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2015


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Scalable Robust Principal Component Analysis using Grassmann Averages

Hauberg, S., Feragen, A., Enficiaud, R., Black, M.

IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI), December 2015 (article)

Abstract
In large datasets, manual data verification is impossible, and we must expect the number of outliers to increase with data size. While principal component analysis (PCA) can reduce data size, and scalable solutions exist, it is well-known that outliers can arbitrarily corrupt the results. Unfortunately, state-of-the-art approaches for robust PCA are not scalable. We note that in a zero-mean dataset, each observation spans a one-dimensional subspace, giving a point on the Grassmann manifold. We show that the average subspace corresponds to the leading principal component for Gaussian data. We provide a simple algorithm for computing this Grassmann Average (GA), and show that the subspace estimate is less sensitive to outliers than PCA for general distributions. Because averages can be efficiently computed, we immediately gain scalability. We exploit robust averaging to formulate the Robust Grassmann Average (RGA) as a form of robust PCA. The resulting Trimmed Grassmann Average (TGA) is appropriate for computer vision because it is robust to pixel outliers. The algorithm has linear computational complexity and minimal memory requirements. We demonstrate TGA for background modeling, video restoration, and shadow removal. We show scalability by performing robust PCA on the entire Star Wars IV movie; a task beyond any current method. Source code is available online.

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preprint pdf from publisher supplemental Project Page [BibTex]

2015


preprint pdf from publisher supplemental Project Page [BibTex]


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Quantifying changes in climate variability and extremes: Pitfalls and their overcoming

Sippel, S., Zscheischler, J., Heimann, M., Otto, F. E. L., Peters, J., Mahecha, M. D.

Geophysical Research Letters, 42(22):9990-9998, November 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Diversity of sharp wave-ripple LFP signatures reveals differentiated brain-wide dynamical events

Ramirez-Villegas, J. F., Logothetis, N. K., Besserve, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A, 112(46):E6379-E6387, November 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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SMPL: A Skinned Multi-Person Linear Model

Loper, M., Mahmood, N., Romero, J., Pons-Moll, G., Black, M. J.

ACM Trans. Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia), 34(6):248:1-248:16, ACM, New York, NY, October 2015 (article)

Abstract
We present a learned model of human body shape and pose-dependent shape variation that is more accurate than previous models and is compatible with existing graphics pipelines. Our Skinned Multi-Person Linear model (SMPL) is a skinned vertex-based model that accurately represents a wide variety of body shapes in natural human poses. The parameters of the model are learned from data including the rest pose template, blend weights, pose-dependent blend shapes, identity-dependent blend shapes, and a regressor from vertices to joint locations. Unlike previous models, the pose-dependent blend shapes are a linear function of the elements of the pose rotation matrices. This simple formulation enables training the entire model from a relatively large number of aligned 3D meshes of different people in different poses. We quantitatively evaluate variants of SMPL using linear or dual-quaternion blend skinning and show that both are more accurate than a Blend-SCAPE model trained on the same data. We also extend SMPL to realistically model dynamic soft-tissue deformations. Because it is based on blend skinning, SMPL is compatible with existing rendering engines and we make it available for research purposes.

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pdf video code/model errata DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

pdf video code/model errata DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Noise masking of White’s illusion exposes the weakness of current spatial filtering models of lightness perception

Betz, T., Shapley, R. M., Wichmann, F. A., Maertens, M.

Journal of Vision, 15(14):1-17, October 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Shifts of Gamma Phase across Primary Visual Cortical Sites Reflect Dynamic Stimulus-Modulated Information Transfer

Besserve, M., Lowe, S. C., Logothetis, N. K., Schölkopf, B., Panzeri, S.

PLOS Biology, 13(9):e1002257, September 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Interpolation in an Anticausal Learning Scenario

Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 16, pages: 1923-1948, September 2015 (article)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Dyna: A Model of Dynamic Human Shape in Motion

Pons-Moll, G., Romero, J., Mahmood, N., Black, M. J.

ACM Transactions on Graphics, (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 34(4):120:1-120:14, ACM, August 2015 (article)

Abstract
To look human, digital full-body avatars need to have soft tissue deformations like those of real people. We learn a model of soft-tissue deformations from examples using a high-resolution 4D capture system and a method that accurately registers a template mesh to sequences of 3D scans. Using over 40,000 scans of ten subjects, we learn how soft tissue motion causes mesh triangles to deform relative to a base 3D body model. Our Dyna model uses a low-dimensional linear subspace to approximate soft-tissue deformation and relates the subspace coefficients to the changing pose of the body. Dyna uses a second-order auto-regressive model that predicts soft-tissue deformations based on previous deformations, the velocity and acceleration of the body, and the angular velocities and accelerations of the limbs. Dyna also models how deformations vary with a person’s body mass index (BMI), producing different deformations for people with different shapes. Dyna realistically represents the dynamics of soft tissue for previously unseen subjects and motions. We provide tools for animators to modify the deformations and apply them to new stylized characters.

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pdf preprint video data DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

pdf preprint video data DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Testing the role of luminance edges in White’s illusion with contour adaptation

Betz, T., Shapley, R. M., Wichmann, F. A., Maertens, M.

Journal of Vision, 15(11):1-16, August 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Linking Objects to Actions: Encoding of Target Object and Grasping Strategy in Primate Ventral Premotor Cortex

Vargas-Irwin, C. E., Franquemont, L., Black, M. J., Donoghue, J. P.

Journal of Neuroscience, 35(30):10888-10897, July 2015 (article)

Abstract
Neural activity in ventral premotor cortex (PMv) has been associated with the process of matching perceived objects with the motor commands needed to grasp them. It remains unclear how PMv networks can flexibly link percepts of objects affording multiple grasp options into a final desired hand action. Here, we use a relational encoding approach to track the functional state of PMv neuronal ensembles in macaque monkeys through the process of passive viewing, grip planning, and grasping movement execution. We used objects affording multiple possible grip strategies. The task included separate instructed delay periods for object presentation and grip instruction. This approach allowed us to distinguish responses elicited by the visual presentation of the objects from those associated with selecting a given motor plan for grasping. We show that PMv continuously incorporates information related to object shape and grip strategy as it becomes available, revealing a transition from a set of ensemble states initially most closely related to objects, to a new set of ensemble patterns reflecting unique object-grip combinations. These results suggest that PMv dynamically combines percepts, gradually navigating toward activity patterns associated with specific volitional actions, rather than directly mapping perceptual object properties onto categorical grip representations. Our results support the idea that PMv is part of a network that dynamically computes motor plans from perceptual information. Significance Statement: The present work demonstrates that the activity of groups of neurons in primate ventral premotor cortex reflects information related to visually presented objects, as well as the motor strategy used to grasp them, linking individual objects to multiple possible grips. PMv could provide useful control signals for neuroprosthetic assistive devices designed to interact with objects in a flexible way.

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publisher link DOI Project Page [BibTex]

publisher link DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Blind multirigid retrospective motion correction of MR images

Loktyushin, A., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B.

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 73(4):1457-1468, April 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Multi-view and 3D Deformable Part Models

Pepik, B., Stark, M., Gehler, P., Schiele, B.

Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 37(11):14, IEEE, March 2015 (article)

Abstract
As objects are inherently 3-dimensional, they have been modeled in 3D in the early days of computer vision. Due to the ambiguities arising from mapping 2D features to 3D models, 3D object representations have been neglected and 2D feature-based models are the predominant paradigm in object detection nowadays. While such models have achieved outstanding bounding box detection performance, they come with limited expressiveness, as they are clearly limited in their capability of reasoning about 3D shape or viewpoints. In this work, we bring the worlds of 3D and 2D object representations closer, by building an object detector which leverages the expressive power of 3D object representations while at the same time can be robustly matched to image evidence. To that end, we gradually extend the successful deformable part model [1] to include viewpoint information and part-level 3D geometry information, resulting in several different models with different level of expressiveness. We end up with a 3D object model, consisting of multiple object parts represented in 3D and a continuous appearance model. We experimentally verify that our models, while providing richer object hypotheses than the 2D object models, provide consistently better joint object localization and viewpoint estimation than the state-of-the-art multi-view and 3D object detectors on various benchmarks (KITTI [2], 3D object classes [3], Pascal3D+ [4], Pascal VOC 2007 [5], EPFL multi-view cars [6]).

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DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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A quantum advantage for inferring causal structure

Ried, K., Agnew, M., Vermeyden, L., Janzing, D., Spekkens, R. W., Resch, K. J.

Nature Physics, 11(5):414-420, March 2015 (article)

Abstract
The problem of inferring causal relations from observed correlations is relevant to a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Yet given the correlations between just two classical variables, it is impossible to determine whether they arose from a causal influence of one on the other or a common cause influencing both. Only a randomized trial can settle the issue. Here we consider the problem of causal inference for quantum variables. We show that the analogue of a randomized trial, causal tomography, yields a complete solution. We also show that, in contrast to the classical case, one can sometimes infer the causal structure from observations alone. We implement a quantum-optical experiment wherein we control the causal relation between two optical modes, and two measurement schemes—with and without randomization—that extract this relation from the observed correlations. Our results show that entanglement and quantum coherence provide an advantage for causal inference.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Spike train SIMilarity Space (SSIMS): A framework for single neuron and ensemble data analysis

Vargas-Irwin, C. E., Brandman, D. M., Zimmermann, J. B., Donoghue, J. P., Black, M. J.

Neural Computation, 27(1):1-31, MIT Press, January 2015 (article)

Abstract
We present a method to evaluate the relative similarity of neural spiking patterns by combining spike train distance metrics with dimensionality reduction. Spike train distance metrics provide an estimate of similarity between activity patterns at multiple temporal resolutions. Vectors of pair-wise distances are used to represent the intrinsic relationships between multiple activity patterns at the level of single units or neuronal ensembles. Dimensionality reduction is then used to project the data into concise representations suitable for clustering analysis as well as exploratory visualization. Algorithm performance and robustness are evaluated using multielectrode ensemble activity data recorded in behaving primates. We demonstrate how Spike train SIMilarity Space (SSIMS) analysis captures the relationship between goal directions for an 8-directional reaching task and successfully segregates grasp types in a 3D grasping task in the absence of kinematic information. The algorithm enables exploration of virtually any type of neural spiking (time series) data, providing similarity-based clustering of neural activity states with minimal assumptions about potential information encoding models.

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pdf: publisher site pdf: author's proof DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf: publisher site pdf: author's proof DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Positive definite matrices and the S-divergence

Sra, S.

Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, 2015, Published electronically: October 22, 2015 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Structural Intervention Distance (SID) for Evaluating Causal Graphs

Peters, J., Bühlmann, P.

Neural Computation , 27(3):771-799, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Likelihood and Consilience: On Forster’s Counterexamples to the Likelihood Theory of Evidence

Zhang, J., Zhang, K.

Philosophy of Science, Supplementary Volume 2015, 82(5):930-940, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Crowdsourced analysis of clinical trial data to predict amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progression

Küffner, R., Zach, N., Norel, R., Hawe, J., Schoenfeld, D., Wang, L., Li, G., Fang, L., Mackey, L., Hardiman, O., Cudkowicz, M., Sherman, A., Ertaylan, G., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Hothorn, T., van Ligtenberg, J., Macke, J., Meyer, T., Schölkopf, B., Tran, L., Vaughan, R., Stolovitzky, G., Leitner, M.

Nature Biotechnology, 33, pages: 51-57, 2015 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Interpretation of Linear Solvers

Hennig, P.

SIAM Journal on Optimization, 25(1):234-260, 2015 (article)

ei pn

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Developing biorobotics for veterinary research into cat movements

Mariti, C., Muscolo, G., Peters, J., Puig, D., Recchiuto, C., Sighieri, C., Solanas, A., von Stryk, O.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 10(3):248-254, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Spatial statistics and attentional dynamics in scene viewing

Engbert, R., Trukenbrod, H., Barthelmé, S., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 15(1):1-17, 2015 (article)

ei

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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The Randomized Causation Coefficient

Lopez-Paz, D., Muandet, K., Recht, B.

Journal of Machine Learning, 16, pages: 2901-2907, 2015 (article)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Towards denoising XMCD movies of fast magnetization dynamics using extended Kalman filter

Kopp, M., Harmeling, S., Schütz, G., Schölkopf, B., Fähnle, M.

Ultramicroscopy, 148, pages: 115-122, 2015 (article)

Abstract
The Kalman filter is a well-established approach to get information on the time-dependent state of a system from noisy observations. It was developed in the context of the Apollo project to see the deviation of the true trajectory of a rocket from the desired trajectory. Afterwards it was applied to many different systems with small numbers of components of the respective state vector (typically about 10). In all cases the equation of motion for the state vector was known exactly. The fast dissipative magnetization dynamics is often investigated by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism movies (XMCD movies), which are often very noisy. In this situation the number of components of the state vector is extremely large (about 105), and the equation of motion for the dissipative magnetization dynamics (especially the values of the material parameters of this equation) is not well known. In the present paper it is shown by theoretical considerations that – nevertheless – there is no principle problem for the use of the Kalman filter to denoise XMCD movies of fast dissipative magnetization dynamics.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Artificial intelligence: Learning to see and act

Schölkopf, B.

Nature, News & Views, 518(7540):486-487, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Context affects lightness at the level of surfaces

Maertens, M., Wichmann, F., Shapley, R.

Journal of Vision, 15(1):1-15, 2015 (article)

ei

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Genome-wide analysis of local chromatin packing in Arabidopsis thaliana

Wang, C., Liu, C., Roqueiro, D., Grimm, D., Schwab, R., Becker, C., Lanz, C., Weigel, D.

Genome Research, 25(2):246-256, 2015 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Segmentation-based attenuation correction in positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance: erroneous tissue identification and its impact on positron emission tomography interpretation

Brendle, C., Schmidt, H., Oergel, A., Bezrukov, I., Mueller, M., Schraml, C., Pfannenberg, C., la Fougère, C., Nikolaou, K., Schwenzer, N.

Investigative Radiology, 50(5):339-346, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Active Reward Learning with a Novel Acquisition Function

Daniel, C., Kroemer, O., Viering, M., Metz, J., Peters, J.

Autonomous Robots, 39(3):389-405, 2015 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Metric Regression Forests for Correspondence Estimation

Pons-Moll, G., Taylor, J., Shotton, J., Hertzmann, A., Fitzgibbon, A.

International Journal of Computer Vision, pages: 1-13, 2015 (article)

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springer PDF Project Page [BibTex]

springer PDF Project Page [BibTex]


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A systematic search for transiting planets in the K2 data

Foreman-Mackey, D., Montet, B., Hogg, D., Morton, T., Wang, D., Schölkopf, B.

The Astrophysical Journal, 806(2), 2015 (article)

Abstract
Photometry of stars from the K2 extension of NASA’s Kepler mission is afflicted by systematic effects caused by small (few-pixel) drifts in the telescope pointing and other spacecraft issues. We present a method for searching K2 light curves for evidence of exoplanets by simultaneously fitting for these systematics and the transit signals of interest. This method is more computationally expensive than standard search algorithms but we demonstrate that it can be efficiently implemented and used to discover transit signals. We apply this method to the full Campaign 1 data set and report a list of 36 planet candidates transiting 31 stars, along with an analysis of the pipeline performance and detection efficiency based on artificial signal injections and recoveries. For all planet candidates, we present posterior distributions on the properties of each system based strictly on the transit observables.

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Movement Primitive Attractor Goals and Sequential Skills from Kinesthetic Demonstrations

Manschitz, S., Kober, J., Gienger, M., Peters, J.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 74, Part A, pages: 97-107, 2015 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Optimization for Learning Gaits under Uncertainty

Calandra, R., Seyfarth, A., Peters, J., Deisenroth, M.

Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, pages: 1-19, 2015 (article)

am ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Assessment of murine brain tissue shrinkage caused by different histological fixatives using magnetic resonance and computed tomography imaging

Wehrl, H. F., Bezrukov, I., Wiehr, S., Lehnhoff, M., Fuchs, K., Mannheim, J. G., Quintanilla-Martinez, L., Kneilling, M., Pichler, B. J., Sauter, A. W.

Histology and Histopathology, 30(5):601-613, 2015 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Improved Bayesian Information Criterion for Mixture Model Selection

Mehrjou, A., Hosseini, R., Araabi, B.

Pattern Recognition Letters, 69, pages: 22-27, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Correlation matrix nearness and completion under observation uncertainty

Alaíz, C. M., Dinuzzo, F., Sra, S.

IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis, 35(1):325-340, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Quantitative evaluation of segmentation- and atlas- based attenuation correction for PET/MR on pediatric patients

Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Gatidis, S., Mantlik, F., Schäfer, J. F., Schwenzer, N., Pichler, B. J.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 56(7):1067-1074, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic numerics and uncertainty in computations

Hennig, P., Osborne, M. A., Girolami, M.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 471(2179), 2015 (article)

Abstract
We deliver a call to arms for probabilistic numerical methods: algorithms for numerical tasks, including linear algebra, integration, optimization and solving differential equations, that return uncertainties in their calculations. Such uncertainties, arising from the loss of precision induced by numerical calculation with limited time or hardware, are important for much contemporary science and industry. Within applications such as climate science and astrophysics, the need to make decisions on the basis of computations with large and complex data have led to a renewed focus on the management of numerical uncertainty. We describe how several seminal classic numerical methods can be interpreted naturally as probabilistic inference. We then show that the probabilistic view suggests new algorithms that can flexibly be adapted to suit application specifics, while delivering improved empirical performance. We provide concrete illustrations of the benefits of probabilistic numeric algorithms on real scientific problems from astrometry and astronomical imaging, while highlighting open problems with these new algorithms. Finally, we describe how probabilistic numerical methods provide a coherent framework for identifying the uncertainty in calculations performed with a combination of numerical algorithms (e.g. both numerical optimizers and differential equation solvers), potentially allowing the diagnosis (and control) of error sources in computations.

ei pn

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Mass and galaxy distributions of four massive galaxy clusters from Dark Energy Survey Science Verification data

Melchior, P., Suchyta, E., Huff, E., Hirsch, M., Kacprzak, T., Rykoff, E., Gruen, D., Armstrong, R., Bacon, D., Bechtol, K., others,

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449(3):2219-2238, Oxford University Press, 2015 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Entropic Movement Complexity Reflects Subjective Creativity Rankings of Visualized Hand Motion Trajectories

Peng, Z, Braun, DA

Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1879):1-13, December 2015 (article)

Abstract
In a previous study we have shown that human motion trajectories can be characterized by translating continuous trajectories into symbol sequences with well-defined complexity measures. Here we test the hypothesis that the motion complexity individuals generate in their movements might be correlated to the degree of creativity assigned by a human observer to the visualized motion trajectories. We asked participants to generate 55 novel hand movement patterns in virtual reality, where each pattern had to be repeated 10 times in a row to ensure reproducibility. This allowed us to estimate a probability distribution over trajectories for each pattern. We assessed motion complexity not only by the previously proposed complexity measures on symbolic sequences, but we also propose two novel complexity measures that can be directly applied to the distributions over trajectories based on the frameworks of Gaussian Processes and Probabilistic Movement Primitives. In contrast to previous studies, these new methods allow computing complexities of individual motion patterns from very few sample trajectories. We compared the different complexity measures to how a group of independent jurors rank ordered the recorded motion trajectories according to their personal creativity judgment. We found three entropic complexity measures that correlate significantly with human creativity judgment and discuss differences between the measures. We also test whether these complexity measures correlate with individual creativity in divergent thinking tasks, but do not find any consistent correlation. Our results suggest that entropic complexity measures of hand motion may reveal domain-specific individual differences in kinesthetic creativity.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bounded rationality, abstraction and hierarchical decision-making: an information-theoretic optimality principle

Genewein, T, Leibfried, F, Grau-Moya, J, Braun, DA

Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 2(27):1-24, October 2015 (article)

Abstract
Abstraction and hierarchical information-processing are hallmarks of human and animal intelligence underlying the unrivaled flexibility of behavior in biological systems. Achieving such a flexibility in artificial systems is challenging, even with more and more computational power. Here we investigate the hypothesis that abstraction and hierarchical information-processing might in fact be the consequence of limitations in information-processing power. In particular, we study an information-theoretic framework of bounded rational decision-making that trades off utility maximization against information-processing costs. We apply the basic principle of this framework to perception-action systems with multiple information-processing nodes and derive bounded optimal solutions. We show how the formation of abstractions and decision-making hierarchies depends on information-processing costs. We illustrate the theoretical ideas with example simulations and conclude by formalizing a mathematically unifying optimization principle that could potentially be extended to more complex systems.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Signaling equilibria in sensorimotor interactions

Leibfried, F, Grau-Moya, J, Braun, DA

Cognition, 141, pages: 73-86, August 2015 (article)

Abstract
Although complex forms of communication like human language are often assumed to have evolved out of more simple forms of sensorimotor signaling, less attention has been devoted to investigate the latter. Here, we study communicative sensorimotor behavior of humans in a two-person joint motor task where each player controls one dimension of a planar motion. We designed this joint task as a game where one player (the sender) possesses private information about a hidden target the other player (the receiver) wants to know about, and where the sender's actions are costly signals that influence the receiver's control strategy. We developed a game-theoretic model within the framework of signaling games to investigate whether subjects' behavior could be adequately described by the corresponding equilibrium solutions. The model predicts both separating and pooling equilibria, in which signaling does and does not occur respectively. We observed both kinds of equilibria in subjects and found that, in line with model predictions, the propensity of signaling decreased with increasing signaling costs and decreasing uncertainty on the part of the receiver. Our study demonstrates that signaling games, which have previously been applied to economic decision-making and animal communication, provide a framework for human signaling behavior arising during sensorimotor interactions in continuous and dynamic environments.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Structure Learning in Bayesian Sensorimotor Integration

Genewein, T, Hez, E, Razzaghpanah, Z, Braun, DA

PLoS Computational Biology, 11(8):1-27, August 2015 (article)

Abstract
Previous studies have shown that sensorimotor processing can often be described by Bayesian learning, in particular the integration of prior and feedback information depending on its degree of reliability. Here we test the hypothesis that the integration process itself can be tuned to the statistical structure of the environment. We exposed human participants to a reaching task in a three-dimensional virtual reality environment where we could displace the visual feedback of their hand position in a two dimensional plane. When introducing statistical structure between the two dimensions of the displacement, we found that over the course of several days participants adapted their feedback integration process in order to exploit this structure for performance improvement. In control experiments we found that this adaptation process critically depended on performance feedback and could not be induced by verbal instructions. Our results suggest that structural learning is an important meta-learning component of Bayesian sensorimotor integration.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A Reward-Maximizing Spiking Neuron as a Bounded Rational Decision Maker

Leibfried, F, Braun, DA

Neural Computation, 27(8):1686-1720, July 2015 (article)

Abstract
Rate distortion theory describes how to communicate relevant information most efficiently over a channel with limited capacity. One of the many applications of rate distortion theory is bounded rational decision making, where decision makers are modeled as information channels that transform sensory input into motor output under the constraint that their channel capacity is limited. Such a bounded rational decision maker can be thought to optimize an objective function that trades off the decision maker's utility or cumulative reward against the information processing cost measured by the mutual information between sensory input and motor output. In this study, we interpret a spiking neuron as a bounded rational decision maker that aims to maximize its expected reward under the computational constraint that the mutual information between the neuron's input and output is upper bounded. This abstract computational constraint translates into a penalization of the deviation between the neuron's instantaneous and average firing behavior. We derive a synaptic weight update rule for such a rate distortion optimizing neuron and show in simulations that the neuron efficiently extracts reward-relevant information from the input by trading off its synaptic strengths against the collected reward.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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What is epistemic value in free energy models of learning and acting? A bounded rationality perspective

Ortega, PA, Braun, DA

Cognitive Neuroscience, 6(4):215-216, December 2015 (article)

Abstract
Free energy models of learning and acting do not only care about utility or extrinsic value, but also about intrinsic value, that is, the information value stemming from probability distributions that represent beliefs or strategies. While these intrinsic values can be interpreted as epistemic values or exploration bonuses under certain conditions, the framework of bounded rationality offers a complementary interpretation in terms of information-processing costs that we discuss here.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2014


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Advanced Structured Prediction

Nowozin, S., Gehler, P. V., Jancsary, J., Lampert, C. H.

Advanced Structured Prediction, pages: 432, Neural Information Processing Series, MIT Press, November 2014 (book)

Abstract
The goal of structured prediction is to build machine learning models that predict relational information that itself has structure, such as being composed of multiple interrelated parts. These models, which reflect prior knowledge, task-specific relations, and constraints, are used in fields including computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and computational biology. They can carry out such tasks as predicting a natural language sentence, or segmenting an image into meaningful components. These models are expressive and powerful, but exact computation is often intractable. A broad research effort in recent years has aimed at designing structured prediction models and approximate inference and learning procedures that are computationally efficient. This volume offers an overview of this recent research in order to make the work accessible to a broader research community. The chapters, by leading researchers in the field, cover a range of topics, including research trends, the linear programming relaxation approach, innovations in probabilistic modeling, recent theoretical progress, and resource-aware learning.

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publisher link (url) [BibTex]

2014


publisher link (url) [BibTex]


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MoSh: Motion and Shape Capture from Sparse Markers

Loper, M. M., Mahmood, N., Black, M. J.

ACM Transactions on Graphics, (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia), 33(6):220:1-220:13, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2014 (article)

Abstract
Marker-based motion capture (mocap) is widely criticized as producing lifeless animations. We argue that important information about body surface motion is present in standard marker sets but is lost in extracting a skeleton. We demonstrate a new approach called MoSh (Motion and Shape capture), that automatically extracts this detail from mocap data. MoSh estimates body shape and pose together using sparse marker data by exploiting a parametric model of the human body. In contrast to previous work, MoSh solves for the marker locations relative to the body and estimates accurate body shape directly from the markers without the use of 3D scans; this effectively turns a mocap system into an approximate body scanner. MoSh is able to capture soft tissue motions directly from markers by allowing body shape to vary over time. We evaluate the effect of different marker sets on pose and shape accuracy and propose a new sparse marker set for capturing soft-tissue motion. We illustrate MoSh by recovering body shape, pose, and soft-tissue motion from archival mocap data and using this to produce animations with subtlety and realism. We also show soft-tissue motion retargeting to new characters and show how to magnify the 3D deformations of soft tissue to create animations with appealing exaggerations.

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pdf video data pdf from publisher link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]