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2019


Decoding subcategories of human bodies from both body- and face-responsive cortical regions
Decoding subcategories of human bodies from both body- and face-responsive cortical regions

Foster, C., Zhao, M., Romero, J., Black, M. J., Mohler, B. J., Bartels, A., Bülthoff, I.

NeuroImage, 202(15):116085, November 2019 (article)

Abstract
Our visual system can easily categorize objects (e.g. faces vs. bodies) and further differentiate them into subcategories (e.g. male vs. female). This ability is particularly important for objects of social significance, such as human faces and bodies. While many studies have demonstrated category selectivity to faces and bodies in the brain, how subcategories of faces and bodies are represented remains unclear. Here, we investigated how the brain encodes two prominent subcategories shared by both faces and bodies, sex and weight, and whether neural responses to these subcategories rely on low-level visual, high-level visual or semantic similarity. We recorded brain activity with fMRI while participants viewed faces and bodies that varied in sex, weight, and image size. The results showed that the sex of bodies can be decoded from both body- and face-responsive brain areas, with the former exhibiting more consistent size-invariant decoding than the latter. Body weight could also be decoded in face-responsive areas and in distributed body-responsive areas, and this decoding was also invariant to image size. The weight of faces could be decoded from the fusiform body area (FBA), and weight could be decoded across face and body stimuli in the extrastriate body area (EBA) and a distributed body-responsive area. The sex of well-controlled faces (e.g. excluding hairstyles) could not be decoded from face- or body-responsive regions. These results demonstrate that both face- and body-responsive brain regions encode information that can distinguish the sex and weight of bodies. Moreover, the neural patterns corresponding to sex and weight were invariant to image size and could sometimes generalize across face and body stimuli, suggesting that such subcategorical information is encoded with a high-level visual or semantic code.

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paper pdf DOI [BibTex]

2019


paper pdf DOI [BibTex]


Active Perception based Formation Control for Multiple Aerial Vehicles
Active Perception based Formation Control for Multiple Aerial Vehicles

Tallamraju, R., Price, E., Ludwig, R., Karlapalem, K., Bülthoff, H. H., Black, M. J., Ahmad, A.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(4):4491-4498, IEEE, October 2019 (article)

Abstract
We present a novel robotic front-end for autonomous aerial motion-capture (mocap) in outdoor environments. In previous work, we presented an approach for cooperative detection and tracking (CDT) of a subject using multiple micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs). However, it did not ensure optimal view-point configurations of the MAVs to minimize the uncertainty in the person's cooperatively tracked 3D position estimate. In this article, we introduce an active approach for CDT. In contrast to cooperatively tracking only the 3D positions of the person, the MAVs can actively compute optimal local motion plans, resulting in optimal view-point configurations, which minimize the uncertainty in the tracked estimate. We achieve this by decoupling the goal of active tracking into a quadratic objective and non-convex constraints corresponding to angular configurations of the MAVs w.r.t. the person. We derive this decoupling using Gaussian observation model assumptions within the CDT algorithm. We preserve convexity in optimization by embedding all the non-convex constraints, including those for dynamic obstacle avoidance, as external control inputs in the MPC dynamics. Multiple real robot experiments and comparisons involving 3 MAVs in several challenging scenarios are presented.

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pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Convolutional neural networks: A magic bullet for gravitational-wave detection?

Gebhard, T., Kilbertus, N., Harry, I., Schölkopf, B.

Physical Review D, 100(6):063015, American Physical Society, September 2019 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


3D Morphable Face Models - Past, Present and Future
3D Morphable Face Models - Past, Present and Future

Egger, B., Smith, W. A. P., Tewari, A., Wuhrer, S., Zollhoefer, M., Beeler, T., Bernard, F., Bolkart, T., Kortylewski, A., Romdhani, S., Theobalt, C., Blanz, V., Vetter, T.

arxiv preprint arXiv:1909.01815, September 2019 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we provide a detailed survey of 3D Morphable Face Models over the 20 years since they were first proposed. The challenges in building and applying these models, namely capture, modeling, image formation,and image analysis, are still active research topics, and we review the state-of-the-art in each of these areas. We also look ahead, identifying unsolved challenges, proposing directions for future research and highlighting the broad range of current and future applications.

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paper project page [BibTex]

paper project page [BibTex]


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Data scarcity, robustness and extreme multi-label classification

Babbar, R., Schölkopf, B.

Machine Learning, 108(8):1329-1351, September 2019, Special Issue of the ECML PKDD 2019 Journal Track (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Learning and Tracking the {3D} Body Shape of Freely Moving Infants from {RGB-D} sequences
Learning and Tracking the 3D Body Shape of Freely Moving Infants from RGB-D sequences

Hesse, N., Pujades, S., Black, M., Arens, M., Hofmann, U., Schroeder, S.

Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI), 2019 (article)

Abstract
Statistical models of the human body surface are generally learned from thousands of high-quality 3D scans in predefined poses to cover the wide variety of human body shapes and articulations. Acquisition of such data requires expensive equipment, calibration procedures, and is limited to cooperative subjects who can understand and follow instructions, such as adults. We present a method for learning a statistical 3D Skinned Multi-Infant Linear body model (SMIL) from incomplete, low-quality RGB-D sequences of freely moving infants. Quantitative experiments show that SMIL faithfully represents the RGB-D data and properly factorizes the shape and pose of the infants. To demonstrate the applicability of SMIL, we fit the model to RGB-D sequences of freely moving infants and show, with a case study, that our method captures enough motion detail for General Movements Assessment (GMA), a method used in clinical practice for early detection of neurodevelopmental disorders in infants. SMIL provides a new tool for analyzing infant shape and movement and is a step towards an automated system for GMA.

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pdf Journal DOI [BibTex]

pdf Journal DOI [BibTex]


 Perceptual Effects of Inconsistency in Human Animations
Perceptual Effects of Inconsistency in Human Animations

Kenny, S., Mahmood, N., Honda, C., Black, M. J., Troje, N. F.

ACM Trans. Appl. Percept., 16(1):2:1-2:18, Febuary 2019 (article)

Abstract
The individual shape of the human body, including the geometry of its articulated structure and the distribution of weight over that structure, influences the kinematics of a person’s movements. How sensitive is the visual system to inconsistencies between shape and motion introduced by retargeting motion from one person onto the shape of another? We used optical motion capture to record five pairs of male performers with large differences in body weight, while they pushed, lifted, and threw objects. From these data, we estimated both the kinematics of the actions as well as the performer’s individual body shape. To obtain consistent and inconsistent stimuli, we created animated avatars by combining the shape and motion estimates from either a single performer or from different performers. Using these stimuli we conducted three experiments in an immersive virtual reality environment. First, a group of participants detected which of two stimuli was inconsistent. Performance was very low, and results were only marginally significant. Next, a second group of participants rated perceived attractiveness, eeriness, and humanness of consistent and inconsistent stimuli, but these judgements of animation characteristics were not affected by consistency of the stimuli. Finally, a third group of participants rated properties of the objects rather than of the performers. Here, we found strong influences of shape-motion inconsistency on perceived weight and thrown distance of objects. This suggests that the visual system relies on its knowledge of shape and motion and that these components are assimilated into an altered perception of the action outcome. We propose that the visual system attempts to resist inconsistent interpretations of human animations. Actions involving object manipulations present an opportunity for the visual system to reinterpret the introduced inconsistencies as a change in the dynamics of an object rather than as an unexpected combination of body shape and body motion.

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publisher pdf DOI [BibTex]

publisher pdf DOI [BibTex]


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A 32-channel multi-coil setup optimized for human brain shimming at 9.4T

Aghaeifar, A., Zhou, J., Heule, R., Tabibian, B., Schölkopf, B., Jia, F., Zaitsev, M., Scheffler, K.

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2019, (Early View) (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Multidimensional Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization
Multidimensional Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization

Stimper, V., Bauer, S., Ernstorfer, R., Schölkopf, B., Xian, R. P.

IEEE Access, 7, pages: 165437-165447, 2019 (article)

ei

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Enhancing Human Learning via Spaced Repetition Optimization

Tabibian, B., Upadhyay, U., De, A., Zarezade, A., Schölkopf, B., Gomez Rodriguez, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019, PNAS published ahead of print January 22, 2019 (article)

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DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


Learning to Control Highly Accelerated Ballistic Movements on Muscular Robots
Learning to Control Highly Accelerated Ballistic Movements on Muscular Robots

Büchler, D., Calandra, R., Peters, J.

2019 (article) Submitted

Abstract
High-speed and high-acceleration movements are inherently hard to control. Applying learning to the control of such motions on anthropomorphic robot arms can improve the accuracy of the control but might damage the system. The inherent exploration of learning approaches can lead to instabilities and the robot reaching joint limits at high speeds. Having hardware that enables safe exploration of high-speed and high-acceleration movements is therefore desirable. To address this issue, we propose to use robots actuated by Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAMs). In this paper, we present a four degrees of freedom (DoFs) robot arm that reaches high joint angle accelerations of up to 28000 °/s^2 while avoiding dangerous joint limits thanks to the antagonistic actuation and limits on the air pressure ranges. With this robot arm, we are able to tune control parameters using Bayesian optimization directly on the hardware without additional safety considerations. The achieved tracking performance on a fast trajectory exceeds previous results on comparable PAM-driven robots. We also show that our system can be controlled well on slow trajectories with PID controllers due to careful construction considerations such as minimal bending of cables, lightweight kinematics and minimal contact between PAMs and PAMs with the links. Finally, we propose a novel technique to control the the co-contraction of antagonistic muscle pairs. Experimental results illustrate that choosing the optimal co-contraction level is vital to reach better tracking performance. Through the use of PAM-driven robots and learning, we do a small step towards the future development of robots capable of more human-like motions.

ei

Arxiv Video [BibTex]


The Virtual Caliper: Rapid Creation of Metrically Accurate Avatars from {3D} Measurements
The Virtual Caliper: Rapid Creation of Metrically Accurate Avatars from 3D Measurements

Pujades, S., Mohler, B., Thaler, A., Tesch, J., Mahmood, N., Hesse, N., Bülthoff, H. H., Black, M. J.

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25, pages: 1887,1897, IEEE, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Creating metrically accurate avatars is important for many applications such as virtual clothing try-on, ergonomics, medicine, immersive social media, telepresence, and gaming. Creating avatars that precisely represent a particular individual is challenging however, due to the need for expensive 3D scanners, privacy issues with photographs or videos, and difficulty in making accurate tailoring measurements. We overcome these challenges by creating “The Virtual Caliper”, which uses VR game controllers to make simple measurements. First, we establish what body measurements users can reliably make on their own body. We find several distance measurements to be good candidates and then verify that these are linearly related to 3D body shape as represented by the SMPL body model. The Virtual Caliper enables novice users to accurately measure themselves and create an avatar with their own body shape. We evaluate the metric accuracy relative to ground truth 3D body scan data, compare the method quantitatively to other avatar creation tools, and perform extensive perceptual studies. We also provide a software application to the community that enables novices to rapidly create avatars in fewer than five minutes. Not only is our approach more rapid than existing methods, it exports a metrically accurate 3D avatar model that is rigged and skinned.

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Project Page IEEE Open Access IEEE Open Access PDF DOI [BibTex]

Project Page IEEE Open Access IEEE Open Access PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Doing more with less: Meta-reasoning and meta-learning in humans and machines

Griffiths, T., Callaway, F., Chang, M., Grant, E., Krueger, P. M., Lieder, F.

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring causation from time series with perspectives in Earth system sciences

Runge, J., Bathiany, S., Bollt, E., Camps-Valls, G., Coumou, D., Deyle, E., Glymour, C., Kretschmer, M., Mahecha, M., van Nes, E., Peters, J., Quax, R., Reichstein, M., Scheffer, M. S. B., Spirtes, P., Sugihara, G., Sun, J., Zhang, K., Zscheischler, J.

Nature Communications, 2019 (article) In revision

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Quantum mean embedding of probability distributions

Kübler, J. M., Muandet, K., Schölkopf, B.

Physical Review Research, 1(3):033159, American Physical Society, 2019 (article)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Cognitive Prostheses for Goal Achievement

Lieder, F., Chen, O. X., Krueger, P. M., Griffiths, T.

Nature Human Behavior, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A rational reinterpretation of dual process theories

Milli, S., Lieder, F., Griffiths, T.

2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Eigendecompositions of Transfer Operators in Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces

Klus, S., Schuster, I., Muandet, K.

Journal of Nonlinear Science, 2019, First Online: 21 August 2019 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2012


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Jensen-Bregman LogDet Divergence with Application to Efficient Similarity Search for Covariance Matrices

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Banerjee, A., Papanikolopoulos, N.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 35(9):2161-2174, December 2012 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

2012


DOI [BibTex]


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Hippocampal-Cortical Interaction during Periods of Subcortical Silence

Logothetis, N., Eschenko, O., Murayama, Y., Augath, M., Steudel, T., Evrard, H., Besserve, M., Oeltermann, A.

Nature, 491, pages: 547-553, November 2012 (article)

Abstract
Hippocampal ripples, episodic high-frequency field-potential oscillations primarily occurring during sleep and calmness, have been described in mice, rats, rabbits, monkeys and humans, and so far they have been associated with retention of previously acquired awake experience. Although hippocampal ripples have been studied in detail using neurophysiological methods, the global effects of ripples on the entire brain remain elusive, primarily owing to a lack of methodologies permitting concurrent hippocampal recordings and whole-brain activity mapping. By combining electrophysiological recordings in hippocampus with ripple-triggered functional magnetic resonance imaging, here we show that most of the cerebral cortex is selectively activated during the ripples, whereas most diencephalic, midbrain and brainstem regions are strongly and consistently inhibited. Analysis of regional temporal response patterns indicates that thalamic activity suppression precedes the hippocampal population burst, which itself is temporally bounded by massive activations of association and primary cortical areas. These findings suggest that during off-line memory consolidation, synergistic thalamocortical activity may be orchestrating a privileged interaction state between hippocampus and cortex by silencing the output of subcortical centres involved in sensory processing or potentially mediating procedural learning. Such a mechanism would cause minimal interference, enabling consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Thermodynamic limits of dynamic cooling

Allahverdyan, A., Hovhannisyan, K., Janzing, D., Mahler, G.

Physical Review E, 84(4):16, October 2012 (article)

Abstract
We study dynamic cooling, where an externally driven two-level system is cooled via reservoir, a quantum system with initial canonical equilibrium state. We obtain explicitly the minimal possible temperature Tmin>0 reachable for the two-level system. The minimization goes over all unitary dynamic processes operating on the system and reservoir and over the reservoir energy spectrum. The minimal work needed to reach Tmin grows as 1/Tmin. This work cost can be significantly reduced, though, if one is satisfied by temperatures slightly above Tmin. Our results on Tmin>0 prove unattainability of the absolute zero temperature without ambiguities that surround its derivation from the entropic version of the third law. We also study cooling via a reservoir consisting of N≫1 identical spins. Here we show that Tmin∝1/N and find the maximal cooling compatible with the minimal work determined by the free energy. Finally we discuss cooling by reservoir with an initially microcanonic state and show that although a purely microcanonic state can yield the zero temperature, the unattainability is recovered when taking into account imperfections in preparing the microcanonic state.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


Coupled Action Recognition and Pose Estimation from Multiple Views
Coupled Action Recognition and Pose Estimation from Multiple Views

Yao, A., Gall, J., van Gool, L.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 100(1):16-37, October 2012 (article)

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publisher's site code pdf Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

publisher's site code pdf Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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GLIDE: GPU-Based Linear Regression for Detection of Epistasis

Kam-Thong, T., Azencott, C., Cayton, L., Pütz, B., Altmann, A., Karbalai, N., Sämann, P., Schölkopf, B., Müller-Myhsok, B., Borgwardt, K.

Human Heredity, 73(4):220-236, September 2012 (article)

Abstract
Due to recent advances in genotyping technologies, mapping phenotypes to single loci in the genome has become a standard technique in statistical genetics. However, one-locus mapping fails to explain much of the phenotypic variance in complex traits. Here, we present GLIDE, which maps phenotypes to pairs of genetic loci and systematically searches for the epistatic interactions expected to reveal part of this missing heritability. GLIDE makes use of the computational power of consumer-grade graphics cards to detect such interactions via linear regression. This enabled us to conduct a systematic two-locus mapping study on seven disease data sets from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and on in-house hippocampal volume data in 6 h per data set, while current single CPU-based approaches require more than a year’s time to complete the same task.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Fast projection onto mixed-norm balls with applications

Sra, S.

Minining and Knowledge Discovery (DMKD), 25(2):358-377, September 2012 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian estimation of free energies from equilibrium simulations

Habeck, M.

Physical Review Letters, 109(10):5, September 2012 (article)

Abstract
Free energy calculations are an important tool in statistical physics and biomolecular simulation. This Letter outlines a Bayesian method to estimate free energies from equilibrium Monte Carlo simulations. A Gibbs sampler is developed that allows efficient sampling of free energies and the density of states. The Gibbs sampling output can be used to estimate expected free energy differences and their uncertainties. The probabilistic formulation offers a unifying framework for existing methods such as the weighted histogram analysis method and the multistate Bennett acceptance ratio; both are shown to be approximate versions of the full probabilistic treatment.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


{DRAPE: DRessing Any PErson}
DRAPE: DRessing Any PErson

Guan, P., Reiss, L., Hirshberg, D., Weiss, A., Black, M. J.

ACM Trans. on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 31(4):35:1-35:10, July 2012 (article)

Abstract
We describe a complete system for animating realistic clothing on synthetic bodies of any shape and pose without manual intervention. The key component of the method is a model of clothing called DRAPE (DRessing Any PErson) that is learned from a physics-based simulation of clothing on bodies of different shapes and poses. The DRAPE model has the desirable property of "factoring" clothing deformations due to body shape from those due to pose variation. This factorization provides an approximation to the physical clothing deformation and greatly simplifies clothing synthesis. Given a parameterized model of the human body with known shape and pose parameters, we describe an algorithm that dresses the body with a garment that is customized to fit and possesses realistic wrinkles. DRAPE can be used to dress static bodies or animated sequences with a learned model of the cloth dynamics. Since the method is fully automated, it is appropriate for dressing large numbers of virtual characters of varying shape. The method is significantly more efficient than physical simulation.

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YouTube pdf talk Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

YouTube pdf talk Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Inequalities for Martingales

Seldin, Y., Laviolette, F., Cesa-Bianchi, N., Shawe-Taylor, J., Auer, P.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 58(12):7086-7093, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
We present a set of high-probability inequalities that control the concentration of weighted averages of multiple (possibly uncountably many) simultaneously evolving and interdependent martingales. We also present a comparison inequality that bounds expectation of a convex function of martingale difference type variables by expectation of the same function of independent Bernoulli variables. This inequality is applied to derive a tighter analog of Hoeffding-Azuma inequality.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


Entropy Search for Information-Efficient Global Optimization
Entropy Search for Information-Efficient Global Optimization

Hennig, P., Schuler, C.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1809-1837, -, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
Contemporary global optimization algorithms are based on local measures of utility, rather than a probability measure over location and value of the optimum. They thus attempt to collect low function values, not to learn about the optimum. The reason for the absence of probabilistic global optimizers is that the corresponding inference problem is intractable in several ways. This paper develops desiderata for probabilistic optimization algorithms, then presents a concrete algorithm which addresses each of the computational intractabilities with a sequence of approximations and explicitly adresses the decision problem of maximizing information gain from each evaluation.

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PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


Visual Orientation and Directional Selectivity Through Thalamic Synchrony
Visual Orientation and Directional Selectivity Through Thalamic Synchrony

Stanley, G., Jin, J., Wang, Y., Desbordes, G., Wang, Q., Black, M., Alonso, J.

Journal of Neuroscience, 32(26):9073-9088, June 2012 (article)

Abstract
Thalamic neurons respond to visual scenes by generating synchronous spike trains on the timescale of 10–20 ms that are very effective at driving cortical targets. Here we demonstrate that this synchronous activity contains unexpectedly rich information about fundamental properties of visual stimuli. We report that the occurrence of synchronous firing of cat thalamic cells with highly overlapping receptive fields is strongly sensitive to the orientation and the direction of motion of the visual stimulus. We show that this stimulus selectivity is robust, remaining relatively unchanged under different contrasts and temporal frequencies (stimulus velocities). A computational analysis based on an integrate-and-fire model of the direct thalamic input to a layer 4 cortical cell reveals a strong correlation between the degree of thalamic synchrony and the nonlinear relationship between cortical membrane potential and the resultant firing rate. Together, these findings suggest a novel population code in the synchronous firing of neurons in the early visual pathway that could serve as the substrate for establishing cortical representations of the visual scene.

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preprint publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]

preprint publisher's site Project Page [BibTex]


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A Neuromorphic Architecture for Object Recognition and Motion Anticipation Using Burst-STDP

Nere, A., Olcese, U., Balduzzi, D., Tononi, G.

PLoS ONE, 7(5):17, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
In this work we investigate the possibilities offered by a minimal framework of artificial spiking neurons to be deployed in silico. Here we introduce a hierarchical network architecture of spiking neurons which learns to recognize moving objects in a visual environment and determine the correct motor output for each object. These tasks are learned through both supervised and unsupervised spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP). STDP is responsible for the strengthening (or weakening) of synapses in relation to pre- and post-synaptic spike times and has been described as a Hebbian paradigm taking place both in vitro and in vivo. We utilize a variation of STDP learning, called burst-STDP, which is based on the notion that, since spikes are expensive in terms of energy consumption, then strong bursting activity carries more information than single (sparse) spikes. Furthermore, this learning algorithm takes advantage of homeostatic renormalization, which has been hypothesized to promote memory consolidation during NREM sleep. Using this learning rule, we design a spiking neural network architecture capable of object recognition, motion detection, attention towards important objects, and motor control outputs. We demonstrate the abilities of our design in a simple environment with distractor objects, multiple objects moving concurrently, and in the presence of noise. Most importantly, we show how this neural network is capable of performing these tasks using a simple leaky-integrate-and-fire (LIF) neuron model with binary synapses, making it fully compatible with state-of-the-art digital neuromorphic hardware designs. As such, the building blocks and learning rules presented in this paper appear promising for scalable fully neuromorphic systems to be implemented in hardware chips.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Online Kernel-based Learning for Task-Space Tracking Robot Control

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 23(9):1417-1425, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
Abstract—Task-space control of redundant robot systems based on analytical models is known to be susceptive to modeling errors. Here, data driven model learning methods may present an interesting alternative approach. However, learning models for task-space tracking control from sampled data is an illposed problem. In particular, the same input data point can yield many different output values, which can form a non-convex solution space. Because the problem is ill-posed, models cannot be learned from such data using common regression methods. While learning of task-space control mappings is globally illposed, it has been shown in recent work that it is locally a well-defined problem. In this paper, we use this insight to formulate a local, kernel-based learning approach for online model learning for task-space tracking control. We propose a parametrization for the local model which makes an application in task-space tracking control of redundant robots possible. The model parametrization further allows us to apply the kerneltrick and, therefore, enables a formulation within the kernel learning framework. For evaluations, we show the ability of the method for online model learning for task-space tracking control of redundant robots.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Information-geometric approach to inferring causal directions

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

Artificial Intelligence, 182-183, pages: 1-31, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
While conventional approaches to causal inference are mainly based on conditional (in)dependences, recent methods also account for the shape of (conditional) distributions. The idea is that the causal hypothesis “X causes Y” imposes that the marginal distribution PX and the conditional distribution PY|X represent independent mechanisms of nature. Recently it has been postulated that the shortest description of the joint distribution PX,Y should therefore be given by separate descriptions of PX and PY|X. Since description length in the sense of Kolmogorov complexity is uncomputable, practical implementations rely on other notions of independence. Here we define independence via orthogonality in information space. This way, we can explicitly describe the kind of dependence that occurs between PY and PX|Y making the causal hypothesis “Y causes X” implausible. Remarkably, this asymmetry between cause and effect becomes particularly simple if X and Y are deterministically related. We present an inference method that works in this case. We also discuss some theoretical results for the non-deterministic case although it is not clear how to employ them for a more general inference method.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse regularized regression identifies behaviorally-relevant stimulus features from psychophysical data

Schönfelder, V., Wichmann, F.

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(5):3953-3969, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
As a prerequisite to quantitative psychophysical models of sensory processing it is necessary to learn to what extent decisions in behavioral tasks depend on specific stimulus features, the perceptual cues. Based on relative linear combination weights, this study demonstrates how stimulus-response data can be analyzed in this regard relying on an L1-regularized multiple logistic regression, a modern statistical procedure developed in machine learning. This method prevents complex models from over-fitting to noisy data. In addition, it enforces “sparse” solutions, a computational approximation to the postulate that a good model should contain the minimal set of predictors necessary to explain the data. In simulations, behavioral data from a classical auditory tone-in-noise detection task were generated. The proposed method is shown to precisely identify observer cues from a large set of covarying, interdependent stimulus features—a setting where standard correlational and regression methods fail. The proposed method succeeds for a wide range of signal-to-noise ratios and for deterministic as well as probabilistic observers. Furthermore, the detailed decision rules of the simulated observers were reconstructed from the estimated linear model weights allowing predictions of responses on the basis of individual stimuli.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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glm-ie: The Generalised Linear Models Inference and Estimation Toolbox

Nickisch, H.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1699-1703, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
The glm-ie toolbox contains scalable estimation routines for GLMs (generalised linear models) and SLMs (sparse linear models) as well as an implementation of a scalable convex variational Bayesian inference relaxation. We designed the glm-ie package to be simple, generic and easily expansible. Most of the code is written in Matlab including some The code is fully compatible to both Matlab 7.x and GNU Octave 3.3.x. Abstract Probabilistic classification, sparse linear modelling and logistic regression are covered in a common algorithmical framework.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Feature Selection via Dependence Maximization

Song, L., Smola, A., Gretton, A., Bedo, J., Borgwardt, K.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 1393-1434, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
We introduce a framework of feature selection based on dependence maximization between the selected features and the labels of an estimation problem, using the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion. The key idea is that good features should be highly dependent on the labels. Our approach leads to a greedy procedure for feature selection. We show that a number of existing feature selectors are special cases of this framework. Experiments on both artificial and real-world data show that our feature selector works well in practice.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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High gamma-power predicts performance in sensorimotor-rhythm brain-computer interfaces

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 9(4):046001, May 2012 (article)

Abstract
Subjects operating a brain–computer interface (BCI) based on sensorimotor rhythms exhibit large variations in performance over the course of an experimental session. Here, we show that high-frequency γ-oscillations, originating in fronto-parietal networks, predict such variations on a trial-to-trial basis. We interpret this finding as empirical support for an influence of attentional networks on BCI performance via modulation of the sensorimotor rhythm.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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ShapePheno: Unsupervised extraction of shape phenotypes from biological image collections

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

Bioinformatics, 28(7):1001-1008, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Accurate large-scale phenotyping has recently gained considerable importance in biology. For example, in genome wide association studies technological advances have rendered genotyping cheap, leaving phenotype acquisition as the major bottleneck. Automatic image analysis is one major strategy to phenotype individuals in large numbers. Current approaches for visual phenotyping focus predominantly on summarizing statistics and geometric measures, such as height and width of an individual, or color histograms and patterns. However, more subtle, but biologically informative phenotypes, such as the local deformation of the shape of an individual with respect to the population mean cannot be automatically extracted and quantified by current techniques. Results: We propose a probabilistic machine learning model that allows for the extraction of deformation phenotypes from biological images, making them available as quantitative traits for downstream analysis. Our approach jointly models a collection of images using a learned common template that is mapped onto each image through a deformable smooth transformation. In a case study we analyze the shape deformations of 388 guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata). We find that the flexible shape phenotypes our model extracts are complementary to basic geometric measures. Moreover, these quantitative traits assort the observations into distinct groups and can be mapped to polymorphic genetic loci of the sample set.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A New Perceptual Bias Reveals Suboptimal Population Decoding of Sensory Responses

Putzeys, T., Bethge, M., Wichmann, F., Wagemans, J., Goris, R.

PLoS Computational Biology, 8(4):1-13, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
Several studies have reported optimal population decoding of sensory responses in two-alternative visual discrimination tasks. Such decoding involves integrating noisy neural responses into a more reliable representation of the likelihood that the stimuli under consideration evoked the observed responses. Importantly, an ideal observer must be able to evaluate likelihood with high precision and only consider the likelihood of the two relevant stimuli involved in the discrimination task. We report a new perceptual bias suggesting that observers read out the likelihood representation with remarkably low precision when discriminating grating spatial frequencies. Using spectrally filtered noise, we induced an asymmetry in the likelihood function of spatial frequency. This manipulation mainly affects the likelihood of spatial frequencies that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Nevertheless, we find a significant shift in perceived grating frequency, indicating that observers evaluate likelihoods of a broad range of irrelevant frequencies and discard prior knowledge of stimulus alternatives when performing two-alternative discrimination.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Patterns of cis regulatory variation in diverse human populations

Stranger, BE., Montgomery, SB., Dimas, AS., Parts, L., Stegle, O., Ingle, CE., Sekowska, M., Smith, GD., Evans, D., Gutierrez-Arcelus, M., others

PLoS genetics, 8(4):e1002639, April 2012 (article)

Abstract
he genetic basis of gene expression variation has long been studied with the aim to understand the landscape of regulatory variants, but also more recently to assist in the interpretation and elucidation of disease signals. To date, many studies have looked in specific tissues and population-based samples, but there has been limited assessment of the degree of inter-population variability in regulatory variation. We analyzed genome-wide gene expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines from a total of 726 individuals from 8 global populations from the HapMap3 project and correlated gene expression levels with HapMap3 SNPs located in cis to the genes. We describe the influence of ancestry on gene expression levels within and between these diverse human populations and uncover a non-negligible impact on global patterns of gene expression. We further dissect the specific functional pathways differentiated between populations. We also identify 5,691 expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) after controlling for both non-genetic factors and population admixture and observe that half of the cis-eQTLs are replicated in one or more of the populations. We highlight patterns of eQTL-sharing between populations, which are partially determined by population genetic relatedness, and discover significant sharing of eQTL effects between Asians, European-admixed, and African subpopulations. Specifically, we observe that both the effect size and the direction of effect for eQTLs are highly conserved across populations. We observe an increasing proximity of eQTLs toward the transcription start site as sharing of eQTLs among populations increases, highlighting that variants close to TSS have stronger effects and therefore are more likely to be detected across a wider panel of populations. Together these results offer a unique picture and resource of the degree of differentiation among human populations in functional regulatory variation and provide an estimate for the transferability of complex trait variants across populations.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Kernel Two-Sample Test

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

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13, pages: 723-773, March 2012 (article)

Abstract
We propose a framework for analyzing and comparing distributions, which we use to construct statistical tests to determine if two samples are drawn from different distributions. Our test statistic is the largest difference in expectations over functions in the unit ball of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS), and is called the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD). We present two distribution-free tests based on large deviation bounds for the MMD, and a third test based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. The MMD can be computed in quadratic time, although efficient linear time approximations are available. Our statistic is an instance of an integral probability metric, and various classical metrics on distributions are obtained when alternative function classes are used in place of an RKHS. We apply our two-sample tests to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where they perform strongly. Excellent performance is also obtained when comparing distributions over graphs, for which these are the first such tests.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Technical performance evaluation of a human brain PET/MRI system

Kolb, A., Wehrl, H., Hofmann, M., Judenhofer, M., Eriksson, L., Ladebeck, R., Lichy, M., Byars, L., Michel, C., Schlemmer, H., Schmand, M., Claussen, C., Sossi, V., Pichler, B.

European Radiology, 22(8):1776-1788, March 2012 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Real-time detection of colored objects in multiple camera streams with off-the-shelf hardware components

Lampert, C., Peters, J.

Journal of Real-Time Image Processing, 7(1):31-41, March 2012 (article)

Abstract
We describe RTblob, a high speed vision system that detects objects in cluttered scenes based on their color and shape at a speed of over 800 frames/s. Because the system is available as open-source software and relies only on off-the-shelf PC hardware components, it can provide the basis for multiple application scenarios. As an illustrative example, we show how RTblob can be used in a robotic table tennis scenario to estimate ball trajectories through 3D space simultaneously from four cameras images at a speed of 200 Hz.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A short note on parameter approximation for von Mises-Fisher distributions: and a fast implementation of Is(x)

Sra, S.

Computational Statistics, 27(1):177-190, March 2012 (article)

Abstract
In high-dimensional directional statistics one of the most basic probability distributions is the von Mises-Fisher (vMF) distribution. Maximum likelihood estimation for the vMF distribution turns out to be surprisingly hard because of a difficult transcendental equation that needs to be solved for computing the concentration parameter κ. This paper is a followup to the recent paper of Tanabe et al. (Comput Stat 22(1):145–157, 2007), who exploited inequalities about Bessel function ratios to obtain an interval in which the parameter estimate for κ should lie; their observation lends theoretical validity to the heuristic approximation of Banerjee et al. (JMLR 6:1345–1382, 2005). Tanabe et al. (Comput Stat 22(1):145–157, 2007) also presented a fixed-point algorithm for computing improved approximations for κ. However, their approximations require (potentially significant) additional computation, and in this short paper we show that given the same amount of computation as their method, one can achieve more accurate approximations using a truncated Newton method. A more interesting contribution of this paper is a simple algorithm for computing I s (x): the modified Bessel function of the first kind. Surprisingly, our naïve implementation turns out to be several orders of magnitude faster for large arguments common to high-dimensional data, than the standard implementations in well-established software such as Mathematica ©, Maple ©, and Gp/Pari.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An online brain–computer interface based on shifting attention to concurrent streams of auditory stimuli

Hill, N., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 9(2):026011, February 2012 (article)

Abstract
We report on the development and online testing of an electroencephalogram-based brain–computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects' modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5 s stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare 'oddball' stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject's attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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A non-monotonic method for large-scale non-negative least squares

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

Optimization Methods and Software, 28(5):1012-1039, Febuary 2012 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring Networks of Diffusion and Influence

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

ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data, 5(4:21), February 2012 (article)

Abstract
Information diffusion and virus propagation are fundamental processes taking place in networks. While it is often possible to directly observe when nodes become infected with a virus or publish the information, observing individual transmissions (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 finds provably near-optimal networks. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by tracing information diffusion 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 for the top 1,000 media sites and blogs 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

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]