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2011


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Tip based robotic precision micro/nanomanipulation systems

Onal, C., Sumer, B., Ozcan, O., Nain, A., Sitti, M.

In SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing, pages: 80580M-80580M, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

2011


[BibTex]


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Design of a miniature integrated multi-modal jumping and gliding robot

Woodward, M. A., Sitti, M.

In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pages: 556-561, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Tipping the Scales: Guidance and Intrinsically Motivated Behavior

Martius, G., Herrmann, J. M.

In Advances in Artificial Life, ECAL 2011, pages: 506-513, (Editors: Tom Lenaerts and Mario Giacobini and Hugues Bersini and Paul Bourgine and Marco Dorigo and René Doursat), MIT Press, 2011 (incollection)

al

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Movement segmentation using a primitive library

Meier, F., Theodorou, E., Stulp, F., Schaal, S.

In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2011), Sept. 25-30, San Francisco, CA, 2011, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Segmenting complex movements into a sequence of primitives remains a difficult problem with many applications in the robotics and vision communities. In this work, we show how the movement segmentation problem can be reduced to a sequential movement recognition problem. To this end, we reformulate the orig-inal Dynamic Movement Primitive (DMP) formulation as a linear dynamical sys-tem with control inputs. Based on this new formulation, we develop an Expecta-tion-Maximization algorithm to estimate the duration and goal position of a par-tially observed trajectory. With the help of this algorithm and the assumption that a library of movement primitives is present, we present a movement seg-mentation framework. We illustrate the usefulness of the new DMP formulation on the two applications of online movement recognition and movement segmen-tation.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Learning Force Control Policies for Compliant Manipulation

Kalakrishnan, M., Righetti, L., Pastor, P., Schaal, S.

In 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 4639-4644, IEEE, San Francisco, USA, sep 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Developing robots capable of fine manipulation skills is of major importance in order to build truly assistive robots. These robots need to be compliant in their actuation and control in order to operate safely in human environments. Manipulation tasks imply complex contact interactions with the external world, and involve reasoning about the forces and torques to be applied. Planning under contact conditions is usually impractical due to computational complexity, and a lack of precise dynamics models of the environment. We present an approach to acquiring manipulation skills on compliant robots through reinforcement learning. The initial position control policy for manipulation is initialized through kinesthetic demonstration. We augment this policy with a force/torque profile to be controlled in combination with the position trajectories. We use the Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2) algorithm to learn these force/torque profiles by optimizing a cost function that measures task success. We demonstrate our approach on the Barrett WAM robot arm equipped with a 6-DOF force/torque sensor on two different manipulation tasks: opening a door with a lever door handle, and picking up a pen off the table. We show that the learnt force control policies allow successful, robust execution of the tasks.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Control of legged robots with optimal distribution of contact forces

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

In 2011 11th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, pages: 318-324, IEEE, Bled, Slovenia, 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The development of agile and safe humanoid robots require controllers that guarantee both high tracking performance and compliance with the environment. More specifically, the control of contact interaction is of crucial importance for robots that will actively interact with their environment. Model-based controllers such as inverse dynamics or operational space control are very appealing as they offer both high tracking performance and compliance. However, while widely used for fully actuated systems such as manipulators, they are not yet standard controllers for legged robots such as humanoids. Indeed such robots are fundamentally different from manipulators as they are underactuated due to their floating-base and subject to switching contact constraints. In this paper we present an inverse dynamics controller for legged robots that use torque redundancy to create an optimal distribution of contact constraints. The resulting controller is able to minimize, given a desired motion, any quadratic cost of the contact constraints at each instant of time. In particular we show how this can be used to minimize tangential forces during locomotion, therefore significantly improving the locomotion of legged robots on difficult terrains. In addition to the theoretical result, we present simulations of a humanoid and a quadruped robot, as well as experiments on a real quadruped robot that demonstrate the advantages of the controller.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Motion Primitive Goals for Robust Manipulation

Stulp, F., Theodorou, E., Kalakrishnan, M., Pastor, P., Righetti, L., Schaal, S.

In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 325-331, IEEE, San Francisco, USA, sep 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Applying model-free reinforcement learning to manipulation remains challenging for several reasons. First, manipulation involves physical contact, which causes discontinuous cost functions. Second, in manipulation, the end-point of the movement must be chosen carefully, as it represents a grasp which must be adapted to the pose and shape of the object. Finally, there is uncertainty in the object pose, and even the most carefully planned movement may fail if the object is not at the expected position. To address these challenges we 1) present a simplified, computationally more efficient version of our model-free reinforcement learning algorithm PI2; 2) extend PI2 so that it simultaneously learns shape parameters and goal parameters of motion primitives; 3) use shape and goal learning to acquire motion primitives that are robust to object pose uncertainty. We evaluate these contributions on a manipulation platform consisting of a 7-DOF arm with a 4-DOF hand.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Inverse Dynamics Control of Floating-Base Robots with External Constraints: a Unified View

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

In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages: 1085-1090, IEEE, Shanghai, China, 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inverse dynamics controllers and operational space controllers have proved to be very efficient for compliant control of fully actuated robots such as fixed base manipulators. However legged robots such as humanoids are inherently different as they are underactuated and subject to switching external contact constraints. Recently several methods have been proposed to create inverse dynamics controllers and operational space controllers for these robots. In an attempt to compare these different approaches, we develop a general framework for inverse dynamics control and show that these methods lead to very similar controllers. We are then able to greatly simplify recent whole-body controllers based on operational space approaches using kinematic projections, bringing them closer to efficient practical implementations. We also generalize these controllers such that they can be optimal under an arbitrary quadratic cost in the commands.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Benchmark datasets for pose estimation and tracking
Benchmark datasets for pose estimation and tracking

Andriluka, M., Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

In Visual Analysis of Humans: Looking at People, pages: 253-274, (Editors: Moesland and Hilton and Kr"uger and Sigal), Springer-Verlag, London, 2011 (incollection)

ps

publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]

publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]


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First measurement of the heat effect of the grain boundary wetting phase transition

Straumal, B. B., Kogtenkova, O. A., Protasova, S. G., Zieba, P., Czeppe, T., Baretzky, B., Valiev, R. Z.

In 46, pages: 4243, Mie, Japan, 2011 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Applications of AFM Based Nanorobotic Systems

Xie, H., Onal, C., Régnier, S., Sitti, M.

In Atomic Force Microscopy Based Nanorobotics, pages: 313-342, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011 (incollection)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Free flight simulations and pitch and roll control experiments of a sub-gram flapping-flight micro aerial vehicle

Hines, L. L., Arabagi, V., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 1-7, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Chemotactic behavior and dynamics of bacteria propelled microbeads

Kim, Dongwook, Liu, Albert, Stitti, Metin

In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pages: 1674-1679, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


Shape and pose-invariant correspondences using probabilistic geodesic surface embedding
Shape and pose-invariant correspondences using probabilistic geodesic surface embedding

Tsoli, A., Black, M. J.

In 33rd Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), 6835, pages: 256-265, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (Editors: Mester, Rudolf and Felsberg, Michael), Springer, 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Correspondence between non-rigid deformable 3D objects provides a foundation for object matching and retrieval, recognition, and 3D alignment. Establishing 3D correspondence is challenging when there are non-rigid deformations or articulations between instances of a class. We present a method for automatically finding such correspondences that deals with significant variations in pose, shape and resolution between pairs of objects.We represent objects as triangular meshes and consider normalized geodesic distances as representing their intrinsic characteristics. Geodesic distances are invariant to pose variations and nearly invariant to shape variations when properly normalized. The proposed method registers two objects by optimizing a joint probabilistic model over a subset of vertex pairs between the objects. The model enforces preservation of geodesic distances between corresponding vertex pairs and inference is performed using loopy belief propagation in a hierarchical scheme. Additionally our method prefers solutions in which local shape information is consistent at matching vertices. We quantitatively evaluate our method and show that is is more accurate than a state of the art method.

ps

pdf talk Project Page [BibTex]

pdf talk Project Page [BibTex]


Steerable random fields for image restoration and inpainting
Steerable random fields for image restoration and inpainting

Roth, S., Black, M. J.

In Markov Random Fields for Vision and Image Processing, pages: 377-387, (Editors: Blake, A. and Kohli, P. and Rother, C.), MIT Press, 2011 (incollection)

Abstract
This chapter introduces the concept of a Steerable Random Field (SRF). In contrast to traditional Markov random field (MRF) models in low-level vision, the random field potentials of a SRF are defined in terms of filter responses that are steered to the local image structure. This steering uses the structure tensor to obtain derivative responses that are either aligned with, or orthogonal to, the predominant local image structure. Analysis of the statistics of these steered filter responses in natural images leads to the model proposed here. Clique potentials are defined over steered filter responses using a Gaussian scale mixture model and are learned from training data. The SRF model connects random fields with anisotropic regularization and provides a statistical motivation for the latter. Steering the random field to the local image structure improves image denoising and inpainting performance compared with traditional pairwise MRFs.

ps

publisher site [BibTex]

publisher site [BibTex]


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Operational Space Control of Constrained and Underactuated Systems

Mistry, M., Righetti, L.

In Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems, Los Angeles, CA, USA, June 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The operational space formulation (Khatib, 1987), applied to rigid-body manipulators, describes how to decouple task-space and null-space dynamics, and write control equations that correspond only to forces at the end-effector or, alternatively, only to motion within the null-space. We would like to apply this useful theory to modern humanoids and other legged systems, for manipulation or similar tasks, however these systems present additional challenges due to their underactuated floating bases and contact states that can dynamically change. In recent work, Sentis et al. derived controllers for such systems by implementing a task Jacobian projected into a space consistent with the supporting constraints and underactuation (the so called "support consistent reduced Jacobian"). Here, we take a new approach to derive operational space controllers for constrained underactuated systems, by first considering the operational space dynamics within "projected inverse-dynamics" (Aghili, 2005), and subsequently resolving underactuation through the addition of dynamically consistent control torques. Doing so results in a simplified control solution compared with previous results, and importantly yields several new insights into the underlying problem of operational space control in constrained environments: 1) Underactuated systems, such as humanoid robots, cannot in general completely decouple task and null-space dynamics. However, 2) there may exist an infinite number of control solutions to realize desired task-space dynamics, and 3) these solutions involve the addition of dynamically consistent null-space motion or constraint forces (or combinations of both). In light of these findings, we present several possible control solutions, with varying optimization criteria, and highlight some of their practical consequences.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Nanomechanics of AFM based nanomanipulation

Xie, H., Onal, C., Régnier, S., Sitti, M.

In Atomic Force Microscopy Based Nanorobotics, pages: 87-143, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011 (incollection)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Under-actuated tank-like climbing robot with various transitioning capabilities

Seo, T., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 777-782, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Rotating magnetic micro-robots for versatile non-contact fluidic manipulation of micro-objects

Diller, E., Ye, Z., Sitti, M.

In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pages: 1291-1296, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Transmission electron microscopy investigation of boundaries between amorphous "grains" in Ni50Nb20Y30 alloy

Mazilkin, A. A., Abrosimova, G. E., Protasova, S. G., Straumal, B. B., Schütz, G., Dobatkin, S. V., Bakai, A. S.

In 46, pages: 4336-4342, Mie, Japan, 2011 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Online movement adaptation based on previous sensor experiences

Pastor, P., Righetti, L., Kalakrishnan, M., Schaal, S.

In 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 365-371, IEEE, San Francisco, USA, sep 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Personal robots can only become widespread if they are capable of safely operating among humans. In uncertain and highly dynamic environments such as human households, robots need to be able to instantly adapt their behavior to unforseen events. In this paper, we propose a general framework to achieve very contact-reactive motions for robotic grasping and manipulation. Associating stereotypical movements to particular tasks enables our system to use previous sensor experiences as a predictive model for subsequent task executions. We use dynamical systems, named Dynamic Movement Primitives (DMPs), to learn goal-directed behaviors from demonstration. We exploit their dynamic properties by coupling them with the measured and predicted sensor traces. This feedback loop allows for online adaptation of the movement plan. Our system can create a rich set of possible motions that account for external perturbations and perception uncertainty to generate truly robust behaviors. As an example, we present an application to grasping with the WAM robot arm.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Learning to grasp under uncertainty

Stulp, F., Theodorou, E., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, Shanghai, China, May 9-13, 2011, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present an approach that enables robots to learn motion primitives that are robust towards state estimation uncertainties. During reaching and preshaping, the robot learns to use fine manipulation strategies to maneuver the object into a pose at which closing the hand to perform the grasp is more likely to succeed. In contrast, common assumptions in grasp planning and motion planning for reaching are that these tasks can be performed independently, and that the robot has perfect knowledge of the pose of the objects in the environment. We implement our approach using Dynamic Movement Primitives and the probabilistic model-free reinforcement learning algorithm Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2 ). The cost function that PI2 optimizes is a simple boolean that penalizes failed grasps. The key to acquiring robust motion primitives is to sample the actual pose of the object from a distribution that represents the state estimation uncertainty. During learning, the robot will thus optimize the chance of grasping an object from this distribution, rather than at one specific pose. In our empirical evaluation, we demonstrate how the motion primitives become more robust when grasping simple cylindrical objects, as well as more complex, non-convex objects. We also investigate how well the learned motion primitives generalize towards new object positions and other state estimation uncertainty distributions.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Instrumentation Issues of an AFM Based Nanorobotic System

Xie, H., Onal, C., Régnier, S., Sitti, M.

In Atomic Force Microscopy Based Nanorobotics, pages: 31-86, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011 (incollection)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Assembly and disassembly of magnetic mobile micro-robots towards deterministic 2-D reconfigurable micro-systems

Pawashe, C., Diller, E., Floyd, S., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 261-266, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Stochastic dynamics of bacteria propelled spherical micro-robots

Arabagi, V., Behkam, B., Sitti, M.

In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pages: 3937-3942, 2011 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Projected Newton-type methods in machine learning

Schmidt, M., Kim, D., Sra, S.

In Optimization for Machine Learning, pages: 305-330, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2011 (incollection)

Abstract
{We consider projected Newton-type methods for solving large-scale optimization problems arising in machine learning and related fields. We first introduce an algorithmic framework for projected Newton-type methods by reviewing a canonical projected (quasi-)Newton method. This method, while conceptually pleasing, has a high computation cost per iteration. Thus, we discuss two variants that are more scalable, namely, two-metric projection and inexact projection methods. Finally, we show how to apply the Newton-type framework to handle non-smooth objectives. Examples are provided throughout the chapter to illustrate machine learning applications of our framework.}

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2009


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A computational model of human table tennis for robot application

Mülling, K., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 57-64, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Table tennis is a difficult motor skill which requires all basic components of a general motor skill learning system. In order to get a step closer to such a generic approach to the automatic acquisition and refinement of table tennis, we study table tennis from a human motor control point of view. We make use of the basic models of discrete human movement phases, virtual hitting points, and the operational timing hypothesis. Using these components, we create a computational model which is aimed at reproducing human-like behavior. We verify the functionality of this model in a physically realistic simulation of a BarrettWAM.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

2009


Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Approach to Formulation of Clustering Objectives

Seldin, Y., Tishby, N.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2009 Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Clustering is a widely used tool for exploratory data analysis. However, the theoretical understanding of clustering is very limited. We still do not have a well-founded answer to the seemingly simple question of “how many clusters are present in the data?”, and furthermore a formal comparison of clusterings based on different optimization objectives is far beyond our abilities. The lack of good theoretical support gives rise to multiple heuristics that confuse the practitioners and stall development of the field. We suggest that the ill-posed nature of clustering problems is caused by the fact that clustering is often taken out of its subsequent application context. We argue that one does not cluster the data just for the sake of clustering it, but rather to facilitate the solution of some higher level task. By evaluation of the clustering’s contribution to the solution of the higher level task it is possible to compare different clusterings, even those obtained by different optimization objectives. In the preceding work it was shown that such an approach can be applied to evaluation and design of co-clustering solutions. Here we suggest that this approach can be extended to other settings, where clustering is applied.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Notes on Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning: Submodularity, Sparsity & Polyhedra (DISCML), December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Generalizing the cost in the standard min-cut problem to a submodular cost function immediately makes the problem harder. Not only do we prove NP hardness even for nonnegative submodular costs, but also show a lower bound of (|V |1/3) on the approximation factor for the (s, t) cut version of the problem. On the positive side, we propose and compare three approximation algorithms with an overall approximation factor of O(min{|V |,p|E| log |V |}) that appear to do well in practice.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning new basic Movements for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 105-112, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Obtaining novel skills is one of the most important problems in robotics. Machine learning techniques may be a promising approach for automatic and autonomous acquisition of movement policies. However, this requires both an appropriate policy representation and suitable learning algorithms. Employing the most recent form of the dynamical systems motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. [1], we show how both discrete and rhythmic tasks can be learned using a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning, and present our current best performing learning algorithms. Finally, we show that it is possible to include a start-up phase in rhythmic primitives. We apply our approach to two elementary movements, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup and Ball-Paddling, which can be learned on a real Barrett WAM robot arm at a pace similar to human learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of 7ème Journées Nationales de la Recherche en Robotique, pages: 189-195, JNRR, November 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside well-structured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. We focus here on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This contribution provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the related book chapters to the corresponding research topics.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Detecting Objects in Large Image Collections and Videos by Efficient Subimage Retrieval

Lampert, CH.

In ICCV 2009, pages: 987-994, IEEE Computer Society, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Twelfth IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the task of detecting the occurrence of objects in large image collections or in videos, a problem that combines aspects of content based image retrieval and object localization. While most previous approaches are either limited to special kinds of queries, or do not scale to large image sets, we propose a new method, efficient subimage retrieval (ESR), which is at the same time very flexible and very efficient. Relying on a two-layered branch-and-bound setup, ESR performs object-based image retrieval in sets of 100,000 or more images within seconds. An extensive evaluation on several datasets shows that ESR is not only very fast, but it also achieves detection accuracies that are on par with or superior to previously published methods for object-based image retrieval.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A new non-monotonic algorithm for PET image reconstruction

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

In IEEE - Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record (NSS/MIC), 2009, pages: 2500-2502, (Editors: B Yu), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Maximizing some form of Poisson likelihood (either with or without penalization) is central to image reconstruction algorithms in emission tomography. In this paper we introduce NMML, a non-monotonic algorithm for maximum likelihood PET image reconstruction. NMML offers a simple and flexible procedure that also easily incorporates standard convex regular-ization for doing penalized likelihood estimation. A vast number image reconstruction algorithms have been developed for PET, and new ones continue to be designed. Among these, methods based on the expectation maximization (EM) and ordered-subsets (OS) framework seem to have enjoyed the greatest popularity. Our method NMML differs fundamentally from methods based on EM: i) it does not depend on the concept of optimization transfer (or surrogate functions); and ii) it is a rapidly converging nonmonotonic descent procedure. The greatest strengths of NMML, however, are its simplicity, efficiency, and scalability, which make it especially attractive for tomograph ic reconstruction. We provide a theoretical analysis NMML, and empirically observe it to outperform standard EM based methods, sometimes by orders of magnitude. NMML seamlessly allows integreation of penalties (regularizers) in the likelihood. This ability can prove to be crucial, especially because with the rapidly rising importance of combined PET/MR scanners, one will want to include more “prior” knowledge into the reconstruction.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Tensor Clustering

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

In Algorithmic Learning Theory: 20th International Conference, pages: 368-383, (Editors: Gavalda, R. , G. Lugosi, T. Zeugmann, S. Zilles), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ALT, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present the first (to our knowledge) approximation algo- rithm for tensor clustering—a powerful generalization to basic 1D clustering. Tensors are increasingly common in modern applications dealing with complex heterogeneous data and clustering them is a fundamental tool for data analysis and pattern discovery. Akin to their 1D cousins, common tensor clustering formulations are NP-hard to optimize. But, unlike the 1D case no approximation algorithms seem to be known. We address this imbalance and build on recent co-clustering work to derive a tensor clustering algorithm with approximation guarantees, allowing metrics and divergences (e.g., Bregman) as objective functions. Therewith, we answer two open questions by Anagnostopoulos et al. (2008). Our analysis yields a constant approximation factor independent of data size; a worst-case example shows this factor to be tight for Euclidean co-clustering. However, empirically the approximation factor is observed to be conservative, so our method can also be used in practice.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Active learning using mean shift optimization for robot grasping

Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Piater, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 2610-2615, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
When children learn to grasp a new object, they often know several possible grasping points from observing a parent‘s demonstration and subsequently learn better grasps by trial and error. From a machine learning point of view, this process is an active learning approach. In this paper, we present a new robot learning framework for reproducing this ability in robot grasping. For doing so, we chose a straightforward approach: first, the robot observes a few good grasps by demonstration and learns a value function for these grasps using Gaussian process regression. Subsequently, it chooses grasps which are optimal with respect to this value function using a mean-shift optimization approach, and tries them out on the real system. Upon every completed trial, the value function is updated, and in the following trials it is more likely to choose even better grasping points. This method exhibits fast learning due to the data-efficiency of Gaussian process regression framework and the fact th at t he mean-shift method provides maxima of this cost function. Experiments were repeatedly carried out successfully on a real robot system. After less than sixty trials, our system has adapted its grasping policy to consistently exhibit successful grasps.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse online model learning for robot control with support vector regression

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 3121-3126, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The increasing complexity of modern robots makes it prohibitively hard to accurately model such systems as required by many applications. In such cases, machine learning methods offer a promising alternative for approximating such models using measured data. To date, high computational demands have largely restricted machine learning techniques to mostly offline applications. However, making the robots adaptive to changes in the dynamics and to cope with unexplored areas of the state space requires online learning. In this paper, we propose an approximation of the support vector regression (SVR) by sparsification based on the linear independency of training data. As a result, we obtain a method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques, such as nu-SVR, Gaussian process regression (GPR) and locally weighted projection regression (LWPR).

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series Analysis of Epileptic Seizure Recordings

Barbero, A., Franz, M., Drongelen, W., Dorronsoro, J., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In EMBC 2009, pages: 5304-5307, (Editors: Y Kim and B He and G Worrell and X Pan), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Implicit Wiener series are a powerful tool to build Volterra representations of time series with any degree of nonlinearity. A natural question is then whether higher order representations yield more useful models. In this work we shall study this question for ECoG data channel relationships in epileptic seizure recordings, considering whether quadratic representations yield more accurate classifiers than linear ones. To do so we first show how to derive statistical information on the Volterra coefficient distribution and how to construct seizure classification patterns over that information. As our results illustrate, a quadratic model seems to provide no advantages over a linear one. Nevertheless, we shall also show that the interpretability of the implicit Wiener series provides insights into the inter-channel relationships of the recordings.

ei

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Incorporating Prior Knowledge on Class Probabilities into Local Similarity Measures for Intermodality Image Registration

Hofmann, M., Schölkopf, B., Bezrukov, I., Cahill, N.

In Proceedings of the MICCAI 2009 Workshop on Probabilistic Models for Medical Image Analysis , pages: 220-231, (Editors: W Wells and S Joshi and K Pohl), PMMIA, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a methodology for incorporating prior knowledge on class probabilities into the registration process. By using knowledge from the imaging modality, pre-segmentations, and/or probabilistic atlases, we construct vectors of class probabilities for each image voxel. By defining new image similarity measures for distribution-valued images, we show how the class probability images can be nonrigidly registered in a variational framework. An experiment on nonrigid registration of MR and CT full-body scans illustrates that the proposed technique outperforms standard mutual information (MI) and normalized mutual information (NMI) based registration techniques when measured in terms of target registration error (TRE) of manually labeled fiducials.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Markerless 3D Face Tracking (DAGM 2009)

Walder, C., Breidt, M., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B., Curio, C.

In Pattern Recognition, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5748 , pages: 41-50, (Editors: J Denzler and G Notni and H Süsse), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 31st Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a novel algorithm for the markerless tracking of deforming surfaces such as faces. We acquire a sequence of 3D scans along with color images at 40Hz. The data is then represented by implicit surface and color functions, using a novel partition-of-unity type method of efficiently combining local regressors using nearest neighbor searches. Both these functions act on the 4D space of 3D plus time, and use temporal information to handle the noise in individual scans. After interactive registration of a template mesh to the first frame, it is then automatically deformed to track the scanned surface, using the variation of both shape and color as features in a dynamic energy minimization problem. Our prototype system yields high-quality animated 3D models in correspondence, at a rate of approximately twenty seconds per timestep. Tracking results for faces and other objects are presented.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Object Localization with Global and Local Context Kernels

Blaschko, M., Lampert, C.

In British Machine Vision Conference 2009, pages: 1-11, BMVC, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent research has shown that the use of contextual cues significantly improves performance in sliding window type localization systems. In this work, we propose a method that incorporates both global and local context information through appropriately defined kernel functions. In particular, we make use of a weighted combination of kernels defined over local spatial regions, as well as a global context kernel. The relative importance of the context contributions is learned automatically, and the resulting discriminant function is of a form such that localization at test time can be solved efficiently using a branch and bound optimization scheme. By specifying context directly with a kernel learning approach, we achieve high localization accuracy with a simple and efficient representation. This is in contrast to other systems that incorporate context for which expensive inference needs to be done at test time. We show experimentally on the PASCAL VOC datasets that the inclusion of context can significantly improve localization performance, provided the relative contributions of context cues are learned appropriately.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Sample Reuse in EM-Based Policy Search

Hachiya, H., Peters, J., Sugiyama, M.

In 16th European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, pages: 469-484, (Editors: Buntine, W. , M. Grobelnik, D. Mladenic, J. Shawe-Taylor), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Direct policy search is a promising reinforcement learning framework in particular for controlling in continuous, high-dimensional systems such as anthropomorphic robots. Policy search often requires a large number of samples for obtaining a stable policy update estimator due to its high flexibility. However, this is prohibitive when the sampling cost is expensive. In this paper, we extend a EM-based policy search method so that previously collected samples can be efficiently reused. The usefulness of the proposed method, called Reward-weighted Regression with sample Reuse, is demonstrated through a robot learning experiment.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Active Structured Learning for High-Speed Object Detection

Lampert, C., Peters, J.

In DAGM 2009, pages: 221-231, (Editors: Denzler, J. , G. Notni, H. Süsse), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 31st Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
High-speed smooth and accurate visual tracking of objects in arbitrary, unstructured environments is essential for robotics and human motion analysis. However, building a system that can adapt to arbitrary objects and a wide range of lighting conditions is a challenging problem, especially if hard real-time constraints apply like in robotics scenarios. In this work, we introduce a method for learning a discriminative object tracking system based on the recent structured regression framework for object localization. Using a kernel function that allows fast evaluation on the GPU, the resulting system can process video streams at speed of 100 frames per second or more. Consecutive frames in high speed video sequences are typically very redundant, and for training an object detection system, it is sufficient to have training labels from only a subset of all images. We propose an active learning method that select training examples in a data-driven way, thereby minimizing the required number of training labeling. Experiments on realistic data show that the active learning is superior to previously used methods for dataset subsampling for this task.

ei

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Generalized Clustering via Kernel Embeddings

Jegelka, S., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B., Sriperumbudur, B., von Luxburg, U.

In KI 2009: AI and Automation, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5803, pages: 144-152, (Editors: B Mertsching and M Hund and Z Aziz), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 32nd Annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We generalize traditional goals of clustering towards distinguishing components in a non-parametric mixture model. The clusters are not necessarily based on point locations, but on higher order criteria. This framework can be implemented by embedding probability distributions in a Hilbert space. The corresponding clustering objective is very general and relates to a range of common clustering concepts.

ei

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PDF PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Discovering Temporal Patterns of Differential Gene Expression in Microarray Time Series

Stegle, O., Denby, KJ., Wild, DL., McHattie, S., Mead, A., Ghahramani, Z., Borgwardt, KM.

In Proceedings of the German Conference on Bioinformatics 2009 (GCB 2009), pages: 133-142, (Editors: Grosse, I. , S. Neumann, S. Posch, F. Schreiber, P. F. Stadler), Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Germany, German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB '09), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A wealth of time series of microarray measurements have become available over recent years. Several two-sample tests for detecting differential gene expression in these time series have been defined, but they can only answer the question whether a gene is differentially expressed across the whole time series, not in which intervals it is differentially expressed. In this article, we propose a Gaussian process based approach for studying these dynamics of differential gene expression. In experiments on Arabidopsis thaliana gene expression levels, our novel technique helps us to uncover that the family of WRKY transcription factors appears to be involved in the early response to infection by a fungal pathogen.

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PDF Web [BibTex]


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Varieties of Justification in Machine Learning

Corfield, D.

In Proceedings of Multiplicity and Unification in Statistics and Probability, pages: 1-10, Multiplicity and Unification in Statistics and Probability, June 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The field of machine learning has flourished over the past couple of decades. With huge amounts of data available, efficient algorithms can learn to extrapolate from their training sets to become very accurate classifiers. For example, it is straightforward now to develop classifiers which achieve accuracies of around 99% on databases of handwritten digits. Now these algorithms have been devised by theorists who arrive at the problem of machine learning with a range of different philosophical outlooks on the subject of inductive reasoning. This has led to a wide range of theoretical rationales for their work. In this talk I shall classify the different forms of justification for inductive machine learning into four kinds, and make some comparisons between them. With little by way of theoretical knowledge to aid in the learning tasks, while the relevance of these justificatory approaches for the inductive reasoning of the natural sciences is questionable, certain issues surrounding the presuppositions of inductive reasoning are brought sharply into focus. In particular, Frequentist, Bayesian and MDL outlooks can be compared.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Effects of Stimulus Type and of Error-Correcting Code Design on BCI Speller Performance

Hill, J., Farquhar, J., Martens, S., Biessmann, F., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 21, pages: 665-672, (Editors: D Koller and D Schuurmans and Y Bengio and L Bottou), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 22nd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
From an information-theoretic perspective, a noisy transmission system such as a visual Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) speller could benefit from the use of errorcorrecting codes. However, optimizing the code solely according to the maximal minimum-Hamming-distance criterion tends to lead to an overall increase in target frequency of target stimuli, and hence a significantly reduced average target-to-target interval (TTI), leading to difficulties in classifying the individual event-related potentials (ERPs) due to overlap and refractory effects. Clearly any change to the stimulus setup must also respect the possible psychophysiological consequences. Here we report new EEG data from experiments in which we explore stimulus types and codebooks in a within-subject design, finding an interaction between the two factors. Our data demonstrate that the traditional, rowcolumn code has particular spatial properties that lead to better performance than one would expect from its TTIs and Hamming-distances alone, but nonetheless error-correcting codes can improve performance provided the right stimulus type is used.

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PDF PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF PDF Web [BibTex]


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Influence of graph construction on graph-based clustering measures

Maier, M., von Luxburg, U., Hein, M.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 21, pages: 1025-1032, (Editors: Koller, D. , D. Schuurmans, Y. Bengio, L. Bottou), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Second Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Graph clustering methods such as spectral clustering are defined for general weighted graphs. In machine learning, however, data often is not given in form of a graph, but in terms of similarity (or distance) values between points. In this case, first a neighborhood graph is constructed using the similarities between the points and then a graph clustering algorithm is applied to this graph. In this paper we investigate the influence of the construction of the similarity graph on the clustering results. We first study the convergence of graph clustering criteria such as the normalized cut (Ncut) as the sample size tends to infinity. We find that the limit expressions are different for different types of graph, for example the r-neighborhood graph or the k-nearest neighbor graph. In plain words: Ncut on a kNN graph does something systematically different than Ncut on an r-neighborhood graph! This finding shows that graph clustering criteria cannot be studied independently of the kind of graph they are applied to. We also provide examples which show that these differences can be observed for toy and real data already for rather small sample sizes.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Local Gaussian Process Regression for Real Time Online Model Learning and Control

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 21, pages: 1193-1200, (Editors: Koller, D. , D. Schuurmans, Y. Bengio, L. Bottou), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Second Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), June 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Learning in real-time applications, e.g., online approximation of the inverse dynamics model for model-based robot control, requires fast online regression techniques. Inspired by local learning, we propose a method to speed up standard Gaussian Process regression (GPR) with local GP models (LGP). The training data is partitioned in local regions, for each an individual GP model is trained. The prediction for a query point is performed by weighted estimation using nearby local models. Unlike other GP approximations, such as mixtures of experts, we use a distance based measure for partitioning of the data and weighted prediction. The proposed method achieves online learning and prediction in real-time. Comparisons with other nonparametric regression methods show that LGP has higher accuracy than LWPR and close to the performance of standard GPR and nu-SVR.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Detecting the Direction of Causal Time Series

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 801-808, (Editors: A Danyluk and L Bottou and ML Littman), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, ICML, June 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a method that detects the true direction of time series, by fitting an autoregressive moving average model to the data. Whenever the noise is independent of the previous samples for one ordering of the observations, but dependent for the opposite ordering, we infer the former direction to be the true one. We prove that our method works in the population case as long as the noise of the process is not normally distributed (for the latter case, the direction is not identificable). A new and important implication of our result is that it confirms a fundamental conjecture in causal reasoning - if after regression the noise is independent of signal for one direction and dependent for the other, then the former represents the true causal direction - in the case of time series. We test our approach on two types of data: simulated data sets conforming to our modeling assumptions, and real world EEG time series. Our method makes a decision for a significant fraction of both data sets, and these decisions are mostly correct. For real world data, our approach outperforms alternative solutions to the problem of time direction recovery.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]