-based hand tracking methods.

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Publisher site pdf link (url) [BibTex]

Publisher site pdf link (url) [BibTex]

2012


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

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

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

ei

DOI [BibTex]

2012


DOI [BibTex]


Virtual Human Bodies with Clothing and Hair: From Images to Animation
Virtual Human Bodies with Clothing and Hair: From Images to Animation

Guan, P.

Brown University, Department of Computer Science, December 2012 (phdthesis)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Hippocampal-Cortical Interaction during Periods of Subcortical Silence

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

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

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

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Scalable graph kernels

Shervashidze, N.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, October 2012 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Thermodynamic limits of dynamic cooling

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

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

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

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


Coupled Action Recognition and Pose Estimation from Multiple Views
Coupled Action Recognition and Pose Estimation from Multiple Views

Yao, A., Gall, J., van Gool, L.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 100(1):16-37, October 2012 (article)

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publisher's site code pdf Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

publisher's site code pdf Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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GLIDE: GPU-Based Linear Regression for Detection of Epistasis

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

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

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

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Fast projection onto mixed-norm balls with applications

Sra, S.

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

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian estimation of free energies from equilibrium simulations

Habeck, M.

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

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

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


{DRAPE: DRessing Any PErson}
DRAPE: DRessing Any PErson

Guan, P., Reiss, L., Hirshberg, D., Weiss, A., Black, M. J.

ACM Trans. on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 31(4):35:1-35:10, July 2012 (article)

Abstract
We describe a complete system for animating realistic clothing on synthetic bodies of any shape and pose without manual intervention. The key component of the method is a model of clothing called DRAPE (DRessing Any PErson) that is learned from a physics-based simulation of clothing on bodies of different shapes and poses. The DRAPE model has the desirable property of "factoring" clothing deformations due to body shape from those due to pose variation. This factorization provides an approximation to the physical clothing deformation and greatly simplifies clothing synthesis. Given a parameterized model of the human body with known shape and pose parameters, we describe an algorithm that dresses the body with a garment that is customized to fit and possesses realistic wrinkles. DRAPE can be used to dress static bodies or animated sequences with a learned model of the cloth dynamics. Since the method is fully automated, it is appropriate for dressing large numbers of virtual characters of varying shape. The method is significantly more efficient than physical simulation.

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YouTube pdf talk Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

YouTube pdf talk Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


From Pixels to Layers: Joint Motion Estimation and Segmentation
From Pixels to Layers: Joint Motion Estimation and Segmentation

Sun, D.

Brown University, Department of Computer Science, July 2012 (phdthesis)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Inequalities for Martingales

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

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

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

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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

Hennig, P., Schuler, C.

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

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

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PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


Visual Orientation and Directional Selectivity Through Thalamic Synchrony
Visual Orientation and Directional Selectivity Through Thalamic Synchrony

Stanley, G., Jin, J., Wang, Y., Desbordes, G., Wang, Q., Black, M., Alonso, J.

Journal of Neuroscience, 32(26):9073-9088, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
Thalamic neurons respond to visual scenes by generating synchronous spike trains on the timescale of 10–20 ms that are very effective at driving cortical targets. Here we demonstrate that this synchronous activity contains unexpectedly rich information about fundamental properties of visual stimuli. We report that the occurrence of synchronous firing of cat thalamic cells with highly overlapping receptive fields is strongly sensitive to the orientation and the direction of motion of the visual stimulus. We show that this stimulus selectivity is robust, remaining relatively unchanged under different contrasts and temporal frequencies (stimulus velocities). A computational analysis based on an integrate-and-fire model of the direct thalamic input to a layer 4 cortical cell reveals a strong correlation between the degree of thalamic synchrony and the nonlinear relationship between cortical membrane potential and the resultant firing rate. Together, these findings suggest a novel population code in the synchronous firing of neurons in the early visual pathway that could serve as the substrate for establishing cortical representations of the visual scene.

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preprint publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]

preprint publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

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

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

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Information-geometric approach to inferring causal directions

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

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

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

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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

Schönfelder, V., Wichmann, F.

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

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

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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

Nickisch, H.

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

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

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]