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2010


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Statistical Tests for Detecting Differential RNA-Transcript Expression from Read Counts

Stegle, O., Drewe, P., Bohnert, R., Borgwardt, K., Rätsch, G.

Nature Precedings, 2010, pages: 1-11, May 2010 (article)

Abstract
As a fruit of the current revolution in sequencing technology, transcriptomes can now be analyzed at an unprecedented level of detail. These advances have been exploited for detecting differential expressed genes across biological samples and for quantifying the abundances of various RNA transcripts within one gene. However, explicit strategies for detecting the hidden differential abundances of RNA transcripts in biological samples have not been defined. In this work, we present two novel statistical tests to address this issue: a "gene structure sensitive" Poisson test for detecting differential expression when the transcript structure of the gene is known, and a kernel-based test called Maximum Mean Discrepancy when it is unknown. We analyzed the proposed approaches on simulated read data for two artificial samples as well as on factual reads generated by the Illumina Genome Analyzer for two C. elegans samples. Our analysis shows that the Poisson test identifies genes with differential transcript expression considerably better that previously proposed RNA transcript quantification approaches for this task. The MMD test is able to detect a large fraction (75%) of such differential cases without the knowledge of the annotated transcripts. It is therefore well-suited to analyze RNA-Seq experiments when the genome annotations are incomplete or not available, where other approaches have to fail.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

2010


PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Generalized Proximity and Projection with Norms and Mixed-norms

Sra, S.

(192), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We discuss generalized proximity operators (GPO) and their associated generalized projection problems. On inputs of size n, we show how to efficiently apply GPOs and generalized projections for separable norms and distance-like functions to accuracy e in O(n log(1/e)) time. We also derive projection algorithms that run theoretically in O(n log n log(1/e)) time but can for suitable parameter ranges empirically outperform the O(n log(1/e)) projection method. The proximity and projection tasks are either separable, and solved directly, or are reduced to a single root-finding step. We highlight that as a byproduct, our analysis also yields an O(n log(1/e)) (weakly linear-time) procedure for Euclidean projections onto the l1;1-norm ball; previously only an O(n log n) method was known. We provide empirical evaluation to illustrate the performance of our methods, noting that for the l1;1-norm projection, our implementation is more than two orders of magnitude faster than the previously known method.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Parameter-exploring policy gradients

Sehnke, F., Osendorfer, C., Rückstiess, T., Graves, A., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

Neural Networks, 21(4):551-559, May 2010 (article)

Abstract
We present a model-free reinforcement learning method for partially observable Markov decision problems. Our method estimates a likelihood gradient by sampling directly in parameter space, which leads to lower variance gradient estimates than obtained by regular policy gradient methods. We show that for several complex control tasks, including robust standing with a humanoid robot, this method outperforms well-known algorithms from the fields of standard policy gradients, finite difference methods and population based heuristics. We also show that the improvement is largest when the parameter samples are drawn symmetrically. Lastly we analyse the importance of the individual components of our method by incrementally incorporating them into the other algorithms, and measuring the gain in performance after each step.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Temporal Kernel CCA and its Application in Multimodal Neuronal Data Analysis

Biessmann, F., Meinecke, F., Gretton, A., Rauch, A., Rainer, G., Logothetis, N., Müller, K.

Machine Learning, 79(1-2):5-27, May 2010 (article)

Abstract
Data recorded from multiple sources sometimes exhibit non-instantaneous couplings. For simple data sets, cross-correlograms may reveal the coupling dynamics. But when dealing with high-dimensional multivariate data there is no such measure as the cross-correlogram. We propose a simple algorithm based on Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis (kCCA) that computes a multivariate temporal filter which links one data modality to another one. The filters can be used to compute a multivariate extension of the cross-correlogram, the canonical correlogram, between data sources that have different dimensionalities and temporal resolutions. The canonical correlogram reflects the coupling dynamics between the two sources. The temporal filter reveals which features in the data give rise to these couplings and when they do so. We present results from simulations and neuroscientific experiments showing that tkCCA yields easily interpretable temporal filters and correlograms. In the experiments, we simultaneously performed electrode recordings and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in primary visual cortex of the non-human primate. While electrode recordings reflect brain activity directly, fMRI provides only an indirect view of neural activity via the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) response. Thus it is crucial for our understanding and the interpretation of fMRI signals in general to relate them to direct measures of neural activity acquired with electrodes. The results computed by tkCCA confirm recent models of the hemodynamic response to neural activity and allow for a more detailed analysis of neurovascular coupling dynamics.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Estimating predictive stimulus features from psychophysical data: The decision image technique applied to human faces

Macke, J., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 10(5:22):1-24, May 2010 (article)

Abstract
One major challenge in the sensory sciences is to identify the stimulus features on which sensory systems base their computations, and which are predictive of a behavioral decision: they are a prerequisite for computational models of perception. We describe a technique (decision images) for extracting predictive stimulus features using logistic regression. A decision image not only defines a region of interest within a stimulus but is a quantitative template which defines a direction in stimulus space. Decision images thus enable the development of predictive models, as well as the generation of optimized stimuli for subsequent psychophysical investigations. Here we describe our method and apply it to data from a human face classification experiment. We show that decision images are able to predict human responses not only in terms of overall percent correct but also in terms of the probabilities with which individual faces are (mis-) classified by individual observers. We show that the most predictive dimension for gender categorization is neither aligned with the axis defined by the two class-means, nor with the first principal component of all faces-two hypotheses frequently entertained in the literature. Our method can be applied to a wide range of binary classification tasks in vision or other psychophysical contexts.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Animal detection in natural scenes: Critical features revisited

Wichmann, F., Drewes, J., Rosas, P., Gegenfurtner, K.

Journal of Vision, 10(4):1-27, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
S. J. Thorpe, D. Fize, and C. Marlot (1996) showed how rapidly observers can detect animals in images of natural scenes, but it is still unclear which image features support this rapid detection. A. B. Torralba and A. Oliva (2003) suggested that a simple image statistic based on the power spectrum allows the absence or presence of objects in natural scenes to be predicted. We tested whether human observers make use of power spectral differences between image categories when detecting animals in natural scenes. In Experiments 1 and 2 we found performance to be essentially independent of the power spectrum. Computational analysis revealed that the ease of classification correlates with the proposed spectral cue without being caused by it. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that in commercial stock photo databases a majority of animal images are pre-segmented from the background by the photographers and this pre-segmentation causes the power spectral differences between image categories and may, furthermore, help rapid animal detection. Data from a third experiment are consistent with this hypothesis. Together, our results make it exceedingly unlikely that human observers make use of power spectral differences between animal- and no-animal images during rapid animal detection. In addition, our results point to potential confounds in the commercially available “natural image” databases whose statistics may be less natural than commonly presumed.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A generative model approach for decoding in the visual event-related potential-based brain-computer interface speller

Martens, SMM., Leiva, JM.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 7(2):1-10, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
There is a strong tendency towards discriminative approaches in brain-computer interface (BCI) research. We argue that generative model-based approaches are worth pursuing and propose a simple generative model for the visual ERP-based BCI speller which incorporates prior knowledge about the brain signals. We show that the proposed generative method needs less training data to reach a given letter prediction performance than the state of the art discriminative approaches.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Embeddings and Metrics on Probability Measures

Sriperumbudur, B., Gretton, A., Fukumizu, K., Schölkopf, B., Lanckriet, G.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1517-1561, April 2010 (article)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Graph Kernels

Vishwanathan, SVN., Schraudolph, NN., Kondor, R., Borgwardt, KM.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1201-1242, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
We present a unified framework to study graph kernels, special cases of which include the random walk (G{\"a}rtner et al., 2003; Borgwardt et al., 2005) and marginalized (Kashima et al., 2003, 2004; Mahét al., 2004) graph kernels. Through reduction to a Sylvester equation we improve the time complexity of kernel computation between unlabeled graphs with n vertices from O(n6) to O(n3). We find a spectral decomposition approach even more efficient when computing entire kernel matrices. For labeled graphs we develop conjugate gradient and fixed-point methods that take O(dn3) time per iteration, where d is the size of the label set. By extending the necessary linear algebra to Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (RKHS) we obtain the same result for d-dimensional edge kernels, and O(n4) in the infinite-dimensional case; on sparse graphs these algorithms only take O(n2) time per iteration in all cases. Experiments on graphs from bioinformatics and other application domains show that these techniques can speed up computation of the kernel by an order of magnitude or more. We also show that certain rational kernels (Cortes et al., 2002, 2003, 2004) when specialized to graphs reduce to our random walk graph kernel. Finally, we relate our framework to R-convolution kernels (Haussler, 1999) and provide a kernel that is close to the optimal assignment kernel of kernel of Fr{\"o}hlich et al. (2006) yet provably positive semi-definite.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gene function prediction from synthetic lethality networks via ranking on demand

Lippert, C., Ghahramani, Z., Borgwardt, KM.

Bioinformatics, 26(7):912-918, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Synthetic lethal interactions represent pairs of genes whose individual mutations are not lethal, while the double mutation of both genes does incur lethality. Several studies have shown a correlation between functional similarity of genes and their distances in networks based on synthetic lethal interactions. However, there is a lack of algorithms for predicting gene function from synthetic lethality interaction networks. Results: In this article, we present a novel technique called kernelROD for gene function prediction from synthetic lethal interaction networks based on kernel machines. We apply our novel algorithm to Gene Ontology functional annotation prediction in yeast. Our experiments show that our method leads to improved gene function prediction compared with state-of-the-art competitors and that combining genetic and congruence networks leads to a further improvement in prediction accuracy.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Grasping Points with Shape Context

Bohg, J., Kragic, D.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 58(4):362-377, North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, The Netherlands, April 2010 (article)

Abstract
This paper presents work on vision based robotic grasping. The proposed method adopts a learning framework where prototypical grasping points are learnt from several examples and then used on novel objects. For representation purposes, we apply the concept of shape context and for learning we use a supervised learning approach in which the classifier is trained with labelled synthetic images. We evaluate and compare the performance of linear and non-linear classifiers. Our results show that a combination of a descriptor based on shape context with a non-linear classification algorithm leads to a stable detection of grasping points for a variety of objects.

am

pdf link (url) DOI [BibTex]

pdf link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts: Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

(189), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, March 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a problem we call Cooperative cut, where the goal is to find a minimum-cost graph cut but where a submodular function is used to define the cost of a subsets of edges. That means, the cost of an edge that is added to the current cut set C depends on the edges in C. This generalization of the cost in the standard min-cut problem to a submodular cost function immediately makes the problem harder. Not only do we prove NP hardness even for nonnegative submodular costs, but also show a lower bound of Omega(|V|^(1/3)) on the approximation factor for the problem. On the positive side, we propose and compare four approximation algorithms with an overall approximation factor of min { |V|/2, |C*|, O( sqrt(|E|) log |V|), |P_max|}, where C* is the optimal solution, and P_max is the longest s, t path across the cut between given s, t. We also introduce additional heuristics for the problem which have attractive properties from the perspective of practical applications and implementations in that existing fast min-cut libraries may be used as subroutines. Both our approximation algorithms, and our heuristics, appear to do well in practice.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A toolbox for predicting G-quadruplex formation and stability

Wong, HM., Stegle, O., Rodgers, S., Huppert, J.

Journal of Nucleic Acids, 2010(564946):1-6, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
G-quadruplexes are four stranded nucleic acid structures formed around a core of guanines, arranged in squares with mutual hydrogen bonding. Many of these structures are highly thermally stable, especially in the presence of monovalent cations, such as those found under physiological conditions. Understanding of their physiological roles is expanding rapidly, and they have been implicated in regulating gene transcription and translation among other functions. We have built a community-focused website to act as a repository for the information that is now being developed. At its core, this site has a detailed database (QuadDB) of predicted G-quadruplexes in the human and other genomes, together with the predictive algorithm used to identify them. We also provide a QuadPredict server, which predicts thermal stability and acts as a repository for experimental data from all researchers. There are also a number of other data sources with computational predictions. We anticipate that the wide availability of this information will be of use both to researchers already active in this exciting field and to those who wish to investigate a particular gene hypothesis.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A Novel Protocol for Accuracy Assessment in Classification of Very High Resolution Images

Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 48(3):1232-1244, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
This paper presents a novel protocol for the accuracy assessment of the thematic maps obtained by the classification of very high resolution images. As the thematic accuracy alone is not sufficient to adequately characterize the geometrical properties of high-resolution classification maps, we propose a protocol that is based on the analysis of two families of indices: 1) the traditional thematic accuracy indices and 2) a set of novel geometric indices that model different geometric properties of the objects recognized in the map. In this context, we present a set of indices that characterize five different types of geometric errors in the classification map: 1) oversegmentation; 2) undersegmentation; 3) edge location; 4) shape distortion; and 5) fragmentation. Moreover, we propose a new approach for tuning the free parameters of supervised classifiers on the basis of a multiobjective criterion function that aims at selecting the parameter values that result in the classification map that jointly optimize thematic and geometric error indices. Experimental results obtained on QuickBird images show the effectiveness of the proposed protocol in selecting classification maps characterized by a better tradeoff between thematic and geometric accuracies than standard procedures based only on thematic accuracy measures. In addition, results obtained with support vector machine classifiers confirm the effectiveness of the proposed multiobjective technique for the selection of free-parameter values for the classification algorithm.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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On the Entropy Production of Time Series with Unidirectional Linearity

Janzing, D.

Journal of Statistical Physics, 138(4-5):767-779, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
There are non-Gaussian time series that admit a causal linear autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model when regressing the future on the past, but not when regressing the past on the future. The reason is that, in the latter case, the regression residuals are not statistically independent of the regressor. In previous work, we have experimentally verified that many empirical time series indeed show such a time inversion asymmetry. For various physical systems, it is known that time-inversion asymmetries are linked to the thermodynamic entropy production in non-equilibrium states. Here we argue that unidirectional linearity is also accompanied by entropy generation. To this end, we study the dynamical evolution of a physical toy system with linear coupling to an infinite environment and show that the linearity of the dynamics is inherited by the forward-time conditional probabilities, but not by the backward-time conditionals. The reason is that the environment permanently provides particles that are in a product state before they interact with the system, but show statistical dependence afterwards. From a coarse-grained perspective, the interaction thus generates entropy. We quantitatively relate the strength of the non-linearity of the backward process to the minimal amount of entropy generation. The paper thus shows that unidirectional linearity is an indirect implication of the thermodynamic arrow of time, given that the joint dynamics of the system and its environment is linear.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Guest editorial: State of the art in image- and video-based human pose and motion estimation

Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 87(1):1-3, March 2010 (article)

ps

pdf from publisher [BibTex]

pdf from publisher [BibTex]


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HumanEva: Synchronized video and motion capture dataset and baseline algorithm for evaluation of articulated human motion

Sigal, L., Balan, A., Black, M. J.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 87(1):4-27, Springer Netherlands, March 2010 (article)

Abstract
While research on articulated human motion and pose estimation has progressed rapidly in the last few years, there has been no systematic quantitative evaluation of competing methods to establish the current state of the art. We present data obtained using a hardware system that is able to capture synchronized video and ground-truth 3D motion. The resulting HumanEva datasets contain multiple subjects performing a set of predefined actions with a number of repetitions. On the order of 40,000 frames of synchronized motion capture and multi-view video (resulting in over one quarter million image frames in total) were collected at 60 Hz with an additional 37,000 time instants of pure motion capture data. A standard set of error measures is defined for evaluating both 2D and 3D pose estimation and tracking algorithms. We also describe a baseline algorithm for 3D articulated tracking that uses a relatively standard Bayesian framework with optimization in the form of Sequential Importance Resampling and Annealed Particle Filtering. In the context of this baseline algorithm we explore a variety of likelihood functions, prior models of human motion and the effects of algorithm parameters. Our experiments suggest that image observation models and motion priors play important roles in performance, and that in a multi-view laboratory environment, where initialization is available, Bayesian filtering tends to perform well. The datasets and the software are made available to the research community. This infrastructure will support the development of new articulated motion and pose estimation algorithms, will provide a baseline for the evaluation and comparison of new methods, and will help establish the current state of the art in human pose estimation and tracking.

ps

pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]

pdf pdf from publisher [BibTex]


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Derivatives of Logarithmic Stationary Distributions for Policy Gradient Reinforcement Learning

Morimura, T., Uchibe, E., Yoshimoto, J., Peters, J., Doya, K.

Neural Computation, 22(2):342-376, February 2010 (article)

Abstract
Most conventional policy gradient reinforcement learning (PGRL) algorithms neglect (or do not explicitly make use of) a term in the average reward gradient with respect to the policy parameter. That term involves the derivative of the stationary state distribution that corresponds to the sensitivity of its distribution to changes in the policy parameter. Although the bias introduced by this omission can be reduced by setting the forgetting rate γ for the value functions close to 1, these algorithms do not permit γ to be set exactly at γ = 1. In this article, we propose a method for estimating the log stationary state distribution derivative (LSD) as a useful form of the derivative of the stationary state distribution through backward Markov chain formulation and a temporal difference learning framework. A new policy gradient (PG) framework with an LSD is also proposed, in which the average reward gradient can be estimated by setting //!-- MFG_und--//amp;#947; = 0, so it becomes unnecessary to learn the value functions. We also test the performance of the proposed algorithms using simple benchmark tasks and show that these can improve the performances of existing PG methods.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Online Multitask Learning of Gaussian Processes

Pillonetto, G., Dinuzzo, F., De Nicolao, G.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 32(2):193-205, February 2010 (article)

Abstract
Standard single-task kernel methods have recently been extended to the case of multitask learning in the context of regularization theory. There are experimental results, especially in biomedicine, showing the benefit of the multitask approach compared to the single-task one. However, a possible drawback is computational complexity. For instance, when regularization networks are used, complexity scales as the cube of the overall number of training data, which may be large when several tasks are involved. The aim of this paper is to derive an efficient computational scheme for an important class of multitask kernels. More precisely, a quadratic loss is assumed and each task consists of the sum of a common term and a task-specific one. Within a Bayesian setting, a recursive online algorithm is obtained, which updates both estimates and confidence intervals as new data become available. The algorithm is tested on two simulated problems and a real data set relative to xenobiotics administration in human patients.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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The semigroup approach to transport processes in networks

Dorn, B., Fijavz, M., Nagel, R., Radl, A.

Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 239(15):1416-1421, January 2010 (article)

Abstract
We explain how operator semigroups can be used to study transport processes in networks. This method is applied to a linear Boltzmann equation on a finite as well as on an infinite network and yields well-posedness and information on the long term behavior of the solutions to the presented problems.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Continuous Grasp Affordances by Sensorimotor Exploration

Detry, R., Baseski, E., Popovic, M., Touati, Y., Krüger, N., Kroemer, O., Peters, J., Piater, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 451-465, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We develop means of learning and representing object grasp affordances probabilistically. By grasp affordance, we refer to an entity that is able to assess whether a given relative object-gripper configuration will yield a stable grasp. These affordances are represented with grasp densities, continuous probability density functions defined on the space of 3D positions and orientations. Grasp densities are registered with a visual model of the object they characterize. They are exploited by aligning them to a target object using visual pose estimation. Grasp densities are refined through experience: A robot “plays” with an object by executing grasps drawn randomly for the object’s grasp density. The robot then uses the outcomes of these grasps to build a richer density through an importance sampling mechanism. Initial grasp densities, called hypothesis densities, are bootstrapped from grasps collected using a motion capture system, or from grasps generated from the visual model of the object. Refined densities, called empirical densities, represent affordances that have been confirmed through physical experience. The applicability of our method is demonstrated by producing empirical densities for two object with a real robot and its 3-finger hand. Hypothesis densities are created from visual cues and human demonstration.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimization of k-Space Trajectories for Compressed Sensing by Bayesian Experimental Design

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B.

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 63(1):116-126, January 2010 (article)

Abstract
The optimization of k-space sampling for nonlinear sparse MRI reconstruction is phrased as a Bayesian experimental design problem. Bayesian inference is approximated by a novel relaxation to standard signal processing primitives, resulting in an efficient optimization algorithm for Cartesian and spiral trajectories. On clinical resolution brain image data from a Siemens 3T scanner, automatically optimized trajectories lead to significantly improved images, compared to standard low-pass, equispaced, or variable density randomized designs. Insights into the nonlinear design optimization problem for MRI are given.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Imitation and Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives with Perceptual Coupling

Kober, J., Mohler, B., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 209-225, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamical system-based motor primitives [Ijspeert et al(2002)Ijspeert, Nakanishi, and Schaal] that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such as Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a skilled human player would be challenged. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for dynamical system-based motor primitives.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 1-12, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside wellstructured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. In this book, we focus on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This chapter provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the subsequent chapters to the corresponding research topics.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Real-Time Local GP Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, 264, pages: 193-207, Studies in Computational Intelligence, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
For many applications in robotics, accurate dynamics models are essential. However, in some applications, e.g., in model-based tracking control, precise dynamics models cannot be obtained analytically for sufficiently complex robot systems. In such cases, machine learning offers a promising alternative for approximating the robot dynamics using measured data. However, standard regression methods such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) suffer from high computational complexity which prevents their usage for large numbers of samples or online learning to date. In this paper, we propose an approximation to the standard GPR using local Gaussian processes models inspired by [Vijayakumar et al(2005)Vijayakumar, D’Souza, and Schaal, Snelson and Ghahramani(2007)]. Due to reduced computational cost, local Gaussian processes (LGP) can be applied for larger sample-sizes and online learning. Comparisons with other nonparametric regressions, e.g., standard GPR, support vector regression (SVR) and locally weighted proje ction regression (LWPR), show that LGP has high approximation accuracy while being sufficiently fast for real-time online learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning functional dependencies with kernel methods

Dinuzzo, F.

Scientifica Acta, 4(1):16-25, 2010 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we review some recent research directions regarding the synthesis of functions from data using kernel methods. We start by highlighting the central role of the representer theorem and then outline some recent advances in large scale optimization, learning the kernel, and multi-task learning.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Automatic Image Colorization

Charpiat, G., Bezrukov, I., Hofmann, M., Altun, Y., Schölkopf, B.

In Computational Photography: Methods and Applications, pages: 395-418, Digital Imaging and Computer Vision, (Editors: Lukac, R.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We aim to color greyscale images automatically, without any manual intervention. The color proposition could then be interactively corrected by user-provided color landmarks if necessary. Automatic colorization is nontrivial since there is usually no one-to-one correspondence between color and local texture. The contribution of our framework is that we deal directly with multimodality and estimate, for each pixel of the image to be colored, the probability distribution of all possible colors, instead of choosing the most probable color at the local level. We also predict the expected variation of color at each pixel, thus defining a non-uniform spatial coherency criterion. We then use graph cuts to maximize the probability of the whole colored image at the global level. We work in the L-a-b color space in order to approximate the human perception of distances between colors, and we use machine learning tools to extract as much information as possible from a dataset of colored examples. The resulting algorithm is fast, designed to be more robust to texture noise, and is above all able to deal with ambiguity, in contrary to previous approaches.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Consistent Nonparametric Tests of Independence

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1391-1423, 2010 (article)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring latent task structure for Multitask Learning by Multiple Kernel Learning

Widmer, C., Toussaint, N., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

BMC Bioinformatics, 11 Suppl 8, pages: S5, 2010 (article)

Abstract
The lack of sufficient training data is the limiting factor for many Machine Learning applications in Computational Biology. If data is available for several different but related problem domains, Multitask Learning algorithms can be used to learn a model based on all available information. In Bioinformatics, many problems can be cast into the Multitask Learning scenario by incorporating data from several organisms. However, combining information from several tasks requires careful consideration of the degree of similarity between tasks. Our proposed method simultaneously learns or refines the similarity between tasks along with the Multitask Learning classifier. This is done by formulating the Multitask Learning problem as Multiple Kernel Learning, using the recently published q-Norm MKL algorithm.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Approaches Based on Support Vector Machine to Classification of Remote Sensing Data

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

In Handbook of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision, pages: 329-352, (Editors: Chen, C.H.), ICP, London, UK, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
This chapter presents an extensive and critical review on the use of kernel methods and in particular of support vector machines (SVMs) in the classification of remote-sensing (RS) data. The chapter recalls the mathematical formulation and the main theoretical concepts related to SVMs, and discusses the motivations at the basis of the use of SVMs in remote sensing. A review on the main applications of SVMs in classification of remote sensing is given, presenting a literature survey on the use of SVMs for the analysis of different kinds of RS images. In addition, the most recent methodological developments related to SVM-based classification techniques in RS are illustrated by focusing on semisupervised, domain adaptation, and context sensitive approaches. Finally, the most promising research directions on SVM in RS are identified and discussed.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Information-theoretic inference of common ancestors

Steudel, B., Ay, N.

Computing Research Repository (CoRR), abs/1010.5720, pages: 18, 2010 (techreport)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Policy learning algorithmis for motor learning (Algorithmen zum automatischen Erlernen von Motorfähigkigkeiten)

Peters, J., Kober, J., Schaal, S.

Automatisierungstechnik, 58(12):688-694, 2010, clmc (article)

Abstract
Robot learning methods which allow au- tonomous robots to adapt to novel situations have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to ful- fill 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. If possible, scaling was usually only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general ap- proach 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 algo- rithms 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 structu- res for task representation and execution.

am

link (url) [BibTex]


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On a disparity between relative cliquewidth and relative NLC-width

Müller, H., Urner, R.

Discrete Applied Mathematics, 158(7):828-840, 2010 (article)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2018 02 03 at 7.21.10 pm
Roombots: Reconfigurable Robots for Adaptive Furniture

Spröwitz, A., Pouya, S., Bonardi, S., van den Kieboom, J., Möckel, R., Billard, A., Dillenbourg, P., Ijspeert, A.

Computational Intelligence Magazine, IEEE, 5(3):20-32, 2010 (article)

Abstract
Imagine a world in which our furniture moves around like legged robots, interacts with us, and changes shape and function during the day according to our needs. This is the long term vision we have in the Roombots project. To work towards this dream, we are developing modular robotic modules that have rotational degrees of freedom for locomotion as well as active connection mechanisms for runtime reconfiguration. A piece of furniture, e.g. a stool, will thus be composed of several modules that activate their rotational joints together to implement locomotor gaits, and will be able to change shape, e.g. transforming into a chair, by sequences of attachments and detachments of modules. In this article, we firstly present the project and the hardware we are currently developing. We explore how reconfiguration from a configuration A to a configuration B can be controlled in a distributed fashion. This is done using metamodules-two Roombots modules connected serially-that use broadcast signals and connections to a structured ground to collectively build desired structures without the need of a centralized planner. We then present how locomotion controllers can be implemented in a distributed system of coupled oscillators-one per degree of freedom-similarly to the concept of central pattern generators (CPGs) found in the spinal cord of vertebrate animals. The CPGs are based on coupled phase oscillators to ensure synchronized behavior and have different output filters to allow switching between oscillations and rotations. A stochastic optimization algorithm is used to explore optimal CPG configurations for different simulated Roombots structures.

dlg

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2018 02 03 at 4.24.19 pm
Distributed Online Learning of Central Pattern Generators in Modular Robots

Christensen, D. J., Spröwitz, A., Ijspeert, A. J.

In From Animals to Animats 11, 6226, pages: 402-412, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin, 2010, author: Doncieux, Stéphan (incollection)

Abstract
In this paper we study distributed online learning of locomotion gaits for modular robots. The learning is based on a stochastic ap- proximation method, SPSA, which optimizes the parameters of coupled oscillators used to generate periodic actuation patterns. The strategy is implemented in a distributed fashion, based on a globally shared reward signal, but otherwise utilizing local communication only. In a physics-based simulation of modular Roombots robots we experiment with online learn- ing of gaits and study the effects of: module failures, different robot morphologies, and rough terrains. The experiments demonstrate fast online learning, typically 5-30 min. for convergence to high performing gaits (≈ 30 cm/sec), despite high numbers of open parameters (45-54). We conclude that the proposed approach is efficient, effective and a promising candidate for online learning on many other robotic platforms.

dlg

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Gait planning based on kinematics for a quadruped gecko model with redundancy

Son, D., Jeon, D., Nam, W. C., Chang, D., Seo, T., Kim, J.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 58, 2010 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Molecular QED of coherent and incoherent sum-frequency and second-harmonic generation in chiral liquids in the presence of a static electric field

Fischer, P., Salam, A.

MOLECULAR PHYSICS, 108(14):1857-1868, 2010 (article)

Abstract
Coherent second-order nonlinear optical processes are symmetry forbidden in centrosymmetric environments in the electric-dipole approximation. In liquids that contain chiral molecules, however, and which therefore lack mirror image symmetry, coherent sum-frequency generation is possible, whereas second-harmonic generation remains forbidden. Here we apply the theory of molecular quantum electrodynamics to the calculation of the matrix element, transition rate, and integrated signal intensity for sum-frequency and second-harmonic generation taking place in a chiral liquid in the presence and absence of a static electric field, to examine which coherent and incoherent processes exist in the electric-dipole approximation in liquids. Third- and fourth-order time-dependent perturbation theory is employed in combination with single-sided Feynman diagrams to evaluate two contributions arising from static field-free and field-induced processes. It is found that, in addition to the coherent term, an incoherent process exists for sum-frequency generation in liquids. Surprisingly, in the case of dc-field-induced second-harmonic generation, the incoherent contribution is found to always vanish for isotropic chiral liquids even though hyper-Rayleigh second-harmonic generation and electric-field-induced second-harmonic generation are both independently symmetry allowed in any liquid.

pf

DOI [BibTex]


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Flat dry elastomer adhesives as attachment materials for climbing robots

Unver, O., Sitti, M.

IEEE transactions on robotics, 26(1):131-141, IEEE, 2010 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nanohandling robot cells

Fatikow, Sergej, Wich, Thomas, Dahmen, Christian, Jasper, Daniel, Stolle, Christian, Eichhorn, Volkmar, Hagemann, Saskia, Weigel-Jech, Michael

In Handbook of Nanophysics: Nanomedicine and Nanorobotics, pages: 1-31, CRC Press, 2010 (incollection)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Bayesian approach to nonlinear parameter identification for rigid-body dynamics

Ting, J., DSouza, A., Schaal, S.

Neural Networks, 2010, clmc (article)

Abstract
For complex robots such as humanoids, model-based control is highly beneficial for accurate tracking while keeping negative feedback gains low for compliance. However, in such multi degree-of-freedom lightweight systems, conventional identification of rigid body dynamics models using CAD data and actuator models is inaccurate due to unknown nonlinear robot dynamic effects. An alternative method is data-driven parameter estimation, but significant noise in measured and inferred variables affects it adversely. Moreover, standard estimation procedures may give physically inconsistent results due to unmodeled nonlinearities or insufficiently rich data. This paper addresses these problems, proposing a Bayesian system identification technique for linear or piecewise linear systems. Inspired by Factor Analysis regression, we develop a computationally efficient variational Bayesian regression algorithm that is robust to ill-conditioned data, automatically detects relevant features, and identifies input and output noise. We evaluate our approach on rigid body parameter estimation for various robotic systems, achieving an error of up to three times lower than other state-of-the-art machine learning methods.

am

link (url) [BibTex]


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A first optimal control solution for a complex, nonlinear, tendon driven neuromuscular finger model

Theodorou, E. A., Todorov, E., Valero-Cuevas, F.

Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Summer Bioengineering Conference August 30-September 2, 2010, Naples, Florida, USA, 2010, clmc (article)

Abstract
In this work we present the first constrained stochastic op- timal feedback controller applied to a fully nonlinear, tendon driven index finger model. Our model also takes into account an extensor mechanism, and muscle force-length and force-velocity properties. We show this feedback controller is robust to noise and perturbations to the dynamics, while successfully handling the nonlinearities and high dimensionality of the system. By ex- tending prior methods, we are able to approximate physiological realism by ensuring positivity of neural commands and tendon tensions at all timesthus can, for the first time, use the optimal control framework to predict biologically plausible tendon tensions for a nonlinear neuromuscular finger model. METHODS 1 Muscle Model The rigid-body triple pendulum finger model with slightly viscous joints is actuated by Hill-type muscle models. Joint torques are generated by the seven muscles of the index fin-

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Locally weighted regression for control

Ting, J., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning, pages: 613-624, (Editors: Sammut, C.;Webb, G. I.), Springer, 2010, clmc (inbook)

Abstract
This is article addresses two topics: learning control and locally weighted regression.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Automated Home-Cage Behavioral Phenotyping of Mice

Jhuang, H., Garrote, E., Mutch, J., Poggio, T., Steele, A., Serre, T.

Nature Communications, Nature Communications, 2010 (article)

ps

software, demo pdf [BibTex]

software, demo pdf [BibTex]


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Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions in systems with fabrication induced strain gradients: ab-initio study

Beck, P., Fähnle, M

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 322, pages: 3701-3703, 2010 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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On the nature of displacement bursts during nanoindentation of ultrathin Ni films on sapphire

Rabkin, E., Deuschle, J. K., Baretzky, B.

{Acta Materialia}, 58, pages: 1589-1598, 2010 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Nanospheres generate out-of-plane magnetization

Amaladass, E., Ludescher, B., Schütz, G., Tyliszczak, T., Lee, M., Eimüller, T.

{Journal of Applied Physics}, 107, 2010 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Temperature dependence of the magnetic properties of L10-FePt nanostructures and films

Bublat, T., Goll, D.

{Journal of Applied Physics}, 108(11), 2010 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic properties of Fe nanoclusters on Cu(111) studied with X-ray magnetic circular dichroism

Fauth, K., Ballentine, G., Praetorius, C., Kleibert, A., Wilken, N., Voitkans, A., Meiwes-Broer, K.-H.

{Physica Status Solidi B}, 247(5):1170-1179, 2010 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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An experimental analysis of elliptical adhesive contact

Sümer, B., Onal, C. D., Aksak, B., Sitti, M.

Journal of Applied Physics, 107(11):113512, AIP, 2010 (article)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]