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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.

hi

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.

ps

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)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Causal Perspective on Deep Representation Learning

Suter, R.

ETH Zurich, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Approaches to Stochastic Optimization

Mahsereci, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for High-Speed Robotics with Muscular Actuation

Guist, S.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg , 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei pn

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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

Jayaram, V.

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

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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XMCD investigations on new hard magnetic systems

Chen, Y.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

mms

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]

2007


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Some Theoretical Aspects of Human Categorization Behavior: Similarity and Generalization

Jäkel, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, November 2007, passed with "ausgezeichnet", summa cum laude, published online (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2007


PDF [BibTex]


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Statistical Learning Theory Approaches to Clustering

Jegelka, S.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, November 2007 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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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]

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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Error Correcting Codes for the P300 Visual Speller

Biessmann, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, July 2007 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
The aim of brain-computer interface (BCI) research is to establish a communication system based on intentional modulation of brain activity. This is accomplished by classifying patterns of brain ac- tivity, volitionally induced by the user. The BCI presented in this study is based on a classical paradigm as proposed by (Farwell and Donchin, 1988), the P300 visual speller. Recording electroencephalo- grams (EEG) from the scalp while presenting letters successively to the user, the speller can infer from the brain signal which letter the user was focussing on. Since EEG recordings are noisy, usually many repetitions are needed to detect the correct letter. The focus of this study was to improve the accuracy of the visual speller applying some basic principles from information theory: Stimulus sequences of the speller have been modified into error-correcting codes. Additionally a language model was incorporated into the probabilistic letter de- coder. Classification of single EEG epochs was less accurate using error correcting codes. However, the novel code could compensate for that such that overall, letter accuracies were as high as or even higher than for classical stimulus codes. In particular at high noise levels, error-correcting decoding achieved higher letter accuracies.

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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Nonparametric Bayesian Discrete Latent Variable Models for Unsupervised Learning

Görür, D.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, April 2007, published online (phdthesis)

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF 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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Applications of Kernel Machines to Structured Data

Eichhorn, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2007, passed with "sehr gut", published online (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A priori Knowledge from Non-Examples

Sinz, FH.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2007 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [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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Machine Learning for Mass Production and Industrial Engineering

Pfingsten, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, February 2007 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Development of a Brain-Computer Interface Approach Based on Covert Attention to Tactile Stimuli

Raths, C.

University of Tübingen, Germany, University of Tübingen, Germany, January 2007 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Machine Learning Approach for Estimating the Attenuation Map for a Combined PET/MR Scanner

Hofmann, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2007 (diplomathesis)

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.

am ei

PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [BibTex]


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On the theory of magnetization dynamics of non-collinear spin systems in the s-d model

De Angeli, L.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Zur ab-initio Elektronentheorie des Magnetismus bei endlichen Temperaturen

Dietermann, F.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Röntgenzirkulardichroische Untersuchungen an ferromagnetischen verdünnten Halbleitersystemen

Tietze, T.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Low-dimensional Fe on vicinal Ir(997): Growth and magnetic properties

Kawwam, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Micromagnetic simulations of switching processes and the role of thermal fluctuations

Macke, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Physisorption von Wasserstoff in neuen Materialien mit gro\sser spezifischer Oberfläche

Schmitz, B.

Universität Bonn, Bonn, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Towards spin injection into silicon

Dash, S. P.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Bestimmung der kritischen Schichtdicken ferromagnetischer Plättchen für Eindomänenverhalten

Soehnle, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Zeitaufgelöste Röntgenmikroskopie an magnetischen Mikrostrukturen

Puzic, A.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Vortex dynamics studied by time-resolved X-ray microscopy

Chou, K. W.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Resonante magnetische Reflektometrie an Ferromagnet/Paramagnet Heterostrukturen

Ferreras Paz, V.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Herstellung und Charakterisierung dünner Niob-Schichten auf verschiedenen Substraten

Mayer, M. W. R.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2007 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]