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2014


A freely-moving monkey treadmill model
A freely-moving monkey treadmill model

Foster, J., Nuyujukian, P., Freifeld, O., Gao, H., Walker, R., Ryu, S., Meng, T., Murmann, B., Black, M., Shenoy, K.

J. of Neural Engineering, 11(4):046020, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective: Motor neuroscience and brain-machine interface (BMI) design is based on examining how the brain controls voluntary movement, typically by recording neural activity and behavior from animal models. Recording technologies used with these animal models have traditionally limited the range of behaviors that can be studied, and thus the generality of science and engineering research. We aim to design a freely-moving animal model using neural and behavioral recording technologies that do not constrain movement. Approach: We have established a freely-moving rhesus monkey model employing technology that transmits neural activity from an intracortical array using a head-mounted device and records behavior through computer vision using markerless motion capture. We demonstrate the excitability and utility of this new monkey model, including the fi rst recordings from motor cortex while rhesus monkeys walk quadrupedally on a treadmill. Main results: Using this monkey model, we show that multi-unit threshold-crossing neural activity encodes the phase of walking and that the average ring rate of the threshold crossings covaries with the speed of individual steps. On a population level, we find that neural state-space trajectories of walking at diff erent speeds have similar rotational dynamics in some dimensions that evolve at the step rate of walking, yet robustly separate by speed in other state-space dimensions. Significance: Freely-moving animal models may allow neuroscientists to examine a wider range of behaviors and can provide a flexible experimental paradigm for examining the neural mechanisms that underlie movement generation across behaviors and environments. For BMIs, freely-moving animal models have the potential to aid prosthetic design by examining how neural encoding changes with posture, environment, and other real-world context changes. Understanding this new realm of behavior in more naturalistic settings is essential for overall progress of basic motor neuroscience and for the successful translation of BMIs to people with paralysis.

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pdf Supplementary DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2014


pdf Supplementary DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Incremental Local Gaussian Regression

Meier, F., Hennig, P., Schaal, S.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27, pages: 972-980, (Editors: Z. Ghahramani, M. Welling, C. Cortes, N.D. Lawrence and K.Q. Weinberger), 28th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2014, clmc (inproceedings)

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PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [BibTex]


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Domain adaptation-can quantity compensate for quality?

Ben-David, S., Urner, R.

Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 70(3):185-202, 2014 (article)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Sérsic galaxy models in weak lensing shape measurement: model bias, noise bias and their interaction

Kacprzak, T., Bridle, S., Rowe, B., Voigt, L., Zuntz, J., Hirsch, M., MacCrann, N.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441(3):2528-2538, Oxford University Press, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Learning to Deblur

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

In NIPS 2014 Deep Learning and Representation Learning Workshop, 28th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2014 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Left Ventricle Segmentation by Dynamic Shape Constrained Random Walk

X. Yang, Y. Su, M. Wan, S. Y. Yeo, C. Lim, S. T. Wong, L. Zhong, R. S. Tan

In Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Accurate and robust extraction of the left ventricle (LV) cavity is a key step for quantitative analysis of cardiac functions. In this study, we propose an improved LV cavity segmentation method that incorporates a dynamic shape constraint into the weighting function of the random walks algorithm. The method involves an iterative process that updates an intermediate result to the desired solution. The shape constraint restricts the solution space of the segmentation result, such that the robustness of the algorithm is increased to handle misleading information that emanates from noise, weak boundaries, and clutter. Our experiments on real cardiac magnetic resonance images demonstrate that the proposed method obtains better segmentation performance than standard method.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient Bayesian Local Model Learning for Control

Meier, F., Hennig, P., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages: 2244 - 2249, IROS, 2014, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Model-based control is essential for compliant controland force control in many modern complex robots, like humanoidor disaster robots. Due to many unknown and hard tomodel nonlinearities, analytical models of such robots are oftenonly very rough approximations. However, modern optimizationcontrollers frequently depend on reasonably accurate models,and degrade greatly in robustness and performance if modelerrors are too large. For a long time, machine learning hasbeen expected to provide automatic empirical model synthesis,yet so far, research has only generated feasibility studies butno learning algorithms that run reliably on complex robots.In this paper, we combine two promising worlds of regressiontechniques to generate a more powerful regression learningsystem. On the one hand, locally weighted regression techniquesare computationally efficient, but hard to tune due to avariety of data dependent meta-parameters. On the other hand,Bayesian regression has rather automatic and robust methods toset learning parameters, but becomes quickly computationallyinfeasible for big and high-dimensional data sets. By reducingthe complexity of Bayesian regression in the spirit of local modellearning through variational approximations, we arrive at anovel algorithm that is computationally efficient and easy toinitialize for robust learning. Evaluations on several datasetsdemonstrate very good learning performance and the potentialfor a general regression learning tool for robotics.

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PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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The sample complexity of agnostic learning under deterministic labels

Ben-David, S., Urner, R.

In Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Learning Theory, 35, pages: 527-542, (Editors: Balcan, M.-F. and Feldman, V. and Szepesvári, C.), JMLR, COLT, 2014 (inproceedings)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Towards an optimal stochastic alternating direction method of multipliers

Azadi, S., Sra, S.

Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, 32, pages: 620-628, (Editors: Xing, E. P. and Jebara, T.), JMLR, ICML, 2014 (conference)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Diminished White Matter Integrity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Cagnoli, P., Wang, P., Schultz, T., Lotz, A., Mccune, W. J., Sundgren, P. C.

NeuroImage: Clinical, 5, pages: 291-297, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Open Problem: Finding Good Cascade Sampling Processes for the Network Inference Problem

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Song, L., Schölkopf, B.

Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Learning Theory, 35, pages: 1276-1279, (Editors: Balcan, M.-F. and Szepesvári, C.), JMLR.org, COLT, 2014 (conference)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


Detection and Tracking of Occluded People
Detection and Tracking of Occluded People

Tang, S., Andriluka, M., Schiele, B.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 110, pages: 58-69, 2014 (article)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


Segmentation of Biomedical Images Using Active Contour Model with Robust Image Feature and Shape Prior
Segmentation of Biomedical Images Using Active Contour Model with Robust Image Feature and Shape Prior

S. Y. Yeo, X. Xie, I. Sazonov, P. Nithiarasu

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 30(2):232- 248, 2014 (article)

Abstract
In this article, a new level set model is proposed for the segmentation of biomedical images. The image energy of the proposed model is derived from a robust image gradient feature which gives the active contour a global representation of the geometric configuration, making it more robust in dealing with image noise, weak edges, and initial configurations. Statistical shape information is incorporated using nonparametric shape density distribution, which allows the shape model to handle relatively large shape variations. The segmentation of various shapes from both synthetic and real images depict the robustness and efficiency of the proposed method.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Information-Theoretic Bounded Rationality and ϵ-Optimality

Braun, DA, Ortega, PA

Entropy, 16(8):4662-4676, August 2014 (article)

Abstract
Bounded rationality concerns the study of decision makers with limited information processing resources. Previously, the free energy difference functional has been suggested to model bounded rational decision making, as it provides a natural trade-off between an energy or utility function that is to be optimized and information processing costs that are measured by entropic search costs. The main question of this article is how the information-theoretic free energy model relates to simple \(\epsilon\)-optimality models of bounded rational decision making, where the decision maker is satisfied with any action in an \(\epsilon\)-neighborhood of the optimal utility. We find that the stochastic policies that optimize the free energy trade-off comply with the notion of \(\epsilon\)-optimality. Moreover, this optimality criterion even holds when the environment is adversarial. We conclude that the study of bounded rationality based on \(\epsilon\)-optimality criteria that abstract away from the particulars of the information processing constraints is compatible with the information-theoretic free energy model of bounded rationality.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Occam’s Razor in sensorimotor learning

Genewein, T, Braun, D

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 281(1783):1-7, May 2014 (article)

Abstract
A large number of recent studies suggest that the sensorimotor system uses probabilistic models to predict its environment and makes inferences about unobserved variables in line with Bayesian statistics. One of the important features of Bayesian statistics is Occam's Razor—an inbuilt preference for simpler models when comparing competing models that explain some observed data equally well. Here, we test directly for Occam's Razor in sensorimotor control. We designed a sensorimotor task in which participants had to draw lines through clouds of noisy samples of an unobserved curve generated by one of two possible probabilistic models—a simple model with a large length scale, leading to smooth curves, and a complex model with a short length scale, leading to more wiggly curves. In training trials, participants were informed about the model that generated the stimulus so that they could learn the statistics of each model. In probe trials, participants were then exposed to ambiguous stimuli. In probe trials where the ambiguous stimulus could be fitted equally well by both models, we found that participants showed a clear preference for the simpler model. Moreover, we found that participants’ choice behaviour was quantitatively consistent with Bayesian Occam's Razor. We also show that participants’ drawn trajectories were similar to samples from the Bayesian predictive distribution over trajectories and significantly different from two non-probabilistic heuristics. In two control experiments, we show that the preference of the simpler model cannot be simply explained by a difference in physical effort or by a preference for curve smoothness. Our results suggest that Occam's Razor is a general behavioural principle already present during sensorimotor processing.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Generalized Thompson sampling for sequential decision-making and causal inference

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling, 2(2):1-23, March 2014 (article)

Abstract
Purpose Sampling an action according to the probability that the action is believed to be the optimal one is sometimes called Thompson sampling. Methods Although mostly applied to bandit problems, Thompson sampling can also be used to solve sequential adaptive control problems, when the optimal policy is known for each possible environment. The predictive distribution over actions can then be constructed by a Bayesian superposition of the policies weighted by their posterior probability of being optimal. Results Here we discuss two important features of this approach. First, we show in how far such generalized Thompson sampling can be regarded as an optimal strategy under limited information processing capabilities that constrain the sampling complexity of the decision-making process. Second, we show how such Thompson sampling can be extended to solve causal inference problems when interacting with an environment in a sequential fashion. Conclusion In summary, our results suggest that Thompson sampling might not merely be a useful heuristic, but a principled method to address problems of adaptive sequential decision-making and causal inference.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


A Quantitative Analysis of Current Practices in Optical Flow Estimation and the Principles behind Them
A Quantitative Analysis of Current Practices in Optical Flow Estimation and the Principles behind Them

Sun, D., Roth, S., Black, M. J.

International Journal of Computer Vision (IJCV), 106(2):115-137, 2014 (article)

Abstract
The accuracy of optical flow estimation algorithms has been improving steadily as evidenced by results on the Middlebury optical flow benchmark. The typical formulation, however, has changed little since the work of Horn and Schunck. We attempt to uncover what has made recent advances possible through a thorough analysis of how the objective function, the optimization method, and modern implementation practices influence accuracy. We discover that "classical'' flow formulations perform surprisingly well when combined with modern optimization and implementation techniques. One key implementation detail is the median filtering of intermediate flow fields during optimization. While this improves the robustness of classical methods it actually leads to higher energy solutions, meaning that these methods are not optimizing the original objective function. To understand the principles behind this phenomenon, we derive a new objective function that formalizes the median filtering heuristic. This objective function includes a non-local smoothness term that robustly integrates flow estimates over large spatial neighborhoods. By modifying this new term to include information about flow and image boundaries we develop a method that can better preserve motion details. To take advantage of the trend towards video in wide-screen format, we further introduce an asymmetric pyramid downsampling scheme that enables the estimation of longer range horizontal motions. The methods are evaluated on Middlebury, MPI Sintel, and KITTI datasets using the same parameter settings.

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pdf full text code [BibTex]

pdf full text code [BibTex]


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Assessing randomness and complexity in human motion trajectories through analysis of symbolic sequences

Peng, Z, Genewein, T, Braun, DA

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(168):1-13, March 2014 (article)

Abstract
Complexity is a hallmark of intelligent behavior consisting both of regular patterns and random variation. To quantitatively assess the complexity and randomness of human motion, we designed a motor task in which we translated subjects' motion trajectories into strings of symbol sequences. In the first part of the experiment participants were asked to perform self-paced movements to create repetitive patterns, copy pre-specified letter sequences, and generate random movements. To investigate whether the degree of randomness can be manipulated, in the second part of the experiment participants were asked to perform unpredictable movements in the context of a pursuit game, where they received feedback from an online Bayesian predictor guessing their next move. We analyzed symbol sequences representing subjects' motion trajectories with five common complexity measures: predictability, compressibility, approximate entropy, Lempel-Ziv complexity, as well as effective measure complexity. We found that subjects’ self-created patterns were the most complex, followed by drawing movements of letters and self-paced random motion. We also found that participants could change the randomness of their behavior depending on context and feedback. Our results suggest that humans can adjust both complexity and regularity in different movement types and contexts and that this can be assessed with information-theoretic measures of the symbolic sequences generated from movement trajectories.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Curiosity-driven learning with Context Tree Weighting

Peng, Z, Braun, DA

pages: 366-367, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 4th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (IEEE ICDL-EPIROB), October 2014 (conference)

Abstract
In the first simulation, the intrinsic motivation of the agent was given by measuring learning progress through reduction in informational surprise (Figure 1 A-C). This way the agent should first learn the action that is easiest to learn (a1), and then switch to other actions that still allow for learning (a2) and ignore actions that cannot be learned at all (a3). This is exactly what we found in our simple environment. Compared to the original developmental learning algorithm based on learning progress proposed by Oudeyer [2], our Context Tree Weighting approach does not require local experts to do prediction, rather it learns the conditional probability distribution over observations given action in one structure. In the second simulation, the intrinsic motivation of the agent was given by measuring compression progress through improvement in compressibility (Figure 1 D-F). The agent behaves similarly: the agent first concentrates on the action with the most predictable consequence and then switches over to the regular action where the consequence is more difficult to predict, but still learnable. Unlike the previous simulation, random actions are also interesting to some extent because the compressed symbol strings use 8-bit representations, while only 2 bits are required for our observation space. Our preliminary results suggest that Context Tree Weighting might provide a useful representation to study problems of development.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Automatic 4D Reconstruction of Patient-Specific Cardiac Mesh with 1- to-1 Vertex Correspondence from Segmented Contours Lines
Automatic 4D Reconstruction of Patient-Specific Cardiac Mesh with 1- to-1 Vertex Correspondence from Segmented Contours Lines

C. W. Lim, Y. Su, S. Y. Yeo, G. M. Ng, V. T. Nguyen, L. Zhong, R. S. Tan, K. K. Poh, P. Chai,

PLOS ONE, 9(4), 2014 (article)

Abstract
We propose an automatic algorithm for the reconstruction of patient-specific cardiac mesh models with 1-to-1 vertex correspondence. In this framework, a series of 3D meshes depicting the endocardial surface of the heart at each time step is constructed, based on a set of border delineated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of the whole cardiac cycle. The key contribution in this work involves a novel reconstruction technique to generate a 4D (i.e., spatial–temporal) model of the heart with 1-to-1 vertex mapping throughout the time frames. The reconstructed 3D model from the first time step is used as a base template model and then deformed to fit the segmented contours from the subsequent time steps. A method to determine a tree-based connectivity relationship is proposed to ensure robust mapping during mesh deformation. The novel feature is the ability to handle intra- and inter-frame 2D topology changes of the contours, which manifests as a series of merging and splitting of contours when the images are viewed either in a spatial or temporal sequence. Our algorithm has been tested on five acquisitions of cardiac MRI and can successfully reconstruct the full 4D heart model in around 30 minutes per subject. The generated 4D heart model conforms very well with the input segmented contours and the mesh element shape is of reasonably good quality. The work is important in the support of downstream computational simulation activities.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Monte Carlo methods for exact & efficient solution of the generalized optimality equations

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA, Tishby, N

pages: 4322-4327, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), June 2014 (conference)

Abstract
Previous work has shown that classical sequential decision making rules, including expectimax and minimax, are limit cases of a more general class of bounded rational planning problems that trade off the value and the complexity of the solution, as measured by its information divergence from a given reference. This allows modeling a range of novel planning problems having varying degrees of control due to resource constraints, risk-sensitivity, trust and model uncertainty. However, so far it has been unclear in what sense information constraints relate to the complexity of planning. In this paper, we introduce Monte Carlo methods to solve the generalized optimality equations in an efficient \& exact way when the inverse temperatures in a generalized decision tree are of the same sign. These methods highlight a fundamental relation between inverse temperatures and the number of Monte Carlo proposals. In particular, it is seen that the number of proposals is essentially independent of the size of the decision tree.

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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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A second order sliding mode controller with polygonal constraints

Dinuzzo, F.

In pages: 6715-6719, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 48th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), December 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
It is presented a discontinuous controller that ensure uniform finite-time zero stabilization of the output for uncertain SISO systems of relative degree two, while keeping the auxiliary system state within a prescribed convex polygon. The proposed method extends applicability of second order sliding modes controllers to the case of uncertain dynamical systems with constraints.

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]


Ball Joints for Marker-less Human Motion Capture
Ball Joints for Marker-less Human Motion Capture

Pons-Moll, G., Rosenhahn, B.

In IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV),, December 2009 (inproceedings)

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [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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Background Subtraction Based on Rank Constraint for Point Trajectories

Ahmad, A., Del Bue, A., Lima, P.

In pages: 1-3, 15th Portuguese Conference on Pattern Recognition (RecPad), October 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This work deals with a background subtraction algorithm for a fish-eye lens camera having 3 degrees of freedom, 2 in translation and 1 in rotation. The core assumption in this algorithm is that the background is considered to be composed of a dominant static plane in the world frame. The novelty lies in developing a rank-constraint based background subtraction for equidistant projection model, a property of the fish-eye lens. A detail simulation result is presented to support the hypotheses explained in this paper.

ps

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Causality Discovery with Additive Disturbances: An Information-Theoretical Perspective

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, pages: 570-585, (Editors: Buntine, W. , M. Grobelnik, D. Mladenić, J. Shawe-Taylor ), Springer, Berlin, Germany, European Conference on Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases: Part II (ECML PKDD '09), September 2009 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider causally sufficient acyclic causal models in which the relationship among the variables is nonlinear while disturbances have linear effects, and show that three principles, namely, the causal Markov condition (together with the independence between each disturbance and the corresponding parents), minimum disturbance entropy, and mutual independence of the disturbances, are equivalent. This motivates new and more efficient methods for some causal discovery problems. In particular, we propose to use multichannel blind deconvolution, an extension of independent component analysis, to do Granger causality analysis with instantaneous effects. This approach gives more accurate estimates of the parameters and can easily incorporate sparsity constraints. For additive disturbance-based nonlinear causal discovery, we first make use of the conditional independence relationships to obtain the equivalence class; undetermined causal directions are then found by nonlinear regression and pairwise independence tests. This avoids the brute-force search and greatly reduces the computational load.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF 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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Inference algorithms and learning theory for Bayesian sparse factor analysis

Rattray, M., Stegle, O., Sharp, K., Winn, J.

Journal of Physics: Conference Series , IW-SMI 2009, 197(1: International Workshop on Statistical-Mechanical Informatics 2009):1-10, (Editors: Inoue, M. , S. Ishii, Y. Kabashima, M. Okada), Institute of Physics, Bristol, UK, International Workshop on Statistical-Mechanical Informatics (IW-SMI), September 2009 (article)

Abstract
Bayesian sparse factor analysis has many applications; for example, it has been applied to the problem of inferring a sparse regulatory network from gene expression data. We describe a number of inference algorithms for Bayesian sparse factor analysis using a slab and spike mixture prior. These include well-established Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and variational Bayes (VB) algorithms as well as a novel hybrid of VB and Expectation Propagation (EP). For the case of a single latent factor we derive a theory for learning performance using the replica method. We compare the MCMC and VB/EP algorithm results with simulated data to the theoretical prediction. The results for MCMC agree closely with the theory as expected. Results for VB/EP are slightly sub-optimal but show that the new algorithm is effective for sparse inference. In large-scale problems MCMC is infeasible due to computational limitations and the VB/EP algorithm then provides a very useful computationally efficient alternative.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Finite-time output stabilization with second order sliding modes

Dinuzzo, F., Ferrara, A.

Automatica, 45(9):2169-2171, September 2009 (article)

Abstract
In this note, a class of discontinuous feedback laws that switch over branches of parabolas in the auxiliary state plane is analyzed. Conditions are provided under which controllers belonging to this class are second order sliding-mode algorithms: they ensure uniform global finite-time output stability for uncertain systems of relative degree two.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]