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2018


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Instrumentation, Data, and Algorithms for Visually Understanding Haptic Surface Properties

Burka, A. L.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, August 2018, Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (phdthesis)

Abstract
Autonomous robots need to efficiently walk over varied surfaces and grasp diverse objects. We hypothesize that the association between how such surfaces look and how they physically feel during contact can be learned from a database of matched haptic and visual data recorded from various end-effectors' interactions with hundreds of real-world surfaces. Testing this hypothesis required the creation of a new multimodal sensing apparatus, the collection of a large multimodal dataset, and development of a machine-learning pipeline. This thesis begins by describing the design and construction of the Portable Robotic Optical/Tactile ObservatioN PACKage (PROTONPACK, or Proton for short), an untethered handheld sensing device that emulates the capabilities of the human senses of vision and touch. Its sensory modalities include RGBD vision, egomotion, contact force, and contact vibration. Three interchangeable end-effectors (a steel tooling ball, an OptoForce three-axis force sensor, and a SynTouch BioTac artificial fingertip) allow for different material properties at the contact point and provide additional tactile data. We then detail the calibration process for the motion and force sensing systems, as well as several proof-of-concept surface discrimination experiments that demonstrate the reliability of the device and the utility of the data it collects. This thesis then presents a large-scale dataset of multimodal surface interaction recordings, including 357 unique surfaces such as furniture, fabrics, outdoor fixtures, and items from several private and public material sample collections. Each surface was touched with one, two, or three end-effectors, comprising approximately one minute per end-effector of tapping and dragging at various forces and speeds. We hope that the larger community of robotics researchers will find broad applications for the published dataset. Lastly, we demonstrate an algorithm that learns to estimate haptic surface properties given visual input. Surfaces were rated on hardness, roughness, stickiness, and temperature by the human experimenter and by a pool of purely visual observers. Then we trained an algorithm to perform the same task as well as infer quantitative properties calculated from the haptic data. Overall, the task of predicting haptic properties from vision alone proved difficult for both humans and computers, but a hybrid algorithm using a deep neural network and a support vector machine achieved a correlation between expected and actual regression output between approximately ρ = 0.3 and ρ = 0.5 on previously unseen surfaces.

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Project Page [BibTex]

2018


Project Page [BibTex]


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Robust Visual Augmented Reality in Robot-Assisted Surgery

Forte, M. P.

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, July 2018, Department of Electronic, Information, and Biomedical Engineering (mastersthesis)

Abstract
The broader research objective of this line of research is to test the hypothesis that real-time stereo video analysis and augmented reality can increase safety and task efficiency in robot-assisted surgery. This master’s thesis aims to solve the first step needed to achieve this goal: the creation of a robust system that delivers the envisioned feedback to a surgeon while he or she controls a surgical robot that is identical to those used on human patients. Several approaches for applying augmented reality to da Vinci Surgical Systems have been proposed, but none of them entirely rely on a clinical robot; specifically, they require additional sensors, depend on access to the da Vinci API, are designed for a very specific task, or were tested on systems that are starkly different from those in clinical use. There has also been prior work that presents the real-world camera view and the computer graphics on separate screens, or not in real time. In other scenarios, the digital information is overlaid manually by the surgeons themselves or by computer scientists, rather than being generated automatically in response to the surgeon’s actions. We attempted to overcome the aforementioned constraints by acquiring input signals from the da Vinci stereo endoscope and providing augmented reality to the console in real time (less than 150 ms delay, including the 62 ms of inherent latency of the da Vinci). The potential benefits of the resulting system are broad because it was built to be general, rather than customized for any specific task. The entire platform is compatible with any generation of the da Vinci System and does not require a dVRK (da Vinci Research Kit) or access to the API. Thus, it can be applied to existing da Vinci Systems in operating rooms around the world.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors

Alarcon-Correa, M.

Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors, pages: 150, Cuvillier Verlag, MPI-IS , June 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Synthetic sophisticated nanostructures represent a fundamental building block for the development of nanotechnology. The fabrication of nanoparticles complex in structure and material composition is key to build nanomachines that can operate as man-made nanoscale motors, which autonomously convert external energy into motion. To achieve this, asymmetric nanoparticles were fabricated combining a physical vapor deposition technique known as NanoGLAD and wet chemical synthesis. This thesis primarily concerns three complex colloidal systems that have been developed: i)Hollow nanocup inclusion complexes that have a single Au nanoparticle in their pocket. The Au particle can be released with an external trigger. ii)The smallest self-propelling nanocolloids that have been made to date, which give rise to a local concentration gradient that causes enhanced diffusion of the particles. iii)Enzyme-powered pumps that have been assembled using bacteriophages as biological nanoscaffolds. This construct also can be used for enzyme recovery after heterogeneous catalysis.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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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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Detailed Dense Inference with Convolutional Neural Networks via Discrete Wavelet Transform

Ma, L., Stueckler, J., Wu, T., Cremers, D.

arxiv, 2018, arXiv:1808.01834 (techreport)

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[BibTex]

[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)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Causal Perspective on Deep Representation Learning

Suter, R.

ETH Zurich, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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[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)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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[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)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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XMCD investigations on new hard magnetic systems

Chen, Y.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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High-Resolution X-ray Ptychography for Magnetic Imaging

Bykova, I.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2012


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Virtual Human Bodies with Clothing and Hair: From Images to Animation

Guan, P.

Brown University, Department of Computer Science, December 2012 (phdthesis)

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pdf [BibTex]

2012


pdf [BibTex]


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Scalable graph kernels

Shervashidze, N.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, October 2012 (phdthesis)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Coregistration: Supplemental Material

Hirshberg, D., Loper, M., Rachlin, E., Black, M. J.

(No. 4), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, October 2012 (techreport)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Lie Bodies: A Manifold Representation of 3D Human Shape. Supplemental Material

Freifeld, O., Black, M. J.

(No. 5), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, October 2012 (techreport)

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pdf Project Page [BibTex]

pdf Project Page [BibTex]


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MPI-Sintel Optical Flow Benchmark: Supplemental Material

Butler, D. J., Wulff, J., Stanley, G. B., Black, M. J.

(No. 6), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, October 2012 (techreport)

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pdf Project Page [BibTex]

pdf Project Page [BibTex]


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From Pixels to Layers: Joint Motion Estimation and Segmentation

Sun, D.

Brown University, Department of Computer Science, July 2012 (phdthesis)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Learning Motor Skills: From Algorithms to Robot Experiments

Kober, J.

Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, March 2012 (phdthesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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High Gamma-Power Predicts Performance in Brain-Computer Interfacing

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B.

(3), Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Tübingen, February 2012 (techreport)

Abstract
Subjects operating a brain-computer interface (BCI) based on sensorimotor rhythms exhibit large variations in performance over the course of an experimental session. Here, we show that high-frequency gamma-oscillations, originating in fronto-parietal networks, predict such variations on a trial-to-trial basis. We interpret this nding as empirical support for an in uence of attentional networks on BCI-performance via modulation of the sensorimotor rhythm.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Structure and Dynamics of Diffusion Networks

Gomez Rodriguez, M.

Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2012 (phdthesis)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Blind Deconvolution in Scientific Imaging & Computational Photography

Hirsch, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2012 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Wasserstoffspeicherkapazität poröser Materialien in Kryoadsorptionstanks

Schlichtenmayer, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Behandlung stark nichtkollinearer Magnetisierungsstrukturen mit der Spin-Cluster-Entwicklung

Dietermann, F.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Spinwelleninduziertes Schalten magnetischer Vortexkerne

Kammerer, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Die Stabilität des stromtragenden Zustands in MgB2 Schichten mit modifizierter Mikrostruktur

Treiber, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hartmagnetische L10-FePt basierte gro\ssflächige Nanomuster mittels Nanoimprint-Lithografie

Bublat, T.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2012 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2004


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Joint Kernel Maps

Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Bousquet, O., Mann, .., Noble, W.

(131), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, November 2004 (techreport)

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PDF [BibTex]

2004


PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Induction

Yu, K., Tresp, V., Zhou, D.

(141), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, August 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Considerable progress was recently achieved on semi-supervised learning, which differs from the traditional supervised learning by additionally exploring the information of the unlabelled examples. However, a disadvantage of many existing methods is that it does not generalize to unseen inputs. This paper investigates learning methods that effectively make use of both labelled and unlabelled data to build predictive functions, which are defined on not just the seen inputs but the whole space. As a nice property, the proposed method allows effcient training and can easily handle new test points. We validate the method based on both toy data and real world data sets.

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PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Object categorization with SVM: kernels for local features

Eichhorn, J., Chapelle, O.

(137), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper, we propose to combine an efficient image representation based on local descriptors with a Support Vector Machine classifier in order to perform object categorization. For this purpose, we apply kernels defined on sets of vectors. After testing different combinations of kernel / local descriptors, we have been able to identify a very performant one.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Hilbertian Metrics and Positive Definite Kernels on Probability Measures

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(126), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate the problem of defining Hilbertian metrics resp. positive definite kernels on probability measures, continuing previous work. This type of kernels has shown very good results in text classification and has a wide range of possible applications. In this paper we extend the two-parameter family of Hilbertian metrics of Topsoe such that it now includes all commonly used Hilbertian metrics on probability measures. This allows us to do model selection among these metrics in an elegant and unified way. Second we investigate further our approach to incorporate similarity information of the probability space into the kernel. The analysis provides a better understanding of these kernels and gives in some cases a more efficient way to compute them. Finally we compare all proposed kernels in two text and one image classification problem.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernels, Associated Structures and Generalizations

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(127), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper gives a survey of results in the mathematical literature on positive definite kernels and their associated structures. We concentrate on properties which seem potentially relevant for Machine Learning and try to clarify some results that have been misused in the literature. Moreover we consider different lines of generalizations of positive definite kernels. Namely we deal with operator-valued kernels and present the general framework of Hilbertian subspaces of Schwartz which we use to introduce kernels which are distributions. Finally indefinite kernels and their associated reproducing kernel spaces are considered.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kamerakalibrierung und Tiefenschätzung: Ein Vergleich von klassischer Bündelblockausgleichung und statistischen Lernalgorithmen

Sinz, FH.

Wilhelm-Schickard-Institut für Informatik, Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Die Arbeit verleicht zwei Herangehensweisen an das Problem der Sch{\"a}tzung der r{\"a}umliche Position eines Punktes aus den Bildkoordinaten in zwei verschiedenen Kameras. Die klassische Methode der B{\"u}ndelblockausgleichung modelliert zwei Einzelkameras und sch{\"a}tzt deren {\"a}ußere und innere Orientierung mit einer iterativen Kalibrationsmethode, deren Konvergenz sehr stark von guten Startwerten abh{\"a}ngt. Die Tiefensch{\"a}tzung eines Punkts geschieht durch die Invertierung von drei der insgesamt vier Projektionsgleichungen der Einzalkameramodelle. Die zweite Methode benutzt Kernel Ridge Regression und Support Vector Regression, um direkt eine Abbildung von den Bild- auf die Raumkoordinaten zu lernen. Die Resultate zeigen, daß der Ansatz mit maschinellem Lernen, neben einer erheblichen Vereinfachung des Kalibrationsprozesses, zu h{\"o}heren Positionsgenaugikeiten f{\"u}hren kann.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Multivariate Regression with Stiefel Constraints

Bakir, G., Gretton, A., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(128), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstr 38, 72076, Tuebingen, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a new framework for regression between multi-dimensional spaces. Standard methods for solving this problem typically reduce the problem to one-dimensional regression by choosing features in the input and/or output spaces. These methods, which include PLS (partial least squares), KDE (kernel dependency estimation), and PCR (principal component regression), select features based on different a-priori judgments as to their relevance. Moreover, loss function and constraints are chosen not primarily on statistical grounds, but to simplify the resulting optimisation. By contrast, in our approach the feature construction and the regression estimation are performed jointly, directly minimizing a loss function that we specify, subject to a rank constraint. A major advantage of this approach is that the loss is no longer chosen according to the algorithmic requirements, but can be tailored to the characteristics of the task at hand; the features will then be optimal with respect to this objective. Our approach also allows for the possibility of using a regularizer in the optimization. Finally, by processing the observations sequentially, our algorithm is able to work on large scale problems.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data Using Random Walks

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the general problem of learning from labeled and unlabeled data. Given a set of points, some of them are labeled, and the remaining points are unlabeled. The goal is to predict the labels of the unlabeled points. Any supervised learning algorithm can be applied to this problem, for instance, Support Vector Machines (SVMs). The problem of our interest is if we can implement a classifier which uses the unlabeled data information in some way and has higher accuracy than the classifiers which use the labeled data only. Recently we proposed a simple algorithm, which can substantially benefit from large amounts of unlabeled data and demonstrates clear superiority to supervised learning methods. In this paper we further investigate the algorithm using random walks and spectral graph theory, which shed light on the key steps in this algorithm.

ei

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]