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2018


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Model-based Optical Flow: Layers, Learning, and Geometry

Wulff, J.

Tuebingen University, April 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
The estimation of motion in video sequences establishes temporal correspondences between pixels and surfaces and allows reasoning about a scene using multiple frames. Despite being a focus of research for over three decades, computing motion, or optical flow, remains challenging due to a number of difficulties, including the treatment of motion discontinuities and occluded regions, and the integration of information from more than two frames. One reason for these issues is that most optical flow algorithms only reason about the motion of pixels on the image plane, while not taking the image formation pipeline or the 3D structure of the world into account. One approach to address this uses layered models, which represent the occlusion structure of a scene and provide an approximation to the geometry. The goal of this dissertation is to show ways to inject additional knowledge about the scene into layered methods, making them more robust, faster, and more accurate. First, this thesis demonstrates the modeling power of layers using the example of motion blur in videos, which is caused by fast motion relative to the exposure time of the camera. Layers segment the scene into regions that move coherently while preserving their occlusion relationships. The motion of each layer therefore directly determines its motion blur. At the same time, the layered model captures complex blur overlap effects at motion discontinuities. Using layers, we can thus formulate a generative model for blurred video sequences, and use this model to simultaneously deblur a video and compute accurate optical flow for highly dynamic scenes containing motion blur. Next, we consider the representation of the motion within layers. Since, in a layered model, important motion discontinuities are captured by the segmentation into layers, the flow within each layer varies smoothly and can be approximated using a low dimensional subspace. We show how this subspace can be learned from training data using principal component analysis (PCA), and that flow estimation using this subspace is computationally efficient. The combination of the layered model and the low-dimensional subspace gives the best of both worlds, sharp motion discontinuities from the layers and computational efficiency from the subspace. Lastly, we show how layered methods can be dramatically improved using simple semantics. Instead of treating all layers equally, a semantic segmentation divides the scene into its static parts and moving objects. Static parts of the scene constitute a large majority of what is shown in typical video sequences; yet, in such regions optical flow is fully constrained by the depth structure of the scene and the camera motion. After segmenting out moving objects, we consider only static regions, and explicitly reason about the structure of the scene and the camera motion, yielding much better optical flow estimates. Furthermore, computing the structure of the scene allows to better combine information from multiple frames, resulting in high accuracies even in occluded regions. For moving regions, we compute the flow using a generic optical flow method, and combine it with the flow computed for the static regions to obtain a full optical flow field. By combining layered models of the scene with reasoning about the dynamic behavior of the real, three-dimensional world, the methods presented herein push the envelope of optical flow computation in terms of robustness, speed, and accuracy, giving state-of-the-art results on benchmarks and pointing to important future research directions for the estimation of motion in natural scenes.

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Official link DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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A virtual reality environment for experiments in assistive robotics and neural interfaces

Bustamante, S.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Optimal Trajectory Generation and Learning Control for Robot Table Tennis

Koc, O.

Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Distribution-Dissimilarities in Machine Learning

Simon-Gabriel, C. J.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Causal Perspective on Deep Representation Learning

Suter, R.

ETH Zurich, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Approaches to Stochastic Optimization

Mahsereci, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for High-Speed Robotics with Muscular Actuation

Guist, S.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg , 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei pn

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A machine learning approach to taking EEG-based computer interfaces out of the lab

Jayaram, V.

Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, IMPRS, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2017


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Human Shape Estimation using Statistical Body Models

Loper, M. M.

University of Tübingen, May 2017 (thesis)

Abstract
Human body estimation methods transform real-world observations into predictions about human body state. These estimation methods benefit a variety of health, entertainment, clothing, and ergonomics applications. State may include pose, overall body shape, and appearance. Body state estimation is underconstrained by observations; ambiguity presents itself both in the form of missing data within observations, and also in the form of unknown correspondences between observations. We address this challenge with the use of a statistical body model: a data-driven virtual human. This helps resolve ambiguity in two ways. First, it fills in missing data, meaning that incomplete observations still result in complete shape estimates. Second, the model provides a statistically-motivated penalty for unlikely states, which enables more plausible body shape estimates. Body state inference requires more than a body model; we therefore build obser- vation models whose output is compared with real observations. In this thesis, body state is estimated from three types of observations: 3D motion capture markers, depth and color images, and high-resolution 3D scans. In each case, a forward process is proposed which simulates observations. By comparing observations to the results of the forward process, state can be adjusted to minimize the difference between simulated and observed data. We use gradient-based methods because they are critical to the precise estimation of state with a large number of parameters. The contributions of this work include three parts. First, we propose a method for the estimation of body shape, nonrigid deformation, and pose from 3D markers. Second, we present a concise approach to differentiating through the rendering process, with application to body shape estimation. And finally, we present a statistical body model trained from human body scans, with state-of-the-art fidelity, good runtime performance, and compatibility with existing animation packages.

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Official Version [BibTex]


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Learning Inference Models for Computer Vision

Jampani, V.

MPI for Intelligent Systems and University of Tübingen, 2017 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Computer vision can be understood as the ability to perform 'inference' on image data. Breakthroughs in computer vision technology are often marked by advances in inference techniques, as even the model design is often dictated by the complexity of inference in them. This thesis proposes learning based inference schemes and demonstrates applications in computer vision. We propose techniques for inference in both generative and discriminative computer vision models. Despite their intuitive appeal, the use of generative models in vision is hampered by the difficulty of posterior inference, which is often too complex or too slow to be practical. We propose techniques for improving inference in two widely used techniques: Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and message-passing inference. Our inference strategy is to learn separate discriminative models that assist Bayesian inference in a generative model. Experiments on a range of generative vision models show that the proposed techniques accelerate the inference process and/or converge to better solutions. A main complication in the design of discriminative models is the inclusion of prior knowledge in a principled way. For better inference in discriminative models, we propose techniques that modify the original model itself, as inference is simple evaluation of the model. We concentrate on convolutional neural network (CNN) models and propose a generalization of standard spatial convolutions, which are the basic building blocks of CNN architectures, to bilateral convolutions. First, we generalize the existing use of bilateral filters and then propose new neural network architectures with learnable bilateral filters, which we call `Bilateral Neural Networks'. We show how the bilateral filtering modules can be used for modifying existing CNN architectures for better image segmentation and propose a neural network approach for temporal information propagation in videos. Experiments demonstrate the potential of the proposed bilateral networks on a wide range of vision tasks and datasets. In summary, we propose learning based techniques for better inference in several computer vision models ranging from inverse graphics to freely parameterized neural networks. In generative vision models, our inference techniques alleviate some of the crucial hurdles in Bayesian posterior inference, paving new ways for the use of model based machine learning in vision. In discriminative CNN models, the proposed filter generalizations aid in the design of new neural network architectures that can handle sparse high-dimensional data as well as provide a way for incorporating prior knowledge into CNNs.

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Development and Evaluation of a Portable BCI System for Remote Data Acquisition

Emde, T.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Brain-Computer Interfaces for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Fomina, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Causal models for decision making via integrative inference

Geiger, P.

University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Capturing Hand-Object Interaction and Reconstruction of Manipulated Objects

Tzionas, D.

University of Bonn, 2017 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Hand motion capture with an RGB-D sensor gained recently a lot of research attention, however, even most recent approaches focus on the case of a single isolated hand. We focus instead on hands that interact with other hands or with a rigid or articulated object. Our framework successfully captures motion in such scenarios by combining a generative model with discriminatively trained salient points, collision detection and physics simulation to achieve a low tracking error with physically plausible poses. All components are unified in a single objective function that can be optimized with standard optimization techniques. We initially assume a-priori knowledge of the object's shape and skeleton. In case of unknown object shape there are existing 3d reconstruction methods that capitalize on distinctive geometric or texture features. These methods though fail for textureless and highly symmetric objects like household articles, mechanical parts or toys. We show that extracting 3d hand motion for in-hand scanning effectively facilitates the reconstruction of such objects and we fuse the rich additional information of hands into a 3d reconstruction pipeline. Finally, although shape reconstruction is enough for rigid objects, there is a lack of tools that build rigged models of articulated objects that deform realistically using RGB-D data. We propose a method that creates a fully rigged model consisting of a watertight mesh, embedded skeleton and skinning weights by employing a combination of deformable mesh tracking, motion segmentation based on spectral clustering and skeletonization based on mean curvature flow.

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Thesis link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Learning Optimal Configurations for Modeling Frowning by Transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Sücker, K.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2003


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Support Vector Channel Selection in BCI

Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Weston, J., Bogdan, M., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

(120), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, December 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Designing a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system one can choose from a variety of features that may be useful for classifying brain activity during a mental task. For the special case of classifying EEG signals we propose the usage of the state of the art feature selection algorithms Recursive Feature Elimination [3] and Zero-Norm Optimization [13] which are based on the training of Support Vector Machines (SVM) [11]. These algorithms can provide more accurate solutions than standard filter methods for feature selection [14]. We adapt the methods for the purpose of selecting EEG channels. For a motor imagery paradigm we show that the number of used channels can be reduced significantly without increasing the classification error. The resulting best channels agree well with the expected underlying cortical activity patterns during the mental tasks. Furthermore we show how time dependent task specific information can be visualized.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

2003


PDF Web [BibTex]


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Image Reconstruction by Linear Programming

Tsuda, K., Rätsch, G.

(118), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, October 2003 (techreport)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Real-Time Face Detection

Kienzle, W.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany, October 2003 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Ranking on Data Manifolds

Zhou, D., Weston, J., Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

(113), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Google search engine has had a huge success with its PageRank web page ranking algorithm, which exploits global, rather than local, hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web using random walk. This algorithm can only be used for graph data, however. Here we propose a simple universal ranking algorithm for vectorial data, based on the exploration of the intrinsic global geometric structure revealed by a huge amount of data. Experimental results from image and text to bioinformatics illustrates the validity of our algorithm.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Hebbian Algorithm for Iterative Kernel Principal Component Analysis

Kim, K., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(109), MPI f. biologische Kybernetik, Tuebingen, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A new method for performing a kernel principal component analysis is proposed. By kernelizing the generalized Hebbian algorithm, one can iteratively estimate the principal components in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space with only linear order memory complexity. The derivation of the method, a convergence proof, and preliminary applications in image hyperresolution are presented. In addition, we discuss the extension of the method to the online learning of kernel principal components.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning with Local and Global Consistency

Zhou, D., Bousquet, O., Lal, T., Weston, J., Schölkopf, B.

(112), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the learning problem in the transductive setting. Given a set of points of which only some are labeled, the goal is to predict the label of the unlabeled points. A principled clue to solve such a learning problem is the consistency assumption that a classifying function should be sufficiently smooth with respect to the structure revealed by these known labeled and unlabeled points. We present a simple algorithm to obtain such a smooth solution. Our method yields encouraging experimental results on a number of classification problems and demonstrates effective use of unlabeled data.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(114), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Wiener series is one of the standard methods to systematically characterize the nonlinearity of a neural system. The classical estimation method of the expansion coefficients via cross-correlation suffers from severe problems that prevent its application to high-dimensional and strongly nonlinear systems. We propose a new estimation method based on regression in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space that overcomes these problems. Numerical experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability and system size that can be handled.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Machine Learning approaches to protein ranking: discriminative, semi-supervised, scalable algorithms

Weston, J., Leslie, C., Elisseeff, A., Noble, W.

(111), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A key tool in protein function discovery is the ability to rank databases of proteins given a query amino acid sequence. The most successful method so far is a web-based tool called PSI-BLAST which uses heuristic alignment of a profile built using the large unlabeled database. It has been shown that such use of global information via an unlabeled data improves over a local measure derived from a basic pairwise alignment such as performed by PSI-BLAST's predecessor, BLAST. In this article we look at ways of leveraging techniques from the field of machine learning for the problem of ranking. We show how clustering and semi-supervised learning techniques, which aim to capture global structure in data, can significantly improve over PSI-BLAST.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The Geometry Of Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis

Kuss, M., Graepel, T.

(108), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) is a classical multivariate method concerned with describing linear dependencies between sets of variables. After a short exposition of the linear sample CCA problem and its analytical solution, the article proceeds with a detailed characterization of its geometry. Projection operators are used to illustrate the relations between canonical vectors and variates. The article then addresses the problem of CCA between spaces spanned by objects mapped into kernel feature spaces. An exact solution for this kernel canonical correlation (KCCA) problem is derived from a geometric point of view. It shows that the expansion coefficients of the canonical vectors in their respective feature space can be found by linear CCA in the basis induced by kernel principal component analysis. The effect of mappings into higher dimensional feature spaces is considered critically since it simplifies the CCA problem in general. Then two regularized variants of KCCA are discussed. Relations to other methods are illustrated, e.g., multicategory kernel Fisher discriminant analysis, kernel principal component regression and possible applications thereof in blind source separation.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The Kernel Mutual Information

Gretton, A., Herbrich, R., Smola, A.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, April 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce two new functions, the kernel covariance (KC) and the kernel mutual information (KMI), to measure the degree of independence of several continuous random variables. The former is guaranteed to be zero if and only if the random variables are pairwise independent; the latter shares this property, and is in addition an approximate upper bound on the mutual information, as measured near independence, and is based on a kernel density estimate. We show that Bach and Jordan‘s kernel generalised variance (KGV) is also an upper bound on the same kernel density estimate, but is looser. Finally, we suggest that the addition of a regularising term in the KGV causes it to approach the KMI, which motivates the introduction of this regularisation. The performance of the KC and KMI is verified in the context of instantaneous independent component analysis (ICA), by recovering both artificial and real (musical) signals following linear mixing.

ei

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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A Note on Parameter Tuning for On-Line Shifting Algorithms

Bousquet, O.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
In this short note, building on ideas of M. Herbster [2] we propose a method for automatically tuning the parameter of the FIXED-SHARE algorithm proposed by Herbster and Warmuth [3] in the context of on-line learning with shifting experts. We show that this can be done with a memory requirement of $O(nT)$ and that the additional loss incurred by the tuning is the same as the loss incurred for estimating the parameter of a Bernoulli random variable.

ei

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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m-Alternative Forced Choice—Improving the Efficiency of the Method of Constant Stimuli

Jäkel, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Graduate School for Neural and Behavioural Sciences, Tübingen, 2003 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Interactive Images

Toyama, K., Schölkopf, B.

(MSR-TR-2003-64), Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK, 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Interactive Images are a natural extension of three recent developments: digital photography, interactive web pages, and browsable video. An interactive image is a multi-dimensional image, displayed two dimensions at a time (like a standard digital image), but with which a user can interact to browse through the other dimensions. One might consider a standard video sequence viewed with a video player as a simple interactive image with time as the third dimension. Interactive images are a generalization of this idea, in which the third (and greater) dimensions may be focus, exposure, white balance, saturation, and other parameters. Interaction is handled via a variety of modes including those we call ordinal, pixel-indexed, cumulative, and comprehensive. Through exploration of three novel forms of interactive images based on color, exposure, and focus, we will demonstrate the compelling nature of interactive images.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]