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2016


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Towards Robust Online Inverse Dynamics Learning

Meier, F., Kappler, D., Ratliff, N., Schaal, S.

Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IEEE, IROS, 2016 (conference) Accepted

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fmeier_iros_2016 [BibTex]

2016


fmeier_iros_2016 [BibTex]


Self-Supervised Regrasping using Spatio-Temporal Tactile Features and Reinforcement Learning
Self-Supervised Regrasping using Spatio-Temporal Tactile Features and Reinforcement Learning

Chebotar, Y., Hausman, K., Su, Z., Sukhatme, G., Schaal, S.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2016, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2016 (inproceedings)

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pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]


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Self-regulation of brain rhythms in the precuneus: a novel BCI paradigm for patients with ALS

Fomina, T., Lohmann, G., Erb, M., Ethofer, T., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 13(6):066021, 2016 (article)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Influence Estimation and Maximization in Continuous-Time Diffusion Networks

Gomez-Rodriguez, M., Song, L., Du, N., Zha, H., Schölkopf, B.

ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 34(2):9:1-9:33, 2016 (article)

ei

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


Modeling Variability of Musculoskeletal Systems with Heteroscedastic Gaussian Processes
Modeling Variability of Musculoskeletal Systems with Heteroscedastic Gaussian Processes

Büchler, D., Calandra, R., Peters, J.

Workshop on Neurorobotics, Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2016 (conference)

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NIPS16Neurorobotics [BibTex]

NIPS16Neurorobotics [BibTex]


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The population of long-period transiting exoplanets

Foreman-Mackey, D., Morton, T. D., Hogg, D. W., Agol, E., Schölkopf, B.

The Astronomical Journal, 152(6):206, 2016 (article)

ei

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Event-based Sampling for Reducing Communication Load in Realtime Human Motion Analysis by Wireless Inertial Sensor Networks

Laidig, D., Trimpe, S., Seel, T.

Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, 2(1):711-714, De Gruyter, 2016 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


Generalizing Regrasping with Supervised Policy Learning
Generalizing Regrasping with Supervised Policy Learning

Chebotar, Y., Hausman, K., Kroemer, O., Sukhatme, G., Schaal, S.

In International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER) 2016, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2016 (inproceedings)

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pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]


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An overview of quantitative approaches in Gestalt perception

Jäkel, F., Singh, M., Wichmann, F. A., Herzog, M. H.

Vision Research, 126, pages: 3-8, 2016 (article)

ei

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Causal and statistical learning

Schölkopf, B., Janzing, D., Lopez-Paz, D.

Oberwolfach Reports, 13(3):1896-1899, (Editors: A. Christmann and K. Jetter and S. Smale and D.-X. Zhou), 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bootstrat: Population Informed Bootstrapping for Rare Variant Tests

Huang, H., Peloso, G. M., Howrigan, D., Rakitsch, B., Simon-Gabriel, C. J., Goldstein, J. I., Daly, M. J., Borgwardt, K., Neale, B. M.

bioRxiv, 2016, preprint (article)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Movement Models Show that Postural Control Precedes and Predicts Volitional Motor Control

Rueckert, E., Camernik, J., Peters, J., Babic, J.

Nature PG: Scientific Reports, 6(Article number: 28455), 2016 (article)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Learning Taxonomy Adaptation in Large-scale Classification

Babbar, R., Partalas, I., Gaussier, E., Amini, M., Amblard, C.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(98):1-37, 2016 (article)

ei

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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BOiS—Berlin Object in Scene Database: Controlled Photographic Images for Visual Search Experiments with Quantified Contextual Priors

Mohr, J., Seyfarth, J., Lueschow, A., Weber, J. E., Wichmann, F. A., Obermayer, K.

Frontiers in Psychology, 2016 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Preface to the ACM TIST Special Issue on Causal Discovery and Inference

Zhang, K., Li, J., Bareinboim, E., Schölkopf, B., Pearl, J.

ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technologies, 7(2):article no. 17, 2016 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Recurrent Spiking Networks Solve Planning Tasks

Rueckert, E., Kappel, D., Tanneberg, D., Pecevski, D., Peters, J.

Nature PG: Scientific Reports, 6(Article number: 21142), 2016 (article)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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A Convex Model of Momentum Dynamics for Multi-Contact Motion Generation

Ponton, B., Herzog, A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots Humanoids, pages: 842-849, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Linear models for control and motion generation of humanoid robots have received significant attention in the past years, not only due to their well known theoretical guarantees, but also because of practical computational advantages. However, to tackle more challenging tasks and scenarios such as locomotion on uneven terrain, a more expressive model is required. In this paper, we are interested in contact interaction-centered motion optimization based on the momentum dynamics model. This model is non-linear and non-convex; however, we find a relaxation of the problem that allows us to formulate it as a single convex quadratically-constrained quadratic program (QCQP) that can be very efficiently optimized and is useful for multi-contact planning. This convex model is then coupled to the optimization of end-effector contact locations using a mixed integer program, which can also be efficiently solved. This becomes relevant e.g. to recover from external pushes, where a predefined stepping plan is likely to fail and an online adaptation of the contact location is needed. The performance of our algorithm is demonstrated in several multi-contact scenarios for a humanoid robot.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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On the Effects of Measurement Uncertainty in Optimal Control of Contact Interactions

Ponton, B., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In The 12th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics WAFR, Berkeley, USA, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Stochastic Optimal Control (SOC) typically considers noise only in the process model, i.e. unknown disturbances. However, in many robotic applications involving interaction with the environment, such as locomotion and manipulation, uncertainty also comes from lack of precise knowledge of the world, which is not an actual disturbance. We analyze the effects of also considering noise in the measurement model, by devel- oping a SOC algorithm based on risk-sensitive control, that includes the dynamics of an observer in such a way that the control law explicitly de- pends on the current measurement uncertainty. In simulation results on a simple 2D manipulator, we have observed that measurement uncertainty leads to low impedance behaviors, a result in contrast with the effects of process noise that creates stiff behaviors. This suggests that taking into account measurement uncertainty could be a potentially very interesting way to approach problems involving uncertain contact interactions.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Momentum Control with Hierarchical Inverse Dynamics on a Torque-Controlled Humanoid

Herzog, A., Rotella, N., Mason, S., Grimminger, F., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

Autonomous Robots, 40(3):473-491, 2016 (article)

Abstract
Hierarchical inverse dynamics based on cascades of quadratic programs have been proposed for the control of legged robots. They have important benefits but to the best of our knowledge have never been implemented on a torque controlled humanoid where model inaccuracies, sensor noise and real-time computation requirements can be problematic. Using a reformulation of existing algorithms, we propose a simplification of the problem that allows to achieve real-time control. Momentum-based control is integrated in the task hierarchy and a LQR design approach is used to compute the desired associated closed-loop behavior and improve performance. Extensive experiments on various balancing and tracking tasks show very robust performance in the face of unknown disturbances, even when the humanoid is standing on one foot. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical inverse dynamics together with momentum control can be efficiently used for feedback control under real robot conditions.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Inertial Sensor-Based Humanoid Joint State Estimation

Rotella, N., Mason, S., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 1825-1831, IEEE, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This work presents methods for the determination of a humanoid robot's joint velocities and accelerations directly from link-mounted Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) each containing a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer. No information about the global pose of the floating base or its links is required and precise knowledge of the link IMU poses is not necessary due to presented calibration routines. Additionally, a filter is introduced to fuse gyroscope angular velocities with joint position measurements and compensate the computed joint velocities for time-varying gyroscope biases. The resulting joint velocities are subject to less noise and delay than filtered velocities computed from numerical differentiation of joint potentiometer signals, leading to superior performance in joint feedback control as demonstrated in experiments performed on a SARCOS hydraulic humanoid.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Stepping Stabilization Using a Combination of DCM Tracking and Step Adjustment

Khadiv, M., Kleff, S., Herzog, A., Moosavian, S. A. A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 4th International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICROM), pages: 130-135, IEEE, Teheran, Iran, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, a method for stabilizing biped robots stepping by a combination of Divergent Component of Motion (DCM) tracking and step adjustment is proposed. In this method, the DCM trajectory is generated, consistent with the predefined footprints. Furthermore, a swing foot trajectory modification strategy is proposed to adapt the landing point, using DCM measurement. In order to apply the generated trajectories to the full robot, a Hierarchical Inverse Dynamics (HID) is employed. The HID enables us to use different combinations of the DCM tracking and step adjustment for stabilizing different biped robots. Simulation experiments on two scenarios for two different simulated robots, one with active ankles and the other with passive ankles, are carried out. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for robots with both active and passive ankles.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Bioinspired Motor Control for Articulated Robots [From the Guest Editors]

Vitiello, Nicola, Ijspeert, Auke J, Schaal, S.

IEEE Robotics {\&} Automation Magazine, 23(1):20-21, 2016 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Structured contact force optimization for kino-dynamic motion generation

Herzog, A., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pages: 2703-2710, IEEE, Daejeon, South Korea, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Optimal control approaches in combination with trajectory optimization have recently proven to be a promising control strategy for legged robots. Computationally efficient and robust algorithms were derived using simplified models of the contact interaction between robot and environment such as the linear inverted pendulum model (LIPM). However, as humanoid robots enter more complex environments, less restrictive models become increasingly important. As we leave the regime of linear models, we need to build dedicated solvers that can compute interaction forces together with consistent kinematic plans for the whole-body. In this paper, we address the problem of planning robot motion and interaction forces for legged robots given predefined contact surfaces. The motion generation process is decomposed into two alternating parts computing force and motion plans in coherence. We focus on the properties of the momentum computation leading to sparse optimal control formulations to be exploited by a dedicated solver. In our experiments, we demonstrate that our motion generation algorithm computes consistent contact forces and joint trajectories for our humanoid robot. We also demonstrate the favorable time complexity due to our formulation and composition of the momentum equations.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Balancing and Walking Using Full Dynamics LQR Control With Contact Constraints

Mason, S., Rotella, N., Schaal, S., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pages: 63-68, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Torque control algorithms which consider robot dynamics and contact constraints are important for creating dynamic behaviors for humanoids. As computational power increases, algorithms tend to also increase in complexity. However, it is not clear how much complexity is really required to create controllers which exhibit good performance. In this paper, we study the capabilities of a simple approach based on contact consistent LQR controllers designed around key poses to control various tasks on a humanoid robot. We present extensive experimental results on a hydraulic, torque controlled humanoid performing balancing and stepping tasks. This feedback control approach captures the necessary synergies between the DoFs of the robot to guarantee good control performance. We show that for the considered tasks, it is only necessary to re-linearize the dynamics of the robot at different contact configurations and that increasing the number of LQR controllers along desired trajectories does not improve performance. Our result suggest that very simple controllers can yield good performance competitive with current state of the art, but more complex, optimization-based whole-body controllers. A video of the experiments can be found at https://youtu.be/5T08CNKV1hw.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Bio-inspired feedback-circuit implementation of discrete, free energy optimizing, winner-take-all computations

Genewein, T, Braun, DA

Biological Cybernetics, 110(2):135–150, June 2016 (article)

Abstract
Bayesian inference and bounded rational decision-making require the accumulation of evidence or utility, respectively, to transform a prior belief or strategy into a posterior probability distribution over hypotheses or actions. Crucially, this process cannot be simply realized by independent integrators, since the different hypotheses and actions also compete with each other. In continuous time, this competitive integration process can be described by a special case of the replicator equation. Here we investigate simple analog electric circuits that implement the underlying differential equation under the constraint that we only permit a limited set of building blocks that we regard as biologically interpretable, such as capacitors, resistors, voltage-dependent conductances and voltage- or current-controlled current and voltage sources. The appeal of these circuits is that they intrinsically perform normalization without requiring an explicit divisive normalization. However, even in idealized simulations, we find that these circuits are very sensitive to internal noise as they accumulate error over time. We discuss in how far neural circuits could implement these operations that might provide a generic competitive principle underlying both perception and action.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Step Timing Adjustement: a Step toward Generating Robust Gaits

Khadiv, M., Herzog, A., Moosavian, S. A. A., Righetti, L.

In 2016 IEEE-RAS 16th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pages: 35-42, IEEE, Cancun, Mexico, 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Step adjustment for humanoid robots has been shown to improve robustness in gaits. However, step duration adaptation is often neglected in control strategies. In this paper, we propose an approach that combines both step location and timing adjustment for generating robust gaits. In this approach, step location and step timing are decided, based on feedback from the current state of the robot. The proposed approach is comprised of two stages. In the first stage, the nominal step location and step duration for the next step or a previewed number of steps are specified. In this stage which is done at the start of each step, the main goal is to specify the best step length and step duration for a desired walking speed. The second stage deals with finding the best landing point and landing time of the swing foot at each control cycle. In this stage, stability of the gaits is preserved by specifying a desired offset between the swing foot landing point and the Divergent Component of Motion (DCM) at the end of current step. After specifying the landing point of the swing foot at a desired time, the swing foot trajectory is regenerated at each control cycle to realize desired landing properties. Simulation on different scenarios shows the robustness of the generated gaits from our proposed approach compared to the case where no timing adjustment is employed.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Decision-Making under Ambiguity Is Modulated by Visual Framing, but Not by Motor vs. Non-Motor Context: Experiments and an Information-Theoretic Ambiguity Model

Grau-Moya, J, Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

PLoS ONE, 11(4):1-21, April 2016 (article)

Abstract
A number of recent studies have investigated differences in human choice behavior depending on task framing, especially comparing economic decision-making to choice behavior in equivalent sensorimotor tasks. Here we test whether decision-making under ambiguity exhibits effects of task framing in motor vs. non-motor context. In a first experiment, we designed an experience-based urn task with varying degrees of ambiguity and an equivalent motor task where subjects chose between hitting partially occluded targets. In a second experiment, we controlled for the different stimulus design in the two tasks by introducing an urn task with bar stimuli matching those in the motor task. We found ambiguity attitudes to be mainly influenced by stimulus design. In particular, we found that the same subjects tended to be ambiguity-preferring when choosing between ambiguous bar stimuli, but ambiguity-avoiding when choosing between ambiguous urn sample stimuli. In contrast, subjects’ choice pattern was not affected by changing from a target hitting task to a non-motor context when keeping the stimulus design unchanged. In both tasks subjects’ choice behavior was continuously modulated by the degree of ambiguity. We show that this modulation of behavior can be explained by an information-theoretic model of ambiguity that generalizes Bayes-optimal decision-making by combining Bayesian inference with robust decision-making under model uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the benefits of information-theoretic models of decision-making under varying degrees of ambiguity for a given context, but also demonstrate the sensitivity of ambiguity attitudes across contexts that theoretical models struggle to explain.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

2007


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A Tutorial on Spectral Clustering

von Luxburg, U.

Statistics and Computing, 17(4):395-416, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
In recent years, spectral clustering has become one of the most popular modern clustering algorithms. It is simple to implement, can be solved efficiently by standard linear algebra software, and very often outperforms traditional clustering algorithms such as the k-means algorithm. On the first glance spectral clustering appears slightly mysterious, and it is not obvious to see why it works at all and what it really does. The goal of this tutorial is to give some intuition on those questions. We describe different graph Laplacians and their basic properties, present the most common spectral clustering algorithms, and derive those algorithms from scratch by several different approaches. Advantages and disadvantages of the different spectral clustering algorithms are discussed.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

2007


PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A Tutorial on Kernel Methods for Categorization

Jäkel, F., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 51(6):343-358, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
The abilities to learn and to categorize are fundamental for cognitive systems, be it animals or machines, and therefore have attracted attention from engineers and psychologists alike. Modern machine learning methods and psychological models of categorization are remarkably similar, partly because these two fields share a common history in artificial neural networks and reinforcement learning. However, machine learning is now an independent and mature field that has moved beyond psychologically or neurally inspired algorithms towards providing foundations for a theory of learning that is rooted in statistics and functional analysis. Much of this research is potentially interesting for psychological theories of learning and categorization but also hardly accessible for psychologists. Here, we provide a tutorial introduction to a popular class of machine learning tools, called kernel methods. These methods are closely related to perceptrons, radial-basis-function neural networks and exemplar theories of catego rization. Recent theoretical advances in machine learning are closely tied to the idea that the similarity of patterns can be encapsulated in a positive definite kernel. Such a positive definite kernel can define a reproducing kernel Hilbert space which allows one to use powerful tools from functional analysis for the analysis of learning algorithms. We give basic explanations of some key concepts—the so-called kernel trick, the representer theorem and regularization—which may open up the possibility that insights from machine learning can feed back into psychology.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Accurate Splice site Prediction Using Support Vector Machines

Sonnenburg, S., Schweikert, G., Philips, P., Behr, J., Rätsch, G.

BMC Bioinformatics, 8(Supplement 10):1-16, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
Background: For splice site recognition, one has to solve two classification problems: discriminating true from decoy splice sites for both acceptor and donor sites. Gene finding systems typically rely on Markov Chains to solve these tasks. Results: In this work we consider Support Vector Machines for splice site recognition. We employ the so-called weighted degree kernel which turns out well suited for this task, as we will illustrate in several experiments where we compare its prediction accuracy with that of recently proposed systems. We apply our method to the genome-wide recognition of splice sites in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Arabidopsis thaliana, Danio rerio, and Homo sapiens. Our performance estimates indicate that splice sites can be recognized very accurately in these genomes and that our method outperforms many other methods including Markov Chains, GeneSplicer and SpliceMachine. We provide genome-wide predictions of splice sites and a stand-alone prediction tool ready to be used for incorporation in a gene finder. Availability: Data, splits, additional information on the model selection, the whole genome predictions, as well as the stand-alone prediction tool are available for download at http:// www.fml.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/splice.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Towards compliant humanoids: an experimental assessment of suitable task space position/orientation controllers

Nakanishi, J., Mistry, M., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In IROS 2007, 2007, pages: 2520-2527, (Editors: Grant, E. , T. C. Henderson), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, November 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Compliant control will be a prerequisite for humanoid robotics if these robots are supposed to work safely and robustly in human and/or dynamic environments. One view of compliant control is that a robot should control a minimal number of degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) directly, i.e., those relevant DOFs for the task, and keep the remaining DOFs maximally compliant, usually in the null space of the task. This view naturally leads to task space control. However, surprisingly few implementations of task space control can be found in actual humanoid robots. This paper makes a first step towards assessing the usefulness of task space controllers for humanoids by investigating which choices of controllers are available and what inherent control characteristics they have—this treatment will concern position and orientation control, where the latter is based on a quaternion formulation. Empirical evaluations on an anthropomorphic Sarcos master arm illustrate the robustness of the different controllers as well as the eas e of implementing and tuning them. Our extensive empirical results demonstrate that simpler task space controllers, e.g., classical resolved motion rate control or resolved acceleration control can be quite advantageous in face of inevitable modeling errors in model-based control, and that well chosen formulations are easy to implement and quite robust, such that they are useful for humanoids.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Performance Stabilization and Improvement in Graph-based Semi-supervised Learning with Ensemble Method and Graph Sharpening

Choi, I., Shin, H.

In Korean Data Mining Society Conference, pages: 257-262, Korean Data Mining Society, Seoul, Korea, Korean Data Mining Society Conference, November 2007 (inproceedings)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A unifying framework for robot control with redundant DOFs

Peters, J., Mistry, M., Udwadia, F., Nakanishi, J., Schaal, S.

Autonomous Robots, 24(1):1-12, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
Recently, Udwadia (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 2003:1783–1800, 2003) suggested to derive tracking controllers for mechanical systems with redundant degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) using a generalization of Gauss’ principle of least constraint. This method allows reformulating control problems as a special class of optimal controllers. In this paper, we take this line of reasoning one step further and demonstrate that several well-known and also novel nonlinear robot control laws can be derived from this generic methodology. We show experimental verifications on a Sarcos Master Arm robot for some of the derived controllers. The suggested approach offers a promising unification and simplification of nonlinear control law design for robots obeying rigid body dynamics equations, both with or without external constraints, with over-actuation or underactuation, as well as open-chain and closed-chain kinematics.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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The Need for Open Source Software in Machine Learning

Sonnenburg, S., Braun, M., Ong, C., Bengio, S., Bottou, L., Holmes, G., LeCun, Y., Müller, K., Pereira, F., Rasmussen, C., Rätsch, G., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A., Vincent, P., Weston, J., Williamson, R.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 8, pages: 2443-2466, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
Open source tools have recently reached a level of maturity which makes them suitable for building large-scale real-world systems. At the same time, the field of machine learning has developed a large body of powerful learning algorithms for diverse applications. However, the true potential of these methods is not realized, since existing implementations are not openly shared, resulting in software with low usability, and weak interoperability. We argue that this situation can be significantly improved by increasing incentives for researchers to publish their software under an open source model. Additionally, we outline the problems authors are faced with when trying to publish algorithmic implementations of machine learning methods. We believe that a resource of peer reviewed software accompanied by short articles would be highly valuable to both the machine learning and the general scientific community.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Discriminative Subsequence Mining for Action Classification

Nowozin, S., BakIr, G., Tsuda, K.

In ICCV 2007, pages: 1919-1923, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 11th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent approaches to action classification in videos have used sparse spatio-temporal words encoding local appearance around interesting movements. Most of these approaches use a histogram representation, discarding the temporal order among features. But this ordering information can contain important information about the action itself, e.g. consider the sport disciplines of hurdle race and long jump, where the global temporal order of motions (running, jumping) is important to discriminate between the two. In this work we propose to use a sequential representation which retains this temporal order. Further, we introduce Discriminative Subsequence Mining to find optimal discriminative subsequence patterns. In combination with the LPBoost classifier, this amounts to simultaneously learning a classification function and performing feature selection in the space of all possible feature sequences. The resulting classifier linearly combines a small number of interpretable decision functions, each checking for the presence of a single discriminative pattern. The classifier is benchmarked on the KTH action classification data set and outperforms the best known results in the literature.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Some observations on the masking effects of Mach bands

Curnow, T., Cowie, DA., Henning, GB., Hill, NJ.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 24(10):3233-3241, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
There are 8 cycle / deg ripples or oscillations in performance as a function of location near Mach bands in experiments measuring Mach bands’ masking effects on random polarity signal bars. The oscillations with increments are 180 degrees out of phase with those for decrements. The oscillations, much larger than the measurement error, appear to relate to the weighting function of the spatial-frequency-tuned channel detecting the broad- band signals. The ripples disappear with step maskers and become much smaller at durations below 25 ms, implying either that the site of masking has changed or that the weighting function and hence spatial-frequency tuning is slow to develop.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Hilbert Space Embedding for Distributions

Smola, A., Gretton, A., Song, L., Schölkopf, B.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4754 , pages: 13-31, (Editors: M Hutter and RA Servedio and E Takimoto), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT), October 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a technique for comparing distributions without the need for density estimation as an intermediate step. Our approach relies on mapping the distributions into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space. Applications of this technique can be found in two-sample tests, which are used for determining whether two sets of observations arise from the same distribution, covariate shift correction, local learning, measures of independence, and density estimation.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Cluster Identification in Nearest-Neighbor Graphs

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

In ALT 2007, pages: 196-210, (Editors: Hutter, M. , R. A. Servedio, E. Takimoto), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory, October 2007 (inproceedings)

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 PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Inducing Metric Violations in Human Similarity Judgements

Laub, J., Macke, J., Müller, K., Wichmann, F.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 777-784, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Attempting to model human categorization and similarity judgements is both a very interesting but also an exceedingly difficult challenge. Some of the difficulty arises because of conflicting evidence whether human categorization and similarity judgements should or should not be modelled as to operate on a mental representation that is essentially metric. Intuitively, this has a strong appeal as it would allow (dis)similarity to be represented geometrically as distance in some internal space. Here we show how a single stimulus, carefully constructed in a psychophysical experiment, introduces l2 violations in what used to be an internal similarity space that could be adequately modelled as Euclidean. We term this one influential data point a conflictual judgement. We present an algorithm of how to analyse such data and how to identify the crucial point. Thus there may not be a strict dichotomy between either a metric or a non-metric internal space but rather degrees to which potentially large subsets of stimuli are represented metrically with a small subset causing a global violation of metricity.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Cross-Validation Optimization for Large Scale Hierarchical Classification Kernel Methods

Seeger, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1233-1240, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a highly efficient framework for kernel multi-class models with a large and structured set of classes. Kernel parameters are learned automatically by maximizing the cross-validation log likelihood, and predictive probabilities are estimated. We demonstrate our approach on large scale text classification tasks with hierarchical class structure, achieving state-of-the-art results in an order of magnitude less time than previous work.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Local Learning Approach for Clustering

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1529-1536, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a local learning approach for clustering. The basic idea is that a good clustering result should have the property that the cluster label of each data point can be well predicted based on its neighboring data and their cluster labels, using current supervised learning methods. An optimization problem is formulated such that its solution has the above property. Relaxation and eigen-decomposition are applied to solve this optimization problem. We also briefly investigate the parameter selection issue and provide a simple parameter selection method for the proposed algorithm. Experimental results are provided to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Mining complex genotypic features for predicting HIV-1 drug resistance

Saigo, H., Uno, T., Tsuda, K.

Bioinformatics, 23(18):2455-2462, September 2007 (article)

Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolves in human body, and its exposure to a drug often causes mutations that enhance the resistance against the drug. To design an effective pharmacotherapy for an individual patient, it is important to accurately predict the drug resistance based on genotype data. Notably, the resistance is not just the simple sum of the effects of all mutations. Structural biological studies suggest that the association of mutations is crucial: Even if mutations A or B alone do not affect the resistance, a significant change might happen when the two mutations occur together. Linear regression methods cannot take the associations into account, while decision tree methods can reveal only limited associations. Kernel methods and neural networks implicitly use all possible associations for prediction, but cannot select salient associations explicitly. Our method, itemset boosting, performs linear regression in the complete space of power sets of mutations. It implements a forward feature selection procedure where, in each iteration, one mutation combination is found by an efficient branch-and-bound search. This method uses all possible combinations, and salient associations are explicitly shown. In experiments, our method worked particularly well for predicting the resistance of nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Furthermore, it successfully recovered many mutation associations known in biological literature.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Branch and Bound for Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines

Chapelle, O., Sindhwani, V., Keerthi, S.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 217-224, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Semi-supervised SVMs (S3VMs) attempt to learn low-density separators by maximizing the margin over labeled and unlabeled examples. The associated optimization problem is non-convex. To examine the full potential of S3VMs modulo local minima problems in current implementations, we apply branch and bound techniques for obtaining exact, globally optimal solutions. Empirical evidence suggests that the globally optimal solution can return excellent generalization performance in situations where other implementations fail completely. While our current implementation is only applicable to small datasets, we discuss variants that can potentially lead to practically useful algorithms.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-Sample-Problem

Gretton, A., Borgwardt, K., Rasch, M., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 513-520, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose two statistical tests to determine if two samples are from different distributions. Our test statistic is in both cases the distance between the means of the two samples mapped into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). The first test is based on a large deviation bound for the test statistic, while the second is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. The test statistic can be computed in $O(m^2)$ time. We apply our approach to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where our test performs strongly. We also demonstrate excellent performance when comparing distributions over graphs, for which no alternative tests currently exist.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Efficient Method for Gradient-Based Adaptation of Hyperparameters in SVM Models

Keerthi, S., Sindhwani, V., Chapelle, O.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 673-680, (Editors: Schölkopf, B. , J. Platt, T. Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Twentieth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the task of tuning hyperparameters in SVM models based on minimizing a smooth performance validation function, e.g., smoothed k-fold cross-validation error, using non-linear optimization techniques. The key computation in this approach is that of the gradient of the validation function with respect to hyperparameters. We show that for large-scale problems involving a wide choice of kernel-based models and validation functions, this computation can be very efficiently done; often within just a fraction of the training time. Empirical results show that a near-optimal set of hyperparameters can be identified by our approach with very few training rounds and gradient computations.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Dense 3D Correspondence

Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B., Blanz, V.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, pages: 1313-1320, (Editors: B Schölkopf and J Platt and T Hofmann), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 20th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Establishing correspondence between distinct objects is an important and nontrivial task: correctness of the correspondence hinges on properties which are difficult to capture in an a priori criterion. While previous work has used a priori criteria which in some cases led to very good results, the present paper explores whether it is possible to learn a combination of features that, for a given training set of aligned human heads, characterizes the notion of correct correspondence. By optimizing this criterion, we are then able to compute correspondence and morphs for novel heads.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]