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2006


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Incremental Aspect Models for Mining Document Streams

Surendran, A., Sra, S.

In PKDD 2006, pages: 633-640, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 10th European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we introduce a novel approach for incrementally building aspect models, and use it to dynamically discover underlying themes from document streams. Using the new approach we present an application which we call “query-line tracking” i.e., we automatically discover and summarize different themes or stories that appear over time, and that relate to a particular query. We present evaluation on news corpora to demonstrate the strength of our method for both query-line tracking, online indexing and clustering.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

2006


Web DOI [BibTex]


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Implicit Surface Modelling with a Globally Regularised Basis of Compact Support

Walder, C., Schölkopf, B., Chapelle, O.

Computer Graphics Forum, 25(3):635-644, September 2006 (article)

Abstract
We consider the problem of constructing a globally smooth analytic function that represents a surface implicitly by way of its zero set, given sample points with surface normal vectors. The contributions of the paper include a novel means of regularising multi-scale compactly supported basis functions that leads to the desirable interpolation properties previously only associated with fully supported bases. We also provide a regularisation framework for simpler and more direct treatment of surface normals, along with a corresponding generalisation of the representer theorem lying at the core of kernel-based machine learning methods. We demonstrate the techniques on 3D problems of up to 14 million data points, as well as 4D time series data and four-dimensional interpolation between three-dimensional shapes.

ei

PDF GZIP DOI [BibTex]


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PALMA: Perfect Alignments using Large Margin Algorithms

Rätsch, G., Hepp, B., Schulze, U., Ong, C.

In GCB 2006, pages: 104-113, (Editors: Huson, D. , O. Kohlbacher, A. Lupas, K. Nieselt, A. Zell), Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Germany, German Conference on Bioinformatics, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Despite many years of research on how to properly align sequences in the presence of sequencing errors, alternative splicing and micro-exons, the correct alignment of mRNA sequences to genomic DNA is still a challenging task. We present a novel approach based on large margin learning that combines kernel based splice site predictions with common sequence alignment techniques. By solving a convex optimization problem, our algorithm -- called PALMA -- tunes the parameters of the model such that the true alignment scores higher than all other alignments. In an experimental study on the alignments of mRNAs containing artificially generated micro-exons, we show that our algorithm drastically outperforms all other methods: It perfectly aligns all 4358 sequences on an hold-out set, while the best other method misaligns at least 90 of them. Moreover, our algorithm is very robust against noise in the query sequence: when deleting, inserting, or mutating up to 50% of the query sequence, it still aligns 95% of all sequences correctly, while other methods achieve less than 36% accuracy. For datasets, additional results and a stand-alone alignment tool see http://www.fml.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/palma.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Graph Based Semi-Supervised Learning with Sharper Edges

Shin, H., Hill, N., Rätsch, G.

In ECML 2006, pages: 401-412, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 17th European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML), September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In many graph-based semi-supervised learning algorithms, edge weights are assumed to be fixed and determined by the data points‘ (often symmetric)relationships in input space, without considering directionality. However, relationships may be more informative in one direction (e.g. from labelled to unlabelled) than in the reverse direction, and some relationships (e.g. strong weights between oppositely labelled points) are unhelpful in either direction. Undesirable edges may reduce the amount of influence an informative point can propagate to its neighbours -- the point and its outgoing edges have been ``blunted.‘‘ We present an approach to ``sharpening‘‘ in which weights are adjusted to meet an optimization criterion wherever they are directed towards labelled points. This principle can be applied to a wide variety of algorithms. In the current paper, we present one ad hoc solution satisfying the principle, in order to show that it can improve performance on a number of publicly available benchmark data sets.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Finite-Horizon Optimal State-Feedback Control of Nonlinear Stochastic Systems Based on a Minimum Principle

Deisenroth, MP., Ohtsuka, T., Weissel, F., Brunn, D., Hanebeck, UD.

In MFI 2006, pages: 371-376, (Editors: Hanebeck, U. D.), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 6th IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, an approach to the finite-horizon optimal state-feedback control problem of nonlinear, stochastic, discrete-time systems is presented. Starting from the dynamic programming equation, the value function will be approximated by means of Taylor series expansion up to second-order derivatives. Moreover, the problem will be reformulated, such that a minimum principle can be applied to the stochastic problem. Employing this minimum principle, the optimal control problem can be rewritten as a two-point boundary-value problem to be solved at each time step of a shrinking horizon. To avoid numerical problems, the two-point boundary-value problem will be solved by means of a continuation method. Thus, the curse of dimensionality of dynamic programming is avoided, and good candidates for the optimal state-feedback controls are obtained. The proposed approach will be evaluated by means of a scalar example system.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Uniform Convergence of Adaptive Graph-Based Regularization

Hein, M.

In COLT 2006, pages: 50-64, (Editors: Lugosi, G. , H.-U. Simon), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 19th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The regularization functional induced by the graph Laplacian of a random neighborhood graph based on the data is adaptive in two ways. First it adapts to an underlying manifold structure and second to the density of the data-generating probability measure. We identify in this paper the limit of the regularizer and show uniform convergence over the space of Hoelder functions. As an intermediate step we derive upper bounds on the covering numbers of Hoelder functions on compact Riemannian manifolds, which are of independent interest for the theoretical analysis of manifold-based learning methods.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Regularised CSP for Sensor Selection in BCI

Farquhar, J., Hill, N., Lal, T., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 3rd International Brain-Computer Interface Workshop and Training Course 2006, pages: 14-15, (Editors: GR Müller-Putz and C Brunner and R Leeb and R Scherer and A Schlögl and S Wriessnegger and G Pfurtscheller), Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, Graz, Austria, 3rd International Brain-Computer Interface Workshop and Training Course, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The Common Spatial Pattern (CSP) algorithm is a highly successful method for efficiently calculating spatial filters for brain signal classification. Spatial filtering can improve classification performance considerably, but demands that a large number of electrodes be mounted, which is inconvenient in day-to-day BCI usage. The CSP algorithm is also known for its tendency to overfit, i.e. to learn the noise in the training set rather than the signal. Both problems motivate an approach in which spatial filters are sparsified. We briefly sketch a reformulation of the problem which allows us to do this, using 1-norm regularisation. Focusing on the electrode selection issue, we present preliminary results on EEG data sets that suggest that effective spatial filters may be computed with as few as 10--20 electrodes, hence offering the potential to simplify the practical realisation of BCI systems significantly.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Time-Dependent Demixing of Task-Relevant EEG Signals

Hill, N., Farquhar, J., Lal, T., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 3rd International Brain-Computer Interface Workshop and Training Course 2006, pages: 20-21, (Editors: GR Müller-Putz and C Brunner and R Leeb and R Scherer and A Schlögl and S Wriessnegger and G Pfurtscheller), Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, Graz, Austria, 3rd International Brain-Computer Interface Workshop and Training Course, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Given a spatial filtering algorithm that has allowed us to identify task-relevant EEG sources, we present a simple approach for monitoring the activity of these sources while remaining relatively robust to changes in other (task-irrelevant) brain activity. The idea is to keep spatial *patterns* fixed rather than spatial filters, when transferring from training to test sessions or from one time window to another. We show that a fixed spatial pattern (FSP) approach, using a moving-window estimate of signal covariances, can be more robust to non-stationarity than a fixed spatial filter (FSF) approach.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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A Sober Look at Clustering Stability

Ben-David, S., von Luxburg, U., Pal, D.

In COLT 2006, pages: 5-19, (Editors: Lugosi, G. , H.-U. Simon), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 19th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Stability is a common tool to verify the validity of sample based algorithms. In clustering it is widely used to tune the parameters of the algorithm, such as the number k of clusters. In spite of the popularity of stability in practical applications, there has been very little theoretical analysis of this notion. In this paper we provide a formal definition of stability and analyze some of its basic properties. Quite surprisingly, the conclusion of our analysis is that for large sample size, stability is fully determined by the behavior of the objective function which the clustering algorithm is aiming to minimize. If the objective function has a unique global minimizer, the algorithm is stable, otherwise it is unstable. In particular we conclude that stability is not a well-suited tool to determine the number of clusters - it is determined by the symmetries of the data which may be unrelated to clustering parameters. We prove our results for center-based clusterings and for spectral clustering, and support our conclusions by many examples in which the behavior of stability is counter-intuitive.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Information Marginalization on Subgraphs

Huang, J., Zhu, T., Rereiner, R., Zhou, D., Schuurmans, D.

In ECML/PKDD 2006, pages: 199-210, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 10th European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Real-world data often involves objects that exhibit multiple relationships; for example, ‘papers’ and ‘authors’ exhibit both paper-author interactions and paper-paper citation relationships. A typical learning problem requires one to make inferences about a subclass of objects (e.g. ‘papers’), while using the remaining objects and relations to provide relevant information. We present a simple, unified mechanism for incorporating information from multiple object types and relations when learning on a targeted subset. In this scheme, all sources of relevant information are marginalized onto the target subclass via random walks. We show that marginalized random walks can be used as a general technique for combining multiple sources of information in relational data. With this approach, we formulate new algorithms for transduction and ranking in relational data, and quantify the performance of new schemes on real world data—achieving good results in many problems.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Active Learning for Sensitivity Analysis

Pfingsten, T.

In ECML 2006, pages: 353-364, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Scheffer, M. Spiliopoulou), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 17th European Conference on Machine Learning, September 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Designs of micro electro-mechanical devices need to be robust against fluctuations in mass production. Computer experiments with tens of parameters are used to explore the behavior of the system, and to compute sensitivity measures as expectations over the input distribution. Monte Carlo methods are a simple approach to estimate these integrals, but they are infeasible when the models are computationally expensive. Using a Gaussian processes prior, expensive simulation runs can be saved. This Bayesian quadrature allows for an active selection of inputs where the simulation promises to be most valuable, and the number of simulation runs can be reduced further. We present an active learning scheme for sensitivity analysis which is rigorously derived from the corresponding Bayesian expected loss. On three fully featured, high dimensional physical models of electro-mechanical sensors, we show that the learning rate in the active learning scheme is significantly better than for passive learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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An Online Support Vector Machine for Abnormal Events Detection

Davy, M., Desobry, F., Gretton, A., Doncarli, C.

Signal Processing, 86(8):2009-2025, August 2006 (article)

Abstract
The ability to detect online abnormal events in signals is essential in many real-world Signal Processing applications. Previous algorithms require an explicit signal statistical model, and interpret abnormal events as statistical model abrupt changes. Corresponding implementation relies on maximum likelihood or on Bayes estimation theory with generally excellent performance. However, there are numerous cases where a robust and tractable model cannot be obtained, and model-free approaches need to be considered. In this paper, we investigate a machine learning, descriptor-based approach that does not require an explicit descriptors statistical model, based on Support Vector novelty detection. A sequential optimization algorithm is introduced. Theoretical considerations as well as simulations on real signals demonstrate its practical efficiency.

ei

PDF PostScript PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PostScript PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Integrating Structured Biological data by Kernel Maximum Mean Discrepancy

Borgwardt, K., Gretton, A., Rasch, M., Kriegel, H., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

Bioinformatics, 22(4: ISMB 2006 Conference Proceedings):e49-e57, August 2006 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Many problems in data integration in bioinformatics can be posed as one common question: Are two sets of observations generated by the same distribution? We propose a kernel-based statistical test for this problem, based on the fact that two distributions are different if and only if there exists at least one function having different expectation on the two distributions. Consequently we use the maximum discrepancy between function means as the basis of a test statistic. The Maximum Mean Discrepancy (MMD) can take advantage of the kernel trick, which allows us to apply it not only to vectors, but strings, sequences, graphs, and other common structured data types arising in molecular biology. Results: We study the practical feasibility of an MMD-based test on three central data integration tasks: Testing cross-platform comparability of microarray data, cancer diagnosis, and data-content based schema matching for two different protein function classification schemas. In all of these experiments, including high-dimensional ones, MMD is very accurate in finding samples that were generated from the same distribution, and outperforms its best competitors. Conclusions: We have defined a novel statistical test of whether two samples are from the same distribution, compatible with both multivariate and structured data, that is fast, easy to implement, and works well, as confirmed by our experiments.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Large Scale Transductive SVMs

Collobert, R., Sinz, F., Weston, J., Bottou, L.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 7, pages: 1687-1712, August 2006 (article)

Abstract
We show how the Concave-Convex Procedure can be applied to the optimization of Transductive SVMs, which traditionally requires solving a combinatorial search problem. This provides for the first time a highly scalable algorithm in the nonlinear case. Detailed experiments verify the utility of our approach.

ei

PostScript PDF PDF [BibTex]

PostScript PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Supervised Probabilistic Principal Component Analysis

Yu, S., Yu, K., Tresp, V., Kriegel, H., Wu, M.

In KDD 2006, pages: 464-473, (Editors: Ungar, L. ), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 12th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, August 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Principal component analysis (PCA) has been extensively applied in data mining, pattern recognition and information retrieval for unsupervised dimensionality reduction. When labels of data are available, e.g.,~in a classification or regression task, PCA is however not able to use this information. The problem is more interesting if only part of the input data are labeled, i.e.,~in a semi-supervised setting. In this paper we propose a supervised PCA model called SPPCA and a semi-supervised PCA model called S$^2$PPCA, both of which are extensions of a probabilistic PCA model. The proposed models are able to incorporate the label information into the projection phase, and can naturally handle multiple outputs (i.e.,~in multi-task learning problems). We derive an efficient EM learning algorithm for both models, and also provide theoretical justifications of the model behaviors. SPPCA and S$^2$PPCA are compared with other supervised projection methods on various learning tasks, and show not only promising performance but also good scalability.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Building Support Vector Machines with Reduced Classifier Complexity

Keerthi, S., Chapelle, O., DeCoste, D.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 7, pages: 1493-1515, July 2006 (article)

Abstract
Support vector machines (SVMs), though accurate, are not preferred in applications requiring great classification speed, due to the number of support vectors being large. To overcome this problem we devise a primal method with the following properties: (1) it decouples the idea of basis functions from the concept of support vectors; (2) it greedily finds a set of kernel basis functions of a specified maximum size ($dmax$) to approximate the SVM primal cost function well; (3) it is efficient and roughly scales as $O(ndmax^2)$ where $n$ is the number of training examples; and, (4) the number of basis functions it requires to achieve an accuracy close to the SVM accuracy is usually far less than the number of SVM support vectors.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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ARTS: Accurate Recognition of Transcription Starts in Human

Sonnenburg, S., Zien, A., Rätsch, G.

Bioinformatics, 22(14):e472-e480, July 2006 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: One of the most important features of genomic DNA are the protein-coding genes. While it is of great value to identify those genes and the encoded proteins, it is also crucial to understand how their transcription is regulated. To this end one has to identify the corresponding promoters and the contained transcription factor binding sites. TSS finders can be used to locate potential promoters. They may also be used in combination with other signal and content detectors to resolve entire gene structures. Results: We have developed a novel kernel based method - called ARTS - that accurately recognizes transcription start sites in human. The application of otherwise too computationally expensive Support Vector Machines was made possible due to the use of efficient training and evaluation techniques using suffix tries. In a carefully designed experimental study, we compare our TSS finder to state-of-the-art methods from the literature: McPromoter, Eponine and FirstEF. For given false positive rates within a reasonable range, we consistently achieve considerably higher true positive rates. For instance, ARTS finds about 24% true positives at a false positive rate of 1/1000, where the other methods find less than half (10.5%). Availability: Datasets, model selection results, whole genome predictions, and additional experimental results are available at http://www.fml.tuebingen.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/arts

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Large Scale Multiple Kernel Learning

Sonnenburg, S., Rätsch, G., Schäfer, C., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 7, pages: 1531-1565, July 2006 (article)

Abstract
While classical kernel-based learning algorithms are based on a single kernel, in practice it is often desirable to use multiple kernels. Lanckriet et al. (2004) considered conic combinations of kernel matrices for classification, leading to a convex quadratically constrained quadratic program. We show that it can be rewritten as a semi-infinite linear program that can be efficiently solved by recycling the standard SVM implementations. Moreover, we generalize the formulation and our method to a larger class of problems, including regression and one-class classification. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm works for hundred thousands of examples or hundreds of kernels to be combined, and helps for automatic model selection, improving the interpretability of the learning result. In a second part we discuss general speed up mechanism for SVMs, especially when used with sparse feature maps as appear for string kernels, allowing us to train a string kernel SVM on a 10 million real-world splice data set from computational biology. We integrated multiple kernel learning in our machine learning toolbox SHOGUN for which the source code is publicly available at http://www.fml.tuebingen.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/shogun.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Factorial coding of natural images: how effective are linear models in removing higher-order dependencies?

Bethge, M.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 23(6):1253-1268, June 2006 (article)

Abstract
The performance of unsupervised learning models for natural images is evaluated quantitatively by means of information theory. We estimate the gain in statistical independence (the multi-information reduction) achieved with independent component analysis (ICA), principal component analysis (PCA), zero-phase whitening, and predictive coding. Predictive coding is translated into the transform coding framework, where it can be characterized by the constraint of a triangular filter matrix. A randomly sampled whitening basis and the Haar wavelet are included into the comparison as well. The comparison of all these methods is carried out for different patch sizes, ranging from 2x2 to 16x16 pixels. In spite of large differences in the shape of the basis functions, we find only small differences in the multi-information between all decorrelation transforms (5% or less) for all patch sizes. Among the second-order methods, PCA is optimal for small patch sizes and predictive coding performs best for large patch sizes. The extra gain achieved with ICA is always less than 2%. In conclusion, the `edge filters‘ found with ICA lead only to a surprisingly small improvement in terms of its actual objective.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Continuation Method for Semi-Supervised SVMs

Chapelle, O., Chi, M., Zien, A.

In ICML 2006, pages: 185-192, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines (S3VMs) are an appealing method for using unlabeled data in classification: their objective function favors decision boundaries which do not cut clusters. However their main problem is that the optimization problem is non-convex and has many local minima, which often results in suboptimal performances. In this paper we propose to use a global optimization technique known as continuation to alleviate this problem. Compared to other algorithms minimizing the same objective function, our continuation method often leads to lower test errors.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Trading Convexity for Scalability

Collobert, R., Sinz, F., Weston, J., Bottou, L.

In ICML 2006, pages: 201-208, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Convex learning algorithms, such as Support Vector Machines (SVMs), are often seen as highly desirable because they offer strong practical properties and are amenable to theoretical analysis. However, in this work we show how non-convexity can provide scalability advantages over convexity. We show how concave-convex programming can be applied to produce (i) faster SVMs where training errors are no longer support vectors, and (ii) much faster Transductive SVMs.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Personalized handwriting recognition via biased regularization

Kienzle, W., Chellapilla, K.

In ICML 2006, pages: 457-464, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new approach to personalized handwriting recognition. The problem, also known as writer adaptation, consists of converting a generic (user-independent) recognizer into a personalized (user-dependent) one, which has an improved recognition rate for a particular user. The adaptation step usually involves user-specific samples, which leads to the fundamental question of how to fuse this new information with that captured by the generic recognizer. We propose adapting the recognizer by minimizing a regularized risk functional (a modified SVM) where the prior knowledge from the generic recognizer enters through a modified regularization term. The result is a simple personalization framework with very good practical properties. Experiments on a 100 class real-world data set show that the number of errors can be reduced by over 40% with as few as five user samples per character.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Deterministic annealing for semi-supervised kernel machines

Sindhwani, V., Keerthi, S., Chapelle, O.

In ICML 2006, pages: 841-848, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
An intuitive approach to utilizing unlabeled data in kernel-based classification algorithms is to simply treat the unknown labels as additional optimization variables. For margin-based loss functions, one can view this approach as attempting to learn low-density separators. However, this is a hard optimization problem to solve in typical semi-supervised settings where unlabeled data is abundant. The popular Transductive SVM algorithm is a label-switching-retraining procedure that is known to be susceptible to local minima. In this paper, we present a global optimization framework for semi-supervised Kernel machines where an easier problem is parametrically deformed to the original hard problem and minimizers are smoothly tracked. Our approach is motivated from deterministic annealing techniques and involves a sequence of convex optimization problems that are exactly and efficiently solved. We present empirical results on several synthetic and real world datasets that demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Clustering Graphs by Weighted Substructure Mining

Tsuda, K., Kudo, T.

In ICML 2006, pages: 953-960, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Graph data is getting increasingly popular in, e.g., bioinformatics and text processing. A main difficulty of graph data processing lies in the intrinsic high dimensionality of graphs, namely, when a graph is represented as a binary feature vector of indicators of all possible subgraphs, the dimensionality gets too large for usual statistical methods. We propose an efficient method for learning a binomial mixture model in this feature space. Combining the $ell_1$ regularizer and the data structure called DFS code tree, the MAP estimate of non-zero parameters are computed efficiently by means of the EM algorithm. Our method is applied to the clustering of RNA graphs, and is compared favorably with graph kernels and the spectral graph distance.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Choice Model with Infinitely Many Latent Features

Görür, D., Jäkel, F., Rasmussen, C.

In ICML 2006, pages: 361-368, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Elimination by aspects (EBA) is a probabilistic choice model describing how humans decide between several options. The options from which the choice is made are characterized by binary features and associated weights. For instance, when choosing which mobile phone to buy the features to consider may be: long lasting battery, color screen, etc. Existing methods for inferring the parameters of the model assume pre-specified features. However, the features that lead to the observed choices are not always known. Here, we present a non-parametric Bayesian model to infer the features of the options and the corresponding weights from choice data. We use the Indian buffet process (IBP) as a prior over the features. Inference using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) in conjugate IBP models has been previously described. The main contribution of this paper is an MCMC algorithm for the EBA model that can also be used in inference for other non-conjugate IBP models---this may broaden the use of IBP priors considerably.

ei

PostScript PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PostScript PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning High-Order MRF Priors of Color Images

McAuley, J., Caetano, T., Smola, A., Franz, MO.

In ICML 2006, pages: 617-624, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we use large neighborhood Markov random fields to learn rich prior models of color images. Our approach extends the monochromatic Fields of Experts model (Roth and Blackwell, 2005) to color images. In the Fields of Experts model, the curse of dimensionality due to very large clique sizes is circumvented by parameterizing the potential functions according to a product of experts. We introduce several simplifications of the original approach by Roth and Black which allow us to cope with the increased clique size (typically 3x3x3 or 5x5x3 pixels) of color images. Experimental results are presented for image denoising which evidence improvements over state-of-the-art monochromatic image priors.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Inference with the Universum

Weston, J., Collobert, R., Sinz, F., Bottou, L., Vapnik, V.

In ICML 2006, pages: 1009-1016, (Editors: Cohen, W. W., A. Moore), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 23rd International Conference on Machine Learning, June 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
WIn this paper we study a new framework introduced by Vapnik (1998) and Vapnik (2006) that is an alternative capacity concept to the large margin approach. In the particular case of binary classification, we are given a set of labeled examples, and a collection of "non-examples" that do not belong to either class of interest. This collection, called the Universum, allows one to encode prior knowledge by representing meaningful concepts in the same domain as the problem at hand. We describe an algorithm to leverage the Universum by maximizing the number of observed contradictions, and show experimentally that this approach delivers accuracy improvements over using labeled data alone.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Classifying EEG and ECoG Signals without Subject Training for Fast BCI Implementation: Comparison of Non-Paralysed and Completely Paralysed Subjects

Hill, N., Lal, T., Schröder, M., Hinterberger, T., Wilhelm, B., Nijboer, F., Mochty, U., Widman, G., Elger, C., Schölkopf, B., Kübler, A., Birbaumer, N.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 14(2):183-186, June 2006 (article)

Abstract
We summarize results from a series of related studies that aim to develop a motor-imagery-based brain-computer interface using a single recording session of EEG or ECoG signals for each subject. We apply the same experimental and analytical methods to 11 non-paralysed subjects (8 EEG, 3 ECoG), and to 5 paralysed subjects (4 EEG, 1 ECoG) who had been unable to communicate for some time. While it was relatively easy to obtain classifiable signals quickly from most of the non-paralysed subjects, it proved impossible to classify the signals obtained from the paralysed patients by the same methods. This highlights the fact that though certain BCI paradigms may work well with healthy subjects, this does not necessarily indicate success with the target user group. We outline possible reasons for this failure to transfer.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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SCARNA: Fast and Accurate Structural Alignment of RNA Sequences by Matching Fixed-Length Stem Fragments

Tabei, Y., Tsuda, K., Kin, T., Asai, K.

Bioinformatics, 22(14):1723-1729, May 2006 (article)

Abstract
The functions of non-coding RNAs are strongly related to their secondary structures, but it is known that a secondary structure prediction of a single sequence is not reliable. Therefore, we have to collect similar RNA sequences with a common secondary structure for the analyses of a new non-coding RNA without knowing the exact secondary structure itself. Therefore, the sequence comparison in searching similar RNAs should consider not only their sequence similarities but their potential secondary structures. Sankoff‘s algorithm predicts the common secondary structures of the sequences, but it is computationally too expensive to apply to large-scale analyses. Because we often want to compare a large number of cDNA sequences or to search similar RNAs in the whole genome sequences, much faster algorithms are required. We propose a new method of comparing RNA sequences based on the structural alignments of the fixed-length fragments of the stem candidates. The implemented software, SCARNA (Stem Candidate Aligner for RNAs), is fast enough to apply to the long sequences in the large-scale analyses. The accuracy of the alignments is better or comparable to the much slower existing algorithms.

ei

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Statistical Convergence of Kernel CCA

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

In Advances in neural information processing systems 18, pages: 387-394, (Editors: Weiss, Y. , B. Schölkopf, J. Platt), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Nineteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), May 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
While kernel canonical correlation analysis (kernel CCA) has been applied in many problems, the asymptotic convergence of the functions estimated from a finite sample to the true functions has not yet been established. This paper gives a rigorous proof of the statistical convergence of kernel CCA and a related method (NOCCO), which provides a theoretical justification for these methods. The result also gives a sufficient condition on the decay of the regularization coefficient in the methods to ensure convergence.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Products of "Edge-perts"

Gehler, PV., Welling, M.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 18, pages: 419-426, (Editors: Weiss, Y. , B. Schölkopf, J. Platt), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Nineteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), May 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Images represent an important and abundant source of data. Understanding their statistical structure has important applications such as image compression and restoration. In this paper we propose a particular kind of probabilistic model, dubbed the “products of edge-perts model” to describe the structure of wavelet transformed images. We develop a practical denoising algorithm based on a single edge-pert and show state-ofthe-art denoising performance on benchmark images.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Assessing Approximations for Gaussian Process Classification

Kuss, M., Rasmussen, C.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 18, pages: 699-706, (Editors: Weiss, Y. , B. Schölkopf, J. Platt), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Nineteenth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), May 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Gaussian processes are attractive models for probabilistic classification but unfortunately exact inference is analytically intractable. We compare Laplace‘s method and Expectation Propagation (EP) focusing on marginal likelihood estimates and predictive performance. We explain theoretically and corroborate empirically that EP is superior to Laplace. We also compare to a sophisticated MCMC scheme and show that EP is surprisingly accurate.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning an Interest Operator from Human Eye Movements

Kienzle, W., Wichmann, F., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

In CVPWR 2006, pages: page 24, (Editors: C Schmid and S Soatto and C Tomasi), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 2006 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshop, April 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present an approach for designing interest operators that are based on human eye movement statistics. In contrast to existing methods which use hand-crafted saliency measures, we use machine learning methods to infer an interest operator directly from eye movement data. That way, the operator provides a measure of biologically plausible interestingness. We describe the data collection, training, and evaluation process, and show that our learned saliency measure significantly accounts for human eye movements. Furthermore, we illustrate connections to existing interest operators, and present a multi-scale interest point detector based on the learned function.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluating Predictive Uncertainty Challenge

Quinonero Candela, J., Rasmussen, C., Sinz, F., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

In Machine Learning Challenges: Evaluating Predictive Uncertainty, Visual Object Classification, and Recognising Tectual Entailment, pages: 1-27, (Editors: J Quiñonero Candela and I Dagan and B Magnini and F d’Alché-Buc), Springer, Berlin, Germany, First PASCAL Machine Learning Challenges Workshop (MLCW), April 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This Chapter presents the PASCAL Evaluating Predictive Uncertainty Challenge, introduces the contributed Chapters by the participants who obtained outstanding results, and provides a discussion with some lessons to be learnt. The Challenge was set up to evaluate the ability of Machine Learning algorithms to provide good “probabilistic predictions”, rather than just the usual “point predictions” with no measure of uncertainty, in regression and classification problems. Parti-cipants had to compete on a number of regression and classification tasks, and were evaluated by both traditional losses that only take into account point predictions and losses we proposed that evaluate the quality of the probabilistic predictions.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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The Effect of Artifacts on Dependence Measurement in fMRI

Gretton, A., Belitski, A., Murayama, Y., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 24(4):401-409, April 2006 (article)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Phase noise and the classification of natural images

Wichmann, F., Braun, D., Gegenfurtner, K.

Vision Research, 46(8-9):1520-1529, April 2006 (article)

Abstract
We measured the effect of global phase manipulations on a rapid animal categorization task. The Fourier spectra of our images of natural scenes were manipulated by adding zero-mean random phase noise at all spatial frequencies. The phase noise was the independent variable, uniformly and symmetrically distributed between 0 degree and ±180 degrees. Subjects were remarkably resistant to phase noise. Even with ±120 degree phase noise subjects were still performing at 75% correct. The high resistance of the subjects’ animal categorization rate to phase noise suggests that the visual system is highly robust to such random image changes. The proportion of correct answers closely followed the correlation between original and the phase noise-distorted images. Animal detection rate was higher when the same task was performed with contrast reduced versions of the same natural images, at contrasts where the contrast reduction mimicked that resulting from our phase randomization. Since the subjects’ categorization rate was better in the contrast experiment, reduction of local contrast alone cannot explain the performance in the phase noise experiment. This result obtained with natural images differs from those obtained for simple sinusoidal stimuli were performance changes due to phase changes are attributed to local contrast changes only. Thus the global phasechange accompanying disruption of image structure such as edges and object boundaries at different spatial scales reduces object classification over and above the performance deficit resulting from reducing contrast. Additional colour information improves the categorization performance by 2 %.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Direct Method for Building Sparse Kernel Learning Algorithms

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B., BakIr, G.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 7, pages: 603-624, April 2006 (article)

Abstract
Many Kernel Learning Algorithms(KLA), including Support Vector Machine (SVM), result in a Kernel Machine (KM), such as a kernel classifier, whose key component is a weight vector in a feature space implicitly introduced by a positive definite kernel function. This weight vector is usually obtained by solving a convex optimization problem. Based on this fact we present a direct method to build Sparse Kernel Learning Algorithms (SKLA) by adding one more constraint to the original convex optimization problem, such that the sparseness of the resulting KM is explicitly controlled while at the same time the performance of the resulting KM can be kept as high as possible. A gradient based approach is provided to solve this modified optimization problem. Applying this method to the SVM results in a concrete algorithm for building Sparse Large Margin Classifiers (SLMC). Further analysis of the SLMC algorithm indicates that it essentially finds a discriminating subspace that can be spanned by a small number of vectors, and in this subspace, the different classes of data are linearly well separated. Experimental results over several classification benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Estimating Predictive Variances with Kernel Ridge Regression

Cawley, G., Talbot, N., Chapelle, O.

In MLCW 2005, pages: 56-77, (Editors: Quinonero-Candela, J. , I. Dagan, B. Magnini, F. D‘Alché-Buc), Springer, Berlin, Germany, First PASCAL Machine Learning Challenges Workshop, April 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In many regression tasks, in addition to an accurate estimate of the conditional mean of the target distribution, an indication of the predictive uncertainty is also required. There are two principal sources of this uncertainty: the noise process contaminating the data and the uncertainty in estimating the model parameters based on a limited sample of training data. Both of them can be summarised in the predictive variance which can then be used to give confidence intervals. In this paper, we present various schemes for providing predictive variances for kernel ridge regression, especially in the case of a heteroscedastic regression, where the variance of the noise process contaminating the data is a smooth function of the explanatory variables. The use of leave-one-out cross-validation is shown to eliminate the bias inherent in estimates of the predictive variance. Results obtained on all three regression tasks comprising the predictive uncertainty challenge demonstrate the value of this approach.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical Properties of Kernel Principal Component Analysis

Blanchard, G., Bousquet, O., Zwald, L.

Machine Learning, 66(2-3):259-294, March 2006 (article)

Abstract
We study the properties of the eigenvalues of Gram matrices in a non-asymptotic setting. Using local Rademacher averages, we provide data-dependent and tight bounds for their convergence towards eigenvalues of the corresponding kernel operator. We perform these computations in a functional analytic framework which allows to deal implicitly with reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces of infinite dimension. This can have applications to various kernel algorithms, such as Support Vector Machines (SVM). We focus on Kernel Principal Component Analysis (KPCA) and, using such techniques, we obtain sharp excess risk bounds for the reconstruction error. In these bounds, the dependence on the decay of the spectrum and on the closeness of successive eigenvalues is made explicit.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Network-based de-noising improves prediction from microarray data

Kato, T., Murata, Y., Miura, K., Asai, K., Horton, P., Tsuda, K., Fujibuchi, W.

BMC Bioinformatics, 7(Suppl. 1):S4-S4, March 2006 (article)

Abstract
Prediction of human cell response to anti-cancer drugs (compounds) from microarray data is a challenging problem, due to the noise properties of microarrays as well as the high variance of living cell responses to drugs. Hence there is a strong need for more practical and robust methods than standard methods for real-value prediction. We devised an extended version of the off-subspace noise-reduction (de-noising) method to incorporate heterogeneous network data such as sequence similarity or protein-protein interactions into a single framework. Using that method, we first de-noise the gene expression data for training and test data and also the drug-response data for training data. Then we predict the unknown responses of each drug from the de-noised input data. For ascertaining whether de-noising improves prediction or not, we carry out 12-fold cross-validation for assessment of the prediction performance. We use the Pearson‘s correlation coefficient between the true and predicted respon se values as the prediction performance. De-noising improves the prediction performance for 65% of drugs. Furthermore, we found that this noise reduction method is robust and effective even when a large amount of artificial noise is added to the input data. We found that our extended off-subspace noise-reduction method combining heterogeneous biological data is successful and quite useful to improve prediction of human cell cancer drug responses from microarray data.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods For Estimating Operator Equations

Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 14th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID 2006), pages: 6, (Editors: B Ninness and H Hjalmarsson), Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom, 14th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID), March 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of fitting a linear operator induced equation to point sampled data. In order to do so we systematically exploit the duality between minimizing a regularization functional derived from an operator and kernel regression methods. Standard machine learning model selection algorithms can then be interpreted as a search of the equation best fitting given data points. For many kernels this operator induced equation is a linear differential equation. Thus, we link a continuous-time system identification task with common machine learning methods. The presented link opens up a wide variety of methods to be applied to this system identification problem. In a series of experiments we demonstrate an example algorithm working on non-uniformly spaced data, giving special focus to the problem of identifying one system from multiple data recordings.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Implicit Volterra and Wiener Series for Higher-Order Image Analysis

Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Data Analysis: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of The Gesellschaft für Klassifikation, 30, pages: 1, March 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The computation of classical higher-order statistics such as higher-order moments or spectra is difficult for images due to the huge number of terms to be estimated and interpreted. We propose an alternative approach in which multiplicative pixel interactions are described by a series of Wiener functionals. Since the functionals are estimated implicitly via polynomial kernels, the combinatorial explosion associated with the classical higher-order statistics is avoided. In addition, the kernel framework allows for estimating infinite series expansions and for the regularized estimation of the Wiener series. First results show that image structures such as lines or corners can be predicted correctly, and that pixel interactions up to the order of five play an important role in natural images.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Model-based Design Analysis and Yield Optimization

Pfingsten, T., Herrmann, D., Rasmussen, C.

IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, 19(4):475-486, February 2006 (article)

Abstract
Fluctuations are inherent to any fabrication process. Integrated circuits and micro-electro-mechanical systems are particularly affected by these variations, and due to high quality requirements the effect on the devices’ performance has to be understood quantitatively. In recent years it has become possible to model the performance of such complex systems on the basis of design specifications, and model-based Sensitivity Analysis has made its way into industrial engineering. We show how an efficient Bayesian approach, using a Gaussian process prior, can replace the commonly used brute-force Monte Carlo scheme, making it possible to apply the analysis to computationally costly models. We introduce a number of global, statistically justified sensitivity measures for design analysis and optimization. Two models of integrated systems serve us as case studies to introduce the analysis and to assess its convergence properties. We show that the Bayesian Monte Carlo scheme can save costly simulation runs and can ensure a reliable accuracy of the analysis.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Weighting of experimental evidence in macromolecular structure determination

Habeck, M., Rieping, W., Nilges, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(6):1756-1761, February 2006 (article)

Abstract
The determination of macromolecular structures requires weighting of experimental evidence relative to prior physical information. Although it can critically affect the quality of the calculated structures, experimental data are routinely weighted on an empirical basis. At present, cross-validation is the most rigorous method to determine the best weight. We describe a general method to adaptively weight experimental data in the course of structure calculation. It is further shown that the necessity to define weights for the data can be completely alleviated. We demonstrate the method on a structure calculation from NMR data and find that the resulting structures are optimal in terms of accuracy and structural quality. Our method is devoid of the bias imposed by an empirical choice of the weight and has some advantages over estimating the weight by cross-validation.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Classification of Faces in Man and Machine

Graf, A., Wichmann, F., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 18(1):143-165, January 2006 (article)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Causal Inference by Choosing Graphs with Most Plausible Markov Kernels

Sun, X., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics, pages: 1-11, ISAIM, January 2006 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new inference rule for estimating causal structure that underlies the observed statistical dependencies among n random variables. Our method is based on comparing the conditional distributions of variables given their direct causes (the so-called Markov kernels") for all hypothetical causal directions and choosing the most plausible one. We consider those Markov kernels most plausible, which maximize the (conditional) entropies constrained by their observed first moment (expectation) and second moments (variance and covariance with its direct causes) based on their given domain. In this paper, we discuss our inference rule for causal relationships between two variables in detail, apply it to a real-world temperature data set with known causality and show that our method provides a correct result for the example.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning operational space control

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics: Science and Systems II (RSS 2006), pages: 255-262, (Editors: Gaurav S. Sukhatme and Stefan Schaal and Wolfram Burgard and Dieter Fox), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, RSS , 2006, 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 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-covexity of the solution space, i.e., the learning system could generate motor commands that try to steer the robot into physically impossible configurations. A first important insight for this paper is that, nevertheless, a physically correct solution to the inverse problem does exits when learning of the inverse map is performed in a suitable piecewise linear way. The second crucial component for our work is based on a recent insight that many operational space controllers can be understood in terms of a constraint optimal control problem. The cost function associated with this optimal control problem allows us to formulate a learning algorithm that automatically synthesizes a globally consistent desired resolution of redundancy while learning the operational space controller. From the view of machine learning, the learning problem corresponds to a reinforcement learning problem that maximizes an immediate reward and that employs an expectation-maximization policy search algorithm. Evaluations on a three degrees of freedom robot arm illustrate the feasability of our suggested approach.

am ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Parameterized Motor Primitives

Peters, J., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 2006 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, pages: 73-80, IJCNN, 2006, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
One of the major challenges in both action generation for robotics and in the understanding of human motor control is to learn the "building blocks of movement generation", called motor primitives. Motor primitives, as used in this paper, are parameterized control policies such as splines or nonlinear differential equations with desired attractor properties. While a lot of progress has been made in teaching parameterized motor primitives using supervised or imitation learning, the self-improvement by interaction of the system with the environment remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we evaluate different reinforcement learning approaches for improving the performance of parameterized motor primitives. For pursuing this goal, we highlight the difficulties with current reinforcement learning methods, and outline both established and novel algorithms for the gradient-based improvement of parameterized policies. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and 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.

am ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]