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2016


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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)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

2016


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]


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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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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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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]


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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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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]

2009


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Efficient Subwindow Search: A Branch and Bound Framework for Object Localization

Lampert, C., Blaschko, M., Hofmann, T.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 31(12):2129-2142, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
Most successful object recognition systems rely on binary classification, deciding only if an object is present or not, but not providing information on the actual object location. To estimate the object‘s location, one can take a sliding window approach, but this strongly increases the computational cost because the classifier or similarity function has to be evaluated over a large set of candidate subwindows. In this paper, we propose a simple yet powerful branch and bound scheme that allows efficient maximization of a large class of quality functions over all possible subimages. It converges to a globally optimal solution typically in linear or even sublinear time, in contrast to the quadratic scaling of exhaustive or sliding window search. We show how our method is applicable to different object detection and image retrieval scenarios. The achieved speedup allows the use of classifiers for localization that formerly were considered too slow for this task, such as SVMs with a spatial pyramid kernel or nearest-neighbor classifiers based on the chi^2 distance. We demonstrate state-of-the-art localization performance of the resulting systems on the UIUC Cars data set, the PASCAL VOC 2006 data set, and in the PASCAL VOC 2007 competition.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2009


PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A computational model of human table tennis for robot application

Mülling, K., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 57-64, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Table tennis is a difficult motor skill which requires all basic components of a general motor skill learning system. In order to get a step closer to such a generic approach to the automatic acquisition and refinement of table tennis, we study table tennis from a human motor control point of view. We make use of the basic models of discrete human movement phases, virtual hitting points, and the operational timing hypothesis. Using these components, we create a computational model which is aimed at reproducing human-like behavior. We verify the functionality of this model in a physically realistic simulation of a BarrettWAM.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Generation of three-dimensional random rotations in fitting and matching problems

Habeck, M.

Computational Statistics, 24(4):719-731, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
An algorithm is developed to generate random rotations in three-dimensional space that follow a probability distribution arising in fitting and matching problems. The rotation matrices are orthogonally transformed into an optimal basis and then parameterized using Euler angles. The conditional distributions of the three Euler angles have a very simple form: the two azimuthal angles can be decoupled by sampling their sum and difference from a von Mises distribution; the cosine of the polar angle is exponentially distributed and thus straighforward to generate. Simulation results are shown and demonstrate the effectiveness of the method. The algorithm is compared to other methods for generating random rotations such as a random walk Metropolis scheme and a Gibbs sampling algorithm recently introduced by Green and Mardia. Finally, the algorithm is applied to a probabilistic version of the Procrustes problem of fitting two point sets and applied in the context of protein structure superposition.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Adaptive Importance Sampling for Value Function Approximation in Off-policy Reinforcement Learning

Hachiya, H., Akiyama, T., Sugiyama, M., Peters, J.

Neural Networks, 22(10):1399-1410, December 2009 (article)

Abstract
Off-policy reinforcement learning is aimed at efficiently using data samples gathered from a policy that is different from the currently optimized policy. A common approach is to use importance sampling techniques for compensating for the bias of value function estimators caused by the difference between the data-sampling policy and the target policy. However, existing off-policy methods often do not take the variance of the value function estimators explicitly into account and therefore their performance tends to be unstable. To cope with this problem, we propose using an adaptive importance sampling technique which allows us to actively control the trade-off between bias and variance. We further provide a method for optimally determining the trade-off parameter based on a variant of cross-validation. We demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed approach through simulations.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Approach to Formulation of Clustering Objectives

Seldin, Y., Tishby, N.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2009 Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop "Clustering: Science or Art? Towards Principled Approaches", December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Clustering is a widely used tool for exploratory data analysis. However, the theoretical understanding of clustering is very limited. We still do not have a well-founded answer to the seemingly simple question of “how many clusters are present in the data?”, and furthermore a formal comparison of clusterings based on different optimization objectives is far beyond our abilities. The lack of good theoretical support gives rise to multiple heuristics that confuse the practitioners and stall development of the field. We suggest that the ill-posed nature of clustering problems is caused by the fact that clustering is often taken out of its subsequent application context. We argue that one does not cluster the data just for the sake of clustering it, but rather to facilitate the solution of some higher level task. By evaluation of the clustering’s contribution to the solution of the higher level task it is possible to compare different clusterings, even those obtained by different optimization objectives. In the preceding work it was shown that such an approach can be applied to evaluation and design of co-clustering solutions. Here we suggest that this approach can be extended to other settings, where clustering is applied.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Notes on Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning: Submodularity, Sparsity & Polyhedra (DISCML), December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Generalizing the cost in the standard min-cut problem to a submodular cost function immediately makes the problem harder. Not only do we prove NP hardness even for nonnegative submodular costs, but also show a lower bound of (|V |1/3) on the approximation factor for the (s, t) cut version of the problem. On the positive side, we propose and compare three approximation algorithms with an overall approximation factor of O(min{|V |,p|E| log |V |}) that appear to do well in practice.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Guest editorial: special issue on structured prediction

Parker, C., Altun, Y., Tadepalli, P.

Machine Learning, 77(2-3):161-164, December 2009 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Structured prediction by joint kernel support estimation

Lampert, CH., Blaschko, MB.

Machine Learning, 77(2-3):249-269, December 2009 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Learning new basic Movements for Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

In AMS 2009, pages: 105-112, (Editors: Dillmann, R. , J. Beyerer, C. Stiller, M. Zöllner, T. Gindele), Springer, Berlin, Germany, Autonome Mobile Systeme, December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Obtaining novel skills is one of the most important problems in robotics. Machine learning techniques may be a promising approach for automatic and autonomous acquisition of movement policies. However, this requires both an appropriate policy representation and suitable learning algorithms. Employing the most recent form of the dynamical systems motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. [1], we show how both discrete and rhythmic tasks can be learned using a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning, and present our current best performing learning algorithms. Finally, we show that it is possible to include a start-up phase in rhythmic primitives. We apply our approach to two elementary movements, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup and Ball-Paddling, which can be learned on a real Barrett WAM robot arm at a pace similar to human learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of 7ème Journées Nationales de la Recherche en Robotique, pages: 189-195, JNRR, November 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside well-structured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. We focus here on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This contribution provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the related book chapters to the corresponding research topics.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A note on ethical aspects of BCI

Haselager, P., Vlek, R., Hill, J., Nijboer, F.

Neural Networks, 22(9):1352-1357, November 2009 (article)

Abstract
This paper focuses on ethical aspects of BCI, as a research and a clinical tool, that are challenging for practitioners currently working in the field. Specifically, the difficulties involved in acquiring informed consent from locked-in patients are investigated, in combination with an analysis of the shared moral responsibility in BCI teams, and the complications encountered in establishing effective communication with media.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Model Learning with Local Gaussian Process Regression

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

Advanced Robotics, 23(15):2015-2034, November 2009 (article)

Abstract
Precise models of robot inverse dynamics allow the design of significantly more accurate, energy-efficient and compliant robot control. However, in some cases the accuracy of rigid-body models does not suffice for sound control performance due to unmodeled nonlinearities arising from hydraulic cable dynamics, complex friction or actuator dynamics. In such cases, estimating the inverse dynamics model from measured data poses an interesting alternative. Nonparametric regression methods, such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) or locally weighted projection regression (LWPR), are not as restrictive as parametric models and, thus, offer a more flexible framework for approximating unknown nonlinearities. In this paper, we propose a local approximation to the standard GPR, called local GPR (LGP), for real-time model online learning by combining the strengths of both regression methods, i.e., the high accuracy of GPR and the fast speed of LWPR. The approach is shown to have competitive learning performance for hig h-dimensional data while being sufficiently fast for real-time learning. The effectiveness of LGP is exhibited by a comparison with the state-of-the-art regression techniques, such as GPR, LWPR and ν-support vector regression. The applicability of the proposed LGP method is demonstrated by real-time online learning of the inverse dynamics model for robot model-based control on a Barrett WAM robot arm.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Detecting Objects in Large Image Collections and Videos by Efficient Subimage Retrieval

Lampert, CH.

In ICCV 2009, pages: 987-994, IEEE Computer Society, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Twelfth IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the task of detecting the occurrence of objects in large image collections or in videos, a problem that combines aspects of content based image retrieval and object localization. While most previous approaches are either limited to special kinds of queries, or do not scale to large image sets, we propose a new method, efficient subimage retrieval (ESR), which is at the same time very flexible and very efficient. Relying on a two-layered branch-and-bound setup, ESR performs object-based image retrieval in sets of 100,000 or more images within seconds. An extensive evaluation on several datasets shows that ESR is not only very fast, but it also achieves detection accuracies that are on par with or superior to previously published methods for object-based image retrieval.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring textual entailment with a probabilistically sound calculus

Harmeling, S.

Natural Language Engineering, 15(4):459-477, October 2009 (article)

Abstract
We introduce a system for textual entailment that is based on a probabilistic model of entailment. The model is defined using a calculus of transformations on dependency trees, which is characterized by the fact that derivations in that calculus preserve the truth only with a certain probability. The calculus is successfully evaluated on the datasets of the PASCAL Challenge on Recognizing Textual Entailment.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Modeling and Visualizing Uncertainty in Gene Expression Clusters using Dirichlet Process Mixtures

Rasmussen, CE., de la Cruz, BJ., Ghahramani, Z., Wild, DL.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 6(4):615-628, October 2009 (article)

Abstract
Although the use of clustering methods has rapidly become one of the standard computational approaches in the literature of microarray gene expression data, little attention has been paid to uncertainty in the results obtained. Dirichlet process mixture models provide a non-parametric Bayesian alternative to the bootstrap approach to modeling uncertainty in gene expression clustering. Most previously published applications of Bayesian model based clustering methods have been to short time series data. In this paper we present a case study of the application of non-parametric Bayesian clustering methods to the clustering of high-dimensional non-time series gene expression data using full Gaussian covariances. We use the probability that two genes belong to the same cluster in a Dirichlet process mixture model as a measure of the similarity of these gene expression profiles. Conversely, this probability can be used to define a dissimilarity measure, which, for the purposes of visualization, can be input to one of the standard linkage algorithms used for hierarchical clustering. Biologically plausible results are obtained from the Rosetta compendium of expression profiles which extend previously published cluster analyses of this data.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A new non-monotonic algorithm for PET image reconstruction

Sra, S., Kim, D., Dhillon, I., Schölkopf, B.

In IEEE - Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record (NSS/MIC), 2009, pages: 2500-2502, (Editors: B Yu), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Maximizing some form of Poisson likelihood (either with or without penalization) is central to image reconstruction algorithms in emission tomography. In this paper we introduce NMML, a non-monotonic algorithm for maximum likelihood PET image reconstruction. NMML offers a simple and flexible procedure that also easily incorporates standard convex regular-ization for doing penalized likelihood estimation. A vast number image reconstruction algorithms have been developed for PET, and new ones continue to be designed. Among these, methods based on the expectation maximization (EM) and ordered-subsets (OS) framework seem to have enjoyed the greatest popularity. Our method NMML differs fundamentally from methods based on EM: i) it does not depend on the concept of optimization transfer (or surrogate functions); and ii) it is a rapidly converging nonmonotonic descent procedure. The greatest strengths of NMML, however, are its simplicity, efficiency, and scalability, which make it especially attractive for tomograph ic reconstruction. We provide a theoretical analysis NMML, and empirically observe it to outperform standard EM based methods, sometimes by orders of magnitude. NMML seamlessly allows integreation of penalties (regularizers) in the likelihood. This ability can prove to be crucial, especially because with the rapidly rising importance of combined PET/MR scanners, one will want to include more “prior” knowledge into the reconstruction.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Tensor Clustering

Jegelka, S., Sra, S., Banerjee, A.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory: 20th International Conference, pages: 368-383, (Editors: Gavalda, R. , G. Lugosi, T. Zeugmann, S. Zilles), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ALT, October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present the first (to our knowledge) approximation algo- rithm for tensor clustering—a powerful generalization to basic 1D clustering. Tensors are increasingly common in modern applications dealing with complex heterogeneous data and clustering them is a fundamental tool for data analysis and pattern discovery. Akin to their 1D cousins, common tensor clustering formulations are NP-hard to optimize. But, unlike the 1D case no approximation algorithms seem to be known. We address this imbalance and build on recent co-clustering work to derive a tensor clustering algorithm with approximation guarantees, allowing metrics and divergences (e.g., Bregman) as objective functions. Therewith, we answer two open questions by Anagnostopoulos et al. (2008). Our analysis yields a constant approximation factor independent of data size; a worst-case example shows this factor to be tight for Euclidean co-clustering. However, empirically the approximation factor is observed to be conservative, so our method can also be used in practice.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Active learning using mean shift optimization for robot grasping

Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Piater, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 2610-2615, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
When children learn to grasp a new object, they often know several possible grasping points from observing a parent‘s demonstration and subsequently learn better grasps by trial and error. From a machine learning point of view, this process is an active learning approach. In this paper, we present a new robot learning framework for reproducing this ability in robot grasping. For doing so, we chose a straightforward approach: first, the robot observes a few good grasps by demonstration and learns a value function for these grasps using Gaussian process regression. Subsequently, it chooses grasps which are optimal with respect to this value function using a mean-shift optimization approach, and tries them out on the real system. Upon every completed trial, the value function is updated, and in the following trials it is more likely to choose even better grasping points. This method exhibits fast learning due to the data-efficiency of Gaussian process regression framework and the fact th at t he mean-shift method provides maxima of this cost function. Experiments were repeatedly carried out successfully on a real robot system. After less than sixty trials, our system has adapted its grasping policy to consistently exhibit successful grasps.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse online model learning for robot control with support vector regression

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), pages: 3121-3126, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The increasing complexity of modern robots makes it prohibitively hard to accurately model such systems as required by many applications. In such cases, machine learning methods offer a promising alternative for approximating such models using measured data. To date, high computational demands have largely restricted machine learning techniques to mostly offline applications. However, making the robots adaptive to changes in the dynamics and to cope with unexplored areas of the state space requires online learning. In this paper, we propose an approximation of the support vector regression (SVR) by sparsification based on the linear independency of training data. As a result, we obtain a method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques, such as nu-SVR, Gaussian process regression (GPR) and locally weighted projection regression (LWPR).

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Thermodynamic efficiency of information and heat flow

Allahverdyan, A., Janzing, D., Mahler, G.

Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2009(09):P09011, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
A basic task of information processing is information transfer (flow). P0 Here we study a pair of Brownian particles each coupled to a thermal bath at temperatures T1 and T2 . The information flow in such a system is defined via the time-shifted mutual information. The information flow nullifies at equilibrium, and its efficiency is defined as the ratio of the flow to the total entropy production in the system. For a stationary state the information flows from higher to lower temperatures, and its efficiency is bounded from above by (max[T1 , T2 ])/(|T1 − T2 |). This upper bound is imposed by the second law and it quantifies the thermodynamic cost for information flow in the present class of systems. It can be reached in the adiabatic situation, where the particles have widely different characteristic times. The efficiency of heat flow—defined as the heat flow over the total amount of dissipated heat—is limited from above by the same factor. There is a complementarity between heat and information flow: the set-up which is most efficient for the former is the least efficient for the latter and vice versa. The above bound for the efficiency can be (transiently) overcome in certain non-stationary situations, but the efficiency is still limited from above. We study yet another measure of information processing (transfer entropy) proposed in the literature. Though this measure does not require any thermodynamic cost, the information flow and transfer entropy are shown to be intimately related for stationary states.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Does Cognitive Science Need Kernels?

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

Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(9):381-388, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Kernel methods are among the most successful tools in machine learning and are used in challenging data analysis problems in many disciplines. Here we provide examples where kernel methods have proven to be powerful tools for analyzing behavioral data, especially for identifying features in categorization experiments. We also demonstrate that kernel methods relate to perceptrons and exemplar models of categorization. Hence, we argue that kernel methods have neural and psychological plausibility, and theoretical results concerning their behavior are therefore potentially relevant for human category learning. In particular, we believe kernel methods have the potential to provide explanations ranging from the implementational via the algorithmic to the computational level.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Implicit Wiener Series Analysis of Epileptic Seizure Recordings

Barbero, A., Franz, M., Drongelen, W., Dorronsoro, J., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In EMBC 2009, pages: 5304-5307, (Editors: Y Kim and B He and G Worrell and X Pan), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Implicit Wiener series are a powerful tool to build Volterra representations of time series with any degree of nonlinearity. A natural question is then whether higher order representations yield more useful models. In this work we shall study this question for ECoG data channel relationships in epileptic seizure recordings, considering whether quadratic representations yield more accurate classifiers than linear ones. To do so we first show how to derive statistical information on the Volterra coefficient distribution and how to construct seizure classification patterns over that information. As our results illustrate, a quadratic model seems to provide no advantages over a linear one. Nevertheless, we shall also show that the interpretability of the implicit Wiener series provides insights into the inter-channel relationships of the recordings.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Incorporating Prior Knowledge on Class Probabilities into Local Similarity Measures for Intermodality Image Registration

Hofmann, M., Schölkopf, B., Bezrukov, I., Cahill, N.

In Proceedings of the MICCAI 2009 Workshop on Probabilistic Models for Medical Image Analysis , pages: 220-231, (Editors: W Wells and S Joshi and K Pohl), PMMIA, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a methodology for incorporating prior knowledge on class probabilities into the registration process. By using knowledge from the imaging modality, pre-segmentations, and/or probabilistic atlases, we construct vectors of class probabilities for each image voxel. By defining new image similarity measures for distribution-valued images, we show how the class probability images can be nonrigidly registered in a variational framework. An experiment on nonrigid registration of MR and CT full-body scans illustrates that the proposed technique outperforms standard mutual information (MI) and normalized mutual information (NMI) based registration techniques when measured in terms of target registration error (TRE) of manually labeled fiducials.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Markerless 3D Face Tracking (DAGM 2009)

Walder, C., Breidt, M., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B., Curio, C.

In Pattern Recognition, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5748 , pages: 41-50, (Editors: J Denzler and G Notni and H Süsse), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 31st Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a novel algorithm for the markerless tracking of deforming surfaces such as faces. We acquire a sequence of 3D scans along with color images at 40Hz. The data is then represented by implicit surface and color functions, using a novel partition-of-unity type method of efficiently combining local regressors using nearest neighbor searches. Both these functions act on the 4D space of 3D plus time, and use temporal information to handle the noise in individual scans. After interactive registration of a template mesh to the first frame, it is then automatically deformed to track the scanned surface, using the variation of both shape and color as features in a dynamic energy minimization problem. Our prototype system yields high-quality animated 3D models in correspondence, at a rate of approximately twenty seconds per timestep. Tracking results for faces and other objects are presented.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Robot Learning

Peters, J., Morimoto, J., Tedrake, R., Roy, N.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 16(3):19-20, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Creating autonomous robots that can learn to act in unpredictable environments has been a long-standing goal of robotics, artificial intelligence, and the cognitive sciences. In contrast, current commercially available industrial and service robots mostly execute fixed tasks and exhibit little adaptability. To bridge this gap, machine learning offers a myriad set of methods, some of which have already been applied with great success to robotics problems. As a result, there is an increasing interest in machine learning and statistics within the robotics community. At the same time, there has been a growth in the learning community in using robots as motivating applications for new algorithms and formalisms. Considerable evidence of this exists in the use of learning in high-profile competitions such as RoboCup and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges, and the growing number of research programs funded by governments around the world.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Object Localization with Global and Local Context Kernels

Blaschko, M., Lampert, C.

In British Machine Vision Conference 2009, pages: 1-11, BMVC, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent research has shown that the use of contextual cues significantly improves performance in sliding window type localization systems. In this work, we propose a method that incorporates both global and local context information through appropriately defined kernel functions. In particular, we make use of a weighted combination of kernels defined over local spatial regions, as well as a global context kernel. The relative importance of the context contributions is learned automatically, and the resulting discriminant function is of a form such that localization at test time can be solved efficiently using a branch and bound optimization scheme. By specifying context directly with a kernel learning approach, we achieve high localization accuracy with a simple and efficient representation. This is in contrast to other systems that incorporate context for which expensive inference needs to be done at test time. We show experimentally on the PASCAL VOC datasets that the inclusion of context can significantly improve localization performance, provided the relative contributions of context cues are learned appropriately.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Efficient Sample Reuse in EM-Based Policy Search

Hachiya, H., Peters, J., Sugiyama, M.

In 16th European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, pages: 469-484, (Editors: Buntine, W. , M. Grobelnik, D. Mladenic, J. Shawe-Taylor), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Direct policy search is a promising reinforcement learning framework in particular for controlling in continuous, high-dimensional systems such as anthropomorphic robots. Policy search often requires a large number of samples for obtaining a stable policy update estimator due to its high flexibility. However, this is prohibitive when the sampling cost is expensive. In this paper, we extend a EM-based policy search method so that previously collected samples can be efficiently reused. The usefulness of the proposed method, called Reward-weighted Regression with sample Reuse, is demonstrated through a robot learning experiment.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]