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2010


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Fast algorithms for total-variationbased optimization

Barbero, A., Sra, S.

(194), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We derive a number of methods to solve efficiently simple optimization problems subject to a totalvariation (TV) regularization, under different norms of the TV operator and both for the case of 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional data. In spite of the non-smooth, non-separable nature of the TV terms considered, we show that a dual formulation with strong structure can be derived. Taking advantage of this structure we develop adaptions of existing algorithms from the optimization literature, resulting in efficient methods for the problem at hand. Experimental results show that for 1-dimensional data the proposed methods achieve convergence within good accuracy levels in practically linear time, both for L1 and L2 norms. For the more challenging 2-dimensional case a performance of order O(N2 log2 N) for N x N inputs is achieved when using the L2 norm. A final section suggests possible extensions and lines of further work.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2010


PDF [BibTex]


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Inferring Networks of Diffusion and Influence

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Leskovec, J., Krause, A.

In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2010), pages: 1019-1028, (Editors: Rao, B. , B. Krishnapuram, A. Tomkins, Q. Yang), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 16th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Information diffusion and virus propagation are fundamental processes talking place in networks. While it is often possible to directly observe when nodes become infected, observing individual transmissions (i.e., who infects whom or who influences whom) is typically very difficult. Furthermore, in many applications, the underlying network over which the diffusions and propagations spread is actually unobserved. We tackle these challenges by developing a method for tracing paths of diffusion and influence through networks and inferring the networks over which contagions propagate. Given the times when nodes adopt pieces of information or become infected, we identify the optimal network that best explains the observed infection times. Since the optimization problem is NP-hard to solve exactly, we develop an efficient approximation algorithm that scales to large datasets and in practice gives provably near-optimal performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by tracing information cascades in a set of 170 million blogs and news articles over a one year period to infer how information flows through the online media space. We find that the diffusion network of news tends to have a core-periphery structure with a small set of core media sites that diffuse information to the rest of the Web. These sites tend to have stable circles of influence with more general news media sites acting as connectors between them.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Relative Entropy Policy Search

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Altun, Y.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages: 1607-1612, (Editors: Fox, M. , D. Poole), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, Twenty-Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-10), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Policy search is a successful approach to reinforcement learning. However, policy improvements often result in the loss of information. Hence, it has been marred by premature convergence and implausible solutions. As first suggested in the context of covariant policy gradients (Bagnell and Schneider 2003), many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this paper, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest the Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method. The resulting method differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Inferring deterministic causal relations

Daniusis, P., Janzing, D., Mooij, J., Zscheischler, J., Steudel, B., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, pages: 143-150, (Editors: P Grünwald and P Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, UAI, July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider two variables that are related to each other by an invertible function. While it has previously been shown that the dependence structure of the noise can provide hints to determine which of the two variables is the cause, we presently show that even in the deterministic (noise-free) case, there are asymmetries that can be exploited for causal inference. Our method is based on the idea that if the function and the probability density of the cause are chosen independently, then the distribution of the effect will, in a certain sense, depend on the function. We provide a theoretical analysis of this method, showing that it also works in the low noise regime, and link it to information geometry. We report strong empirical results on various real-world data sets from different domains.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Recent trends in classification of remote sensing data: active and semisupervised machine learning paradigms

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

In pages: 3720-3723 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper addresses the recent trends in machine learning methods for the automatic classification of remote sensing (RS) images. In particular, we focus on two new paradigms: semisupervised and active learning. These two paradigms allow one to address classification problems in the critical conditions where the available labeled training samples are limited. These operational conditions are very usual in RS problems, due to the high cost and time associated with the collection of labeled samples. Semisupervised and active learning techniques allow one to enrich the initial training set information and to improve classification accuracy by exploiting unlabeled samples or requiring additional labeling phases from the user, respectively. The two aforementioned strategies are theoretically and experimentally analyzed considering SVM-based techniques in order to highlight advantages and disadvantages of both strategies.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Source Separation and Higher-Order Causal Analysis of MEG and EEG

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence: Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Conference (UAI 2010), pages: 709-716, (Editors: Grünwald, P. , P. Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Separation of the sources and analysis of their connectivity have been an important topic in EEG/MEG analysis. To solve this problem in an automatic manner, we propose a twolayer model, in which the sources are conditionally uncorrelated from each other, but not independent; the dependence is caused by the causality in their time-varying variances (envelopes). The model is identified in two steps. We first propose a new source separation technique which takes into account the autocorrelations (which may be time-varying) and time-varying variances of the sources. The causality in the envelopes is then discovered by exploiting a special kind of multivariate GARCH (generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity) model. The resulting causal diagram gives the effective connectivity between the separated sources; in our experimental results on MEG data, sources with similar functions are grouped together, with negative influences between groups, and the groups are connected via some interesting sources.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Invariant Gaussian Process Latent Variable Models and Application in Causal Discovery

Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B., Janzing, D.

In Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, pages: 717-724, (Editors: P Grünwald and P Spirtes), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, UAI, July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In nonlinear latent variable models or dynamic models, if we consider the latent variables as confounders (common causes), the noise dependencies imply further relations between the observed variables. Such models are then closely related to causal discovery in the presence of nonlinear confounders, which is a challenging problem. However, generally in such models the observation noise is assumed to be independent across data dimensions, and consequently the noise dependencies are ignored. In this paper we focus on the Gaussian process latent variable model (GPLVM), from which we develop an extended model called invariant GPLVM (IGPLVM), which can adapt to arbitrary noise covariances. With the Gaussian process prior put on a particular transformation of the latent nonlinear functions, instead of the original ones, the algorithm for IGPLVM involves almost the same computational loads as that for the original GPLVM. Besides its potential application in causal discovery, IGPLVM has the advantage that its estimated latent nonlinear manifold is invariant to any nonsingular linear transformation of the data. Experimental results on both synthetic and realworld data show its encouraging performance in nonlinear manifold learning and causal discovery.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multi-Label Learning by Exploiting Label Dependency

Zhang, M., Zhang, K.

In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2010), pages: 999-1008, (Editors: Rao, B. , B. Krishnapuram, A. Tomkins, Q. Yang), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 16th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), July 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In multi-label learning, each training example is associated with a set of labels and the task is to predict the proper label set for the unseen example. Due to the tremendous (exponential) number of possible label sets, the task of learning from multi-label examples is rather challenging. Therefore, the key to successful multi-label learning is how to effectively exploit correlations between different labels to facilitate the learning process. In this paper, we propose to use a Bayesian network structure to efficiently encode the condi- tional dependencies of the labels as well as the feature set, with the feature set as the common parent of all labels. To make it practical, we give an approximate yet efficient procedure to find such a network structure. With the help of this network, multi-label learning is decomposed into a series of single-label classification problems, where a classifier is constructed for each label by incorporating its parental labels as additional features. Label sets of unseen examples are predicted recursively according to the label ordering given by the network. Extensive experiments on a broad range of data sets validate the effectiveness of our approach against other well-established methods.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Efficient Filter Flow for Space-Variant Multiframe Blind Deconvolution

Hirsch, M., Sra, S., Schölkopf, B., Harmeling, S.

In Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pages: 607-614, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, CVPR, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Ultimately being motivated by facilitating space-variant blind deconvolution, we present a class of linear transformations, that are expressive enough for space-variant filters, but at the same time especially designed for efficient matrix-vector-multiplications. Successful results on astronomical imaging through atmospheric turbulences and on noisy magnetic resonance images of constantly moving objects demonstrate the practical significance of our approach.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Grasping with Vision Descriptors and Motor Primitives

Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Piater, J., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO 2010), pages: 47-54, (Editors: Filipe, J. , J. Andrade-Cetto, J.-L. Ferrier), SciTePress , Lisboa, Portugal, 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Grasping is one of the most important abilities needed for future service robots. Given the task of picking up an object from betweem clutter, traditional robotics approaches would determine a suitable grasping point and then use a movement planner to reach the goal. The planner would require precise and accurate information about the environment and long computation times, both of which may not always be available. Therefore, methods for executing grasps are required, which perform well with information gathered from only standard stereo vision, and make only a few necessary assumptions about the task environment. We propose techniques that reactively modify the robot’s learned motor primitives based on information derived from Early Cognitive Vision descriptors. The proposed techniques employ non-parametric potential fields centered on the Early Cognitive Vision descriptors to allow for curving hand trajectories around objects, and finger motions that adapt to the object’s local geometry. The methods were tested on a real robot and found to allow for easier imitation learning of human movements and give a considerable improvement to the robot’s performance in grasping tasks.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An efficient divide-and-conquer cascade for nonlinear object detection

Lampert, CH.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Third IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2010), pages: 1022-1029, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Twenty-Third IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We introduce a method to accelerate the evaluation of object detection cascades with the help of a divide-and-conquer procedure in the space of candidate regions. Compared to the exhaustive procedure that thus far is the state-of-the-art for cascade evaluation, the proposed method requires fewer evaluations of the classifier functions, thereby speeding up the search. Furthermore, we show how the recently developed efficient subwindow search (ESS) procedure [11] can be integrated into the last stage of our method. This allows us to use our method to act not only as a faster procedure for cascade evaluation, but also as a tool to perform efficient branch-and-bound object detection with nonlinear quality functions, in particular kernelized support vector machines. Experiments on the PASCAL VOC 2006 dataset show an acceleration of more than 50% by our method compared to standard cascade evaluation.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Non-parametric estimation of integral probability metrics

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

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2010), pages: 1428-1432, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we develop and analyze a nonparametric method for estimating the class of integral probability metrics (IPMs), examples of which include the Wasserstein distance, Dudley metric, and maximum mean discrepancy (MMD). We show that these distances can be estimated efficiently by solving a linear program in the case of Wasserstein distance and Dudley metric, while MMD is computable in a closed form. All these estimators are shown to be strongly consistent and their convergence rates are analyzed. Based on these results, we show that IPMs are simple to estimate and the estimators exhibit good convergence behavior compared to fi-divergence estimators.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Markov condition for submodular information measures

Steudel, B., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference on Learning Theory, pages: 464-476, (Editors: AT Kalai and M Mohri), OmniPress, Madison, WI, USA, COLT, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The causal Markov condition (CMC) is a postulate that links observations to causality. It describes the conditional independences among the observations that are entailed by a causal hypothesis in terms of a directed acyclic graph. In the conventional setting, the observations are random variables and the independence is a statistical one, i.e., the information content of observations is measured in terms of Shannon entropy. We formulate a generalized CMC for any kind of observations on which independence is defined via an arbitrary submodular information measure. Recently, this has been discussed for observations in terms of binary strings where information is understood in the sense of Kolmogorov complexity. Our approach enables us to find computable alternatives to Kolmogorov complexity, e.g., the length of a text after applying existing data compression schemes. We show that our CMC is justified if one restricts the attention to a class of causal mechanisms that is adapted to the respective information measure. Our justification is similar to deriving the statistical CMC from functional models of causality, where every variable is a deterministic function of its observed causes and an unobserved noise term. Our experiments on real data demonstrate the performance of compression based causal inference.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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UDP Communication channel design of master-slave robot system

Hong, A., Cho, JH., Wang, H., Lee, DY.

In pages: 231-232, 2010 KSME Conference, June 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Telling cause from effect based on high-dimensional observations

Janzing, D., Hoyer, P., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 479-486, (Editors: J Fürnkranz and T Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, ICML, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a method for inferring linear causal relations among multi-dimensional variables. The idea is to use an asymmetry between the distributions of cause and effect that occurs if the covariance matrix of the cause and the structure matrix mapping the cause to the effect are independently chosen. The method applies to both stochastic and deterministic causal relations, provided that the dimensionality is sufficiently high (in some experiments, 5 was enough). It is applicable to Gaussian as well as non-Gaussian data.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A scalable trust-region algorithm with application to mixed-norm regression

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

In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2010), pages: 519-526, (Editors: Fürnkranz, J. , T. Joachims), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 27th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new algorithm for minimizing a convex loss-function subject to regularization. Our framework applies to numerous problems in machine learning and statistics; notably, for sparsity-promoting regularizers such as ℓ1 or ℓ1, ∞ norms, it enables efficient computation of sparse solutions. Our approach is based on the trust-region framework with nonsmooth objectives, which allows us to build on known results to provide convergence analysis. We avoid the computational overheads associated with the conventional Hessian approximation used by trust-region methods by instead using a simple separable quadratic approximation. This approximation also enables use of proximity operators for tackling nonsmooth regularizers. We illustrate the versatility of our resulting algorithm by specializing it to three mixed-norm regression problems: group lasso [36], group logistic regression [21], and multi-task lasso [19]. We experiment with both synthetic and real-world large-scale data—our method is seen to be competitive, robust, and scalable.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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The Influence of the Image Basis on Modeling and Steganalysis Performance

Schwamberger, V., Le, P., Schölkopf, B., Franz, M.

In Information Hiding, pages: 133-144, (Editors: R Böhme and PWL Fong and R Safavi-Naini), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th international Workshop (IH), June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We compare two image bases with respect to their capabilities for image modeling and steganalysis. The first basis consists of wavelets, the second is a Laplacian pyramid. Both bases are used to decompose the image into subbands where the local dependency structure is modeled with a linear Bayesian estimator. Similar to existing approaches, the image model is used to predict coefficient values from their neighborhoods, and the final classification step uses statistical descriptors of the residual. Our findings are counter-intuitive on first sight: Although Laplacian pyramids have better image modeling capabilities than wavelets, steganalysis based on wavelets is much more successful. We present a number of experiments that suggest possible explanations for this result.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Co-clustering, Graph Clustering, and Pairwise Clustering

Seldin, Y.

In ICML 2010 Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, pages: 1-5, ICML Workshop on Social Analytics: Learning from human interactions, June 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We review briefly the PAC-Bayesian analysis of co-clustering (Seldin and Tishby, 2008, 2009, 2010), which provided generalization guarantees and regularization terms absent in the preceding formulations of this problem and achieved state-of-the-art prediction results in MovieLens collaborative filtering task. Inspired by this analysis we formulate weighted graph clustering1 as a prediction problem: given a subset of edge weights we analyze the ability of graph clustering to predict the remaining edge weights. This formulation enables practical and theoretical comparison of different approaches to graph clustering as well as comparison of graph clustering with other possible ways to model the graph. Following the lines of (Seldin and Tishby, 2010) we derive PAC-Bayesian generalization bounds for graph clustering. The bounds show that graph clustering should optimize a trade-off between empirical data fit and the mutual information that clusters preserve on the graph nodes. A similar trade-off derived from information-theoretic considerations was already shown to produce state-of-the-art results in practice (Slonim et al., 2005; Yom-Tov and Slonim, 2009). This paper supports the empirical evidence by providing a better theoretical foundation, suggesting formal generalization guarantees, and offering a more accurate way to deal with finite sample issues.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gaussian Mixture Modeling with Gaussian Process Latent Variable Models

Nickisch, H., Rasmussen, C.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, June 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
Density modeling is notoriously difficult for high dimensional data. One approach to the problem is to search for a lower dimensional manifold which captures the main characteristics of the data. Recently, the Gaussian Process Latent Variable Model (GPLVM) has successfully been used to find low dimensional manifolds in a variety of complex data. The GPLVM consists of a set of points in a low dimensional latent space, and a stochastic map to the observed space. We show how it can be interpreted as a density model in the observed space. However, the GPLVM is not trained as a density model and therefore yields bad density estimates. We propose a new training strategy and obtain improved generalisation performance and better density estimates in comparative evaluations on several benchmark data sets.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement learning of motor skills in high dimensions: A path integral approach

Theodorou, E., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 2397-2403, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning (RL) is one of the most general approaches to learning control. Its applicability to complex motor systems, however, has been largely impossible so far due to the computational difficulties that reinforcement learning encounters in high dimensional continuous state-action spaces. In this paper, we derive a novel approach to RL for parameterized control policies based on the framework of stochastic optimal control with path integrals. While solidly grounded in optimal control theory and estimation theory, the update equations for learning are surprisingly simple and have no danger of numerical instabilities as neither matrix inversions nor gradient learning rates are required. Empirical evaluations demonstrate significant performance improvements over gradient-based policy learning and scalability to high-dimensional control problems. Finally, a learning experiment on a robot dog illustrates the functionality of our algorithm in a real-world scenario. We believe that our new algorithm, Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2), offers currently one of the most efficient, numerically robust, and easy to implement algorithms for RL in robotics.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Inverse dynamics control of floating base systems using orthogonal decomposition

Mistry, M., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 3406-3412, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Model-based control methods can be used to enable fast, dexterous, and compliant motion of robots without sacrificing control accuracy. However, implementing such techniques on floating base robots, e.g., humanoids and legged systems, is non-trivial due to under-actuation, dynamically changing constraints from the environment, and potentially closed loop kinematics. In this paper, we show how to compute the analytically correct inverse dynamics torques for model-based control of sufficiently constrained floating base rigid-body systems, such as humanoid robots with one or two feet in contact with the environment. While our previous inverse dynamics approach relied on an estimation of contact forces to compute an approximate inverse dynamics solution, here we present an analytically correct solution by using an orthogonal decomposition to project the robot dynamics onto a reduced dimensional space, independent of contact forces. We demonstrate the feasibility and robustness of our approach on a simulated floating base bipedal humanoid robot and an actual robot dog locomoting over rough terrain.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Fast, robust quadruped locomotion over challenging terrain

Kalakrishnan, M., Buchli, J., Pastor, P., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 2665-2670, May 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a control architecture for fast quadruped locomotion over rough terrain. We approach the problem by decomposing it into many sub-systems, in which we apply state-of-the-art learning, planning, optimization and control techniques to achieve robust, fast locomotion. Unique features of our control strategy include: (1) a system that learns optimal foothold choices from expert demonstration using terrain templates, (2) a body trajectory optimizer based on the Zero-Moment Point (ZMP) stability criterion, and (3) a floating-base inverse dynamics controller that, in conjunction with force control, allows for robust, compliant locomotion over unperceived obstacles. We evaluate the performance of our controller by testing it on the LittleDog quadruped robot, over a wide variety of rough terrain of varying difficulty levels. We demonstrate the generalization ability of this controller by presenting test results from an independent external test team on terrains that have never been shown to us.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Apprenticeship learning via soft local homomorphisms

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2971-2976, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning when the expert's demonstration covers only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient solution to this problem based on the assumption that the expert is optimally acting in a Markov Decision Process (MDP). However, past work on IRL requires an accurate estimate of the frequency of encountering each feature of the states when the robot follows the expert‘s policy. Given that the complete policy of the expert is unknown, the features frequencies can only be empirically estimated from the demonstrated trajectories. In this paper, we propose to use a transfer method, known as soft homomorphism, in order to generalize the expert‘s policy to unvisited regions of the state space. The generalized policy can be used either as the robot‘s final policy, or to calculate the features frequencies within an IRL algorithm. Empirical results show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Using Model Knowledge for Learning Inverse Dynamics

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 2677-2682, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In recent years, learning models from data has become an increasingly interesting tool for robotics, as it allows straightforward and accurate model approximation. However, in most robot learning approaches, the model is learned from scratch disregarding all prior knowledge about the system. For many complex robot systems, available prior knowledge from advanced physics-based modeling techniques can entail valuable information for model learning that may result in faster learning speed, higher accuracy and better generalization. In this paper, we investigate how parametric physical models (e.g., obtained from rigid body dynamics) can be used to improve the learning performance, and, especially, how semiparametric regression methods can be applied in this context. We present two possible semiparametric regression approaches, where the knowledge of the physical model can either become part of the mean function or of the kernel in a nonparametric Gaussian process regression. We compare the learning performance o f these methods first on sampled data and, subsequently, apply the obtained inverse dynamics models in tracking control on a real Barrett WAM. The results show that the semiparametric models learned with rigid body dynamics as prior outperform the standard rigid body dynamics models on real data while generalizing better for unknown parts of the state space.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web 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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Coherent Inference on Optimal Play in Game Trees

Hennig, P., Stern, D., Graepel, T.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 326-333, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington ), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Round-based games are an instance of discrete planning problems. Some of the best contemporary game tree search algorithms use random roll-outs as data. Relying on a good policy, they learn on-policy values by propagating information upwards in the tree, but not between sibling nodes. Here, we present a generative model and a corresponding approximate message passing scheme for inference on the optimal, off-policy value of nodes in smooth AND/OR trees, given random roll-outs. The crucial insight is that the distribution of values in game trees is not completely arbitrary. We define a generative model of the on-policy values using a latent score for each state, representing the value under the random roll-out policy. Inference on the values under the optimal policy separates into an inductive, pre-data step and a deductive, post-data part. Both can be solved approximately with Expectation Propagation, allowing off-policy value inference for any node in the (exponentially big) tree in linear time.

ei pn

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Incremental Sparsification for Real-time Online Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 557-564, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Online model learning in real-time is required by many applications such as in robot tracking control. It poses a difficult problem, as fast and incremental online regression with large data sets is the essential component which cannot be achieved by straightforward usage of off-the-shelf machine learning methods (such as Gaussian process regression or support vector regression). In this paper, we propose a framework for online, incremental sparsification with a fixed budget designed for large scale real-time model learning. The proposed approach combines a sparsification method based on an independence measure with a large scale database. In combination with an incremental learning approach such as sequential support vector regression, we obtain a regression method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques. Implementation on a real robot emphasizes the applicability of the proposed approach in real-time online model learning for real world systems.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Multitask Learning for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Alamgir, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 17-24, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are limited in their applicability in everyday settings by the current necessity to record subjectspecific calibration data prior to actual use of the BCI for communication. In this paper, we utilize the framework of multitask learning to construct a BCI that can be used without any subject-specific calibration process. We discuss how this out-of-the-box BCI can be further improved in a computationally efficient manner as subject-specific data becomes available. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated on two sets of experimental EEG data recorded during a standard two-class motor imagery paradigm from a total of 19 healthy subjects. Specifically, we show that satisfactory classification results can be achieved with zero training data, and combining prior recordings with subjectspecific calibration data substantially outperforms using subject-specific data only. Our results further show that transfer between recordings under slightly different experimental setups is feasible.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Identifying Cause and Effect on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 597-604, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. Recently, methods using additive noise models have been suggested to approach the case of continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. Whenever the joint distribution P(X;Y ) admits such a model in one direction, e.g. Y = f(X) + N; N ? X, it does not admit the reversed model X = g(Y ) + ~N ; ~N ? Y as long as the model is chosen in a generic way. Based on these deliberations we propose an efficient new algorithm that is able to distinguish between cause and effect for a finite sample of discrete variables. We show that this algorithm works both on synthetic and real data sets.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Learning via Generalized Maximum Entropy

Erkan, A., Altun, Y.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 9: AISTATS 2010, pages: 209-216, (Editors: Teh, Y.W. , M. Titterington), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics , May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Various supervised inference methods can be analyzed as convex duals of the generalized maximum entropy (MaxEnt) framework. Generalized MaxEnt aims to find a distribution that maximizes an entropy function while respecting prior information represented as potential functions in miscellaneous forms of constraints and/or penalties. We extend this framework to semi-supervised learning by incorporating unlabeled data via modifications to these potential functions reflecting structural assumptions on the data geometry. The proposed approach leads to a family of discriminative semi-supervised algorithms, that are convex, scalable, inherently multi-class, easy to implement, and that can be kernelized naturally. Experimental evaluation of special cases shows the competitiveness of our methodology.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A New Algorithm for Improving the Resolution of Cryo-EM Density Maps

Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B., Habeck, M.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics, Vol. 6044 , pages: 174-188, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), May 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) plays an increasingly prominent role in structure elucidation of macromolecular assemblies. Advances in experimental instrumentation and computational power have spawned numerous cryo-EM studies of large biomolecular complexes resulting in the reconstruction of three-dimensional density maps at intermediate and low resolution. In this resolution range, identification and interpretation of structural elements and modeling of biomolecular structure with atomic detail becomes problematic. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm that enhances the resolution of intermediate- and low-resolution density maps. Our underlying assumption is to model the low-resolution density map as a blurred and possibly noise-corrupted version of an unknown high-resolution map that we seek to recover by deconvolution. By exploiting the nonnegativity of both the high-resolution map and blur kernel we derive multiplicative updates reminiscent of those used in nonnegative matrix factorization. Our framework allows for easy incorporation of additional prior knowledge such as smoothness and sparseness, on both the sharpened density map and the blur kernel. A probabilistic formulation enables us to derive updates for the hyperparameters, therefore our approach has no parameter that needs adjustment. We apply the algorithm to simulated three-dimensional electron microscopic data. We show that our method provides better resolved density maps when compared with B-factor sharpening, especially in the presence of noise. Moreover, our method can use additional information provided by homologous structures, which helps to improve the resolution even further.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Movement Templates for Learning of Hitting and Batting

Kober, J., Mülling, K., Krömer, O., Lampert, C., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), pages: 853-858, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web 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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Experiments with Motor Primitives to learn Table Tennis

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Kober, J.

In Experimental Robotics, pages: 1-13, (Editors: Khatib, O. , V. Kumar, G. Sukhatme), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 12th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), March 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causality: Objectives and Assessment

Guyon, I., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6 , pages: 1-42, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , February 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The NIPS 2008 workshop on causality provided a forum for researchers from different horizons to share their view on causal modeling and address the difficult question of assessing causal models. There has been a vivid debate on properly separating the notion of causality from particular models such as graphical models, which have been dominating the field in the past few years. Part of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the results of a challenge, which offered a wide variety of applications of causal modeling. We have regrouped in these proceedings the best papers presented. Most lectures were videotaped or recorded. All information regarding the challenge and the lectures are found at http://www.clopinet.com/isabelle/Projects/NIPS2008/. This introduction provides a synthesis of the findings and a gentle introduction to causality topics, which are the object of active research.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6

Guyon, I., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

pages: 288, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , February 2010 (proceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Leveraging Sequence Classification by Taxonomy-based Multitask Learning

Widmer, C., Leiva, J., Altun, Y., Rätsch, G.

In Research in Computational Molecular Biology, LNCS, Vol. 6044, pages: 522-534, (Editors: B Berger), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 14th Annual International Conference, RECOMB, 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic latent variable models for distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Stegle, O., Janzing, D., Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 1687-1695, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a novel method for inferring whether X causes Y or vice versa from joint observations of X and Y. The basic idea is to model the observed data using probabilistic latent variable models, which incorporate the effects of unobserved noise. To this end, we consider the hypothetical effect variable to be a function of the hypothetical cause variable and an independent noise term (not necessarily additive). An important novel aspect of our work is that we do not restrict the model class, but instead put general non-parametric priors on this function and on the distribution of the cause. The causal direction can then be inferred by using standard Bayesian model selection. We evaluate our approach on synthetic data and real-world data and report encouraging results.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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JigPheno: Semantic Feature Extraction in biological images

Karaletsos, T., Stegle, O., Winn, J., Borgwardt, K.

In NIPS, Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nonparametric Tree Graphical Models

Song, L., Gretton, A., Guestrin, C.

In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Volume 9 , pages: 765-772, (Editors: YW Teh and M Titterington ), JMLR, AISTATS, 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Novel machine learning methods for MHC Class I binding prediction

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

In Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics, pages: 98-109, (Editors: TMH Dijkstra and E Tsivtsivadze and E Marchiori and T Heskes), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 5th IAPR International Conference, PRIB, 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bootstrapping Apprenticeship Learning

Boularias, A., Chaib-Draa, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 289-297, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We consider the problem of apprenticeship learning where the examples, demonstrated by an expert, cover only a small part of a large state space. Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) provides an efficient tool for generalizing the demonstration, based on the assumption that the expert is maximizing a utility function that is a linear combination of state-action features. Most IRL algorithms use a simple Monte Carlo estimation to approximate the expected feature counts under the expert's policy. In this paper, we show that the quality of the learned policies is highly sensitive to the error in estimating the feature counts. To reduce this error, we introduce a novel approach for bootstrapping the demonstration by assuming that: (i), the expert is (near-)optimal, and (ii), the dynamics of the system is known. Empirical results on gridworlds and car racing problems show that our approach is able to learn good policies from a small number of demonstrations.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing Causes from Effects using Nonlinear Acyclic Causal Models

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, Volume 6, pages: 157-164, (Editors: I Guyon and D Janzing and B Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop), 2010 (inproceedings)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Characteristic Kernels on Structured Domains Excel in Robotics and Human Action Recognition

Danafar, S., Gretton, A., Schmidhuber, J.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases, LNCS Vol. 6321, pages: 264-279, (Editors: JL Balcázar and F Bonchi and A Gionis and M Sebag), Springer, Berlin, Germany, ECML PKDD, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Embedding probability distributions into a sufficiently rich (characteristic) reproducing kernel Hilbert space enables us to take higher order statistics into account. Characterization also retains effective statistical relation between inputs and outputs in regression and classification. Recent works established conditions for characteristic kernels on groups and semigroups. Here we study characteristic kernels on periodic domains, rotation matrices, and histograms. Such structured domains are relevant for homogeneity testing, forward kinematics, forward dynamics, inverse dynamics, etc. Our kernel-based methods with tailored characteristic kernels outperform previous methods on robotics problems and also on a widely used benchmark for recognition of human actions in videos.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Movement extraction by detecting dynamics switches and repetitions

Chiappa, S., Peters, J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 388-396, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many time-series such as human movement data consist of a sequence of basic actions, e.g., forehands and backhands in tennis. Automatically extracting and characterizing such actions is an important problem for a variety of different applications. In this paper, we present a probabilistic segmentation approach in which an observed time-series is modeled as a concatenation of segments corresponding to different basic actions. Each segment is generated through a noisy transformation of one of a few hidden trajectories representing different types of movement, with possible time re-scaling. We analyze three different approximation methods for dealing with model intractability, and demonstrate how the proposed approach can successfully segment table tennis movements recorded using a robot arm as haptic input device.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Space-Variant Single-Image Blind Deconvolution for Removing Camera Shake

Harmeling, S., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 829-837, (Editors: J Lafferty and CKI Williams and J Shawe-Taylor and RS Zemel and A Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Modelling camera shake as a space-invariant convolution simplifies the problem of removing camera shake, but often insufficiently models actual motion blur such as those due to camera rotation and movements outside the sensor plane or when objects in the scene have different distances to the camera. In an effort to address these limitations, (i) we introduce a taxonomy of camera shakes, (ii) we build on a recently introduced framework for space-variant filtering by Hirsch et al. and a fast algorithm for single image blind deconvolution for space-invariant filters by Cho and Lee to construct a method for blind deconvolution in the case of space-variant blur, and (iii), we present an experimental setup for evaluation that allows us to take images with real camera shake while at the same time recording the spacevariant point spread function corresponding to that blur. Finally, we demonstrate that our method is able to deblur images degraded by spatially-varying blur originating from real camera shake, even without using additionally motion sensor information.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Getting lost in space: Large sample analysis of the resistance distance

von Luxburg, U., Radl, A., Hein, M.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23, pages: 2622-2630, (Editors: Lafferty, J. , C. K.I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R. S. Zemel, A. Culotta), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The commute distance between two vertices in a graph is the expected time it takes a random walk to travel from the first to the second vertex and back. We study the behavior of the commute distance as the size of the underlying graph increases. We prove that the commute distance converges to an expression that does not take into account the structure of the graph at all and that is completely meaningless as a distance function on the graph. Consequently, the use of the raw commute distance for machine learning purposes is strongly discouraged for large graphs and in high dimensions. As an alternative we introduce the amplified commute distance that corrects for the undesired large sample effects.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Distinguishing between cause and effect

Mooij, J., Janzing, D.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings: Volume 6, pages: 147-156, (Editors: Guyon, I. , D. Janzing, B. Schölkopf), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Causality: Objectives and Assessment (NIPS Workshop) , 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe eight data sets that together formed the CauseEffectPairs task in the Causality Challenge #2: Pot-Luck competition. Each set consists of a sample of a pair of statistically dependent random variables. One variable is known to cause the other one, but this information was hidden from the participants; the task was to identify which of the two variables was the cause and which one the effect, based upon the observed sample. The data sets were chosen such that we expect common agreement on the ground truth. Even though part of the statistical dependences may also be due to hidden common causes, common sense tells us that there is a significant cause-effect relation between the two variables in each pair. We also present baseline results using three different causal inference methods.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF 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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Kernel Methods for Detecting the Direction of Time Series

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Gretton, A., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in Data Analysis, Data Handling and Business Intelligence, pages: 57-66, (Editors: A Fink and B Lausen and W Seidel and A Ultsch), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 32nd Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft f{\"u}r Klassifikation e.V. (GfKl), 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose two kernel based methods for detecting the time direction in empirical time series. First we apply a Support Vector Machine on the finite-dimensional distributions of the time series (classification method) by embedding these distributions into a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space. For the ARMA method we fit the observed data with an autoregressive moving average process and test whether the regression residuals are statistically independent of the past values. Whenever the dependence in one direction is significantly weaker than in the other we infer the former to be the true one. Both approaches were able to detect the direction of the true generating model for simulated data sets. We also applied our tests to a large number of real world time series. The ARMA method made a decision for a significant fraction of them, in which it was mostly correct, while the classification method did not perform as well, but still exceeded chance level.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]