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2016


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Probabilistic Approximate Least-Squares

Bartels, S., Hennig, P.

Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), 51, pages: 676-684, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Gretton, A. and Robert, C. C. ), May 2016 (conference)

Abstract
Least-squares and kernel-ridge / Gaussian process regression are among the foundational algorithms of statistics and machine learning. Famously, the worst-case cost of exact nonparametric regression grows cubically with the data-set size; but a growing number of approximations have been developed that estimate good solutions at lower cost. These algorithms typically return point estimators, without measures of uncertainty. Leveraging recent results casting elementary linear algebra operations as probabilistic inference, we propose a new approximate method for nonparametric least-squares that affords a probabilistic uncertainty estimate over the error between the approximate and exact least-squares solution (this is not the same as the posterior variance of the associated Gaussian process regressor). This allows estimating the error of the least-squares solution on a subset of the data relative to the full-data solution. The uncertainty can be used to control the computational effort invested in the approximation. Our algorithm has linear cost in the data-set size, and a simple formal form, so that it can be implemented with a few lines of code in programming languages with linear algebra functionality.

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link (url) Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

2016


link (url) Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Learning soft task priorities for control of redundant robots

Modugno, V., Neumann, G., Rueckert, E., Oriolo, G., Peters, J., Ivaldi, S.

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 221-226, IEEE, May 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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On the Reliability of Information and Trustworthiness of Web Sources in Wikipedia

Tabibian, B., Farajtabar, M., Valera, I., Song, L., Schölkopf, B., Gomez Rodriguez, M.

Wikipedia workshop at the 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), May 2016 (conference)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Peer Grading in a Course on Algorithms and Data Structures: Machine Learning Algorithms do not Improve over Simple Baselines

Sajjadi, M. S. M., Alamgir, M., von Luxburg, U.

Proceedings of the 3rd ACM conference on Learning @ Scale, pages: 369-378, (Editors: Haywood, J. and Aleven, V. and Kay, J. and Roll, I.), ACM, L@S, April 2016, (An earlier version of this paper had been presented at the ICML 2015 workshop for Machine Learning for Education.) (conference)

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Arxiv Peer-Grading dataset request [BibTex]

Arxiv Peer-Grading dataset request [BibTex]


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On estimation of functional causal models: General results and application to post-nonlinear causal model

Zhang, K., Wang, Z., Zhang, J., Schölkopf, B.

ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technologies, 7(2):article no. 13, January 2016 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Fabular: Regression Formulas As Probabilistic Programming

Borgström, J., Gordon, A. D., Ouyang, L., Russo, C., Ścibior, A., Szymczak, M.

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL), pages: 271-283, POPL ’16, ACM, January 2016 (conference)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Gaussian Process-Based Predictive Control for Periodic Error Correction

Klenske, E. D., Zeilinger, M., Schölkopf, B., Hennig, P.

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology , 24(1):110-121, 2016 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Pymanopt: A Python Toolbox for Optimization on Manifolds using Automatic Differentiation

Townsend, J., Koep, N., Weichwald, S.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(137):1-5, 2016 (article)

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PDF Arxiv Code Project page link (url) [BibTex]


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A Causal, Data-driven Approach to Modeling the Kepler Data

Wang, D., Hogg, D. W., Foreman-Mackey, D., Schölkopf, B.

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 128(967):094503, 2016 (article)

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link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Inference for Determining Options in Reinforcement Learning

Daniel, C., van Hoof, H., Peters, J., Neumann, G.

Machine Learning, Special Issue, 104(2):337-357, (Editors: Gärtner, T., Nanni, M., Passerini, A. and Robardet, C.), European Conference on Machine Learning im Machine Learning, Journal Track, 2016, Best Student Paper Award of ECML-PKDD 2016 (article)

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DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Influence of initial fixation position in scene viewing

Rothkegel, L. O. M., Trukenbrod, H. A., Schütt, H. H., Wichmann, F. A., Engbert, R.

Vision Research, 129, pages: 33-49, 2016 (article)

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link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Testing models of peripheral encoding using metamerism in an oddity paradigm

Wallis, T. S. A., Bethge, M., Wichmann, F. A.

Journal of Vision, 16(2), 2016 (article)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Modeling Confounding by Half-Sibling Regression

Schölkopf, B., Hogg, D., Wang, D., Foreman-Mackey, D., Janzing, D., Simon-Gabriel, C. J., Peters, J.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 113(27):7391-7398, 2016 (article)

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Code link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

Code link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Dual Control for Approximate Bayesian Reinforcement Learning

Klenske, E. D., Hennig, P.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(127):1-30, 2016 (article)

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PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [BibTex]


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A Population Based Gaussian Mixture Model Incorporating 18F-FDG-PET and DW-MRI Quantifies Tumor Tissue Classes

Divine, M. R., Katiyar, P., Kohlhofer, U., Quintanilla-Martinez, L., Disselhorst, J. A., Pichler, B. J.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 57(3):473-479, 2016 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Painfree and accurate Bayesian estimation of psychometric functions for (potentially) overdispersed data

Schütt, H. H., Harmeling, S., Macke, J. H., Wichmann, F. A.

Vision Research, 122, pages: 105-123, 2016 (article)

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link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Hierarchical Relative Entropy Policy Search

Daniel, C., Neumann, G., Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(93):1-50, 2016 (article)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Kernel Mean Shrinkage Estimators

Muandet, K., Sriperumbudur, B., Fukumizu, K., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(48):1-41, 2016 (article)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Learning to Deblur

Schuler, C. J., Hirsch, M., Harmeling, S., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 38(7):1439-1451, IEEE, 2016 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Transfer Learning in Brain-Computer Interfaces

Jayaram, V., Alamgir, M., Altun, Y., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, 11(1):20-31, 2016 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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MERLiN: Mixture Effect Recovery in Linear Networks

Weichwald, S., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Gretton, A.

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 10(7):1254-1266, 2016 (article)

ei

Arxiv Code PDF DOI Project Page [BibTex]

Arxiv Code PDF DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Causal inference using invariant prediction: identification and confidence intervals

Peters, J., Bühlmann, P., Meinshausen, N.

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B (Statistical Methodology), 78(5):947-1012, 2016, (with discussion) (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Causal discovery and inference: concepts and recent methodological advances

Spirtes, P., Zhang, K.

Applied Informatics, 3(3):1-28, 2016 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [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)

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DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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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)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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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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.

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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]