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2006


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Finding directional movement representations in motor cortical neural populations using nonlinear manifold learning

WorKim, S., Simeral, J., Jenkins, O., Donoghue, J., Black, M.

World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2006, Seoul, Korea, August 2006 (conference)

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[BibTex]

2006


[BibTex]


Thumb xl spikes
A non-parametric Bayesian approach to spike sorting

Wood, F., Goldwater, S., Black, M. J.

In International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, pages: 1165-1169, New York, NY, August 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Predicting 3D people from 2D pictures

(Best Paper)

Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

In Proc. IV Conf. on Articulated Motion and DeformableObjects (AMDO), LNCS 4069, pages: 185-195, July 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a hierarchical process for inferring the 3D pose of a person from monocular images. First we infer a learned view-based 2D body model from a single image using non-parametric belief propagation. This approach integrates information from bottom-up body-part proposal processes and deals with self-occlusion to compute distributions over limb poses. Then, we exploit a learned Mixture of Experts model to infer a distribution of 3D poses conditioned on 2D poses. This approach is more general than recent work on inferring 3D pose directly from silhouettes since the 2D body model provides a richer representation that includes the 2D joint angles and the poses of limbs that may be unobserved in the silhouette. We demonstrate the method in a laboratory setting where we evaluate the accuracy of the 3D poses against ground truth data. We also estimate 3D body pose in a monocular image sequence. The resulting 3D estimates are sufficiently accurate to serve as proposals for the Bayesian inference of 3D human motion over time

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pdf pdf from publisher Video [BibTex]

pdf pdf from publisher Video [BibTex]


Thumb xl specular
Specular flow and the recovery of surface structure

Roth, S., Black, M.

In Proc. IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR, 2, pages: 1869-1876, New York, NY, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In scenes containing specular objects, the image motion observed by a moving camera may be an intermixed combination of optical flow resulting from diffuse reflectance (diffuse flow) and specular reflection (specular flow). Here, with few assumptions, we formalize the notion of specular flow, show how it relates to the 3D structure of the world, and develop an algorithm for estimating scene structure from 2D image motion. Unlike previous work on isolated specular highlights we use two image frames and estimate the semi-dense flow arising from the specular reflections of textured scenes. We parametrically model the image motion of a quadratic surface patch viewed from a moving camera. The flow is modeled as a probabilistic mixture of diffuse and specular components and the 3D shape is recovered using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. Rather than treating specular reflections as noise to be removed or ignored, we show that the specular flow provides additional constraints on scene geometry that improve estimation of 3D structure when compared with reconstruction from diffuse flow alone. We demonstrate this for a set of synthetic and real sequences of mixed specular-diffuse objects.

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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An adaptive appearance model approach for model-based articulated object tracking

Balan, A., Black, M. J.

In Proc. IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR, 1, pages: 758-765, New York, NY, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The detection and tracking of three-dimensional human body models has progressed rapidly but successful approaches typically rely on accurate foreground silhouettes obtained using background segmentation. There are many practical applications where such information is imprecise. Here we develop a new image likelihood function based on the visual appearance of the subject being tracked. We propose a robust, adaptive, appearance model based on the Wandering-Stable-Lost framework extended to the case of articulated body parts. The method models appearance using a mixture model that includes an adaptive template, frame-to-frame matching and an outlier process. We employ an annealed particle filtering algorithm for inference and take advantage of the 3D body model to predict self occlusion and improve pose estimation accuracy. Quantitative tracking results are presented for a walking sequence with a 180 degree turn, captured with four synchronized and calibrated cameras and containing significant appearance changes and self-occlusion in each view.

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Measure locally, reason globally: Occlusion-sensitive articulated pose estimation

Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

In Proc. IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR, 2, pages: 2041-2048, New York, NY, June 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Statistical analysis of the non-stationarity of neural population codes

Kim, S., Wood, F., Fellows, M., Donoghue, J. P., Black, M. J.

In BioRob 2006, The first IEEE / RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, pages: 295-299, Pisa, Italy, Febuary 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Thumb xl bioprint
Molecular Modeling for the BioPrint Pharmaco-informatics Platform

Berenz, V., Tillier, F., Barbosa, F., Boryeu, M., Horvath, D., Froloff, N.

2006 (poster)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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How to choose the covariance for Gaussian process regression independently of the basis

Franz, M., Gehler, P.

In Proceedings of the Workshop Gaussian Processes in Practice, Workshop Gaussian Processes in Practice (GPIP), 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Learning operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics: Science and Systems II (RSS 2006), pages: 255-262, (Editors: Gaurav S. Sukhatme and Stefan Schaal and Wolfram Burgard and Dieter Fox), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, RSS , 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
While operational space control is of essential importance for robotics and well-understood from an analytical point of view, it can be prohibitively hard to achieve accurate control in face of modeling errors, which are inevitable in complex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In such cases, learning control methods can offer an interesting alternative to analytical control algorithms. However, the resulting learning problem is ill-defined as it requires to learn an inverse mapping of a usually redundant system, which is well known to suffer from the property of non-covexity of the solution space, i.e., the learning system could generate motor commands that try to steer the robot into physically impossible configurations. A first important insight for this paper is that, nevertheless, a physically correct solution to the inverse problem does exits when learning of the inverse map is performed in a suitable piecewise linear way. The second crucial component for our work is based on a recent insight that many operational space controllers can be understood in terms of a constraint optimal control problem. The cost function associated with this optimal control problem allows us to formulate a learning algorithm that automatically synthesizes a globally consistent desired resolution of redundancy while learning the operational space controller. From the view of machine learning, the learning problem corresponds to a reinforcement learning problem that maximizes an immediate reward and that employs an expectation-maximization policy search algorithm. Evaluations on a three degrees of freedom robot arm illustrate the feasability of our suggested approach.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Parameterized Motor Primitives

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2006 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, pages: 73-80, IJCNN, 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
One of the major challenges in both action generation for robotics and in the understanding of human motor control is to learn the "building blocks of movement generation", called motor primitives. Motor primitives, as used in this paper, are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. While a lot of progress has been made in teaching parameterized motor primitives using supervised or imitation learning, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we evaluate different reinforcement learning approaches for improving the performance of parameterized motor primitives. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and outline both established and novel algorithms for the gradient-based improvement of parameterized policies. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2012 06 06 at 11.30.03 am
The rate adapting poisson model for information retrieval and object recognition

Gehler, P. V., Holub, A. D., Welling, M.

In Proceedings of the 23rd international conference on Machine learning, pages: 337-344, ICML ’06, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2006 (inproceedings)

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project page pdf DOI [BibTex]

project page pdf DOI [BibTex]


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Policy gradient methods for robotics

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robotics Systems, pages: 2219-2225, IROS, 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
The aquisition and improvement of motor skills and control policies for robotics from trial and error is of essential importance if robots should ever leave precisely pre-structured environments. However, to date only few existing reinforcement learning methods have been scaled into the domains of highdimensional robots such as manipulator, legged or humanoid robots. Policy gradient methods remain one of the few exceptions and have found a variety of applications. Nevertheless, the application of such methods is not without peril if done in an uninformed manner. In this paper, we give an overview on learning with policy gradient methods for robotics with a strong focus on recent advances in the field. We outline previous applications to robotics and show how the most recently developed methods can significantly improve learning performance. Finally, we evaluate our most promising algorithm in the application of hitting a baseball with an anthropomorphic arm.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2012 06 06 at 11.31.38 am
Implicit Wiener Series, Part II: Regularised estimation

Gehler, P., Franz, M.

(148), Max Planck Institute, 2006 (techreport)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Statistical Learning of LQG controllers

Theodorou, E.

Technical Report-2006-1, Computational Action and Vision Lab University of Minnesota, 2006, clmc (techreport)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Tracking complex objects using graphical object models

Sigal, L., Zhu, Y., Comaniciu, D., Black, M. J.

In International Workshop on Complex Motion, LNCS 3417, pages: 223-234, Springer-Verlag, 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]

pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]


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HumanEva: Synchronized video and motion capture dataset for evaluation of articulated human motion

Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

(CS-06-08), Brown University, Department of Computer Science, 2006 (techreport)

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pdf abstract [BibTex]

pdf abstract [BibTex]


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Bayesian population decoding of motor cortical activity using a Kalman filter

Wu, W., Gao, Y., Bienenstock, E., Donoghue, J. P., Black, M. J.

Neural Computation, 18(1):80-118, 2006 (article)

Abstract
Effective neural motor prostheses require a method for decoding neural activity representing desired movement. In particular, the accurate reconstruction of a continuous motion signal is necessary for the control of devices such as computer cursors, robots, or a patient's own paralyzed limbs. For such applications, we developed a real-time system that uses Bayesian inference techniques to estimate hand motion from the firing rates of multiple neurons. In this study, we used recordings that were previously made in the arm area of primary motor cortex in awake behaving monkeys using a chronically implanted multielectrode microarray. Bayesian inference involves computing the posterior probability of the hand motion conditioned on a sequence of observed firing rates; this is formulated in terms of the product of a likelihood and a prior. The likelihood term models the probability of firing rates given a particular hand motion. We found that a linear gaussian model could be used to approximate this likelihood and could be readily learned from a small amount of training data. The prior term defines a probabilistic model of hand kinematics and was also taken to be a linear gaussian model. Decoding was performed using a Kalman filter, which gives an efficient recursive method for Bayesian inference when the likelihood and prior are linear and gaussian. In off-line experiments, the Kalman filter reconstructions of hand trajectory were more accurate than previously reported results. The resulting decoding algorithm provides a principled probabilistic model of motor-cortical coding, decodes hand motion in real time, provides an estimate of uncertainty, and is straightforward to implement. Additionally the formulation unifies and extends previous models of neural coding while providing insights into the motor-cortical code.

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pdf preprint pdf from publisher abstract [BibTex]

pdf preprint pdf from publisher abstract [BibTex]


Thumb xl bildschirmfoto 2013 01 16 um 10.16.16
Hierarchical Approach for Articulated 3D Pose-Estimation and Tracking (extended abstract)

Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

In Learning, Representation and Context for Human Sensing in Video Workshop (in conjunction with CVPR), 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf poster [BibTex]

pdf poster [BibTex]


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Approximate nearest neighbor regression in very high dimensions

Vijayakumar, S., DSouza, A., Schaal, S.

In Nearest-Neighbor Methods in Learning and Vision, pages: 103-142, (Editors: Shakhnarovich, G.;Darrell, T.;Indyk, P.), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006, clmc (inbook)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Nonlinear physically-based models for decoding motor-cortical population activity

Shakhnarovich, G., Kim, S., Black, M. J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, NIPS-2006, pages: 1257-1264, MIT Press, 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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A comparison of decoding models for imagined motion from human motor cortex

Kim, S., Simeral, J., Donoghue, J. P., Hocherberg, L. R., Friehs, G., Mukand, J. A., Chen, D., Black, M. J.

Program No. 256.11. 2006 Abstract Viewer and Itinerary Planner, Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA, 2006, Online (conference)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Thumb xl film
Denoising archival films using a learned Bayesian model

Moldovan, T. M., Roth, S., Black, M. J.

In Int. Conf. on Image Processing, ICIP, pages: 2641-2644, Atlanta, 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Thumb xl bp
Efficient belief propagation with learned higher-order Markov random fields

Lan, X., Roth, S., Huttenlocher, D., Black, M. J.

In European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV, II, pages: 269-282, Graz, Austria, 2006 (inproceedings)

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pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]

pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2012 06 06 at 11.15.02 am
Products of “Edge-perts”

Gehler, P., Welling, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18, pages: 419-426, (Editors: Weiss, Y. and Sch"olkopf, B. and Platt, J.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006 (incollection)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Modeling neural control of physically realistic movement

Shaknarovich, G., Kim, S., Donoghue, J. P., Hocherberg, L. R., Friehs, G., Mukand, J. A., Chen, D., Black, M. J.

Program No. 256.12. 2006 Abstract Viewer and Itinerary Planner, Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA, 2006, Online (conference)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]

1999


Thumb xl bildschirmfoto 2013 01 14 um 09.07.06
Edges as outliers: Anisotropic smoothing using local image statistics

Black, M. J., Sapiro, G.

In Scale-Space Theories in Computer Vision, Second Int. Conf., Scale-Space ’99, pages: 259-270, LNCS 1682, Springer, Corfu, Greece, September 1999 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Edges are viewed as statistical outliers with respect to local image gradient magnitudes. Within local image regions we compute a robust statistical measure of the gradient variation and use this in an anisotropic diffusion framework to determine a spatially varying "edge-stopping" parameter σ. We show how to determine this parameter for two edge-stopping functions described in the literature (Perona-Malik and the Tukey biweight). Smoothing of the image is related the local texture and in regions of low texture, small gradient values may be treated as edges whereas in regions of high texture, large gradient magnitudes are necessary before an edge is preserved. Intuitively these results have similarities with human perceptual phenomena such as masking and "popout". Results are shown on a variety of standard images.

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pdf [BibTex]

1999


pdf [BibTex]


Thumb xl bildschirmfoto 2013 01 07 um 12.35.15
Probabilistic detection and tracking of motion discontinuities

(Marr Prize, Honorable Mention)

Black, M. J., Fleet, D. J.

In Int. Conf. on Computer Vision, ICCV-99, pages: 551-558, ICCV, Corfu, Greece, September 1999 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Thumb xl bildschirmfoto 2012 12 06 um 09.38.15
Parameterized modeling and recognition of activities

Yacoob, Y., Black, M. J.

Computer Vision and Image Understanding, 73(2):232-247, 1999 (article)

Abstract
In this paper we consider a class of human activities—atomic activities—which can be represented as a set of measurements over a finite temporal window (e.g., the motion of human body parts during a walking cycle) and which has a relatively small space of variations in performance. A new approach for modeling and recognition of atomic activities that employs principal component analysis and analytical global transformations is proposed. The modeling of sets of exemplar instances of activities that are similar in duration and involve similar body part motions is achieved by parameterizing their representation using principal component analysis. The recognition of variants of modeled activities is achieved by searching the space of admissible parameterized transformations that these activities can undergo. This formulation iteratively refines the recognition of the class to which the observed activity belongs and the transformation parameters that relate it to the model in its class. We provide several experiments on recognition of articulated and deformable human motions from image motion parameters.

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pdf pdf from publisher DOI [BibTex]

pdf pdf from publisher DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl bildschirmfoto 2013 01 14 um 09.12.47
Explaining optical flow events with parameterized spatio-temporal models

Black, M. J.

In IEEE Proc. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR’99, pages: 326-332, IEEE, Fort Collins, CO, 1999 (inproceedings)

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pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]


Thumb xl paircover
Artscience Sciencart

Black, M. J., Levy, D., PamelaZ,

In Art and Innovation: The Xerox PARC Artist-in-Residence Program, pages: 244-300, (Editors: Harris, C.), MIT-Press, 1999 (incollection)

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abstract [BibTex]

abstract [BibTex]


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Is imitation learning the route to humanoid robots?

Schaal, S.

Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3(6):233-242, 1999, clmc (article)

Abstract
This review will focus on two recent developments in artificial intelligence and neural computation: learning from imitation and the development of humanoid robots. It will be postulated that the study of imitation learning offers a promising route to gain new insights into mechanisms of perceptual motor control that could ultimately lead to the creation of autonomous humanoid robots. This hope is justified because imitation learning channels research efforts towards three important issues: efficient motor learning, the connection between action and perception, and modular motor control in form of movement primitives. In order to make these points, first, a brief review of imitation learning will be given from the view of psychology and neuroscience. In these fields, representations and functional connections between action and perception have been explored that contribute to the understanding of motor acts of other beings. The recent discovery that some areas in the primate brain are active during both movement perception and execution provided a first idea of the possible neural basis of imitation. Secondly, computational approaches to imitation learning will be described, initially from the perspective of traditional AI and robotics, and then with a focus on neural network models and statistical learning research. Parallels and differences between biological and computational approaches to imitation will be highlighted. The review will end with an overview of current projects that actually employ imitation learning for humanoid robots.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Nonparametric regression for learning nonlinear transformations

Schaal, S.

In Prerational Intelligence in Strategies, High-Level Processes and Collective Behavior, 2, pages: 595-621, (Editors: Ritter, H.;Cruse, H.;Dean, J.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999, clmc (inbook)

Abstract
Information processing in animals and artificial movement systems consists of a series of transformations that map sensory signals to intermediate representations, and finally to motor commands. Given the physical and neuroanatomical differences between individuals and the need for plasticity during development, it is highly likely that such transformations are learned rather than pre-programmed by evolution. Such self-organizing processes, capable of discovering nonlinear dependencies between different groups of signals, are one essential part of prerational intelligence. While neural network algorithms seem to be the natural choice when searching for solutions for learning transformations, this paper will take a more careful look at which types of neural networks are actually suited for the requirements of an autonomous learning system. The approach that we will pursue is guided by recent developments in learning theory that have linked neural network learning to well established statistical theories. In particular, this new statistical understanding has given rise to the development of neural network systems that are directly based on statistical methods. One family of such methods stems from nonparametric regression. This paper will compare nonparametric learning with the more widely used parametric counterparts in a non technical fashion, and investigate how these two families differ in their properties and their applicabilities. We will argue that nonparametric neural networks offer a set of characteristics that make them a very promising candidate for on-line learning in autonomous system.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Segmentation of endpoint trajectories does not imply segmented control

Sternad, D., Schaal, D.

Experimental Brain Research, 124(1):118-136, 1999, clmc (article)

Abstract
While it is generally assumed that complex movements consist of a sequence of simpler units, the quest to define these units of action, or movement primitives, still remains an open question. In this context, two hypotheses of movement segmentation of endpoint trajectories in 3D human drawing movements are re-examined: (1) the stroke-based segmentation hypothesis based on the results that the proportionality coefficient of the 2/3 power law changes discontinuously with each new â??strokeâ?, and (2) the segmentation hypothesis inferred from the observation of piecewise planar endpoint trajectories of 3D drawing movements. In two experiments human subjects performed a set of elliptical and figure-8 patterns of different sizes and orientations using their whole arm in 3D. The kinematic characteristics of the endpoint trajectories and the seven joint angles of the arm were analyzed. While the endpoint trajectories produced similar segmentation features as reported in the literature, analyses of the joint angles show no obvious segmentation but rather continuous oscillatory patterns. By approximating the joint angle data of human subjects with sinusoidal trajectories, and by implementing this model on a 7-degree-of-freedom anthropomorphic robot arm, it is shown that such a continuous movement strategy can produce exactly the same features as observed by the above segmentation hypotheses. The origin of this apparent segmentation of endpoint trajectories is traced back to the nonlinear transformations of the forward kinematics of human arms. The presented results demonstrate that principles of discrete movement generation may not be reconciled with those of rhythmic movement as easily as has been previously suggested, while the generalization of nonlinear pattern generators to arm movements can offer an interesting alternative to approach the question of units of action.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]