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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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Evaluation of the passive dynamics of compliant legs with inertia

Györfi, B.

University of Applied Science Pforzheim, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[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]


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Understanding FORC using synthetic micro-structured systems with variable coupling- and coercivefield distributions

Groß, Felix

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]


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Adsorption von Wasserstoffmolekülen in nanoporösen Gerüststrukturen

Kotzur, Nadine

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2005


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Popper, Falsification and the VC-dimension

Corfield, D., Schölkopf, B., Vapnik, V.

(145), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, November 2005 (techreport)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2005


PDF [BibTex]


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Extension to Kernel Dependency Estimation with Applications to Robotics

BakIr, G.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, November 2005 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Kernel Dependency Estimation(KDE) is a novel technique which was designed to learn mappings between sets without making assumptions on the type of the involved input and output data. It learns the mapping in two stages. In a first step, it tries to estimate coordinates of a feature space representation of elements of the set by solving a high dimensional multivariate regression problem in feature space. Following this, it tries to reconstruct the original representation given the estimated coordinates. This thesis introduces various algorithmic extensions to both stages in KDE. One of the contributions of this thesis is to propose a novel linear regression algorithm that explores low-dimensional subspaces during learning. Furthermore various existing strategies for reconstructing patterns from feature maps involved in KDE are discussed and novel pre-image techniques are introduced. In particular, pre-image techniques for data-types that are of discrete nature such as graphs and strings are investigated. KDE is then explored in the context of robot pose imitation where the input is a an image with a human operator and the output is the robot articulated variables. Thus, using KDE, robot pose imitation is formulated as a regression problem.

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PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Geometrical aspects of statistical learning theory

Hein, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Darmstadt, Darmstadt, November 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implicit Surfaces For Modelling Human Heads

Steinke, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, September 2005 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Brain-Computer Interdaces

Lal, TN.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Darmstadt, September 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A Combinatorial View of Graph Laplacians

Huang, J.

(144), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Discussions about different graph Laplacian, mainly normalized and unnormalized versions of graph Laplacian, have been ardent with respect to various methods in clustering and graph based semi-supervised learning. Previous research on graph Laplacians investigated their convergence properties to Laplacian operators on continuous manifolds. There is still no strong proof on convergence for the normalized Laplacian. In this paper, we analyze different variants of graph Laplacians directly from the ways solving the original graph partitioning problem. The graph partitioning problem is a well-known combinatorial NP hard optimization problem. The spectral solutions provide evidence that normalized Laplacian encodes more reasonable considerations for graph partitioning. We also provide some examples to show their differences.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Beyond Pairwise Classification and Clustering Using Hypergraphs

Zhou, D., Huang, J., Schölkopf, B.

(143), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In many applications, relationships among objects of interest are more complex than pairwise. Simply approximating complex relationships as pairwise ones can lead to loss of information. An alternative for these applications is to analyze complex relationships among data directly, without the need to first represent the complex relationships into pairwise ones. A natural way to describe complex relationships is to use hypergraphs. A hypergraph is a graph in which edges can connect more than two vertices. Thus we consider learning from a hypergraph, and develop a general framework which is applicable to classification and clustering for complex relational data. We have applied our framework to real-world web classification problems and obtained encouraging results.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Measuring Statistical Dependence with Hilbert-Schmidt Norms

Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Smola, A., Schölkopf, B.

(140), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose an independence criterion based on the eigenspectrum of covariance operators in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs), consisting of an empirical estimate of the Hilbert-Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator (we term this a Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion, or HSIC). This approach has several advantages, compared with previous kernel-based independence criteria. First, the empirical estimate is simpler than any other kernel dependence test, and requires no user-defined regularisation. Second, there is a clearly defined population quantity which the empirical estimate approaches in the large sample limit, with exponential convergence guaranteed between the two: this ensures that independence tests based on HSIC do not suffer from slow learning rates. Finally, we show in the context of independent component analysis (ICA) that the performance of HSIC is competitive with that of previously published kernel-based criteria, and of other recently published ICA methods.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Adaptive Sampling of the Psychometric Function by Maximizing Information Gain

Tanner, TG.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
A common task in psychophysics is to measure the psychometric function. A psychometric function can be described by its shape and four parameters: offset or threshold, slope or width, false alarm rate or chance level and miss or lapse rate. Depending on the parameters of interest some points on the psychometric function may be more informative than others. Adaptive methods attempt to place trials on the most informative points based on the data collected in previous trials. A new Bayesian adaptive psychometric method placing trials by minimising the expected entropy of the posterior probabilty dis- tribution over a set of possible stimuli is introduced. The method is more flexible, faster and at least as efficient as the established method (Kontsevich and Tyler, 1999). Comparably accurate (2dB) threshold and slope estimates can be obtained after about 30 and 500 trials, respectively. By using a dynamic termination criterion the efficiency can be further improved. The method can be applied to all experimental designs including yes/no designs and allows acquisition of any set of free parameters. By weighting the importance of parameters one can include nuisance parameters and adjust the relative expected errors. Use of nuisance parameters may lead to more accurate estimates than assuming a guessed fixed value. Block designs are supported and do not harm the performance if a sufficient number of trials are performed. The method was evaluated by computer simulations in which the role of parametric assumptions, its robustness, the quality of different point estimates, the effect of dynamic termination criteria and many other settings were investigated.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Approximate Inference for Robust Gaussian Process Regression

Kuss, M., Pfingsten, T., Csato, L., Rasmussen, C.

(136), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Gaussian process (GP) priors have been successfully used in non-parametric Bayesian regression and classification models. Inference can be performed analytically only for the regression model with Gaussian noise. For all other likelihood models inference is intractable and various approximation techniques have been proposed. In recent years expectation-propagation (EP) has been developed as a general method for approximate inference. This article provides a general summary of how expectation-propagation can be used for approximate inference in Gaussian process models. Furthermore we present a case study describing its implementation for a new robust variant of Gaussian process regression. To gain further insights into the quality of the EP approximation we present experiments in which we compare to results obtained by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Maximum-Margin Feature Combination for Detection and Categorization

BakIr, G., Wu, M., Eichhorn, J.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we are concerned with the optimal combination of features of possibly different types for detection and estimation tasks in machine vision. We propose to combine features such that the resulting classifier maximizes the margin between classes. In contrast to existing approaches which are non-convex and/or generative we propose to use a discriminative model leading to convex problem formulation and complexity control. Furthermore we assert that decision functions should not compare apples and oranges by comparing features of different types directly. Instead we propose to combine different similarity measures for each different feature type. Furthermore we argue that the question: ”Which feature type is more discriminative for task X?” is ill-posed and show empirically that the answer to this question might depend on the complexity of the decision function.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Towards a Statistical Theory of Clustering. Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London

von Luxburg, U., Ben-David, S.

Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
The goal of this paper is to discuss statistical aspects of clustering in a framework where the data to be clustered has been sampled from some unknown probability distribution. Firstly, the clustering of the data set should reveal some structure of the underlying data rather than model artifacts due to the random sampling process. Secondly, the more sample points we have, the more reliable the clustering should be. We discuss which methods can and cannot be used to tackle those problems. In particular we argue that generalization bounds as they are used in statistical learning theory of classification are unsuitable in a general clustering framework. We suggest that the main replacements of generalization bounds should be convergence proofs and stability considerations. This paper should be considered as a road map paper which identifies important questions and potentially fruitful directions for future research about statistical clustering. We do not attempt to present a complete statistical theory of clustering.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Approximate Bayesian Inference for Psychometric Functions using MCMC Sampling

Kuss, M., Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

(135), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In psychophysical studies the psychometric function is used to model the relation between the physical stimulus intensity and the observer's ability to detect or discriminate between stimuli of different intensities. In this report we propose the use of Bayesian inference to extract the information contained in experimental data estimate the parameters of psychometric functions. Since Bayesian inference cannot be performed analytically we describe how a Markov chain Monte Carlo method can be used to generate samples from the posterior distribution over parameters. These samples are used to estimate Bayesian confidence intervals and other characteristics of the posterior distribution. In addition we discuss the parameterisation of psychometric functions and the role of prior distributions in the analysis. The proposed approach is exemplified using artificially generate d data and in a case study for real experimental data. Furthermore, we compare our approach with traditional methods based on maximum-likelihood parameter estimation combined with bootstrap techniques for confidence interval estimation. The appendix provides a description of an implementation for the R environment for statistical computing and provides the code for reproducing the results discussed in the experiment section.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Linear and Nonlinear Estimation models applied to Hemodynamic Model

Theodorou, E.

Technical Report-2005-1, Computational Action and Vision Lab University of Minnesota, 2005, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
The relation between BOLD signal and neural activity is still poorly understood. The Gaussian Linear Model known as GLM is broadly used in many fMRI data analysis for recovering the underlying neural activity. Although GLM has been proved to be a really useful tool for analyzing fMRI data it can not be used for describing the complex biophysical process of neural metabolism. In this technical report we make use of a system of Stochastic Differential Equations that is based on Buxton model [1] for describing the underlying computational principles of hemodynamic process. Based on this SDE we built a Kalman Filter estimator so as to estimate the induced neural signal as well as the blood inflow under physiologic and sensor noise. The performance of Kalman Filter estimator is investigated under different physiologic noise characteristics and measurement frequencies.

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Untersuchung über die Grenzflächenmagnetisierung an (FM) Kobalt- und (AFM) Eisen-Mangan-Schichten

Harlander, M.

Stuttgart, Universität Stuttgart, 2005 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]