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2007


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Exploring the causal order of binary variables via exponential hierarchies of Markov kernels

Sun, X., Janzing, D.

In ESANN 2007, pages: 465-470, D-Side, Evere, Belgium, 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new algorithm for estimating the causal structure that underlies the observed dependence among n (n>=4) binary variables X_1,...,X_n. Our inference principle states that the factorization of the joint probability into conditional probabilities for X_j given X_1,...,X_{j-1} often leads to simpler terms if the order of variables is compatible with the directed acyclic graph representing the causal structure. We study joint measures of OR/AND gates and show that the complexity of the conditional probabilities (the so-called Markov kernels), defined by a hierarchy of exponential models, depends on the order of the variables. Some toy and real-data experiments support our inference rule.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

2007


PDF Web [BibTex]


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Applying the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic Architecture to Motor Primitive Learning

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN 2007), pages: 295-300, D-Side, Evere, Belgium, 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN), April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate motor primitive learning with the Natural Actor-Critic approach. The Natural Actor-Critic consists out of actor updates which are achieved using natural stochastic policy gradients while the critic obtains the natural policy gradient by linear regression. We show that this architecture can be used to learn the “building blocks of movement generation”, called motor primitives. Motor primitives are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. We show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast Newton-type Methods for the Least Squares Nonnegative Matrix Approximation Problem

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

In SDM 2007, pages: 343-354, (Editors: Apte, C. ), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nonnegative Matrix Approximation is an effective matrix decomposition technique that has proven to be useful for a wide variety of applications ranging from document analysis and image processing to bioinformatics. There exist a few algorithms for nonnegative matrix approximation (NNMA), for example, Lee & Seung’s multiplicative updates, alternating least squares, and certain gradient descent based procedures. All of these procedures suffer from either slow convergence, numerical instabilities, or at worst, theoretical unsoundness. In this paper we present new and improved algorithms for the least-squares NNMA problem, which are not only theoretically well-founded, but also overcome many of the deficiencies of other methods. In particular, we use non-diagonal gradient scaling to obtain rapid convergence. Our methods provide numerical results superior to both Lee & Seung’s method as well to the alternating least squares (ALS) heuristic, which is known to work well in some situations but has no theoretical guarantees (Berry et al. 2006). Our approach extends naturally to include regularization and box-constraints, without sacrificing convergence guarantees. We present experimental results on both synthetic and realworld datasets to demonstrate the superiority of our methods, in terms of better approximations as well as efficiency.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing Between Cause and Effect via Kernel-Based Complexity Measures for Conditional Distributions

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 15th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks , pages: 441-446, (Editors: M Verleysen), D-Side Publications, Evere, Belgium, ESANN, April 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a method to evaluate the complexity of probability measures from data that is based on a reproducing kernel Hilbert space seminorm of the logarithm of conditional probability densities. The motivation is to provide a tool for a causal inference method which assumes that conditional probabilities for effects given their causes are typically simpler and smoother than vice-versa. We present experiments with toy data where the quantitative results are consistent with our intuitive understanding of complexity and smoothness. Also in some examples with real-world data the probability measure corresponding to the true causal direction turned out to be less complex than those of the reversed order.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Deterministic Annealing for Multiple-Instance Learning

Gehler, P., Chapelle, O.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 123-130, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we demonstrate how deterministic annealing can be applied to different SVM formulations of the multiple-instance learning (MIL) problem. Our results show that we find better local minima compared to the heuristic methods those problems are usually solved with. However this does not always translate into a better test error suggesting an inadequacy of the objective function. Based on this finding we propose a new objective function which together with the deterministic annealing algorithm finds better local minima and achieves better performance on a set of benchmark datasets. Furthermore the results also show how the structure of MIL datasets influence the performance of MIL algorithms and we discuss how future benchmark datasets for the MIL problem should be designed.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference and Optimal Design in the Sparse Linear Model

Seeger, M., Steinke, F., Tsuda, K.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 444-451, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The sparse linear model has seen many successful applications in Statistics, Machine Learning, and Computational Biology, such as identification of gene regulatory networks from micro-array expression data. Prior work has either approximated Bayesian inference by expensive Markov chain Monte Carlo, or replaced it by point estimation. We show how to obtain a good approximation to Bayesian analysis efficiently, using the Expectation Propagation method. We also address the problems of optimal design and hyperparameter estimation. We demonstrate our framework on a gene network identification task.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Stick-breaking Construction for the Indian Buffet Process

Teh, Y., Görür, D., Ghahramani, Z.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 556-563, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The Indian buffet process (IBP) is a Bayesian nonparametric distribution whereby objects are modelled using an unbounded number of latent features. In this paper we derive a stick-breaking representation for the IBP. Based on this new representation, we develop slice samplers for the IBP that are efficient, easy to implement and are more generally applicable than the currently available Gibbs sampler. This representation, along with the work of Thibaux and Jordan [17], also illuminates interesting theoretical connections between the IBP, Chinese restaurant processes, Beta processes and Dirichlet processes.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fast Kernel ICA using an Approximate Newton Method

Shen, H., Jegelka, S., Gretton, A.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 476-483, (Editors: Meila, M. , X. Shen), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recent approaches to independent component analysis (ICA) have used kernel independence measures to obtain very good performance, particularly where classical methods experience difficulty (for instance, sources with near-zero kurtosis). We present Fast Kernel ICA (FastKICA), a novel optimisation technique for one such kernel independence measure, the Hilbert-Schmidt independence criterion (HSIC). Our search procedure uses an approximate Newton method on the special orthogonal group, where we estimate the Hessian locally about independence. We employ incomplete Cholesky decomposition to efficiently compute the gradient and approximate Hessian. FastKICA results in more accurate solutions at a given cost compared with gradient descent, and is relatively insensitive to local minima when initialised far from independence. These properties allow kernel approaches to be extended to problems with larger numbers of sources and observations. Our method is competitive with other modern and classical ICA approaches in both speed and accuracy.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Neighborhood Property based Pattern Selection for Support Vector Machines

Shin, H., Cho, S.

Neural Computation, 19(3):816-855, March 2007 (article)

Abstract
The support vector machine (SVM) has been spotlighted in the machine learning community because of its theoretical soundness and practical performance. When applied to a large data set, however, it requires a large memory and a long time for training. To cope with the practical difficulty, we propose a pattern selection algorithm based on neighborhood properties. The idea is to select only the patterns that are likely to be located near the decision boundary. Those patterns are expected to be more informative than the randomly selected patterns. The experimental results provide promising evidence that it is possible to successfully employ the proposed algorithm ahead of SVM training.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Training a Support Vector Machine in the Primal

Chapelle, O.

Neural Computation, 19(5):1155-1178, March 2007 (article)

Abstract
Most literature on Support Vector Machines (SVMs) concentrate on the dual optimization problem. In this paper, we would like to point out that the primal problem can also be solved efficiently, both for linear and non-linear SVMs, and that there is no reason for ignoring this possibilty. On the contrary, from the primal point of view new families of algorithms for large scale SVM training can be investigated.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Transductive Classification via Local Learning Regularization

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 2: AISTATS 2007, pages: 628-635, (Editors: M Meila and X Shen), 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, March 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The idea of local learning, classifying a particular point based on its neighbors, has been successfully applied to supervised learning problems. In this paper, we adapt it for Transductive Classification (TC) problems. Specifically, we formulate a Local Learning Regularizer (LL-Reg) which leads to a solution with the property that the label of each data point can be well predicted based on its neighbors and their labels. For model selection, an efficient way to compute the leave-one-out classification error is provided for the proposed and related algorithms. Experimental results using several benchmark datasets illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Improving the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome Annotation Using Machine Learning

Rätsch, G., Sonnenburg, S., Srinivasan, J., Witte, H., Müller, K., Sommer, R., Schölkopf, B.

PLoS Computational Biology, 3(2, e20):0313-0322, February 2007 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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The Independent Components of Natural Images are Perceptually Dependent

Bethge, M., Wiecki, T., Wichmann, F.

In Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, pages: 1-12, (Editors: Rogowitz, B. E.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA, SPIE Human Vision and Electronic Imaging Conference, February 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The independent components of natural images are a set of linear filters which are optimized for statistical independence. With such a set of filters images can be represented without loss of information. Intriguingly, the filter shapes are localized, oriented, and bandpass, resembling important properties of V1 simple cell receptive fields. Here we address the question of whether the independent components of natural images are also perceptually less dependent than other image components. We compared the pixel basis, the ICA basis and the discrete cosine basis by asking subjects to interactively predict missing pixels (for the pixel basis) or to predict the coefficients of ICA and DCT basis functions in patches of natural images. Like Kersten (1987) we find the pixel basis to be perceptually highly redundant but perhaps surprisingly, the ICA basis showed significantly higher perceptual dependencies than the DCT basis. This shows a dissociation between statistical and perceptual dependence measures.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical Consistency of Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis

Fukumizu, K., Bach, F., Gretton, A.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 8, pages: 361-383, February 2007 (article)

Abstract
While kernel canonical correlation analysis (CCA) has been applied in many contexts, the convergence of finite sample estimates of the associated functions to their population counterparts has not yet been established. This paper gives a mathematical proof of the statistical convergence of kernel CCA, providing a theoretical justification for the method. The proof uses covariance operators defined on reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces, and analyzes the convergence of their empirical estimates of finite rank to their population counterparts, which can have infinite rank. The result also gives a sufficient condition for convergence on the regularization coefficient involved in kernel CCA: this should decrease as n^{-1/3}, where n is the number of data.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Unsupervised learning of a steerable basis for invariant image representations

Bethge, M., Gerwinn, S., Macke, J.

In Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XII, pages: 1-12, (Editors: Rogowitz, B. E.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA, SPIE Human Vision and Electronic Imaging Conference, February 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
There are two aspects to unsupervised learning of invariant representations of images: First, we can reduce the dimensionality of the representation by finding an optimal trade-off between temporal stability and informativeness. We show that the answer to this optimization problem is generally not unique so that there is still considerable freedom in choosing a suitable basis. Which of the many optimal representations should be selected? Here, we focus on this second aspect, and seek to find representations that are invariant under geometrical transformations occuring in sequences of natural images. We utilize ideas of steerability and Lie groups, which have been developed in the context of filter design. In particular, we show how an anti-symmetric version of canonical correlation analysis can be used to learn a full-rank image basis which is steerable with respect to rotations. We provide a geometric interpretation of this algorithm by showing that it finds the two-dimensional eigensubspaces of the avera ge bivector. For data which exhibits a variety of transformations, we develop a bivector clustering algorithm, which we use to learn a basis of generalized quadrature pairs (i.e. complex cells) from sequences of natural images.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Subspace Kernel for Nonlinear Feature Extraction

Wu, M., Farquhar, J.

In IJCAI-07, pages: 1125-1130, (Editors: Veloso, M. M.), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, January 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Kernel based nonlinear Feature Extraction (KFE) or dimensionality reduction is a widely used pre-processing step in pattern classification and data mining tasks. Given a positive definite kernel function, it is well known that the input data are implicitly mapped to a feature space with usually very high dimensionality. The goal of KFE is to find a low dimensional subspace of this feature space, which retains most of the information needed for classification or data analysis. In this paper, we propose a subspace kernel based on which the feature extraction problem is transformed to a kernel parameter learning problem. The key observation is that when projecting data into a low dimensional subspace of the feature space, the parameters that are used for describing this subspace can be regarded as the parameters of the kernel function between the projected data. Therefore current kernel parameter learning methods can be adapted to optimize this parameterized kernel function. Experimental results are provided to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Graph kernels for disease outcome prediction from protein-protein interaction networks

Borgwardt, KM., Vishwanathan, SVN., Schraudolph, N., Kriegel, H-P.

In pages: 4-15, (Editors: Altman, R.B. A.K. Dunker, L. Hunter, T. Murray, T.E. Klein), World Scientific, Hackensack, NJ, USA, Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB), January 2007 (inproceedings)

Abstract
It is widely believed that comparing discrepancies in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of individuals will become an important tool in understanding and preventing diseases. Currently PPI networks for individuals are not available, but gene expression data is becoming easier to obtain and allows us to represent individuals by a co-integrated gene expression/protein interaction network. Two major problems hamper the application of graph kernels – state-of-the-art methods for whole-graph comparison – to compare PPI networks. First, these methods do not scale to graphs of the size of a PPI network. Second, missing edges in these interaction networks are biologically relevant for detecting discrepancies, yet, these methods do not take this into account. In this article we present graph kernels for biological network comparison that are fast to compute and take into account missing interactions. We evaluate their practical performance on two datasets of co-integrated gene expression/PPI networks.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Some observations on the pedestal effect

Henning, G., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 7(1:3):1-15, January 2007 (article)

Abstract
The pedestal or dipper effect is the large improvement in the detectability of a sinusoidal grating observed when it is added to a masking or pedestal grating of the same spatial frequency, orientation, and phase. We measured the pedestal effect in both broadband and notched noiseVnoise from which a 1.5-octave band centered on the signal frequency had been removed. Although the pedestal effect persists in broadband noise, it almost disappears in the notched noise. Furthermore, the pedestal effect is substantial when either high- or low-pass masking noise is used. We conclude that the pedestal effect in the absence of notched noise results principally from the use of information derived from channels with peak sensitivities at spatial frequencies different from that of the signal and the pedestal. We speculate that the spatial-frequency components of the notched noise above and below the spatial frequency of the signal and the pedestal prevent ‘‘off-frequency looking,’’ that is, prevent the use of information about changes in contrast carried in channels tuned to spatial frequencies that are very much different from that of the signal and the pedestal. Thus, the pedestal or dipper effect measured without notched noise appears not to be a characteristic of individual spatial-frequency-tuned channels.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Cue Combination and the Effect of Horizontal Disparity and Perspective on Stereoacuity

Zalevski, AM., Henning, GB., Hill, NJ.

Spatial Vision, 20(1):107-138, January 2007 (article)

Abstract
Relative depth judgments of vertical lines based on horizontal disparity deteriorate enormously when the lines form part of closed configurations (Westheimer, 1979). In studies showing this effect, perspective was not manipulated and thus produced inconsistency between horizontal disparity and perspective. We show that stereoacuity improves dramatically when perspective and horizontal disparity are made consistent. Observers appear to use unhelpful perspective cues in judging the relative depth of the vertical sides of rectangles in a way not incompatible with a form of cue weighting. However, 95% confidence intervals for the weights derived for cues usually exceed the a-priori [0-1] range.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Independent Factor Reinforcement Learning for Portfolio Management

Li, J., Zhang, K., Chan, L.

In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning (IDEAL 2007), pages: 1020-1031, (Editors: H Yin and P Tiño and E Corchado and W Byrne and X Yao), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 8th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning (IDEAL), 2007 (inproceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Classificazione di immagini telerilevate satellitari per agricoltura di precisione

Arnoldi, E., Bruzzone, L., Carlin, L., Pedron, L., Persello, C.

MondoGis: Il Mondo dei Sistemi Informativi Geografici, 63, pages: 13-17, 2007 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Separating convolutive mixtures by pairwise mutual information minimization", IEEE Signal Processing Letters

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

IEEE Signal Processing Letters, 14(12):992-995, 2007 (article)

Abstract
Blind separation of convolutive mixtures by minimizing the mutual information between output sequences can avoid the side effect of temporally whitening the outputs, but it involves the score function difference, whose estimation may be problematic when the data dimension is greater than two. This greatly limits the application of this method. Fortunately, for separating convolutive mixtures, pairwise independence of outputs leads to their mutual independence. As an implementation of this idea, we propose a way to separate convolutive mixtures by enforcing pairwise independence. This approach can be applied to separate convolutive mixtures of a moderate number of sources.

ei

Web [BibTex]


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Kernel-Based Nonlinear Independent Component Analysis

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

In Independent Component Analysis and Signal Separation, 7th International Conference, ICA 2007, pages: 301-308, (Editors: M E Davies and C J James and S A Abdallah and M D Plumbley), Springer, 7th International Conference on Independent Component Analysis and Signal Separation (ICA), 2007, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 4666 (inproceedings)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Machine Learning of Motor Skills

Peters, J., Schaal, S., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of Autonome Mobile Systeme (AMS), pages: 138-144, (Editors: K Berns and T Luksch), 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Autonomous robots that can adapt to novel situations has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. Early approaches to this goal during the heydays of artificial intelligence research in the late 1980s, however, made it clear that an approach purely based on reasoning or human insights would not be able to model all the perceptuomotor tasks that a robot should fulfill. Instead, new hope was put in the growing wake of machine learning that promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach to motor skill learning in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two ma jor components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution and, secondly, appropriate learning algorithms which can be applied in this setting.

am ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Optimal Control of Arm Movements

Theodorou, E., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of the 37st Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience., Neuroscience, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Every day motor behavior consists of a plethora of challenging motor skills from discrete movements such as reaching and throwing to rhythmic movements such as walking, drumming and running. How this plethora of motor skills can be learned remains an open question. In particular, is there any unifying computa-tional framework that could model the learning process of this variety of motor behaviors and at the same time be biologically plausible? In this work we aim to give an answer to these questions by providing a computational framework that unifies the learning mechanism of both rhythmic and discrete movements under optimization criteria, i.e., in a non-supervised trial-and-error fashion. Our suggested framework is based on Reinforcement Learning, which is mostly considered as too costly to be a plausible mechanism for learning com-plex limb movement. However, recent work on reinforcement learning with pol-icy gradients combined with parameterized movement primitives allows novel and more efficient algorithms. By using the representational power of such mo-tor primitives we show how rhythmic motor behaviors such as walking, squash-ing and drumming as well as discrete behaviors like reaching and grasping can be learned with biologically plausible algorithms. Using extensive simulations and by using different reward functions we provide results that support the hy-pothesis that Reinforcement Learning could be a viable candidate for motor learning of human motor behavior when other learning methods like supervised learning are not feasible.

am ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning by reward-weighted regression for operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 745-750, ICML, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many robot control problems of practical importance, including operational space control, can be reformulated as immediate reward reinforcement learning problems. However, few of the known optimization or reinforcement learning algorithms can be used in online learning control for robots, as they are either prohibitively slow, do not scale to interesting domains of complex robots, or require trying out policies generated by random search, which are infeasible for a physical system. Using a generalization of the EM-base reinforcement learning framework suggested by Dayan & Hinton, we reduce the problem of learning with immediate rewards to a reward-weighted regression problem with an adaptive, integrated reward transformation for faster convergence. The resulting algorithm is efficient, learns smoothly without dangerous jumps in solution space, and works well in applications of complex high degree-of-freedom robots.

am ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Policy gradient methods for machine learning

Peters, J., Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 14th INFORMS Conference of the Applied Probability Society, pages: 97-98, Eindhoven, Netherlands, July 9-11, 2007, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present an in-depth survey of policy gradient methods as they are used in the machine learning community for optimizing parameterized, stochastic control policies in Markovian systems with respect to the expected reward. Despite having been developed separately in the reinforcement learning literature, policy gradient methods employ likelihood ratio gradient estimators as also suggested in the stochastic simulation optimization community. It is well-known that this approach to policy gradient estimation traditionally suffers from three drawbacks, i.e., large variance, a strong dependence on baseline functions and a inefficient gradient descent. In this talk, we will present a series of recent results which tackles each of these problems. The variance of the gradient estimation can be reduced significantly through recently introduced techniques such as optimal baselines, compatible function approximations and all-action gradients. However, as even the analytically obtainable policy gradients perform unnaturally slow, it required the step from ÔvanillaÕ policy gradient methods towards natural policy gradients in order to overcome the inefficiency of the gradient descent. This development resulted into the Natural Actor-Critic architecture which can be shown to be very efficient in application to motor primitive learning for robotics.

am ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Policy Learning for Motor Skills

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of 14th International Conference on Neural Information Processing (ICONIP), pages: 233-242, (Editors: Ishikawa, M. , K. Doya, H. Miyamoto, T. Yamakawa), 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Policy learning which allows autonomous robots to adapt to novel situations has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach policy learning with the goal of an application to motor skill refinement in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, we study policy learning algorithms which can be applied in the general setting of motor skill learning, and, secondly, we study a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution.

am ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning for operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages: 2111-2116, IEEE Computer Society, ICRA, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
While operational space control is of essential importance for robotics and well-understood from an analytical point of view, it can be prohibitively hard to achieve accurate control in face of modeling errors, which are inevitable in complex robots, e.g., humanoid robots. In such cases, learning control methods can offer an interesting alternative to analytical control algorithms. However, the resulting supervised learning problem is ill-defined as it requires to learn an inverse mapping of a usually redundant system, which is well known to suffer from the property of non-convexity of the solution space, i.e., the learning system could generate motor commands that try to steer the robot into physically impossible configurations. The important insight that many operational space control algorithms can be reformulated as optimal control problems, however, allows addressing this inverse learning problem in the framework of reinforcement learning. However, few of the known optimization or reinforcement learning algorithms can be used in online learning control for robots, as they are either prohibitively slow, do not scale to interesting domains of complex robots, or require trying out policies generated by random search, which are infeasible for a physical system. Using a generalization of the EM-based reinforcement learning framework suggested by Dayan & Hinton, we reduce the problem of learning with immediate rewards to a reward-weighted regression problem with an adaptive, integrated reward transformation for faster convergence. The resulting algorithm is efficient, learns smoothly without dangerous jumps in solution space, and works well in applications of complex high degree-of-freedom robots.

am ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Using reward-weighted regression for reinforcement learning of task space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, pages: 262-267, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 1-5, 2007, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we evaluate different versions from the three main kinds of model-free policy gradient methods, i.e., finite difference gradients, `vanilla' policy gradients and natural policy gradients. Each of these methods is first presented in its simple form and subsequently refined and optimized. By carrying out numerous experiments on the cart pole regulator benchmark we aim to provide a useful baseline for future research on parameterized policy search algorithms. Portable C++ code is provided for both plant and algorithms; thus, the results in this paper can be reevaluated, reused and new algorithms can be inserted with ease.

am ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of Policy Gradient Methods and Variants on the Cart-Pole Benchmark

Riedmiller, M., Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, pages: 254-261, ADPRL, 2007, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we evaluate different versions from the three main kinds of model-free policy gradient methods, i.e., finite difference gradients, `vanilla' policy gradients and natural policy gradients. Each of these methods is first presented in its simple form and subsequently refined and optimized. By carrying out numerous experiments on the cart pole regulator benchmark we aim to provide a useful baseline for future research on parameterized policy search algorithms. Portable C++ code is provided for both plant and algorithms; thus, the results in this paper can be reevaluated, reused and new algorithms can be inserted with ease.

am ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2005


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Kernel Methods for Measuring Independence

Gretton, A., Herbrich, R., Smola, A., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 6, pages: 2075-2129, December 2005 (article)

Abstract
We introduce two new functionals, the constrained covariance and the kernel mutual information, to measure the degree of independence of random variables. These quantities are both based on the covariance between functions of the random variables in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs). We prove that when the RKHSs are universal, both functionals are zero if and only if the random variables are pairwise independent. We also show that the kernel mutual information is an upper bound near independence on the Parzen window estimate of the mutual information. Analogous results apply for two correlation-based dependence functionals introduced earlier: we show the kernel canonical correlation and the kernel generalised variance to be independence measures for universal kernels, and prove the latter to be an upper bound on the mutual information near independence. The performance of the kernel dependence functionals in measuring independence is verified in the context of independent component analysis.

ei

PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]

2005


PDF PostScript PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel ICA for Large Scale Problems

Jegelka, S., Gretton, A., Achlioptas, D.

In pages: -, NIPS Workshop on Large Scale Kernel Machines, December 2005 (inproceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Infinite dimensional exponential families by reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces

Fukumizu, K.

In IGAIA 2005, pages: 324-333, 2nd International Symposium on Information Geometry and its Applications, December 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to propose a method of constructing exponential families of Hilbert manifold, on which estimation theory can be built. Although there have been works on infinite dimensional exponential families of Banach manifolds (Pistone and Sempi, 1995; Gibilisco and Pistone, 1998; Pistone and Rogantin, 1999), they are not appropriate to discuss statistical estimation with finite number of samples; the likelihood function with finite samples is not continuous on the manifold. In this paper we use a reproducing kernel Hilbert space as a functional space for constructing an exponential manifold. A reproducing kernel Hilbert space is dened as a Hilbert space of functions such that evaluation of a function at an arbitrary point is a continuous functional on the Hilbert space. Since we can discuss the value of a function with this space, it is very natural to use a manifold associated with a reproducing kernel Hilbert space as a basis of estimation theory. We focus on the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) with the exponential manifold of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space. As in many non-parametric estimation methods, straightforward extension of MLE to an infinite dimensional exponential manifold suffers the problem of ill-posedness caused by the fact that the estimator should be chosen from the infinite dimensional space with only finite number of constraints given by the data. To solve this problem, a pseudo-maximum likelihood method is proposed by restricting the infinite dimensional manifold to a series of finite dimensional submanifolds, which enlarge as the number of samples increases. Some asymptotic results in the limit of infinite samples are shown, including the consistency of the pseudo-MLE.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Unifying View of Sparse Approximate Gaussian Process Regression

Quinonero Candela, J., Rasmussen, C.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 6, pages: 1935-1959, December 2005 (article)

Abstract
We provide a new unifying view, including all existing proper probabilistic sparse approximations for Gaussian process regression. Our approach relies on expressing the effective prior which the methods are using. This allows new insights to be gained, and highlights the relationship between existing methods. It also allows for a clear theoretically justified ranking of the closeness of the known approximations to the corresponding full GPs. Finally we point directly to designs of new better sparse approximations, combining the best of the existing strategies, within attractive computational constraints.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Shortest-path kernels on graphs

Borgwardt, KM., Kriegel, H-P.

In pages: 74-81, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, Fifth International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), November 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Data mining algorithms are facing the challenge to deal with an increasing number of complex objects. For graph data, a whole toolbox of data mining algorithms becomes available by defining a kernel function on instances of graphs. Graph kernels based on walks, subtrees and cycles in graphs have been proposed so far. As a general problem, these kernels are either computationally expensive or limited in their expressiveness. We try to overcome this problem by defining expressive graph kernels which are based on paths. As the computation of all paths and longest paths in a graph is NP-hard, we propose graph kernels based on shortest paths. These kernels are computable in polynomial time, retain expressivity and are still positive definite. In experiments on classification of graph models of proteins, our shortest-path kernels show significantly higher classification accuracy than walk-based kernels.

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Training Support Vector Machines with Multiple Equality Constraints

Kienzle, W., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Machine Learning, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3720, pages: 182-193, (Editors: JG Carbonell and J Siekmann), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML, November 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we present a primal-dual decomposition algorithm for support vector machine training. As with existing methods that use very small working sets (such as Sequential Minimal Optimization (SMO), Successive Over-Relaxation (SOR) or the Kernel Adatron (KA)), our method scales well, is straightforward to implement, and does not require an external QP solver. Unlike SMO, SOR and KA, the method is applicable to a large number of SVM formulations regardless of the number of equality constraints involved. The effectiveness of our algorithm is demonstrated on a more difficult SVM variant in this respect, namely semi-parametric support vector regression.

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Measuring Statistical Dependence with Hilbert-Schmidt Norms

Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Smola, A., Schoelkopf, B.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3734, pages: 63-78, (Editors: S Jain and H-U Simon and E Tomita), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 16th International Conference ALT, October 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose an independence criterion based on the eigenspectrum of covariance operators in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs), consisting of an empirical estimate of the Hilbert-Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator (we term this a Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion, or HSIC). This approach has several advantages, compared with previous kernel-based independence criteria. First, the empirical estimate is simpler than any other kernel dependence test, and requires no user-defined regularisation. Second, there is a clearly defined population quantity which the empirical estimate approaches in the large sample limit, with exponential convergence guaranteed between the two: this ensures that independence tests based on {methodname} do not suffer from slow learning rates. Finally, we show in the context of independent component analysis (ICA) that the performance of HSIC is competitive with that of previously published kernel-based criteria, and of other recently published ICA methods.

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Maximal Margin Classification for Metric Spaces

Hein, M., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 71(3):333-359, October 2005 (article)

Abstract
In order to apply the maximum margin method in arbitrary metric spaces, we suggest to embed the metric space into a Banach or Hilbert space and to perform linear classification in this space. We propose several embeddings and recall that an isometric embedding in a Banach space is always possible while an isometric embedding in a Hilbert space is only possible for certain metric spaces. As a result, we obtain a general maximum margin classification algorithm for arbitrary metric spaces (whose solution is approximated by an algorithm of Graepel. Interestingly enough, the embedding approach, when applied to a metric which can be embedded into a Hilbert space, yields the SVM algorithm, which emphasizes the fact that its solution depends on the metric and not on the kernel. Furthermore we give upper bounds of the capacity of the function classes corresponding to both embeddings in terms of Rademacher averages. Finally we compare the capacities of these function classes directly.

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PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An Analysis of the Anti-Learning Phenomenon for the Class Symmetric Polyhedron

Kowalczyk, A., Chapelle, O.

In Algorithmic Learning Theory: 16th International Conference, pages: 78-92, Algorithmic Learning Theory, October 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper deals with an unusual phenomenon where most machine learning algorithms yield good performance on the training set but systematically worse than random performance on the test set. This has been observed so far for some natural data sets and demonstrated for some synthetic data sets when the classification rule is learned from a small set of training samples drawn from some high dimensional space. The initial analysis presented in this paper shows that anti-learning is a property of data sets and is quite distinct from overfitting of a training data. Moreover, the analysis leads to a specification of some machine learning procedures which can overcome anti-learning and generate ma- chines able to classify training and test data consistently.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Selective integration of multiple biological data for supervised network inference

Kato, T., Tsuda, K., Asai, K.

Bioinformatics, 21(10):2488 , October 2005 (article)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Assessing Approximate Inference for Binary Gaussian Process Classification

Kuss, M., Rasmussen, C.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 6, pages: 1679 , October 2005 (article)

Abstract
Gaussian process priors can be used to define flexible, probabilistic classification models. Unfortunately exact Bayesian inference is analytically intractable and various approximation techniques have been proposed. In this work we review and compare Laplace‘s method and Expectation Propagation for approximate Bayesian inference in the binary Gaussian process classification model. We present a comprehensive comparison of the approximations, their predictive performance and marginal likelihood estimates to results obtained by MCMC sampling. We explain theoretically and corroborate empirically the advantages of Expectation Propagation compared to Laplace‘s method.

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PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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A new methodology for robot controller design

Peters, J., Peters, J., Mistry, M., Udwadia, F.

In Proceedings of the 5th ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC‘05), 5, pages: 1067-1076 , ASME, New York, NY, USA, 5th ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC-MSNDC), September 2005 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Gauss' principle of least constraint and its generalizations have provided a useful insights for the development of tracking controllers for mechanical systems [1]. Using this concept, we present a novel methodology for the design of a specific class of robot controllers. With our new framework, we demonstrate that well-known and also several novel nonlinear robot control laws can be derived from this generic framework, and show experimental verifications on a Sarcos Master Arm robot for some of these controllers. We believe that the suggested approach unifies and simplifies the design of optimal nonlinear control laws for robots obeying rigid body dynamics equations, both with or without external constraints, holonomic or nonholonomic constraints, with over-actuation or underactuation, as well as open-chain and closed-chain kinematics.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Clustering on the Unit Hypersphere using von Mises-Fisher Distributions

Banerjee, A., Dhillon, I., Ghosh, J., Sra, S.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 6, pages: 1345-1382, September 2005 (article)

Abstract
Several large scale data mining applications, such as text categorization and gene expression analysis, involve high-dimensional data that is also inherently directional in nature. Often such data is L2 normalized so that it lies on the surface of a unit hypersphere. Popular models such as (mixtures of) multi-variate Gaussians are inadequate for characterizing such data. This paper proposes a generative mixture-model approach to clustering directional data based on the von Mises-Fisher (vMF) distribution, which arises naturally for data distributed on the unit hypersphere. In particular, we derive and analyze two variants of the Expectation Maximization (EM) framework for estimating the mean and concentration parameters of this mixture. Numerical estimation of the concentration parameters is non-trivial in high dimensions since it involves functional inversion of ratios of Bessel functions. We also formulate two clustering algorithms corresponding to the variants of EM that we derive. Our approach provides a theoretical basis for the use of cosine similarity that has been widely employed by the information retrieval community, and obtains the spherical kmeans algorithm (kmeans with cosine similarity) as a special case of both variants. Empirical results on clustering of high-dimensional text and gene-expression data based on a mixture of vMF distributions show that the ability to estimate the concentration parameter for each vMF component, which is not present in existing approaches, yields superior results, especially for difficult clustering tasks in high-dimensional spaces.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Support Vector Machines for 3D Shape Processing

Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B., Blanz, V.

Computer Graphics Forum, 24(3, EUROGRAPHICS 2005):285-294, September 2005 (article)

Abstract
We propose statistical learning methods for approximating implicit surfaces and computing dense 3D deformation fields. Our approach is based on Support Vector (SV) Machines, which are state of the art in machine learning. It is straightforward to implement and computationally competitive; its parameters can be automatically set using standard machine learning methods. The surface approximation is based on a modified Support Vector regression. We present applications to 3D head reconstruction, including automatic removal of outliers and hole filling. In a second step, we build on our SV representation to compute dense 3D deformation fields between two objects. The fields are computed using a generalized SVMachine enforcing correspondence between the previously learned implicit SV object representations, as well as correspondences between feature points if such points are available. We apply the method to the morphing of 3D heads and other objects.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Correlation of EEG spectral entropy with regional cerebral blood flow during sevoflurane and propofol anaesthesia

Maksimow, A., Kaisti, K., Aalto, S., Mäenpää, M., Jääskeläinen, S., Hinkka, S., Martens, SMM., Särkelä, M., Viertiö-Oja, H., Scheinin, H.

Anaesthesia, 60(9):862-869, September 2005 (article)

Abstract
ENTROPY index monitoring, based on spectral entropy of the electroencephalogram, is a promising new method to measure the depth of anaesthesia. We examined the association between spectral entropy and regional cerebral blood flow in healthy subjects anaesthetised with 2%, 3% and 4% end-expiratory concentrations of sevoflurane and 7.6, 12.5 and 19.0 microg.ml(-1) plasma drug concentrations of propofol. Spectral entropy from the frequency band 0.8-32 Hz was calculated and cerebral blood flow assessed using positron emission tomography and [(15)O]-labelled water at baseline and at each anaesthesia level. Both drugs induced significant reductions in spectral entropy and cortical and global cerebral blood flow. Midfrontal-central spectral entropy was associated with individual frontal and whole brain blood flow values across all conditions, suggesting that this novel measure of anaesthetic depth can depict global changes in neuronal activity induced by the drugs. The cortical areas of the most significant associations were remarkably similar for both drugs.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Fast Protein Classification with Multiple Networks

Tsuda, K., Shin, H., Schölkopf, B.

Bioinformatics, 21(Suppl. 2):59-65, September 2005 (article)

Abstract
Support vector machines (SVM) have been successfully used to classify proteins into functional categories. Recently, to integrate multiple data sources, a semidefinite programming (SDP) based SVM method was introduced Lanckriet et al (2004). In SDP/SVM, multiple kernel matrices corresponding to each of data sources are combined with weights obtained by solving an SDP. However, when trying to apply SDP/SVM to large problems, the computational cost can become prohibitive, since both converting the data to a kernel matrix for the SVM and solving the SDP are time and memory demanding. Another application-specific drawback arises when some of the data sources are protein networks. A common method of converting the network to a kernel matrix is the diffusion kernel method, which has time complexity of O(n^3), and produces a dense matrix of size n x n. We propose an efficient method of protein classification using multiple protein networks. Available protein networks, such as a physical interaction network or a metabolic network, can be directly incorporated. Vectorial data can also be incorporated after conversion into a network by means of neighbor point connection. Similarly to the SDP/SVM method, the combination weights are obtained by convex optimization. Due to the sparsity of network edges, the computation time is nearly linear in the number of edges of the combined network. Additionally, the combination weights provide information useful for discarding noisy or irrelevant networks. Experiments on function prediction of 3588 yeast proteins show promising results: the computation time is enormously reduced, while the accuracy is still comparable to the SDP/SVM method.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Analyzing microarray data using quantitative association rules

Georgii, E., Richter, L., Rückert, U., Kramer, S.

Bioinformatics, 21(Suppl. 2):123-129, September 2005 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: We tackle the problem of finding regularities in microarray data. Various data mining tools, such as clustering, classification, Bayesian networks and association rules, have been applied so far to gain insight into gene-expression data. Association rule mining techniques used so far work on discretizations of the data and cannot account for cumulative effects. In this paper, we investigate the use of quantitative association rules that can operate directly on numeric data and represent cumulative effects of variables. Technically speaking, this type of quantitative association rules based on half-spaces can find non-axis-parallel regularities. Results: We performed a variety of experiments testing the utility of quantitative association rules for microarray data. First of all, the results should be statistically significant and robust against fluctuations in the data. Next, the approach should be scalable in the number of variables, which is important for such high-dimensional data. Finally, the rules should make sense biologically and be sufficiently different from rules found in regular association rule mining working with discretizations. In all of these dimensions, the proposed approach performed satisfactorily. Therefore, quantitative association rules based on half-spaces should be considered as a tool for the analysis of microarray gene-expression data.

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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EEG-Based Mental Task Classification: Linear and Nonlinear Classification of Movement Imagery

Athena Akrami, A.

In EMBS, 27th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), September 1-4,, Shanghai, China (Accepted), September 2005 (inproceedings) Accepted

Abstract
Abstract—Use of EEG signals as a channel of communication between men and machines represents one of the current challenges in signal theory research. The principal element of such a communication system, known as a “Brain-Computer Interface,” is the interpretation of the EEG signals related to the characteristic parameters of brain electrical activity. Our goal in this work was extracting quantitative changes in the EEG due to movement imagination. Subject‘s EEG was recorded while he performed left or right hand movement imagination. Different feature sets extracted from EEG were used as inputs into linear, Neural Network and HMM classifiers for the purpose of imagery movement mental task classification. The results indicate that applying linear classifier to 5 frequency features of asymmetry signal produced from channel C3 and C4 can provide a very high classification accuracy percentage as a simple classifier with small number of features comparing to other feature sets.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]