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2003


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Introduction: Robots with Cognition?

Franz, MO.

6, pages: 38, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot, R. Ulrich, F.A. Wichmann), 6. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2003 (talk)

Abstract
Using robots as models of cognitive behaviour has a long tradition in robotics. Parallel to the historical development in cognitive science, one observes two major, subsequent waves in cognitive robotics. The first is based on ideas of classical, cognitivist Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the AI view of cognition as rule-based symbol manipulation, these robots typically try to extract symbolic descriptions of the environment from their sensors that are used to update a common, global world representation from which, in turn, the next action of the robot is derived. The AI approach has been successful in strongly restricted and controlled environments requiring well-defined tasks, e.g. in industrial assembly lines. AI-based robots mostly failed, however, in the unpredictable and unstructured environments that have to be faced by mobile robots. This has provoked the second wave in cognitive robotics which tries to achieve cognitive behaviour as an emergent property from the interaction of simple, low-level modules. Robots of the second wave are called animats as their architecture is designed to closely model aspects of real animals. Using only simple reactive mechanisms and Hebbian-type or evolutionary learning, the resulting animats often outperformed the highly complex AI-based robots in tasks such as obstacle avoidance, corridor following etc. While successful in generating robust, insect-like behaviour, typical animats are limited to stereotyped, fixed stimulus-response associations. If one adopts the view that cognition requires a flexible, goal-dependent choice of behaviours and planning capabilities (H.A. Mallot, Kognitionswissenschaft, 1999, 40-48) then it appears that cognitive behaviour cannot emerge from a collection of purely reactive modules. It rather requires environmentally decoupled structures that work without directly engaging the actions that it is concerned with. This poses the current challenge to cognitive robotics: How can we build cognitive robots that show the robustness and the learning capabilities of animats without falling back into the representational paradigm of AI? The speakers of the symposium present their approaches to this question in the context of robot navigation and sensorimotor learning. In the first talk, Prof. Helge Ritter introduces a robot system for imitation learning capable of exploring various alternatives in simulation before actually performing a task. The second speaker, Angelo Arleo, develops a model of spatial memory in rat navigation based on his electrophysiological experiments. He validates the model on a mobile robot which, in some navigation tasks, shows a performance comparable to that of the real rat. A similar model of spatial memory is used to investigate the mechanisms of territory formation in a series of robot experiments presented by Prof. Hanspeter Mallot. In the last talk, we return to the domain of sensorimotor learning where Ralf M{\"o}ller introduces his approach to generate anticipatory behaviour by learning forward models of sensorimotor relationships.

ei

Web [BibTex]

2003


Web [BibTex]


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An Introduction to Variable and Feature Selection.

Guyon, I., Elisseeff, A.

Journal of Machine Learning, 3, pages: 1157-1182, 2003 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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New Approaches to Statistical Learning Theory

Bousquet, O.

Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 55(2):371-389, 2003 (article)

Abstract
We present new tools from probability theory that can be applied to the analysis of learning algorithms. These tools allow to derive new bounds on the generalization performance of learning algorithms and to propose alternative measures of the complexity of the learning task, which in turn can be used to derive new learning algorithms.

ei

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Computational approaches to motor learning by imitation

Schaal, S., Ijspeert, A., Billard, A.

Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society of London: Series B, Biological Sciences, 358(1431):537-547, 2003, clmc (article)

Abstract
Movement imitation requires a complex set of mechanisms that map an observed movement of a teacher onto one's own movement apparatus. Relevant problems include movement recognition, pose estimation, pose tracking, body correspondence, coordinate transformation from external to egocentric space, matching of observed against previously learned movement, resolution of redundant degrees-of-freedom that are unconstrained by the observation, suitable movement representations for imitation, modularization of motor control, etc. All of these topics by themselves are active research problems in computational and neurobiological sciences, such that their combination into a complete imitation system remains a daunting undertaking - indeed, one could argue that we need to understand the complete perception-action loop. As a strategy to untangle the complexity of imitation, this paper will examine imitation purely from a computational point of view, i.e. we will review statistical and mathematical approaches that have been suggested for tackling parts of the imitation problem, and discuss their merits, disadvantages and underlying principles. Given the focus on action recognition of other contributions in this special issue, this paper will primarily emphasize the motor side of imitation, assuming that a perceptual system has already identified important features of a demonstrated movement and created their corresponding spatial information. Based on the formalization of motor control in terms of control policies and their associated performance criteria, useful taxonomies of imitation learning can be generated that clarify different approaches and future research directions.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2001


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Regularized principal manifolds

Smola, A., Mika, S., Schölkopf, B., Williamson, R.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 1, pages: 179-209, June 2001 (article)

Abstract
Many settings of unsupervised learning can be viewed as quantization problems - the minimization of the expected quantization error subject to some restrictions. This allows the use of tools such as regularization from the theory of (supervised) risk minimization for unsupervised learning. This setting turns out to be closely related to principal curves, the generative topographic map, and robust coding. We explore this connection in two ways: (1) we propose an algorithm for finding principal manifolds that can be regularized in a variety of ways; and (2) we derive uniform convergence bounds and hence bounds on the learning rates of the algorithm. In particular, we give bounds on the covering numbers which allows us to obtain nearly optimal learning rates for certain types of regularization operators. Experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2001


PDF [BibTex]


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The psychometric function: II. Bootstrap-based confidence intervals and sampling

Wichmann, F., Hill, N.

Perception and Psychophysics, 63 (8), pages: 1314-1329, 2001 (article)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The psychometric function: I. Fitting, sampling and goodness-of-fit

Wichmann, F., Hill, N.

Perception and Psychophysics, 63 (8), pages: 1293-1313, 2001 (article)

Abstract
The psychometric function relates an observer'sperformance to an independent variable, usually some physical quantity of a stimulus in a psychophysical task. This paper, together with its companion paper (Wichmann & Hill, 2001), describes an integrated approach to (1) fitting psychometric functions, (2) assessing the goodness of fit, and (3) providing confidence intervals for the function'sparameters and other estimates derived from them, for the purposes of hypothesis testing. The present paper deals with the first two topics, describing a constrained maximum-likelihood method of parameter estimation and developing several goodness-of-fit tests. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we deal with two specific difficulties that arise when fitting functions to psychophysical data. First, we note that human observers are prone to stimulus-independent errors (or lapses ). We show that failure to account for this can lead to serious biases in estimates of the psychometric function'sparameters and illustrate how the problem may be overcome. Second, we note that psychophysical data sets are usually rather small by the standards required by most of the commonly applied statistical tests. We demonstrate the potential errors of applying traditional X^2 methods to psychophysical data and advocate use of Monte Carlo resampling techniques that do not rely on asymptotic theory. We have made available the software to implement our methods

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Markovian domain fingerprinting: statistical segmentation of protein sequences

Bejerano, G., Seldin, Y., Margalit, H., Tishby, N.

Bioinformatics, 17(10):927-934, 2001 (article)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Synchronized robot drumming by neural oscillator

Kotosaka, S., Schaal, S.

Journal of the Robotics Society of Japan, 19(1):116-123, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
Sensory-motor integration is one of the key issues in robotics. In this paper, we propose an approach to rhythmic arm movement control that is synchronized with an external signal based on exploiting a simple neural oscillator network. Trajectory generation by the neural oscillator is a biologically inspired method that can allow us to generate a smooth and continuous trajectory. The parameter tuning of the oscillators is used to generate a synchronized movement with wide intervals. We adopted the method for the drumming task as an example task. By using this method, the robot can realize synchronized drumming with wide drumming intervals in real time. The paper also shows the experimental results of drumming by a humanoid robot.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Origins and violations of the 2/3 power law in rhythmic 3D movements

Schaal, S., Sternad, D.

Experimental Brain Research, 136, pages: 60-72, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
The 2/3 power law, the nonlinear relationship between tangential velocity and radius of curvature of the endeffector trajectory, has been suggested as a fundamental constraint of the central nervous system in the formation of rhythmic endpoint trajectories. However, studies on the 2/3 power law have largely been confined to planar drawing patterns of relatively small size. With the hypothesis that this strategy overlooks nonlinear effects that are constitutive in movement generation, the present experiments tested the validity of the power law in elliptical patterns which were not confined to a planar surface and which were performed by the unconstrained 7-DOF arm with significant variations in pattern size and workspace orientation. Data were recorded from five human subjects where the seven joint angles and the endpoint trajectories were analyzed. Additionally, an anthropomorphic 7-DOF robot arm served as a "control subject" whose endpoint trajectories were generated on the basis of the human joint angle data, modeled as simple harmonic oscillations. Analyses of the endpoint trajectories demonstrate that the power law is systematically violated with increasing pattern size, in both exponent and the goodness of fit. The origins of these violations can be explained analytically based on smooth rhythmic trajectory formation and the kinematic structure of the human arm. We conclude that in unconstrained rhythmic movements, the power law seems to be a by-product of a movement system that favors smooth trajectories, and that it is unlikely to serve as a primary movement generating principle. Our data rather suggests that subjects employed smooth oscillatory pattern generators in joint space to realize the required movement patterns.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Graph-matching vs. entropy-based methods for object detection
Neural Networks, 14(3):345-354, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
Labeled Graph Matching (LGM) has been shown successful in numerous ob-ject vision tasks. This method is the basis for arguably the best face recognition system in the world. We present an algorithm for visual pattern recognition that is an extension of LGM ("LGM+"). We compare the performance of LGM and LGM+ algorithms with a state of the art statistical method based on Mutual Information Maximization (MIM). We present an adaptation of the MIM method for multi-dimensional Gabor wavelet features. The three pattern recognition methods were evaluated on an object detection task, using a set of stimuli on which none of the methods had been tested previously. The results indicate that while the performance of the MIM method operating upon Gabor wavelets is superior to the same method operating on pixels and to LGM, it is surpassed by LGM+. LGM+ offers a significant improvement in performance over LGM without losing LGMâ??s virtues of simplicity, biological plausibility, and a computational cost that is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than that of the MIM algorithm. 

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Biomimetic gaze stabilization based on feedback-error learning with nonparametric regression networks

Shibata, T., Schaal, S.

Neural Networks, 14(2):201-216, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
Oculomotor control in a humanoid robot faces similar problems as biological oculomotor systems, i.e. the stabilization of gaze in face of unknown perturbations of the body, selective attention, stereo vision, and dealing with large information processing delays. Given the nonlinearities of the geometry of binocular vision as well as the possible nonlinearities of the oculomotor plant, it is desirable to accomplish accurate control of these behaviors through learning approaches. This paper develops a learning control system for the phylogenetically oldest behaviors of oculomotor control, the stabilization reflexes of gaze. In a step-wise procedure, we demonstrate how control theoretic reasonable choices of control components result in an oculomotor control system that resembles the known functional anatomy of the primate oculomotor system. The core of the learning system is derived from the biologically inspired principle of feedback-error learning combined with a state-of-the-art non-parametric statistical learning network. With this circuitry, we demonstrate that our humanoid robot is able to acquire high performance visual stabilization reflexes after about 40 s of learning despite significant nonlinearities and processing delays in the system.

am

link (url) [BibTex]


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Fast learning of biomimetic oculomotor control with nonparametric regression networks (in Japanese)

Shibata, T., Schaal, S.

Journal of the Robotics Society of Japan, 19(4):468-479, 2001, clmc (article)

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bouncing a ball: Tuning into dynamic stability

Sternad, D., Duarte, M., Katsumata, H., Schaal, S.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(5):1163-1184, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
Rhythmically bouncing a ball with a racket was investigated and modeled with a nonlinear map. Model analyses provided a variable defining a dynamically stable solution that obviates computationally expensive corrections. Three experiments evaluated whether dynamic stability is optimized and what perceptual support is necessary for stable behavior. Two hypotheses were tested: (a) Performance is stable if racket acceleration is negative at impact, and (b) variability is lowest at an impact acceleration between -4 and -1 m/s2. In Experiment 1 participants performed the task, eyes open or closed, bouncing a ball confined to a 1-dimensional trajectory. Experiment 2 eliminated constraints on racket and ball trajectory. Experiment 3 excluded visual or haptic information. Movements were performed with negative racket accelerations in the range of highest stability. Performance with eyes closed was more variable, leaving acceleration unaffected. With haptic information, performance was more stable than with visual information alone.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Biomimetic oculomotor control

Shibata, T., Vijayakumar, S., Conradt, J., Schaal, S.

Adaptive Behavior, 9(3/4):189-207, 2001, clmc (article)

Abstract
Oculomotor control in a humanoid robot faces similar problems as biological oculomotor systems, i.e., capturing targets accurately on a very narrow fovea, dealing with large delays in the control system, the stabilization of gaze in face of unknown perturbations of the body, selective attention, and the complexity of stereo vision. In this paper, we suggest control circuits to realize three of the most basic oculomotor behaviors and their integration - the vestibulo-ocular and optokinetic reflex (VOR-OKR) for gaze stabilization, smooth pursuit for tracking moving objects, and saccades for overt visual attention. Each of these behaviors and the mechanism for their integration was derived with inspiration from computational theories as well as behavioral and physiological data in neuroscience. Our implementations on a humanoid robot demonstrate good performance of the oculomotor behaviors, which proves to be a viable strategy to explore novel control mechanisms for humanoid robotics. Conversely, insights gained from our models have been able to directly influence views and provide new directions for computational neuroscience research.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2000


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A brachiating robot controller

Nakanishi, J., Fukuda, T., Koditschek, D. E.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 16(2):109-123, 2000, clmc (article)

Abstract
We report on our empirical studies of a new controller for a two-link brachiating robot. Motivated by the pendulum-like motion of an apeâ??s brachiation, we encode this task as the output of a â??target dynamical system.â? Numerical simulations indicate that the resulting controller solves a number of brachiation problems that we term the â??ladder,â? â??swing-up,â? and â??ropeâ? problems. Preliminary analysis provides some explanation for this success. The proposed controller is implemented on a physical system in our laboratory. The robot achieves behaviors including â??swing locomotionâ? and â??swing upâ? and is capable of continuous locomotion over several rungs of a ladder. We discuss a number of formal questions whose answers will be required to gain a full understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

2000


link (url) [BibTex]


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Interaction of rhythmic and discrete pattern generators in single joint movements

Sternad, D., Dean, W. J., Schaal, S.

Human Movement Science, 19(4):627-665, 2000, clmc (article)

Abstract
The study investigates a single-joint movement task that combines a translatory and cyclic component with the objective to investigate the interaction of discrete and rhythmic movement elements. Participants performed an elbow movement in the horizontal plane, oscillating at a prescribed frequency around one target and shifting to a second target upon a trigger signal, without stopping the oscillation. Analyses focused on extracting the mutual influences of the rhythmic and the discrete component of the task. Major findings are: (1) The onset of the discrete movement was confined to a limited phase window in the rhythmic cycle. (2) Its duration was influenced by the period of oscillation. (3) The rhythmic oscillation was "perturbed" by the discrete movement as indicated by phase resetting. On the basis of these results we propose a model for the coordination of discrete and rhythmic actions (K. Matsuoka, Sustained oscillations generated by mutually inhibiting neurons with adaptations, Biological Cybernetics 52 (1985) 367-376; Mechanisms of frequency and pattern control in the neural rhythm generators, Biological Cybernetics 56 (1987) 345-353). For rhythmic movements an oscillatory pattern generator is developed following models of half-center oscillations (D. Bullock, S. Grossberg, The VITE model: a neural command circuit for generating arm and articulated trajectories, in: J.A.S. Kelso, A.J. Mandel, M. F. Shlesinger (Eds.), Dynamic Patterns in Complex Systems. World Scientific. Singapore. 1988. pp. 305-326). For discrete movements a point attractor dynamics is developed close to the VITE model For each joint degree of freedom both pattern generators co-exist but exert mutual inhibition onto each other. The suggested modeling framework provides a unified account for both discrete and rhythmic movements on the basis of neuronal circuitry. Simulation results demonstrated that the effects observed in human performance can be replicated using the two pattern generators with a mutually inhibiting coupling.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Dynamics of a bouncing ball in human performance

Sternad, D., Duarte, M., Katsumata, H., Schaal, S.

Physical Review E, 63(011902):1-8, 2000, clmc (article)

Abstract
On the basis of a modified bouncing-ball model, we investigated whether human movements utilize principles of dynamic stability in their performance of a similar movement task. Stability analyses of the model provided predictions about conditions indicative of a dynamically stable period-one regime. In a series of experiments, human subjects bounced a ball rhythmically on a racket and displayed these conditions supporting that they attuned to and exploited the dynamic stability properties of the task.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]