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2019


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AirCap – Aerial Outdoor Motion Capture

Ahmad, A., Price, E., Tallamraju, R., Saini, N., Lawless, G., Ludwig, R., Martinovic, I., Bülthoff, H. H., Black, M. J.

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019), Workshop on Aerial Swarms, November 2019 (misc)

Abstract
This paper presents an overview of the Grassroots project Aerial Outdoor Motion Capture (AirCap) running at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. AirCap's goal is to achieve markerless, unconstrained, human motion capture (mocap) in unknown and unstructured outdoor environments. To that end, we have developed an autonomous flying motion capture system using a team of aerial vehicles (MAVs) with only on-board, monocular RGB cameras. We have conducted several real robot experiments involving up to 3 aerial vehicles autonomously tracking and following a person in several challenging scenarios using our approach of active cooperative perception developed in AirCap. Using the images captured by these robots during the experiments, we have demonstrated a successful offline body pose and shape estimation with sufficiently high accuracy. Overall, we have demonstrated the first fully autonomous flying motion capture system involving multiple robots for outdoor scenarios.

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[BibTex]

2019


[BibTex]


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Method for providing a three dimensional body model

Loper, M., Mahmood, N., Black, M.

September 2019, U.S.~Patent 10,417,818 (misc)

Abstract
A method for providing a three-dimensional body model which may be applied for an animation, based on a moving body, wherein the method comprises providing a parametric three-dimensional body model, which allows shape and pose variations; applying a standard set of body markers; optimizing the set of body markers by generating an additional set of body markers and applying the same for providing 3D coordinate marker signals for capturing shape and pose of the body and dynamics of soft tissue; and automatically providing an animation by processing the 3D coordinate marker signals in order to provide a personalized three-dimensional body model, based on estimated shape and an estimated pose of the body by means of predicted marker locations.

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MoSh Project pdf [BibTex]


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High-Fidelity Multiphysics Finite Element Modeling of Finger-Surface Interactions with Tactile Feedback

Serhat, G., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Tokyo, Japan, July 2019 (misc)

Abstract
In this study, we develop a high-fidelity finite element (FE) analysis framework that enables multiphysics simulation of the human finger in contact with a surface that is providing tactile feedback. We aim to elucidate a variety of physical interactions that can occur at finger-surface interfaces, including contact, friction, vibration, and electrovibration. We also develop novel FE-based methods that will allow prediction of nonconventional features such as real finger-surface contact area and finger stickiness. We envision using the developed computational tools for efficient design and optimization of haptic devices by replacing expensive and lengthy experimental procedures with high-fidelity simulation.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Fingertip Friction Enhances Perception of Normal Force Changes

Gueorguiev, D., Lambert, J., Thonnard, J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Tokyo, Japan, July 2019 (misc)

Abstract
Using a force-controlled robotic platform, we tested the human perception of positive and negative modulations in normal force during passive dynamic touch, which also induced a strong related change in the finger-surface lateral force. In a two-alternative forced-choice task, eleven participants had to detect brief variations in the normal force compared to a constant controlled pre-stimulation force of 1 N and report whether it had increased or decreased. The average 75% just noticeable difference (JND) was found to be around 0.25 N for detecting the peak change and 0.30 N for correctly reporting the increase or the decrease. Interestingly, the friction coefficient of a subject’s fingertip positively correlated with his or her performance at detecting the change and reporting its direction, which suggests that humans may use the lateral force as a sensory cue to perceive variations in the normal force.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Inflatable Haptic Sensor for the Torso of a Hugging Robot

Block, A. E., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Tokyo, Japan, July 2019 (misc)

Abstract
During hugs, humans naturally provide and intuit subtle non-verbal cues that signify the strength and duration of an exchanged hug. Personal preferences for this close interaction may vary greatly between people; robots do not currently have the abilities to perceive or understand these preferences. This work-in-progress paper discusses designing, building, and testing a novel inflatable torso that can simultaneously soften a robot and act as a tactile sensor to enable more natural and responsive hugging. Using PVC vinyl, a microphone, and a barometric pressure sensor, we created a small test chamber to demonstrate a proof of concept for the full torso. While contacting the chamber in several ways common in hugs (pat, squeeze, scratch, and rub), we recorded data from the two sensors. The preliminary results suggest that the complementary haptic sensing channels allow us to detect coarse and fine contacts typically experienced during hugs, regardless of user hand placement.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Understanding the Pull-off Force of the Human Fingerpad

Nam, S., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Tokyo, Japan, July 2019 (misc)

Abstract
To understand the adhesive force that occurs when a finger pulls off of a smooth surface, we built an apparatus to measure the fingerpad’s moisture, normal force, and real contact area over time during interactions with a glass plate. We recorded a total of 450 trials (45 interactions by each of ten human subjects), capturing a wide range of values across the aforementioned variables. The experimental results showed that the pull-off force increases with larger finger contact area and faster detachment rate. Additionally, moisture generally increases the contact area of the finger, but too much moisture can restrict the increase in the pull-off force.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The Haptician and the Alphamonsters

Forte, M. P., L’Orsa, R., Mohan, M., Nam, S., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Student Innovation Challenge on Implementing Haptics in Virtual Reality Environment presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference, Tokyo, Japan, July 2019, Maria Paola Forte, Rachael L'Orsa, Mayumi Mohan, and Saekwang Nam contributed equally to this publication (misc)

Abstract
Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by writing disabilities that affects between 7% and 15% of children. It presents itself in the form of unfinished letters, letter distortion, inconsistent letter size, letter collision, etc. Traditional therapeutic exercises require continuous assistance from teachers or occupational therapists. Autonomous partial or full haptic guidance can produce positive results, but children often become bored with the repetitive nature of such activities. Conversely, virtual rehabilitation with video games represents a new frontier for occupational therapy due to its highly motivational nature. Virtual reality (VR) adds an element of novelty and entertainment to therapy, thus motivating players to perform exercises more regularly. We propose leveraging the HTC VIVE Pro and the EXOS Wrist DK2 to create an immersive spellcasting “exergame” (exercise game) that helps motivate children with dysgraphia to improve writing fluency.

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Student Innovation Challenge – Virtual Reality [BibTex]

Student Innovation Challenge – Virtual Reality [BibTex]


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Explorations of Shape-Changing Haptic Interfaces for Blind and Sighted Pedestrian Navigation

Spiers, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

pages: 6, Workshop paper (6 pages) presented at the CHI 2019 Workshop on Hacking Blind Navigation, May 2019 (misc) Accepted

Abstract
Since the 1960s, technologists have worked to develop systems that facilitate independent navigation by vision-impaired (VI) pedestrians. These devices vary in terms of conveyed information and feedback modality. Unfortunately, many such prototypes never progress beyond laboratory testing. Conversely, smartphone-based navigation systems for sighted pedestrians have grown in robustness and capabilities, to the point of now being ubiquitous. How can we leverage the success of sighted navigation technology, which is driven by a larger global market, as a way to progress VI navigation systems? We believe one possibility is to make common devices that benefit both VI and sighted individuals, by providing information in a way that does not distract either user from their tasks or environment. To this end we have developed physical interfaces that eschew visual, audio or vibratory feedback, instead relying on the natural human ability to perceive the shape of a handheld object.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bimanual Wrist-Squeezing Haptic Feedback Changes Speed-Force Tradeoff in Robotic Surgery Training

Cao, E., Machaca, S., Bernard, T., Wolfinger, B., Patterson, Z., Chi, A., Adrales, G. L., Kuchenbecker, K. J., Brown, J. D.

Extended abstract presented as an ePoster at the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), Baltimore, USA, April 2019 (misc) Accepted

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Interactive Augmented Reality for Robot-Assisted Surgery

Forte, M. P., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Extended abstract presented as an Emerging Technology ePoster at the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 2019 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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A Design Tool for Therapeutic Social-Physical Human-Robot Interactions

Mohan, M., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (3 pages) presented at the HRI Pioneers Workshop, Daegu, South Korea, March 2019 (misc) Accepted

Abstract
We live in an aging society; social-physical human-robot interaction has the potential to keep our elderly adults healthy by motivating them to exercise. After summarizing prior work, this paper proposes a tool that can be used to design exercise and therapy interactions to be performed by an upper-body humanoid robot. The interaction design tool comprises a teleoperation system that transmits the operator’s arm motions, head motions and facial expression along with an interface to monitor and assess the motion of the user interacting with the robot. We plan to use this platform to create dynamic and intuitive exercise interactions.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Perceiving Systems (2016-2018)
Scientific Advisory Board Report, 2019 (misc)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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More Powerful Selective Kernel Tests for Feature Selection

Lim, J. N., Yamada, M., Jitkrittum, W., Terada, Y., Matsui, S., Shimodaira, H.

2019 (misc) Submitted

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arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]


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Toward Expert-Sourcing of a Haptic Device Repository

Seifi, H., Ip, J., Agrawal, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J., MacLean, K. E.

Glasgow, UK, 2019 (misc)

Abstract
Haptipedia is an online taxonomy, database, and visualization that aims to accelerate ideation of new haptic devices and interactions in human-computer interaction, virtual reality, haptics, and robotics. The current version of Haptipedia (105 devices) was created through iterative design, data entry, and evaluation by our team of experts. Next, we aim to greatly increase the number of devices and keep Haptipedia updated by soliciting data entry and verification from haptics experts worldwide.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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A special issue on hydrogen-based Energy storage

Hirscher, M.

{International Journal of Hydrogen Energy}, 44, pages: 7737, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2019 (misc)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Analytical classical density functionals from an equation learning network

Lin, S., Martius, G., Oettel, M.

2019, arXiv preprint \url{https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.12752} (misc)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nanoscale X-ray imaging of spin dynamics in Yttrium iron garnet

Förster, J., Wintz, S., Bailey, J., Finizio, S., Josten, E., Meertens, D., Dubs, C., Bozhko, D. A., Stoll, H., Dieterle, G., Traeger, N., Raabe, J., Slavin, A. N., Weigand, M., Gräfe, J., Schütz, G.

2019 (misc)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Reconfigurable nanoscale spin wave majority gate with frequency-division multiplexing

Talmelli, G., Devolder, T., Träger, N., Förster, J., Wintz, S., Weigand, M., Stoll, H., Heyns, M., Schütz, G., Radu, I., Gräfe, J., Ciubotaru, F., Adelmann, C.

2019 (misc)

Abstract
Spin waves are excitations in ferromagnetic media that have been proposed as information carriers in spintronic devices with potentially much lower operation power than conventional charge-based electronics. The wave nature of spin waves can be exploited to design majority gates by coding information in their phase and using interference for computation. However, a scalable spin wave majority gate design that can be co-integrated alongside conventional Si-based electronics is still lacking. Here, we demonstrate a reconfigurable nanoscale inline spin wave majority gate with ultrasmall footprint, frequency-division multiplexing, and fan-out. Time-resolved imaging of the magnetisation dynamics by scanning transmission x-ray microscopy reveals the operation mode of the device and validates the full logic majority truth table. All-electrical spin wave spectroscopy further demonstrates spin wave majority gates with sub-micron dimensions, sub-micron spin wave wavelengths, and reconfigurable input and output ports. We also show that interference-based computation allows for frequency-division multiplexing as well as the computation of different logic functions in the same device. Such devices can thus form the foundation of a future spin-wave-based superscalar vector computing platform.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Event-triggered Learning

Solowjow, F., Trimpe, S.

2019 (techreport) Submitted

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arXiv PDF [BibTex]


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Visual-Inertial Mapping with Non-Linear Factor Recovery

Usenko, V., Demmel, N., Schubert, D., Stückler, J., Cremers, D.

2019, arXiv:1904.06504 (misc)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hydrogen Energy

Hirscher, M., Autrey, T., Orimo, S.

{ChemPhysChem}, 20, pages: 1153-1411, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany, 2019 (misc)

mms

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2015


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Distributed Event-based State Estimation

Trimpe, S.

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, November 2015 (techreport)

Abstract
An event-based state estimation approach for reducing communication in a networked control system is proposed. Multiple distributed sensor-actuator-agents observe a dynamic process and sporadically exchange their measurements and inputs over a bus network. Based on these data, each agent estimates the full state of the dynamic system, which may exhibit arbitrary inter-agent couplings. Local event-based protocols ensure that data is transmitted only when necessary to meet a desired estimation accuracy. This event-based scheme is shown to mimic a centralized Luenberger observer design up to guaranteed bounds, and stability is proven in the sense of bounded estimation errors for bounded disturbances. The stability result extends to the distributed control system that results when the local state estimates are used for distributed feedback control. Simulation results highlight the benefit of the event-based approach over classical periodic ones in reducing communication requirements.

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arXiv [BibTex]

2015


arXiv [BibTex]


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Cosmology from Cosmic Shear with DES Science Verification Data

Abbott, T., Abdalla, F. B., Allam, S., Amara, A., Annis, J., Armstrong, R., Bacon, D., Banerji, M., Bauer, A. H., Baxter, E., others,

arXiv preprint arXiv:1507.05552, 2015 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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The DES Science Verification Weak Lensing Shear Catalogs

Jarvis, M., Sheldon, E., Zuntz, J., Kacprzak, T., Bridle, S. L., Amara, A., Armstrong, R., Becker, M. R., Bernstein, G. M., Bonnett, C., others,

arXiv preprint arXiv:1507.05603, 2015 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Derivation of phenomenological expressions for transition matrix elements for electron-phonon scattering

Illg, C., Haag, M., Müller, B. Y., Czycholl, G., Fähnle, M.

2015 (misc)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

2007


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Learning with Transformation Invariant Kernels

Walder, C., Chapelle, O.

(165), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
Abstract. This paper considers kernels invariant to translation, rotation and dilation. We show that no non-trivial positive definite (p.d.) kernels exist which are radial and dilation invariant, only conditionally positive definite (c.p.d.) ones. Accordingly, we discuss the c.p.d. case and provide some novel analysis, including an elementary derivation of a c.p.d. representer theorem. On the practical side, we give a support vector machine (s.v.m.) algorithm for arbitrary c.p.d. kernels. For the thin-plate kernel this leads to a classifier with only one parameter (the amount of regularisation), which we demonstrate to be as effective as an s.v.m. with the Gaussian kernel, even though the Gaussian involves a second parameter (the length scale).

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2007


PDF [BibTex]


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Scalable Semidefinite Programming using Convex Perturbations

Kulis, B., Sra, S., Jegelka, S.

(TR-07-47), University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA, September 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
Several important machine learning problems can be modeled and solved via semidefinite programs. Often, researchers invoke off-the-shelf software for the associated optimization, which can be inappropriate for many applications due to computational and storage requirements. In this paper, we introduce the use of convex perturbations for semidefinite programs (SDPs). Using a particular perturbation function, we arrive at an algorithm for SDPs that has several advantages over existing techniques: a) it is simple, requiring only a few lines of MATLAB, b) it is a first-order method which makes it scalable, c) it can easily exploit the structure of a particular SDP to gain efficiency (e.g., when the constraint matrices are low-rank). We demonstrate on several machine learning applications that the proposed algorithm is effective in finding fast approximations to large-scale SDPs.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Sparse Multiscale Gaussian Process Regression

Walder, C., Kim, K., Schölkopf, B.

(162), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
Most existing sparse Gaussian process (g.p.) models seek computational advantages by basing their computations on a set of m basis functions that are the covariance function of the g.p. with one of its two inputs fixed. We generalise this for the case of Gaussian covariance function, by basing our computations on m Gaussian basis functions with arbitrary diagonal covariance matrices (or length scales). For a fixed number of basis functions and any given criteria, this additional flexibility permits approximations no worse and typically better than was previously possible. Although we focus on g.p. regression, the central idea is applicable to all kernel based algorithms, such as the support vector machine. We perform gradient based optimisation of the marginal likelihood, which costs O(m2n) time where n is the number of data points, and compare the method to various other sparse g.p. methods. Our approach outperforms the other methods, particularly for the case of very few basis functions, i.e. a very high sparsity ratio.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Subwindow Search for Object Localization

Blaschko, M., Hofmann, T., Lampert, C.

(164), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
Recent years have seen huge advances in object recognition from images. Recognition rates beyond 95% are the rule rather than the exception on many datasets. However, most state-of-the-art methods can only decide if an object is present or not. They are not able to provide information on the object location or extent within in the image. We report on a simple yet powerful scheme that extends many existing recognition methods to also perform localization of object bounding boxes. This is achieved by maximizing the classification score over all possible subrectangles in the image. Despite the impression that this would be computationally intractable, we show that in many situations efficient algorithms exist which solve a generalized maximum subrectangle problem. We show how our method is applicable to a variety object detection frameworks and demonstrate its performance by applying it to the popular bag of visual words model, achieving competitive results on the PASCAL VOC 2006 dataset.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Cluster Identification in Nearest-Neighbor Graphs

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

(163), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2007 (techreport)

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 [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Dirichlet Mixtures of Bayesian Linear Gaussian State-Space Models: a Variational Approach

Chiappa, S., Barber, D.

(161), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, March 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
We describe two related models to cluster multidimensional time-series under the assumption of an underlying linear Gaussian dynamical process. In the first model, times-series are assigned to the same cluster when they show global similarity in their dynamics, while in the second model times-series are assigned to the same cluster when they show simultaneous similarity. Both models are based on Dirichlet Mixtures of Bayesian Linear Gaussian State-Space Models in order to (semi) automatically determine an appropriate number of components in the mixture, and to additionally bias the components to a parsimonious parameterization. The resulting models are formally intractable and to deal with this we describe a deterministic approximation based on a novel implementation of Variational Bayes.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Automatic 3D Face Reconstruction from Single Images or Video

Breuer, P., Kim, K., Kienzle, W., Blanz, V., Schölkopf, B.

(160), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, February 2007 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper presents a fully automated algorithm for reconstructing a textured 3D model of a face from a single photograph or a raw video stream. The algorithm is based on a combination of Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and a Morphable Model of 3D faces. After SVM face detection, individual facial features are detected using a novel regression-and classification-based approach, and probabilistically plausible configurations of features are selected to produce a list of candidates for several facial feature positions. In the next step, the configurations of feature points are evaluated using a novel criterion that is based on a Morphable Model and a combination of linear projections. Finally, the feature points initialize a model-fitting procedure of the Morphable Model. The result is a high-resolution 3D surface model.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Mathematik der Wahrnehmung: Wendepunkte

Wichman, F., Ernst, MO.

Akademische Mitteilungen zw{\"o}lf: F{\"u}nf Sinne, pages: 32-37, 2007 (misc)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Relative Entropy Policy Search

Peters, J.

CLMC Technical Report: TR-CLMC-2007-2, Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab, Los Angeles, CA, 2007, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report describes a cute idea of how to create new policy search approaches. It directly relates to the Natural Actor-Critic methods but allows the derivation of one shot solutions. Future work may include the application to interesting problems.

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PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [BibTex]


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Space exploration-towards bio-inspired climbing robots

Menon, C., Murphy, M., Sitti, M., Lan, N.

INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2007 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning an Outlier-Robust Kalman Filter

Ting, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

CLMC Technical Report: TR-CLMC-2007-1, Los Angeles, CA, 2007, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a modified Kalman filter that performs robust, real-time outlier detection, without the need for manual parameter tuning by the user. Systems that rely on high quality sensory data (for instance, robotic systems) can be sensitive to data containing outliers. The standard Kalman filter is not robust to outliers, and other variations of the Kalman filter have been proposed to overcome this issue. However, these methods may require manual parameter tuning, use of heuristics or complicated parameter estimation procedures. Our Kalman filter uses a weighted least squares-like approach by introducing weights for each data sample. A data sample with a smaller weight has a weaker contribution when estimating the current time step?s state. Using an incremental variational Expectation-Maximization framework, we learn the weights and system dynamics. We evaluate our Kalman filter algorithm on data from a robotic dog.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]