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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)

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)

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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)

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]

2014


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Pole Balancing with Apollo

Holger Kaden

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, December 2014 (mastersthesis)

am

[BibTex]

2014


[BibTex]


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Modeling the polygenic architecture of complex traits

Rakitsch, Barbara

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, November 2014 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning Coupling Terms for Obstacle Avoidance

Rai, A.

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, August 2014 (mastersthesis)

am

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Object Tracking in Depth Images Using Sigma Point Kalman Filters

Issac, J.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, July 2014 (mastersthesis)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Modeling the Human Body in 3D: Data Registration and Human Shape Representation

Tsoli, A.

Brown University, Department of Computer Science, May 2014 (phdthesis)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Model transport: towards scalable transfer learning on manifolds - supplemental material

Freifeld, O., Hauberg, S., Black, M. J.

(9), April 2014 (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report is complementary to "Model Transport: Towards Scalable Transfer Learning on Manifolds" and contains proofs, explanation of the attached video (visualization of bases from the body shape experiments), and high-resolution images of select results of individual reconstructions from the shape experiments. It is identical to the supplemental mate- rial submitted to the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2014) on November 2013.

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PDF [BibTex]


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A Novel Causal Inference Method for Time Series

Shajarisales, N.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2014 (mastersthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A global analysis of extreme events and consequences for the terrestrial carbon cycle

Zscheischler, J.

Diss. No. 22043, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2014 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning objective functions for autonomous motion generation

Kalakrishnan, M.

University of Southern California, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 2014 (phdthesis)

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Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Development of advanced methods for improving astronomical images

Schmeißer, N.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2014 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The Feasibility of Causal Discovery in Complex Systems: An Examination of Climate Change Attribution and Detection

Lacosse, E.

Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Germany, Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Germany, 2014 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Causal Discovery in the Presence of Time-Dependent Relations or Small Sample Size

Huang, B.

Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Germany, Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Germany, 2014 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Analysis of Distance Functions in Graphs

Alamgir, M.

University of Hamburg, Germany, University of Hamburg, Germany, 2014 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Data-driven autonomous manipulation

Pastor, P.

University of Southern California, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 2014 (phdthesis)

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Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Schalten der Polarität magnetischer Vortexkerne durch eine Zwei-Frequenzen Anregung und mittels direkter Einkopplung eines Stroms

Sproll, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart (und Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen), Stuttgart, 2014 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Vortex-Kern-Korrelation in gekoppelten Systemen

Jüllig, P.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2014 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Realization of a new Magnetic Scanning X-ray Microscope and Investigation of Landau Structures under Pulsed Field Excitation

Weigand, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart (und Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen), 2014 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nanoporous Materials for Hydrogen Storage and H2/D2 Isotope Separation

Oh, H.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2014 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2003


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Support Vector Channel Selection in BCI

Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Weston, J., Bogdan, M., Birbaumer, N., Schölkopf, B.

(120), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, December 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Designing a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system one can choose from a variety of features that may be useful for classifying brain activity during a mental task. For the special case of classifying EEG signals we propose the usage of the state of the art feature selection algorithms Recursive Feature Elimination [3] and Zero-Norm Optimization [13] which are based on the training of Support Vector Machines (SVM) [11]. These algorithms can provide more accurate solutions than standard filter methods for feature selection [14]. We adapt the methods for the purpose of selecting EEG channels. For a motor imagery paradigm we show that the number of used channels can be reduced significantly without increasing the classification error. The resulting best channels agree well with the expected underlying cortical activity patterns during the mental tasks. Furthermore we show how time dependent task specific information can be visualized.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

2003


PDF Web [BibTex]


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Image Reconstruction by Linear Programming

Tsuda, K., Rätsch, G.

(118), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, October 2003 (techreport)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Real-Time Face Detection

Kienzle, W.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany, October 2003 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Ranking on Data Manifolds

Zhou, D., Weston, J., Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

(113), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Google search engine has had a huge success with its PageRank web page ranking algorithm, which exploits global, rather than local, hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web using random walk. This algorithm can only be used for graph data, however. Here we propose a simple universal ranking algorithm for vectorial data, based on the exploration of the intrinsic global geometric structure revealed by a huge amount of data. Experimental results from image and text to bioinformatics illustrates the validity of our algorithm.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Hebbian Algorithm for Iterative Kernel Principal Component Analysis

Kim, K., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(109), MPI f. biologische Kybernetik, Tuebingen, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A new method for performing a kernel principal component analysis is proposed. By kernelizing the generalized Hebbian algorithm, one can iteratively estimate the principal components in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space with only linear order memory complexity. The derivation of the method, a convergence proof, and preliminary applications in image hyperresolution are presented. In addition, we discuss the extension of the method to the online learning of kernel principal components.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning with Local and Global Consistency

Zhou, D., Bousquet, O., Lal, T., Weston, J., Schölkopf, B.

(112), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the learning problem in the transductive setting. Given a set of points of which only some are labeled, the goal is to predict the label of the unlabeled points. A principled clue to solve such a learning problem is the consistency assumption that a classifying function should be sufficiently smooth with respect to the structure revealed by these known labeled and unlabeled points. We present a simple algorithm to obtain such a smooth solution. Our method yields encouraging experimental results on a number of classification problems and demonstrates effective use of unlabeled data.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(114), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
The Wiener series is one of the standard methods to systematically characterize the nonlinearity of a neural system. The classical estimation method of the expansion coefficients via cross-correlation suffers from severe problems that prevent its application to high-dimensional and strongly nonlinear systems. We propose a new estimation method based on regression in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space that overcomes these problems. Numerical experiments show performance advantages in terms of convergence, interpretability and system size that can be handled.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Machine Learning approaches to protein ranking: discriminative, semi-supervised, scalable algorithms

Weston, J., Leslie, C., Elisseeff, A., Noble, W.

(111), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
A key tool in protein function discovery is the ability to rank databases of proteins given a query amino acid sequence. The most successful method so far is a web-based tool called PSI-BLAST which uses heuristic alignment of a profile built using the large unlabeled database. It has been shown that such use of global information via an unlabeled data improves over a local measure derived from a basic pairwise alignment such as performed by PSI-BLAST's predecessor, BLAST. In this article we look at ways of leveraging techniques from the field of machine learning for the problem of ranking. We show how clustering and semi-supervised learning techniques, which aim to capture global structure in data, can significantly improve over PSI-BLAST.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The Geometry Of Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis

Kuss, M., Graepel, T.

(108), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2003 (techreport)

Abstract
Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) is a classical multivariate method concerned with describing linear dependencies between sets of variables. After a short exposition of the linear sample CCA problem and its analytical solution, the article proceeds with a detailed characterization of its geometry. Projection operators are used to illustrate the relations between canonical vectors and variates. The article then addresses the problem of CCA between spaces spanned by objects mapped into kernel feature spaces. An exact solution for this kernel canonical correlation (KCCA) problem is derived from a geometric point of view. It shows that the expansion coefficients of the canonical vectors in their respective feature space can be found by linear CCA in the basis induced by kernel principal component analysis. The effect of mappings into higher dimensional feature spaces is considered critically since it simplifies the CCA problem in general. Then two regularized variants of KCCA are discussed. Relations to other methods are illustrated, e.g., multicategory kernel Fisher discriminant analysis, kernel principal component regression and possible applications thereof in blind source separation.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]