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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [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)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [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.

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pdf talk Project Page [BibTex]

pdf talk Project Page [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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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)

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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.

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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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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]

2010


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Reinforcement learning of full-body humanoid motor skills

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

In Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2010 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on, pages: 405-410, December 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Applying reinforcement learning to humanoid robots is challenging because humanoids have a large number of degrees of freedom and state and action spaces are continuous. Thus, most reinforcement learning algorithms would become computationally infeasible and require a prohibitive amount of trials to explore such high-dimensional spaces. In this paper, we present a probabilistic reinforcement learning approach, which is derived from the framework of stochastic optimal control and path integrals. The algorithm, called Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2), has a surprisingly simple form, has no open tuning parameters besides the exploration noise, is model-free, and performs numerically robustly in high dimensional learning problems. We demonstrate how PI2 is able to learn full-body motor skills on a 34-DOF humanoid robot. To demonstrate the generality of our approach, we also apply PI2 in the context of variable impedance control, where both planned trajectories and gain schedules for each joint are optimized simultaneously.

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link (url) [BibTex]

2010


link (url) [BibTex]


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Computationally efficient algorithms for statistical image processing: Implementation in R

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

(2010-053), EURANDOM, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, December 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
In the series of our earlier papers on the subject, we proposed a novel statistical hy- pothesis testing method for detection of objects in noisy images. The method uses results from percolation theory and random graph theory. We developed algorithms that allowed to detect objects of unknown shapes in the presence of nonparametric noise of unknown level and of un- known distribution. No boundary shape constraints were imposed on the objects, only a weak bulk condition for the object's interior was required. Our algorithms have linear complexity and exponential accuracy. In the present paper, we describe an implementation of our nonparametric hypothesis testing method. We provide a program that can be used for statistical experiments in image processing. This program is written in the statistical programming language R.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Table Tennis with a Mixture of Motor Primitives

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2010), pages: 411-416, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), December 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Table tennis is a sufficiently complex motor task for studying complete skill learning systems. It consists of several elementary motions and requires fast movements, accurate control, and online adaptation. To represent the elementary movements needed for robot table tennis, we rely on dynamic systems motor primitives (DMP). While such DMPs have been successfully used for learning a variety of simple motor tasks, they only represent single elementary actions. In order to select and generalize among different striking movements, we present a new approach, called Mixture of Motor Primitives that uses a gating network to activate appropriate motor primitives. The resulting policy enables us to select among the appropriate motor primitives as well as to generalize between them. In order to obtain a fully learned robot table tennis setup, we also address the problem of predicting the necessary context information, i.e., the hitting point in time and space where we want to hit the ball. We show that the resulting setup was capable of playing rudimentary table tennis using an anthropomorphic robot arm.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Fast Convergent Algorithms for Expectation Propagation Approximate Bayesian Inference

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, December 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel algorithm to solve the expectation propagation relaxation of Bayesian inference for continuous-variable graphical models. In contrast to most previous algorithms, our method is provably convergent. By marrying convergent EP ideas from (Opper&Winther 05) with covariance decoupling techniques (Wipf&Nagarajan 08, Nickisch&Seeger 09), it runs at least an order of magnitude faster than the most commonly used EP solver.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning an interactive segmentation system

Nickisch, H., Rother, C., Kohli, P., Rhemann, C.

In Proceedings of the Seventh Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing (ICVGIP 2010), pages: 274-281, (Editors: Chellapa, R. , P. Anandan, A. N. Rajagopalan, P. J. Narayanan, P. Torr), ACM Press, Nw York, NY, USA, Seventh Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing (ICVGIP), December 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many successful applications of computer vision to image or video manipulation are interactive by nature. However, parameters of such systems are often trained neglecting the user. Traditionally, interactive systems have been treated in the same manner as their fully automatic counterparts. Their performance is evaluated by computing the accuracy of their solutions under some fixed set of user interactions. This paper proposes a new evaluation and learning method which brings the user in the loop. It is based on the use of an active robot user -- a simulated model of a human user. We show how this approach can be used to evaluate and learn parameters of state-of-the-art interactive segmentation systems. We also show how simulated user models can be integrated into the popular max-margin method for parameter learning and propose an algorithm to solve the resulting optimisation problem.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Using an Infinite Von Mises-Fisher Mixture Model to Cluster Treatment Beam Directions in External Radiation Therapy

Bangert, M., Hennig, P., Oelfke, U.

In pages: 746-751 , (Editors: Draghici, S. , T.M. Khoshgoftaar, V. Palade, W. Pedrycz, M.A. Wani, X. Zhu), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Ninth International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA), December 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a method for fully automated selection of treatment beam ensembles for external radiation therapy. We reformulate the beam angle selection problem as a clustering problem of locally ideal beam orientations distributed on the unit sphere. For this purpose we construct an infinite mixture of von Mises-Fisher distributions, which is suited in general for density estimation from data on the D-dimensional sphere. Using a nonparametric Dirichlet process prior, our model infers probability distributions over both the number of clusters and their parameter values. We describe an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo inference algorithm for posterior inference from experimental data in this model. The performance of the suggested beam angle selection framework is illustrated for one intra-cranial, pancreas, and prostate case each. The infinite von Mises-Fisher mixture model (iMFMM) creates between 18 and 32 clusters, depending on the patient anatomy. This suggests to use the iMFMM directly for beam ensemble selection in robotic radio surgery, or to generate low-dimensional input for both subsequent optimization of trajectories for arc therapy and beam ensemble selection for conventional radiation therapy.

ei pn

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Online algorithms for submodular minimization with combinatorial constraints

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning: Structures, Algorithms and Applications (DISCML), December 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Building on recent results for submodular minimization with combinatorial constraints, and on online submodular minimization, we address online approximation algorithms for submodular minimization with combinatorial constraints. We discuss two types of algorithms and outline approximation algorithms that integrate into those.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multi-agent random walks for local clustering

Alamgir, M., von Luxburg, U.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM 2010), pages: 18-27, (Editors: Webb, G. I., B. Liu, C. Zhang, D. Gunopulos, X. Wu), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), December 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of local graph clustering where the aim is to discover the local cluster corresponding to a point of interest. The most popular algorithms to solve this problem start a random walk at the point of interest and let it run until some stopping criterion is met. The vertices visited are then considered the local cluster. We suggest a more powerful alternative, the multi-agent random walk. It consists of several “agents” connected by a fixed rope of length l. All agents move independently like a standard random walk on the graph, but they are constrained to have distance at most l from each other. The main insight is that for several agents it is harder to simultaneously travel over the bottleneck of a graph than for just one agent. Hence, the multi-agent random walk has less tendency to mistakenly merge two different clusters than the original random walk. In our paper we analyze the multi-agent random walk theoretically and compare it experimentally to the major local graph clustering algorithms from the literature. We find that our multi-agent random walk consistently outperforms these algorithms.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Effects of Packet Losses to Stability in Bilateral Teleoperation Systems

Hong, A., Cho, JH., Lee, DY.

In pages: 1043-1044, Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers, Seoul, South Korea, KSME Fall Annual Meeting, November 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Combining Real-Time Brain-Computer Interfacing and Robot Control for Stroke Rehabilitation

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Peters, J., Hill, J., Gharabaghi, A., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In Proceedings of SIMPAR 2010 Workshops, pages: 59-63, Brain-Computer Interface Workshop at SIMPAR: 2nd International Conference on Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots, November 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-Computer Interfaces based on electrocorticography (ECoG) or electroencephalography (EEG), in combination with robot-assisted active physical therapy, may support traditional rehabilitation procedures for patients with severe motor impairment due to cerebrovascular brain damage caused by stroke. In this short report, we briefly review the state-of-the art in this exciting new field, give an overview of the work carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and the University of T{\"u}bingen, and discuss challenges that need to be addressed in order to move from basic research to clinical studies.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning as a key ability for Human-Friendly Robots

Peters, J., Kober, J., Mülling, K., Krömer, O., Nguyen-Tuong, D., Wang, Z., Rodriguez Gomez, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In pages: 1-2, 3rd Workshop for Young Researchers on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR), October 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Closing the sensorimotor loop: Haptic feedback facilitates decoding of arm movement imagery

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Peters, J., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC 2010), pages: 121-126, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC), October 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) in combination with robot-assisted physical therapy may become a valuable tool for neurorehabilitation of patients with severe hemiparetic syndromes due to cerebrovascular brain damage (stroke) and other neurological conditions. A key aspect of this approach is reestablishing the disrupted sensorimotor feedback loop, i.e., determining the intended movement using a BCI and helping a human with impaired motor function to move the arm using a robot. It has not been studied yet, however, how artificially closing the sensorimotor feedback loop affects the BCI decoding performance. In this article, we investigate this issue in six healthy subjects, and present evidence that haptic feedback facilitates the decoding of arm movement intention. The results provide evidence of the feasibility of future rehabilitative efforts combining robot-assisted physical therapy with BCIs.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Probabilistic Discriminative Models of Grasp Affordances under Limited Supervision

Erkan, A., Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Altun, Y., Piater, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2010), pages: 1586-1591, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper addresses the problem of learning and efficiently representing discriminative probabilistic models of object-specific grasp affordances particularly when the number of labeled grasps is extremely limited. The proposed method does not require an explicit 3D model but rather learns an implicit manifold on which it defines a probability distribution over grasp affordances. We obtain hypothetical grasp configurations from visual descriptors that are associated with the contours of an object. While these hypothetical configurations are abundant, labeled configurations are very scarce as these are acquired via time-costly experiments carried out by the robot. Kernel logistic regression (KLR) via joint kernel maps is trained to map the hypothesis space of grasps into continuous class-conditional probability values indicating their achievability. We propose a soft-supervised extension of KLR and a framework to combine the merits of semi-supervised and active learning approaches to tackle the scarcity of labeled grasps. Experimental evaluation shows that combining active and semi-supervised learning is favorable in the existence of an oracle. Furthermore, semi-supervised learning outperforms supervised learning, particularly when the labeled data is very limited.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A biomimetic approach to robot table tennis

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2010), pages: 1921-1926, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Although human beings see and move slower than table tennis or baseball robots, they manage to outperform such robot systems. One important aspect of this better performance is the human movement generation. In this paper, we study trajectory generation for table tennis from a biomimetic point of view. Our focus lies on generating efficient stroke movements capable of mastering variations in the environmental conditions, such as changing ball speed, spin and position. We study table tennis from a human motor control point of view. To make headway towards this goal, we construct a trajectory generator for a single stroke using the discrete movement stages hypothesis and the virtual hitting point hypothesis to create a model that produces a human-like stroke movement. We verify the functionality of the trajectory generator for a single forehand stroke both in a simulation and using a real Barrett WAM.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Graph Clustering and Pairwise Clustering

Seldin, Y.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We formulate weighted graph clustering as a prediction problem: given a subset of edge weights we analyze the ability of graph clustering to predict the remaining edge weights. This formulation enables practical and theoretical comparison of different approaches to graph clustering as well as comparison of graph clustering with other possible ways to model the graph. We adapt the PAC-Bayesian analysis of co-clustering (Seldin and Tishby, 2008; Seldin, 2009) to derive a PAC-Bayesian generalization bound for graph clustering. The bound shows that graph clustering should optimize a trade-off between empirical data fit and the mutual information that clusters preserve on the graph nodes. A similar trade-off derived from information-theoretic considerations was already shown to produce state-of-the-art results in practice (Slonim et al., 2005; Yom-Tov and Slonim, 2009). This paper supports the empirical evidence by providing a better theoretical foundation, suggesting formal generalization guarantees, and offering a more accurate way to deal with finite sample issues. We derive a bound minimization algorithm and show that it provides good results in real-life problems and that the derived PAC-Bayesian bound is reasonably tight.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Weakly-Paired Maximum Covariance Analysis for Multimodal Dimensionality Reduction and Transfer Learning

Lampert, C., Kroemer, O.

In Computer Vision – ECCV 2010, pages: 566-579, (Editors: Daniilidis, K. , P. Maragos, N. Paragios), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 11th European Conference on Computer Vision, September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the problem of multimodal dimensionality reduction assuming that data samples can be missing at training time, and not all data modalities may be present at application time. Maximum covariance analysis, as a generalization of PCA, has many desirable properties, but its application to practical problems is limited by its need for perfectly paired data. We overcome this limitation by a latent variable approach that allows working with weakly paired data and is still able to efficiently process large datasets using standard numerical routines. The resulting weakly paired maximum covariance analysis often finds better representations than alternative methods, as we show in two exemplary tasks: texture discrimination and transfer learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Simple algorithmic modifications for improving blind steganalysis performance

Schwamberger, V., Franz, M.

In Proceedings of the 12th ACM workshop on Multimedia and Security (MM&Sec 2010), pages: 225-230, (Editors: Campisi, P. , J. Dittmann, S. Craver), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 12th ACM Workshop on Multimedia and Security (MM&Sec), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Most current algorithms for blind steganalysis of images are based on a two-stages approach: First, features are extracted in order to reduce dimensionality and to highlight potential manipulations; second, a classifier trained on pairs of clean and stego images finds a decision rule for these features to detect stego images. Thereby, vector components might vary significantly in their values, hence normalization of the feature vectors is crucial. Furthermore, most classifiers contain free parameters, and an automatic model selection step has to be carried out for adapting these parameters. However, the commonly used cross-validation destroys some information needed by the classifier because of the arbitrary splitting of image pairs (stego and clean version) in the training set. In this paper, we propose simple modifications of normalization and for standard cross-validation. In our experiments, we show that these methods lead to a significant improvement of the standard blind steganalyzer of Lyu and Farid.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Remote Sensing Image Classification via Maximum Entropy

Erkan, A., Camps-Valls, G., Altun, Y.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP 2010), pages: 313-318, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Remote sensing image segmentation requires multi-category classification typically with limited number of labeled training samples. While semi-supervised learning (SSL) has emerged as a sub-field of machine learning to tackle the scarcity of labeled samples, most SSL algorithms to date have had trade-offs in terms of scalability and/or applicability to multi-categorical data. In this paper, we evaluate semi-supervised logistic regression (SLR), a recent information theoretic semi-supervised algorithm, for remote sensing image classification problems. SLR is a probabilistic discriminative classifier and a specific instance of the generalized maximum entropy framework with a convex loss function. Moreover, the method is inherently multi-class and easy to implement. These characteristics make SLR a strong alternative to the widely used semi-supervised variants of SVM for the segmentation of remote sensing images. We demonstrate the competitiveness of SLR in multispectral, hyperspectral and radar image classifica tion.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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MLSP Competition, 2010: Description of first place method

Leiva, JM., Martens, SMM.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP 2010), pages: 112-113, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Our winning approach to the 2010 MLSP Competition is based on a generative method for P300-based BCI decoding, successfully applied to visual spellers. Here, generative has a double meaning. On the one hand, we work with a probability density model of the data given the target/non target labeling, as opposed to discriminative (e.g. SVM-based) methods. On the other hand, the natural consequence of this approach is a decoding based on comparing the observation to templates generated from the data.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse nonnegative matrix approximation: new formulations and algorithms

Tandon, R., Sra, S.

(193), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce several new formulations for sparse nonnegative matrix approximation. Subsequently, we solve these formulations by developing generic algorithms. Further, to help selecting a particular sparse formulation, we briefly discuss the interpretation of each formulation. Finally, preliminary experiments are presented to illustrate the behavior of our formulations and algorithms.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Multiframe Blind Deconvolution, Super-Resolution, and Saturation Correction via Incremental EM

Harmeling, S., Sra, S., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2010), pages: 3313-3316, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 17th International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We formulate the multiframe blind deconvolution problem in an incremental expectation maximization (EM) framework. Beyond deconvolution, we show how to use the same framework to address: (i) super-resolution despite noise and unknown blurring; (ii) saturationcorrection of overexposed pixels that confound image restoration. The abundance of data allows us to address both of these without using explicit image or blur priors. The end result is a simple but effective algorithm with no hyperparameters. We apply this algorithm to real-world images from astronomy and to super resolution tasks: for both, our algorithm yields increased resolution and deconvolved images simultaneously.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Gaussian Mixture Modeling with Gaussian Process Latent Variable Models

Nickisch, H., Rasmussen, C.

In Pattern Recognition, pages: 271-282, (Editors: Goesele, M. , S. Roth, A. Kuijper, B. Schiele, K. Schindler), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 32nd Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Density modeling is notoriously difficult for high dimensional data. One approach to the problem is to search for a lower dimensional manifold which captures the main characteristics of the data. Recently, the Gaussian Process Latent Variable Model (GPLVM) has successfully been used to find low dimensional manifolds in a variety of complex data. The GPLVM consists of a set of points in a low dimensional latent space, and a stochastic map to the observed space. We show how it can be interpreted as a density model in the observed space. However, the GPLVM is not trained as a density model and therefore yields bad density estimates. We propose a new training strategy and obtain improved generalisation performance and better density estimates in comparative evaluations on several benchmark data sets.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Robust nonparametric detection of objects in noisy images

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

(2010-049), EURANDOM, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel statistical hypothesis testing method for detection of objects in noisy images. The method uses results from percolation theory and random graph theory. We present an algorithm that allows to detect objects of unknown shapes in the presence of nonparametric noise of unknown level and of unknown distribution. No boundary shape constraints are imposed on the object, only a weak bulk condition for the object's interior is required. The algorithm has linear complexity and exponential accuracy and is appropriate for real-time systems. In this paper, we develop further the mathematical formalism of our method and explore im- portant connections to the mathematical theory of percolation and statistical physics. We prove results on consistency and algorithmic complexity of our testing procedure. In addition, we address not only an asymptotic behavior of the method, but also a nite sample performance of our test.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Nearest Neighbor Data Structure for Graphics Hardware

Cayton, L.

In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Accelerating Data Management Systems Using Modern Processor and Storage Architectures (ADMS 2010), pages: 1-6, First International Workshop on Accelerating Data Management Systems Using Modern Processor and Storage Architectures (ADMS), September 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nearest neighbor search is a core computational task in database systems and throughout data analysis. It is also a major computational bottleneck, and hence an enormous body of research has been devoted to data structures and algorithms for accelerating the task. Recent advances in graphics hardware provide tantalizing speedups on a variety of tasks and suggest an alternate approach to the problem: simply run brute force search on a massively parallel sys- tem. In this paper we marry the approaches with a novel data structure that can effectively make use of parallel systems such as graphics cards. The architectural complexities of graphics hardware - the high degree of parallelism, the small amount of memory relative to instruction throughput, and the single instruction, multiple data design- present significant challenges for data structure design. Furthermore, the brute force approach applies perfectly to graphics hardware, leading one to question whether an intelligent algorithm or data structure can even hope to outperform this basic approach. Despite these challenges and misgivings, we demonstrate that our data structure - termed a Random Ball Cover - provides significant speedups over the GPU- based brute force approach.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
Many problems of low-level computer vision and image processing, such as denoising, deconvolution, tomographic reconstruction or super-resolution, can be addressed by maximizing the posterior distribution of a sparse linear model (SLM). We show how higher-order Bayesian decision-making problems, such as optimizing image acquisition in magnetic resonance scanners, can be addressed by querying the SLM posterior covariance, unrelated to the density's mode. We propose a scalable algorithmic framework, with which SLM posteriors over full, high-resolution images can be approximated for the first time, solving a variational optimization problem which is convex iff posterior mode finding is convex. These methods successfully drive the optimization of sampling trajectories for real-world magnetic resonance imaging through Bayesian experimental design, which has not been attempted before. Our methodology provides new insight into similarities and differences between sparse reconstruction and approximate Bayesian inference, and has important implications for compressive sensing of real-world images.

ei

Web [BibTex]


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Epidural ECoG Online Decoding of Arm Movement Intention in Hemiparesis

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Peters, J., Naros, G., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A.

In Proceedings of the 1st ICPR Workshop on Brain Decoding: Pattern Recognition Challenges in Neuroimaging (ICPR WBD 2010), pages: 36-39, (Editors: J. Richiardi and D Van De Ville and C Davatzikos and J Mourao-Miranda), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 1st Workshop on Brain Decoding (WBD), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) that rely upon epidural electrocorticographic signals may become a promising tool for neurorehabilitation of patients with severe hemiparatic syndromes due to cerebrovascular, traumatic or tumor-related brain damage. Here, we show in a patient-based feasibility study that online classification of arm movement intention is possible. The intention to move or to rest can be identified with high accuracy (~90 %), which is sufficient for BCI-guided neurorehabilitation. The observed spatial distribution of relevant features on the motor cortex indicates that cortical reorganization has been induced by the brain lesion. Low- and high-frequency components of the electrocorticographic power spectrum provide complementary information towards classification of arm movement intention.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Simulating Human Table Tennis with a Biomimetic Robot Setup

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

In From Animals to Animats 11, pages: 273-282, (Editors: Doncieux, S. , B. Girard, A. Guillot, J. Hallam, J.-A. Meyer, J.-B. Mouret), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 11th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Playing table tennis is a difficult motor task which requires fast movements, accurate control and adaptation to task parameters. Although human beings see and move slower than most robot systems they outperform all table tennis robots significantly. In this paper we study human table tennis and present a robot system that mimics human striking behavior. Therefore we model the human movements involved in hitting a table tennis ball using discrete movement stages and the virtual hitting point hypothesis. The resulting model is implemented on an anthropomorphic robot arm with 7 degrees of freedom using robotics methods. We verify the functionality of the model both in a physical realistic simulation of an anthropomorphic robot arm and on a real Barrett WAM.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts for Image Segmentation

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

(UWEETR-1020-0003), University of Washington, Washington DC, USA, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel framework for graph-based cooperative regularization that uses submodular costs on graph edges. We introduce an efficient iterative algorithm to solve the resulting hard discrete optimization problem, and show that it has a guaranteed approximation factor. The edge-submodular formulation is amenable to the same extensions as standard graph cut approaches, and applicable to a range of problems. We apply this method to the image segmentation problem. Specifically, Here, we apply it to introduce a discount for homogeneous boundaries in binary image segmentation on very difficult images, precisely, long thin objects and color and grayscale images with a shading gradient. The experiments show that significant portions of previously truncated objects are now preserved.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Adapting Preshaped Grasping Movements Using Vision Descriptors

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

In From Animals to Animats 11, pages: 156-166, (Editors: Doncieux, S. , B. Girard, A. Guillot, J. Hallam, J.-A. Meyer, J.-B. Mouret), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 11th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), August 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Grasping is one of the most important abilities needed for future service robots. In the task of picking up an object from between clutter, traditional robotics approaches would determine a suitable grasping point and then use a movement planner to reach the goal. The planner would require precise and accurate information about the environment and long computation times, both of which are often not available. Therefore, methods are needed that execute grasps robustly even with imprecise information gathered only from standard stereo vision. We propose techniques that reactively modify the robot‘s learned motor primitives based on non-parametric potential fields centered on the Early Cognitive Vision descriptors. These allow both obstacle avoidance, and the adapting of finger motions to the object‘s local geometry. The methods were tested on a real robot, where they led to improved adaptability and quality of grasping actions.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Fast algorithms for total-variationbased optimization

Barbero, A., Sra, S.

(194), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We derive a number of methods to solve efficiently simple optimization problems subject to a totalvariation (TV) regularization, under different norms of the TV operator and both for the case of 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional data. In spite of the non-smooth, non-separable nature of the TV terms considered, we show that a dual formulation with strong structure can be derived. Taking advantage of this structure we develop adaptions of existing algorithms from the optimization literature, resulting in efficient methods for the problem at hand. Experimental results show that for 1-dimensional data the proposed methods achieve convergence within good accuracy levels in practically linear time, both for L1 and L2 norms. For the more challenging 2-dimensional case a performance of order O(N2 log2 N) for N x N inputs is achieved when using the L2 norm. A final section suggests possible extensions and lines of further work.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring Networks of Diffusion and Influence

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Leskovec, J., Krause, A.

In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2010), pages: 1019-1028, (Editors: Rao, B. , B. Krishnapuram, A. Tomkins, Q. Yang), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Information diffusion and virus propagation are fundamental processes talking place in networks. While it is often possible to directly observe when nodes become infected, observing individual transmissions (i.e., who infects whom or who influences whom) is typically very difficult. Furthermore, in many applications, the underlying network over which the diffusions and propagations spread is actually unobserved. We tackle these challenges by developing a method for tracing paths of diffusion and influence through networks and inferring the networks over which contagions propagate. Given the times when nodes adopt pieces of information or become infected, we identify the optimal network that best explains the observed infection times. Since the optimization problem is NP-hard to solve exactly, we develop an efficient approximation algorithm that scales to large datasets and in practice gives provably near-optimal performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by tracing information cascades in a set of 170 million blogs and news articles over a one year period to infer how information flows through the online media space. We find that the diffusion network of news tends to have a core-periphery structure with a small set of core media sites that diffuse information to the rest of the Web. These sites tend to have stable circles of influence with more general news media sites acting as connectors between them.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]