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2016


Auxetic Metamaterial Simplifies Soft Robot Design
Auxetic Metamaterial Simplifies Soft Robot Design

Mark, A. G., Palagi, S., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

In 2016 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 4951-4956, May 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Soft materials are being adopted in robotics in order to facilitate biomedical applications and in order to achieve simpler and more capable robots. One route to simplification is to design the robot's body using `smart materials' that carry the burden of control and actuation. Metamaterials enable just such rational design of the material properties. Here we present a soft robot that exploits mechanical metamaterials for the intrinsic synchronization of two passive clutches which contact its travel surface. Doing so allows it to move through an enclosed passage with an inchworm motion propelled by a single actuator. Our soft robot consists of two 3D-printed metamaterials that implement auxetic and normal elastic properties. The design, fabrication and characterization of the metamaterials are described. In addition, a working soft robot is presented. Since the synchronization mechanism is a feature of the robot's material body, we believe that the proposed design will enable compliant and robust implementations that scale well with miniaturization.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2016


link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Movement Primitives with Multiple Phase Parameters

Ewerton, M., Maeda, G., Neumann, G., Kisner, V., Kollegger, G., Wiemeyer, J., Peters, J.

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 201-206, IEEE, May 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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TerseSVM : A Scalable Approach for Learning Compact Models in Large-scale Classification

Babbar, R., Muandet, K., Schölkopf, B.

Proceedings of the 2016 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM), pages: 234-242, (Editors: Sanjay Chawla Venkatasubramanian and Wagner Meira), May 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


A Lightweight Robotic Arm with Pneumatic Muscles for Robot Learning
A Lightweight Robotic Arm with Pneumatic Muscles for Robot Learning

Büchler, D., Ott, H., Peters, J.

Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 4086-4092, IEEE, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2016 (conference)

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ICRA16final DOI Project Page [BibTex]

ICRA16final DOI Project Page [BibTex]


Probabilistic Approximate Least-Squares
Probabilistic Approximate Least-Squares

Bartels, S., Hennig, P.

Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), 51, pages: 676-684, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Gretton, A. and Robert, C. C. ), May 2016 (conference)

Abstract
Least-squares and kernel-ridge / Gaussian process regression are among the foundational algorithms of statistics and machine learning. Famously, the worst-case cost of exact nonparametric regression grows cubically with the data-set size; but a growing number of approximations have been developed that estimate good solutions at lower cost. These algorithms typically return point estimators, without measures of uncertainty. Leveraging recent results casting elementary linear algebra operations as probabilistic inference, we propose a new approximate method for nonparametric least-squares that affords a probabilistic uncertainty estimate over the error between the approximate and exact least-squares solution (this is not the same as the posterior variance of the associated Gaussian process regressor). This allows estimating the error of the least-squares solution on a subset of the data relative to the full-data solution. The uncertainty can be used to control the computational effort invested in the approximation. Our algorithm has linear cost in the data-set size, and a simple formal form, so that it can be implemented with a few lines of code in programming languages with linear algebra functionality.

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link (url) Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Drifting Gaussian Processes with Varying Neighborhood Sizes for Online Model Learning

Meier, F., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2016, IEEE, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2016 (inproceedings)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning soft task priorities for control of redundant robots

Modugno, V., Neumann, G., Rueckert, E., Oriolo, G., Peters, J., Ivaldi, S.

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 221-226, IEEE, May 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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On the Reliability of Information and Trustworthiness of Web Sources in Wikipedia

Tabibian, B., Farajtabar, M., Valera, I., Song, L., Schölkopf, B., Gomez Rodriguez, M.

Wikipedia workshop at the 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), May 2016 (conference)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Peer Grading in a Course on Algorithms and Data Structures: Machine Learning Algorithms do not Improve over Simple Baselines
Peer Grading in a Course on Algorithms and Data Structures: Machine Learning Algorithms do not Improve over Simple Baselines

Sajjadi, M. S. M., Alamgir, M., von Luxburg, U.

Proceedings of the 3rd ACM conference on Learning @ Scale, pages: 369-378, (Editors: Haywood, J. and Aleven, V. and Kay, J. and Roll, I.), ACM, L@S, April 2016, (An earlier version of this paper had been presented at the ICML 2015 workshop for Machine Learning for Education.) (conference)

ei

Arxiv Peer-Grading dataset request [BibTex]

Arxiv Peer-Grading dataset request [BibTex]


Towards Photo-Induced Swimming: Actuation of Liquid Crystalline  Elastomer in Water
Towards Photo-Induced Swimming: Actuation of Liquid Crystalline Elastomer in Water

cerretti, G., Martella, D., Zeng, H., Parmeggiani, C., Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., Qiu, T., Fischer, P., Wiersma, D.

In Proc. of SPIE 9738, pages: Laser 3D Manufacturing III, 97380T, April 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs) are very promising smart materials that can be made sensitive to different external stimuli, such as heat, pH, humidity and light, by changing their chemical composition. In this paper we report the implementation of a nematically aligned LCE actuator able to undergo large light-induced deformations. We prove that this property is still present even when the actuator is submerged in fresh water. Thanks to the presence of azo-dye moieties, capable of going through a reversible trans-cis photo-isomerization, and by applying light with two different wavelengths we managed to control the bending of such actuator in the liquid environment. The reported results represent the first step towards swimming microdevices powered by light.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Appealing female avatars from {3D} body scans: Perceptual effects of stylization
Appealing female avatars from 3D body scans: Perceptual effects of stylization

Fleming, R., Mohler, B., Romero, J., Black, M. J., Breidt, M.

In 11th Int. Conf. on Computer Graphics Theory and Applications (GRAPP), Febuary 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Advances in 3D scanning technology allow us to create realistic virtual avatars from full body 3D scan data. However, negative reactions to some realistic computer generated humans suggest that this approach might not always provide the most appealing results. Using styles derived from existing popular character designs, we present a novel automatic stylization technique for body shape and colour information based on a statistical 3D model of human bodies. We investigate whether such stylized body shapes result in increased perceived appeal with two different experiments: One focuses on body shape alone, the other investigates the additional role of surface colour and lighting. Our results consistently show that the most appealing avatar is a partially stylized one. Importantly, avatars with high stylization or no stylization at all were rated to have the least appeal. The inclusion of colour information and improvements to render quality had no significant effect on the overall perceived appeal of the avatars, and we observe that the body shape primarily drives the change in appeal ratings. For body scans with colour information, we found that a partially stylized avatar was most effective, increasing average appeal ratings by approximately 34%.

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pdf Project Page [BibTex]

pdf Project Page [BibTex]


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Fabular: Regression Formulas As Probabilistic Programming

Borgström, J., Gordon, A. D., Ouyang, L., Russo, C., Ścibior, A., Szymczak, M.

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL), pages: 271-283, POPL ’16, ACM, January 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


Deep Discrete Flow
Deep Discrete Flow

Güney, F., Geiger, A.

Asian Conference on Computer Vision (ACCV), 2016 (conference) Accepted

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pdf suppmat Project Page [BibTex]

pdf suppmat Project Page [BibTex]


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Proactive Human-Robot Collaboration with Interaction Primitives

Maeda, G., Maloo, A., Ewerton, M., Lioutikov, R., Peters, J.

9th International Workshop on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR), pages: 40-45, 2016 (conference)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


Ensuring Ethical Behavior from Autonomous Systems
Ensuring Ethical Behavior from Autonomous Systems

Anderson, M., Anderson, S. L., Berenz, V.

In Artificial Intelligence Applied to Assistive Technologies and Smart Environments, Papers from the 2016 AAAI Workshop, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, February 12, 2016, 2016 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Towards Robust Online Inverse Dynamics Learning

Meier, F., Kappler, D., Ratliff, N., Schaal, S.

Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IEEE, IROS, 2016 (conference) Accepted

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fmeier_iros_2016 [BibTex]

fmeier_iros_2016 [BibTex]


Self-Supervised Regrasping using Spatio-Temporal Tactile Features and Reinforcement Learning
Self-Supervised Regrasping using Spatio-Temporal Tactile Features and Reinforcement Learning

Chebotar, Y., Hausman, K., Su, Z., Sukhatme, G., Schaal, S.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2016, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2016 (inproceedings)

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pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]


Modeling Variability of Musculoskeletal Systems with Heteroscedastic Gaussian Processes
Modeling Variability of Musculoskeletal Systems with Heteroscedastic Gaussian Processes

Büchler, D., Calandra, R., Peters, J.

Workshop on Neurorobotics, Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2016 (conference)

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NIPS16Neurorobotics [BibTex]

NIPS16Neurorobotics [BibTex]


Reconstructing Articulated Rigged Models from RGB-D Videos
Reconstructing Articulated Rigged Models from RGB-D Videos

Tzionas, D., Gall, J.

In European Conference on Computer Vision Workshops 2016 (ECCVW’16) - Workshop on Recovering 6D Object Pose (R6D’16), pages: 620-633, Springer International Publishing, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Although commercial and open-source software exist to reconstruct a static object from a sequence recorded with an RGB-D sensor, there is a lack of tools that build rigged models of articulated objects that deform realistically and can be used for tracking or animation. In this work, we fill this gap and propose a method that creates a fully rigged model of an articulated object from depth data of a single sensor. To this end, we combine deformable mesh tracking, motion segmentation based on spectral clustering and skeletonization based on mean curvature flow. The fully rigged model then consists of a watertight mesh, embedded skeleton, and skinning weights.

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pdf suppl Project's Website YouTube link (url) DOI [BibTex]

pdf suppl Project's Website YouTube link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Generalizing Regrasping with Supervised Policy Learning
Generalizing Regrasping with Supervised Policy Learning

Chebotar, Y., Hausman, K., Kroemer, O., Sukhatme, G., Schaal, S.

In International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER) 2016, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2016 (inproceedings)

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pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]


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Causal and statistical learning

Schölkopf, B., Janzing, D., Lopez-Paz, D.

Oberwolfach Reports, 13(3):1896-1899, (Editors: A. Christmann and K. Jetter and S. Smale and D.-X. Zhou), 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Interface-controlled phenomena in nanomaterials

Mittemeijer, Eric J.; Wang, Zumin

2016 (mpi_year_book)

Abstract
Nanosized material systems characteristically exhibit an excessively high internal interface density. A series of previously unknown phenomena in nanomaterials have been disclosed that are fundamentally caused by the presence of interfaces. Thus anomalously large and small lattice parameters in nanocrystalline metals, quantum stress oscillations in growing nanofilms, and extraordinary atomic mobility at ultralow temperatures have been observed and explained. The attained understanding for these new phenomena can lead to new, sophisticated applications of nanomaterials in advanced technologies.

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Robots learn how to see

Geiger, A.

2016 (mpi_year_book)

Abstract
Autonomous vehicles and intelligent service robots could soon contribute to making our lives more pleasant and secure. However, for autonomous operation such systems first need to learn the perception process itself. This involves measuring distances and motions, detecting objects and interpreting the threedimensional world as a whole. While humans perceive their environment with seemingly little efforts, computers first need to be trained for these tasks. Our research is concerned with developing mathematical models which allow computers to robustly perceive their environment.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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A Convex Model of Momentum Dynamics for Multi-Contact Motion Generation

Ponton, B., Herzog, A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots Humanoids, pages: 842-849, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Linear models for control and motion generation of humanoid robots have received significant attention in the past years, not only due to their well known theoretical guarantees, but also because of practical computational advantages. However, to tackle more challenging tasks and scenarios such as locomotion on uneven terrain, a more expressive model is required. In this paper, we are interested in contact interaction-centered motion optimization based on the momentum dynamics model. This model is non-linear and non-convex; however, we find a relaxation of the problem that allows us to formulate it as a single convex quadratically-constrained quadratic program (QCQP) that can be very efficiently optimized and is useful for multi-contact planning. This convex model is then coupled to the optimization of end-effector contact locations using a mixed integer program, which can also be efficiently solved. This becomes relevant e.g. to recover from external pushes, where a predefined stepping plan is likely to fail and an online adaptation of the contact location is needed. The performance of our algorithm is demonstrated in several multi-contact scenarios for a humanoid robot.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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On the Effects of Measurement Uncertainty in Optimal Control of Contact Interactions

Ponton, B., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In The 12th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics WAFR, Berkeley, USA, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Stochastic Optimal Control (SOC) typically considers noise only in the process model, i.e. unknown disturbances. However, in many robotic applications involving interaction with the environment, such as locomotion and manipulation, uncertainty also comes from lack of precise knowledge of the world, which is not an actual disturbance. We analyze the effects of also considering noise in the measurement model, by devel- oping a SOC algorithm based on risk-sensitive control, that includes the dynamics of an observer in such a way that the control law explicitly de- pends on the current measurement uncertainty. In simulation results on a simple 2D manipulator, we have observed that measurement uncertainty leads to low impedance behaviors, a result in contrast with the effects of process noise that creates stiff behaviors. This suggests that taking into account measurement uncertainty could be a potentially very interesting way to approach problems involving uncertain contact interactions.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Inertial Sensor-Based Humanoid Joint State Estimation

Rotella, N., Mason, S., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 1825-1831, IEEE, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This work presents methods for the determination of a humanoid robot's joint velocities and accelerations directly from link-mounted Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) each containing a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer. No information about the global pose of the floating base or its links is required and precise knowledge of the link IMU poses is not necessary due to presented calibration routines. Additionally, a filter is introduced to fuse gyroscope angular velocities with joint position measurements and compensate the computed joint velocities for time-varying gyroscope biases. The resulting joint velocities are subject to less noise and delay than filtered velocities computed from numerical differentiation of joint potentiometer signals, leading to superior performance in joint feedback control as demonstrated in experiments performed on a SARCOS hydraulic humanoid.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Stepping Stabilization Using a Combination of DCM Tracking and Step Adjustment

Khadiv, M., Kleff, S., Herzog, A., Moosavian, S. A. A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 4th International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICROM), pages: 130-135, IEEE, Teheran, Iran, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, a method for stabilizing biped robots stepping by a combination of Divergent Component of Motion (DCM) tracking and step adjustment is proposed. In this method, the DCM trajectory is generated, consistent with the predefined footprints. Furthermore, a swing foot trajectory modification strategy is proposed to adapt the landing point, using DCM measurement. In order to apply the generated trajectories to the full robot, a Hierarchical Inverse Dynamics (HID) is employed. The HID enables us to use different combinations of the DCM tracking and step adjustment for stabilizing different biped robots. Simulation experiments on two scenarios for two different simulated robots, one with active ankles and the other with passive ankles, are carried out. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for robots with both active and passive ankles.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Structured contact force optimization for kino-dynamic motion generation

Herzog, A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages: 2703-2710, IEEE, Daejeon, South Korea, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Optimal control approaches in combination with trajectory optimization have recently proven to be a promising control strategy for legged robots. Computationally efficient and robust algorithms were derived using simplified models of the contact interaction between robot and environment such as the linear inverted pendulum model (LIPM). However, as humanoid robots enter more complex environments, less restrictive models become increasingly important. As we leave the regime of linear models, we need to build dedicated solvers that can compute interaction forces together with consistent kinematic plans for the whole-body. In this paper, we address the problem of planning robot motion and interaction forces for legged robots given predefined contact surfaces. The motion generation process is decomposed into two alternating parts computing force and motion plans in coherence. We focus on the properties of the momentum computation leading to sparse optimal control formulations to be exploited by a dedicated solver. In our experiments, we demonstrate that our motion generation algorithm computes consistent contact forces and joint trajectories for our humanoid robot. We also demonstrate the favorable time complexity due to our formulation and composition of the momentum equations.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Balancing and Walking Using Full Dynamics LQR Control With Contact Constraints

Mason, S., Rotella, N., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pages: 63-68, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Torque control algorithms which consider robot dynamics and contact constraints are important for creating dynamic behaviors for humanoids. As computational power increases, algorithms tend to also increase in complexity. However, it is not clear how much complexity is really required to create controllers which exhibit good performance. In this paper, we study the capabilities of a simple approach based on contact consistent LQR controllers designed around key poses to control various tasks on a humanoid robot. We present extensive experimental results on a hydraulic, torque controlled humanoid performing balancing and stepping tasks. This feedback control approach captures the necessary synergies between the DoFs of the robot to guarantee good control performance. We show that for the considered tasks, it is only necessary to re-linearize the dynamics of the robot at different contact configurations and that increasing the number of LQR controllers along desired trajectories does not improve performance. Our result suggest that very simple controllers can yield good performance competitive with current state of the art, but more complex, optimization-based whole-body controllers. A video of the experiments can be found at https://youtu.be/5T08CNKV1hw.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Step Timing Adjustement: a Step toward Generating Robust Gaits

Khadiv, M., Herzog, A., Moosavian, S. A. A., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pages: 35-42, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Step adjustment for humanoid robots has been shown to improve robustness in gaits. However, step duration adaptation is often neglected in control strategies. In this paper, we propose an approach that combines both step location and timing adjustment for generating robust gaits. In this approach, step location and step timing are decided, based on feedback from the current state of the robot. The proposed approach is comprised of two stages. In the first stage, the nominal step location and step duration for the next step or a previewed number of steps are specified. In this stage which is done at the start of each step, the main goal is to specify the best step length and step duration for a desired walking speed. The second stage deals with finding the best landing point and landing time of the swing foot at each control cycle. In this stage, stability of the gaits is preserved by specifying a desired offset between the swing foot landing point and the Divergent Component of Motion (DCM) at the end of current step. After specifying the landing point of the swing foot at a desired time, the swing foot trajectory is regenerated at each control cycle to realize desired landing properties. Simulation on different scenarios shows the robustness of the generated gaits from our proposed approach compared to the case where no timing adjustment is employed.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2007


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Towards compliant humanoids: an experimental assessment of suitable task space position/orientation controllers

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

In IROS 2007, 2007, pages: 2520-2527, (Editors: Grant, E. , T. C. Henderson), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, November 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Compliant control will be a prerequisite for humanoid robotics if these robots are supposed to work safely and robustly in human and/or dynamic environments. One view of compliant control is that a robot should control a minimal number of degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) directly, i.e., those relevant DOFs for the task, and keep the remaining DOFs maximally compliant, usually in the null space of the task. This view naturally leads to task space control. However, surprisingly few implementations of task space control can be found in actual humanoid robots. This paper makes a first step towards assessing the usefulness of task space controllers for humanoids by investigating which choices of controllers are available and what inherent control characteristics they have—this treatment will concern position and orientation control, where the latter is based on a quaternion formulation. Empirical evaluations on an anthropomorphic Sarcos master arm illustrate the robustness of the different controllers as well as the eas e of implementing and tuning them. Our extensive empirical results demonstrate that simpler task space controllers, e.g., classical resolved motion rate control or resolved acceleration control can be quite advantageous in face of inevitable modeling errors in model-based control, and that well chosen formulations are easy to implement and quite robust, such that they are useful for humanoids.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2007


PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Performance Stabilization and Improvement in Graph-based Semi-supervised Learning with Ensemble Method and Graph Sharpening

Choi, I., Shin, H.

In Korean Data Mining Society Conference, pages: 257-262, Korean Data Mining Society, Seoul, Korea, Korean Data Mining Society Conference, November 2007 (inproceedings)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Discriminative Subsequence Mining for Action Classification

Nowozin, S., BakIr, G., Tsuda, K.

In ICCV 2007, pages: 1919-1923, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 11th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent approaches to action classification in videos have used sparse spatio-temporal words encoding local appearance around interesting movements. Most of these approaches use a histogram representation, discarding the temporal order among features. But this ordering information can contain important information about the action itself, e.g. consider the sport disciplines of hurdle race and long jump, where the global temporal order of motions (running, jumping) is important to discriminate between the two. In this work we propose to use a sequential representation which retains this temporal order. Further, we introduce Discriminative Subsequence Mining to find optimal discriminative subsequence patterns. In combination with the LPBoost classifier, this amounts to simultaneously learning a classification function and performing feature selection in the space of all possible feature sequences. The resulting classifier linearly combines a small number of interpretable decision functions, each checking for the presence of a single discriminative pattern. The classifier is benchmarked on the KTH action classification data set and outperforms the best known results in the literature.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Hilbert Space Embedding for Distributions

Smola, A., Gretton, A., Song, L., Schölkopf, B.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4754 , pages: 13-31, (Editors: M Hutter and RA Servedio and E Takimoto), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT), October 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a technique for comparing distributions without the need for density estimation as an intermediate step. Our approach relies on mapping the distributions into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space. Applications of this technique can be found in two-sample tests, which are used for determining whether two sets of observations arise from the same distribution, covariate shift correction, local learning, measures of independence, and density estimation.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Cluster Identification in Nearest-Neighbor Graphs

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

In ALT 2007, pages: 196-210, (Editors: Hutter, M. , R. A. Servedio, E. Takimoto), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory, October 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Assume we are given a sample of points from some underlying distribution which contains several distinct clusters. Our goal is to construct a neighborhood graph on the sample points such that clusters are ``identified‘‘: that is, the subgraph induced by points from the same cluster is connected, while subgraphs corresponding to different clusters are not connected to each other. We derive bounds on the probability that cluster identification is successful, and use them to predict ``optimal‘‘ values of k for the mutual and symmetric k-nearest-neighbor graphs. We point out different properties of the mutual and symmetric nearest-neighbor graphs related to the cluster identification problem.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Inducing Metric Violations in Human Similarity Judgements

Laub, J., Macke, J., Müller, K., Wichmann, F.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 777-784, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Attempting to model human categorization and similarity judgements is both a very interesting but also an exceedingly difficult challenge. Some of the difficulty arises because of conflicting evidence whether human categorization and similarity judgements should or should not be modelled as to operate on a mental representation that is essentially metric. Intuitively, this has a strong appeal as it would allow (dis)similarity to be represented geometrically as distance in some internal space. Here we show how a single stimulus, carefully constructed in a psychophysical experiment, introduces l2 violations in what used to be an internal similarity space that could be adequately modelled as Euclidean. We term this one influential data point a conflictual judgement. We present an algorithm of how to analyse such data and how to identify the crucial point. Thus there may not be a strict dichotomy between either a metric or a non-metric internal space but rather degrees to which potentially large subsets of stimuli are represented metrically with a small subset causing a global violation of metricity.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Cross-Validation Optimization for Large Scale Hierarchical Classification Kernel Methods

Seeger, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1233-1240, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a highly efficient framework for kernel multi-class models with a large and structured set of classes. Kernel parameters are learned automatically by maximizing the cross-validation log likelihood, and predictive probabilities are estimated. We demonstrate our approach on large scale text classification tasks with hierarchical class structure, achieving state-of-the-art results in an order of magnitude less time than previous work.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Local Learning Approach for Clustering

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1529-1536, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a local learning approach for clustering. The basic idea is that a good clustering result should have the property that the cluster label of each data point can be well predicted based on its neighboring data and their cluster labels, using current supervised learning methods. An optimization problem is formulated such that its solution has the above property. Relaxation and eigen-decomposition are applied to solve this optimization problem. We also briefly investigate the parameter selection issue and provide a simple parameter selection method for the proposed algorithm. Experimental results are provided to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Branch and Bound for Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines

Chapelle, O., Sindhwani, V., Keerthi, S.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 217-224, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Semi-supervised SVMs (S3VMs) attempt to learn low-density separators by maximizing the margin over labeled and unlabeled examples. The associated optimization problem is non-convex. To examine the full potential of S3VMs modulo local minima problems in current implementations, we apply branch and bound techniques for obtaining exact, globally optimal solutions. Empirical evidence suggests that the globally optimal solution can return excellent generalization performance in situations where other implementations fail completely. While our current implementation is only applicable to small datasets, we discuss variants that can potentially lead to practically useful algorithms.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-Sample-Problem

Gretton, A., Borgwardt, K., Rasch, M., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 513-520, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose two statistical tests to determine if two samples are from different distributions. Our test statistic is in both cases the distance between the means of the two samples mapped into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). The first test is based on a large deviation bound for the test statistic, while the second is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. The test statistic can be computed in $O(m^2)$ time. We apply our approach to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where our test performs strongly. We also demonstrate excellent performance when comparing distributions over graphs, for which no alternative tests currently exist.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Efficient Method for Gradient-Based Adaptation of Hyperparameters in SVM Models

Keerthi, S., Sindhwani, V., Chapelle, O.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 673-680, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the task of tuning hyperparameters in SVM models based on minimizing a smooth performance validation function, e.g., smoothed k-fold cross-validation error, using non-linear optimization techniques. The key computation in this approach is that of the gradient of the validation function with respect to hyperparameters. We show that for large-scale problems involving a wide choice of kernel-based models and validation functions, this computation can be very efficiently done; often within just a fraction of the training time. Empirical results show that a near-optimal set of hyperparameters can be identified by our approach with very few training rounds and gradient computations.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Dense 3D Correspondence

Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B., Blanz, V.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1313-1320, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Establishing correspondence between distinct objects is an important and nontrivial task: correctness of the correspondence hinges on properties which are difficult to capture in an a priori criterion. While previous work has used a priori criteria which in some cases led to very good results, the present paper explores whether it is possible to learn a combination of features that, for a given training set of aligned human heads, characterizes the notion of correct correspondence. By optimizing this criterion, we are then able to compute correspondence and morphs for novel heads.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Optimal Dominant Motion Estimation using Adaptive Search of Transformation Space

Ulges, A., Lampert, CH., Keysers, D., Breuel, TM.

In DAGM 2007, pages: 204-215, (Editors: Hamprecht, F. A., C. Schnörr, B. Jähne), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 29th Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition, September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The extraction of a parametric global motion from a motion field is a task with several applications in video processing. We present two probabilistic formulations of the problem and carry out optimization using the RAST algorithm, a geometric matching method novel to motion estimation in video. RAST uses an exhaustive and adaptive search of transformation space and thus gives -- in contrast to local sampling optimization techniques used in the past -- a globally optimal solution. Among other applications, our framework can thus be used as a source of ground truth for benchmarking motion estimation algorithms. Our main contributions are: first, the novel combination of a state-of- the-art MAP criterion for dominant motion estimation with a search procedure that guarantees global optimality. Second, experimental re- sults that illustrate the superior performance of our approach on synthetic flow fields as well as real-world video streams. Third, a significant speedup of the search achieved by extending the mod el with an additional smoothness prior.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19: Proceedings of the 2006 Conference

Schölkopf, B., Platt, J., Hofmann, T.

Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2006), pages: 1690, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (proceedings)

Abstract
The annual Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference is the flagship meeting on neural computation and machine learning. It draws a diverse group of attendees--physicists, neuroscientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists--interested in theoretical and applied aspects of modeling, simulating, and building neural-like or intelligent systems. The presentations are interdisciplinary, with contributions in algorithms, learning theory, cognitive science, neuroscience, brain imaging, vision, speech and signal processing, reinforcement learning, and applications. Only twenty-five percent of the papers submitted are accepted for presentation at NIPS, so the quality is exceptionally high. This volume contains the papers presented at the December 2006 meeting, held in Vancouver.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Output Grouping using Dirichlet Mixtures of Linear Gaussian State-Space Models

Chiappa, S., Barber, D.

In ISPA 2007, pages: 446-451, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 5th International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis, September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider a model to cluster the components of a vector time-series. The task is to assign each component of the vector time-series to a single cluster, basing this assignment on the simultaneous dynamical similarity of the component to other components in the cluster. This is in contrast to the more familiar task of clustering a set of time-series based on global measures of their similarity. The model is based on a Dirichlet Mixture of Linear Gaussian State-Space models (LGSSMs), in which each LGSSM is treated with a prior to encourage the simplest explanation. The resulting model is approximated using a ‘collapsed’ variational Bayes implementation.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Manifold Denoising

Hein, M., Maier, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 561-568, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of denoising a noisily sampled submanifold $M$ in $R^d$, where the submanifold $M$ is a priori unknown and we are only given a noisy point sample. The presented denoising algorithm is based on a graph-based diffusion process of the point sample. We analyze this diffusion process using recent results about the convergence of graph Laplacians. In the experiments we show that our method is capable of dealing with non-trivial high-dimensional noise. Moreover using the denoising algorithm as pre-processing method we can improve the results of a semi-supervised learning algorithm.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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How to Find Interesting Locations in Video: A Spatiotemporal Interest Point Detector Learned from Human Eye movements

Kienzle, W., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F., Franz, M.

In Pattern Recognition, pages: 405-414, (Editors: FA Hamprecht and C Schnörr and B Jähne), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 29th Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Interest point detection in still images is a well-studied topic in computer vision. In the spatiotemporal domain, however, it is still unclear which features indicate useful interest points. In this paper we approach the problem by emph{learning} a detector from examples: we record eye movements of human subjects watching video sequences and train a neural network to predict which locations are likely to become eye movement targets. We show that our detector outperforms current spatiotemporal interest point architectures on a standard classification dataset.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference for Sparse Generalized Linear Models

Seeger, M., Gerwinn, S., Bethge, M.

In ECML 2007, pages: 298-309, Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 4701, (Editors: Kok, J. N., J. Koronacki, R. Lopez de Mantaras, S. Matwin, D. Mladenic, A. Skowron), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th European Conference on Machine Learning, September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a framework for efficient, accurate approximate Bayesian inference in generalized linear models (GLMs), based on the expectation propagation (EP) technique. The parameters can be endowed with a factorizing prior distribution, encoding properties such as sparsity or non-negativity. The central role of posterior log-concavity in Bayesian GLMs is emphasized and related to stability issues in EP. In particular, we use our technique to infer the parameters of a point process model for neuronal spiking data from multiple electrodes, demonstrating significantly superior predictive performance when a sparsity assumption is enforced via a Laplace prior distribution.

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Implicit Surfaces with Globally Regularised and Compactly Supported Basis Functions

Walder, C., Schölkopf, B., Chapelle, O.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 273-280, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of constructing a function whose zero set is to represent a surface, given sample points with surface normal vectors. The contributions include a novel means of regularising multi-scale compactly supported basis functions that leads to the desirable properties previously only associated with fully supported bases, and show equivalence to a Gaussian process with modified covariance function. We also provide a regularisation framework for simpler and more direct treatment of surface normals, along with a corresponding generalisation of the representer theorem. We demonstrate the techniques on 3D problems of up to 14 million data points, as well as 4D time series data.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]