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2019


Thumb xl cell patterning with acoustic hologram
Acoustic Holographic Cell Patterning in a Biocompatible Hydrogel

Ma, Z., Holle, A., Melde, K., Qiu, T., Poeppel, K., Kadiri, V., Fischer, P.

Adv. Mat., October 2019 (article)

Abstract
Acoustophoresis is promising as a rapid, biocompatible, non-contact cell manipulation method, where cells are arranged along the nodes or antinodes of the acoustic field. Typically, the acoustic field is formed in a resonator, which results in highly symmetric regular patterns. However, arbitrary, non-symmetrically shaped cell assemblies are necessary to obtain the irregular cellular arrangements found in biological tissues. We show that arbitrarily shaped cell patterns can be obtained from the complex acoustic field distribution defined by an acoustic hologram. Attenuation of the sound field induces localized acoustic streaming and the resultant convection flow gently delivers the suspended cells to the image plane where they form the designed pattern. We show that the process can be implemented in a biocompatible collagen solution, which can then undergo gelation to immobilize the cell pattern inside the viscoelastic matrix. The patterned cells exhibit F-actin-based protrusions, which indicates that the cells grow and thrive within the matrix. Cell viability assays and brightfield imaging after one week confirm cell survival and that the patterns persist. Acoustophoretic cell manipulation by holographic fields thus holds promise for non-contact, long-range, long-term cellular pattern formation, with a wide variety of potential applications in tissue engineering and mechanobiology.

pf

[BibTex]


Thumb xl phantom surgery
A High-Fidelity Phantom for the Simulation and Quantitative Evaluation of Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

Choi, E., Adams, F., Gengenbacher, A., Schlager, D., Palagi, S., Müller, P., Wetterauer, U., Miernik, A., Fischer, P., Qiu, T.

Annals of Biomed. Eng., October 2019 (article)

Abstract
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure that requires experience and skill of the surgeon. To permit surgical training under realistic conditions we report a novel phantom of the human prostate that can be resected with TURP. The phantom mirrors the anatomy and haptic properties of the gland and permits quantitative evaluation of important surgical performance indicators. Mixtures of soft materials are engineered to mimic the physical properties of the human tissue, including the mechanical strength, the electrical and thermal conductivity, and the appearance under an endoscope. Electrocautery resection of the phantom closely resembles the procedure on human tissue. Ultrasound contrast agent was applied to the central zone, which was not detectable by the surgeon during the surgery but showed high contrast when imaged after the surgery, to serve as a label for the quantitative evaluation of the surgery. Quantitative criteria for performance assessment are established and evaluated by automated image analysis. We present the workflow of a surgical simulation on a prostate phantom followed by quantitative evaluation of the surgical performance. Surgery on the phantom is useful for medical training, and enables the development and testing of endoscopic and minimally invasive surgical instruments.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl vision
Interactive Materials – Drivers of Future Robotic Systems

Fischer, P.

Adv. Mat., October 2019 (article)

Abstract
A robot senses its environment, processes the sensory information, acts in response to these inputs, and possibly communicates with the outside world. Robots generally achieve these tasks with electronics-based hardware or by receiving inputs from some external hardware. In contrast, simple microorganisms can autonomously perceive, act, and communicate via purely physicochemical processes in soft material systems. A key property of biological systems is that they are built from energy-consuming ‘active’ units. Exciting developments in material science show that even very simple artificial active building blocks can show surprisingly rich emergent behaviors. Active non-equilibrium systems are therefore predicted to play an essential role to realize interactive materials. A major challenge is to find robust ways to couple and integrate the energy-consuming building blocks to the mechanical structure of the material. However, success in this endeavor will lead to a new generation of sophisticated micro- and soft-robotic systems that can operate autonomously.

pf

[BibTex]


Thumb xl plasmonic dimers
Arrays of plasmonic nanoparticle dimers with defined nanogap spacers

Jeong, H., Adams, M. C., Guenther, J., Alarcon-Correa, M., Kim, I., Choi, E., Miksch, C., Mark, A. F. M., Mark, A. G., Fischer, P.

ACS Nano, September 2019 (article)

Abstract
Plasmonic molecules are building blocks of metallic nanostructures that give rise to intriguing optical phenomena with similarities to those seen in molecular systems. The ability to design plasmonic hybrid structures and molecules with nanometric resolution would enable applications in optical metamaterials and sensing that presently cannot be demonstrated, because of a lack of suitable fabrication methods allowing the structural control of the plasmonic atoms on a large scale. Here we demonstrate a wafer-scale “lithography-free” parallel fabrication scheme to realize nanogap plasmonic meta-molecules with precise control over their size, shape, material, and orientation. We demonstrate how we can tune the corresponding coupled resonances through the entire visible spectrum. Our fabrication method, based on glancing angle physical vapor deposition with gradient shadowing, permits critical parameters to be varied across the wafer and thus is ideally suited to screen potential structures. We obtain billions of aligned dimer structures with controlled variation of the spectral properties across the wafer. We spectroscopically map the plasmonic resonances of gold dimer structures and show that they not only are in good agreement with numerically modeled spectra, but also remain functional, at least for a year, in ambient conditions.

pf

link (url) DOI [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)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [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]


Thumb xl enzyme nanonets toc
Genetically modified M13 bacteriophage nanonets for enzyme catalysis and recovery

Kadiri, V. M., Alarcon-Correa, M., Guenther, J. P., Ruppert, J., Bill, J., Rothenstein, D., Fischer, P.

Catalysts, 9, pages: 723, August 2019 (article)

Abstract
Enzyme-based biocatalysis exhibits multiple advantages over inorganic catalysts, including the biocompatibility and the unchallenged specificity of enzymes towards their substrate. The recovery and repeated use of enzymes is essential for any realistic application in biotechnology, but is not easily achieved with current strategies. For this purpose, enzymes are often immobilized on inorganic scaffolds, which could entail a reduction of the enzymes’ activity. Here, we show that immobilization to a nano-scaled biological scaffold, a nanonetwork of end-to-end cross-linked M13 bacteriophages, ensures high enzymatic activity and at the same time allows for the simple recovery of the enzymes. The bacteriophages have been genetically engineered to express AviTags at their ends, which permit biotinylation and their specific end-to-end self-assembly while allowing space on the major coat protein for enzyme coupling. We demonstrate that the phages form nanonetwork structures and that these so-called nanonets remain highly active even after re-using the nanonets multiple times in a flow-through reactor.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl special issue adv opt mat
Light-controlled micromotors and soft microrobots

Palagi, S., Singh, D. P., Fischer, P.

Adv. Opt. Mat., 7, pages: 1900370, August 2019 (article)

Abstract
Mobile microscale devices and microrobots can be powered by catalytic reactions (chemical micromotors) or by external fields. This report is focused on the role of light as a versatile means for wirelessly powering and controlling such microdevices. Recent advances in the development of autonomous micromotors are discussed, where light permits their actuation with unprecedented control and thereby enables advances in the field of active matter. In addition, structuring the light field is a new means to drive soft microrobots that are based on (photo‐) responsive polymers. The behavior of the two main classes of thermo‐ and photoresponsive polymers adopted in microrobotics (poly(N‐isopropylacrylamide) and liquid‐crystal elastomers) is analyzed, and recent applications are reported. The advantages and limitations of controlling micromotors and microrobots by light are reviewed, and some of the remaining challenges in the development of novel photo‐active materials for micromotors and microrobots are discussed.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl m13 bacteriophages
Self-Assembled Phage-Based Colloids for High Localized Enzymatic Activity

Alarcon-Correa, M., Guenther, J., Troll, J., Kadiri, V. M., Bill, J., Fischer, P., Rothenstein, D.

ACS Nano, March 2019 (article)

Abstract
Catalytically active colloids are model systems for chemical motors and active matter. It is desirable to replace the inorganic catalysts and the toxic fuels that are often used, with biocompatible enzymatic reactions. However, compared to inorganic catalysts, enzyme-coated colloids tend to exhibit less activity. Here, we show that the self-assembly of genetically engineered M13 bacteriophages that bind enzymes to magnetic beads ensures high and localized enzymatic activity. These phage-decorated colloids provide a proteinaceous environment for directed enzyme immobilization. The magnetic properties of the colloidal carrier particle permit repeated enzyme recovery from a reaction solution, while the enzymatic activity is retained. Moreover, localizing the phage-based construct with a magnetic field in a microcontainer allows the enzyme-phage-colloids to function as an enzymatic micropump, where the enzymatic reaction generates a fluid flow. This system shows the fastest fluid flow reported to date by a biocompatible enzymatic micropump. In addition, it is functional in complex media including blood where the enzyme driven micropump can be powered at the physiological blood-urea concentration.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl jcp pfg nmr
Absolute diffusion measurements of active enzyme solutions by NMR

Guenther, J., Majer, G., Fischer, P.

J. Chem. Phys., 150(124201), March 2019 (article)

Abstract
The diffusion of enzymes is of fundamental importance for many biochemical processes. Enhanced or directed enzyme diffusion can alter the accessibility of substrates and the organization of enzymes within cells. Several studies based on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) report enhanced diffusion of enzymes upon interaction with their substrate or inhibitor. In this context, major importance is given to the enzyme fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, for which enhanced diffusion has been reported even though the catalysed reaction is endothermic. Additionally, enhanced diffusion of tracer particles surrounding the active aldolase enzymes has been reported. These studies suggest that active enzymes can act as chemical motors that self-propel and give rise to enhanced diffusion. However, fluorescence studies of enzymes can, despite several advantages, suffer from artefacts. Here we show that the absolute diffusion coefficients of active enzyme solutions can be determined with Pulsed Field Gradient Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (PFG-NMR). The advantage of PFG-NMR is that the motion of the molecule of interest is directly observed in its native state without the need for any labelling. Further, PFG-NMR is model-free and thus yields absolute diffusion constants. Our PFG-NMR experiments of solutions containing active fructose-bisphosphate aldolase from rabbit muscle do not show any diffusion enhancement for the active enzymes nor the surrounding molecules. Additionally, we do not observe any diffusion enhancement of aldolase in the presence of its inhibitor pyrophosphate.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl activeoptorheologicalmedium
Chemical Nanomotors at the Gram Scale Form a Dense Active Optorheological Medium

Choudhury, U., Singh, D. P., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

Adv. Mat., (1807382), Febuary 2019 (article)

Abstract
The rheological properties of a colloidal suspension are a function of the concentration of the colloids and their interactions. While suspensions of passive colloids are well studied and have been shown to form crystals, gels, and glasses, examples of energy‐consuming “active” colloidal suspensions are still largely unexplored. Active suspensions of biological matter, such as motile bacteria or dense mixtures of active actin–motor–protein mixtures have, respectively, reveals superfluid‐like and gel‐like states. Attractive inanimate systems for active matter are chemically self‐propelled particles. It has so far been challenging to use these swimming particles at high enough densities to affect the bulk material properties of the suspension. Here, it is shown that light‐triggered asymmetric titanium dioxide that self‐propel, can be obtained in large quantities, and self‐organize to make a gram‐scale active medium. The suspension shows an activity‐dependent tenfold reversible change in its bulk viscosity.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl hyperrayleigh
First Observation of Optical Activity in Hyper-Rayleigh Scattering

Collins, J., Rusimova, K., Hooper, D., Jeong, H. H., Ohnoutek, L., Pradaux-Caggiano, F., Verbiest, T., Carbery, D., Fischer, P., Valev, V.

Phys. Rev. X, 9(011024), January 2019 (article)

Abstract
Chiral nano- or metamaterials and surfaces enable striking photonic properties, such as negative refractive index and superchiral light, driving promising applications in novel optical components, nanorobotics, and enhanced chiral molecular interactions with light. In characterizing chirality, although nonlinear chiroptical techniques are typically much more sensitive than their linear optical counterparts, separating true chirality from anisotropy is a major challenge. Here, we report the first observation of optical activity in second-harmonic hyper-Rayleigh scattering (HRS). We demonstrate the effect in a 3D isotropic suspension of Ag nanohelices in water. The effect is 5 orders of magnitude stronger than linear optical activity and is well pronounced above the multiphoton luminescence background. Because of its sensitivity, isotropic environment, and straightforward experimental geometry, HRS optical activity constitutes a fundamental experimental breakthrough in chiral photonics for media including nanomaterials, metamaterials, and chemical molecules.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) 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)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

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)

ei

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


Thumb xl screenshot 2019 03 25 at 14.29.22
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]


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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

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2007


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HPLC analysis and pharmacokinetic study of quercitrin and isoquercitrin in rat plasma after administration of Hypericum japonicum thunb. extract.

Li, J., Wang, W., Zhang, L., Chen, H., Bi, S.

Biomedical Chromatography, 22(4):374-378, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
A simple HPLC method was developed for determination of quercitrin and isoquercitrin in rat plasma. Reversed-phase HPLC was employed for the quantitative analysis using kaempferol-3-O--d-glucopyranoside-7-O--l-rhamnoside as an internal standard. Following extraction from the plasma samples with ethyl acetate-isopropanol (95:5, v/v), these two compounds were successfully separated on a Luna C18 column (250 × 4.6 mm, 5 µm) with isocratic elution of acetonitrile-0.5% aqueous acetic acid (17:83, v/v) as the mobile phase. The flow-rate was set at 1 mL/min and the eluent was detected at 350 nm for both quercitrin and isoquercitrin. The method was linear over the studied ranges of 50-6000 and 50-5000 ng/mL for quercitrin and isoquercitrin, respectively. The intra- and inter-day precisions of the analysis were better than 13.1 and 13.2%, respectively. The lower limits of quantitation for quercitrin and isoquercitrin in plasma were both of 50 ng/mL. The mean extraction recoveries were 73 and 61% for quercitrin and i soquercitrin, respectively. The validated method was successfully applied to pharmacokinetic studies of the two analytes in rat plasma after the oral administration of Hypericum japonicum thunb. ethanol extract.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

2007



no image
Reaction graph kernels for discovering missing enzymes in the plant secondary metabolism

Saigo, H., Hattori, M., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, December 2007 (talk)

Abstract
Secondary metabolic pathway in plant is important for finding druggable candidate enzymes. However, there are many enzymes whose functions are still undiscovered especially in organism-specific metabolic pathways. We propose reaction graph kernels for automatically assigning the EC numbers to unknown enzymatic reactions in a metabolic network. Experiments are carried out on KEGG/REACTION database and our method successfully predicted the first three digits of the EC number with 83% accuracy.We also exhaustively predicted missing enzymatic functions in the plant secondary metabolism pathways, and evaluated our results in biochemical validity.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Positional Oligomer Importance Matrices

Sonnenburg, S., Zien, A., Philips, P., Rätsch, G.

NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, December 2007 (talk)

Abstract
At the heart of many important bioinformatics problems, such as gene finding and function prediction, is the classification of biological sequences, above all of DNA and proteins. In many cases, the most accurate classifiers are obtained by training SVMs with complex sequence kernels, for instance for transcription starts or splice sites. However, an often criticized downside of SVMs with complex kernels is that it is very hard for humans to understand the learned decision rules and to derive biological insights from them. To close this gap, we introduce the concept of positional oligomer importance matrices (POIMs) and develop an efficient algorithm for their computation. We demonstrate how they overcome the limitations of sequence logos, and how they can be used to find relevant motifs for different biological phenomena in a straight-forward way. Note that the concept of POIMs is not limited to interpreting SVMs, but is applicable to general k−mer based scoring systems.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Algorithms for Polymorphism Detection

Schweikert, G., Zeller, G., Weigel, D., Schölkopf, B., Rätsch, G.

NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, December 2007 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Graph sharpening plus graph integration: a synergy that improves protein functional classification

Shin, HH., Lisewski, AM., Lichtarge, O.

Bioinformatics, 23(23):3217-3224, December 2007 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Tutorial on Spectral Clustering

von Luxburg, U.

Statistics and Computing, 17(4):395-416, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
In recent years, spectral clustering has become one of the most popular modern clustering algorithms. It is simple to implement, can be solved efficiently by standard linear algebra software, and very often outperforms traditional clustering algorithms such as the k-means algorithm. On the first glance spectral clustering appears slightly mysterious, and it is not obvious to see why it works at all and what it really does. The goal of this tutorial is to give some intuition on those questions. We describe different graph Laplacians and their basic properties, present the most common spectral clustering algorithms, and derive those algorithms from scratch by several different approaches. Advantages and disadvantages of the different spectral clustering algorithms are discussed.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An Automated Combination of Kernels for Predicting Protein Subcellular Localization

Zien, A., Ong, C.

NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning in Computational Biology, December 2007 (talk)

Abstract
Protein subcellular localization is a crucial ingredient to many important inferences about cellular processes, including prediction of protein function and protein interactions.We propose a new class of protein sequence kernels which considers all motifs including motifs with gaps. This class of kernels allows the inclusion of pairwise amino acid distances into their computation. We utilize an extension of the multiclass support vector machine (SVM)method which directly solves protein subcellular localization without resorting to the common approach of splitting the problem into several binary classification problems. To automatically search over families of possible amino acid motifs, we optimize over multiple kernels at the same time. We compare our automated approach to four other predictors on three different datasets, and show that we perform better than the current state of the art. Furthermore, our method provides some insights as to which features are most useful for determining subcellular localization, which are in agreement with biological reasoning.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A Tutorial on Kernel Methods for Categorization

Jäkel, F., Schölkopf, B., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 51(6):343-358, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
The abilities to learn and to categorize are fundamental for cognitive systems, be it animals or machines, and therefore have attracted attention from engineers and psychologists alike. Modern machine learning methods and psychological models of categorization are remarkably similar, partly because these two fields share a common history in artificial neural networks and reinforcement learning. However, machine learning is now an independent and mature field that has moved beyond psychologically or neurally inspired algorithms towards providing foundations for a theory of learning that is rooted in statistics and functional analysis. Much of this research is potentially interesting for psychological theories of learning and categorization but also hardly accessible for psychologists. Here, we provide a tutorial introduction to a popular class of machine learning tools, called kernel methods. These methods are closely related to perceptrons, radial-basis-function neural networks and exemplar theories of catego rization. Recent theoretical advances in machine learning are closely tied to the idea that the similarity of patterns can be encapsulated in a positive definite kernel. Such a positive definite kernel can define a reproducing kernel Hilbert space which allows one to use powerful tools from functional analysis for the analysis of learning algorithms. We give basic explanations of some key concepts—the so-called kernel trick, the representer theorem and regularization—which may open up the possibility that insights from machine learning can feed back into psychology.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A semigroup approach to queueing systems

Haji, A., Radl, A.

Semigroup Forum, 75(3):610-624, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
We prove asymptotic stability of the solutions of equations describing a simple queueing system consisting of two machines separated by a finite storage buffer. Following an approach by G. Gupur, we apply the theory of C0-semigroups and spectral theory of positive operators.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Point-spread functions for backscattered imaging in the scanning electron microscope

Hennig, P., Denk, W.

Journal of Applied Physics , 102(12):1-8, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
One knows the imaging system's properties are central to the correct interpretation of any image. In a scanning electron microscope regions of different composition generally interact in a highly nonlinear way during signal generation. Using Monte Carlo simulations we found that in resin-embedded, heavy metal-stained biological specimens staining is sufficiently dilute to allow an approximately linear treatment. We then mapped point-spread functions for backscattered-electron contrast, for primary energies of 3 and 7 keV and for different detector specifications. The point-spread functions are surprisingly well confined (both laterally and in depth) compared even to the distribution of only those scattered electrons that leave the sample again.

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Accurate Splice site Prediction Using Support Vector Machines

Sonnenburg, S., Schweikert, G., Philips, P., Behr, J., Rätsch, G.

BMC Bioinformatics, 8(Supplement 10):1-16, December 2007 (article)

Abstract
Background: For splice site recognition, one has to solve two classification problems: discriminating true from decoy splice sites for both acceptor and donor sites. Gene finding systems typically rely on Markov Chains to solve these tasks. Results: In this work we consider Support Vector Machines for splice site recognition. We employ the so-called weighted degree kernel which turns out well suited for this task, as we will illustrate in several experiments where we compare its prediction accuracy with that of recently proposed systems. We apply our method to the genome-wide recognition of splice sites in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Arabidopsis thaliana, Danio rerio, and Homo sapiens. Our performance estimates indicate that splice sites can be recognized very accurately in these genomes and that our method outperforms many other methods including Markov Chains, GeneSplicer and SpliceMachine. We provide genome-wide predictions of splice sites and a stand-alone prediction tool ready to be used for incorporation in a gene finder. Availability: Data, splits, additional information on the model selection, the whole genome predictions, as well as the stand-alone prediction tool are available for download at http:// www.fml.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/splice.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Challenges in Brain-Computer Interface Development: Induction, Measurement, Decoding, Integration

Hill, NJ.

Invited keynote talk at the launch of BrainGain, the Dutch BCI research consortium, November 2007 (talk)

Abstract
I‘ll present a perspective on Brain-Computer Interface development from T{\"u}bingen. Some of the benefits promised by BCI technology lie in the near foreseeable future, and some further away. Our motivation is to make BCI technology feasible for the people who could benefit from what it has to offer soon: namely, people in the "completely locked-in" state. I‘ll mention some of the challenges of working with this user group, and explain the specific directions they have motivated us to take in developing experimental methods, algorithms, and software.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Policy Learning for Robotics

Peters, J.

14th International Conference on Neural Information Processing (ICONIP), November 2007 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A unifying framework for robot control with redundant DOFs

Peters, J., Mistry, M., Udwadia, F., Nakanishi, J., Schaal, S.

Autonomous Robots, 24(1):1-12, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
Recently, Udwadia (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 2003:1783–1800, 2003) suggested to derive tracking controllers for mechanical systems with redundant degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) using a generalization of Gauss’ principle of least constraint. This method allows reformulating control problems as a special class of optimal controllers. In this paper, we take this line of reasoning one step further and demonstrate that several well-known and also novel nonlinear robot control laws can be derived from this generic methodology. We show experimental verifications on a Sarcos Master Arm robot for some of the derived controllers. The suggested approach offers a promising unification and simplification of nonlinear control law design for robots obeying rigid body dynamics equations, both with or without external constraints, with over-actuation or underactuation, as well as open-chain and closed-chain kinematics.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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The Need for Open Source Software in Machine Learning

Sonnenburg, S., Braun, M., Ong, C., Bengio, S., Bottou, L., Holmes, G., LeCun, Y., Müller, K., Pereira, F., Rasmussen, C., Rätsch, G., Schölkopf, B., Smola, A., Vincent, P., Weston, J., Williamson, R.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 8, pages: 2443-2466, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
Open source tools have recently reached a level of maturity which makes them suitable for building large-scale real-world systems. At the same time, the field of machine learning has developed a large body of powerful learning algorithms for diverse applications. However, the true potential of these methods is not realized, since existing implementations are not openly shared, resulting in software with low usability, and weak interoperability. We argue that this situation can be significantly improved by increasing incentives for researchers to publish their software under an open source model. Additionally, we outline the problems authors are faced with when trying to publish algorithmic implementations of machine learning methods. We believe that a resource of peer reviewed software accompanied by short articles would be highly valuable to both the machine learning and the general scientific community.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Hilbert Space Representations of Probability Distributions

Gretton, A.

2nd Workshop on Machine Learning and Optimization at the ISM, October 2007 (talk)

Abstract
Many problems in unsupervised learning require the analysis of features of probability distributions. At the most fundamental level, we might wish to determine whether two distributions are the same, based on samples from each - this is known as the two-sample or homogeneity problem. We use kernel methods to address this problem, by mapping probability distributions to elements in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). Given a sufficiently rich RKHS, these representations are unique: thus comparing feature space representations allows us to compare distributions without ambiguity. Applications include testing whether cancer subtypes are distinguishable on the basis of DNA microarray data, and whether low frequency oscillations measured at an electrode in the cortex have a different distribution during a neural spike. A more difficult problem is to discover whether two random variables drawn from a joint distribution are independent. It turns out that any dependence between pairs of random variables can be encoded in a cross-covariance operator between appropriate RKHS representations of the variables, and we may test independence by looking at a norm of the operator. We demonstrate this independence test by establishing dependence between an English text and its French translation, as opposed to French text on the same topic but otherwise unrelated. Finally, we show that this operator norm is itself a difference in feature means.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Regression with Intervals

Kashima, H., Yamazaki, K., Saigo, H., Inokuchi, A.

International Workshop on Data-Mining and Statistical Science (DMSS2007), October 2007, JSAI Incentive Award. Talk was given by Hisashi Kashima. (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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On the Representer Theorem and Equivalent Degrees of Freedom of SVR

Dinuzzo, F., Neve, M., De Nicolao, G., Gianazza, U.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 8, pages: 2467-2495, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
Support Vector Regression (SVR) for discrete data is considered. An alternative formulation of the representer theorem is derived. This result is based on the newly introduced notion of pseudoresidual and the use of subdifferential calculus. The representer theorem is exploited to analyze the sensitivity properties of ε-insensitive SVR and introduce the notion of approximate degrees of freedom. The degrees of freedom are shown to play a key role in the evaluation of the optimism, that is the difference between the expected in-sample error and the expected empirical risk. In this way, it is possible to define a Cp-like statistic that can be used for tuning the parameters of SVR. The proposed tuning procedure is tested on a simulated benchmark problem and on a real world problem (Boston Housing data set).

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Some observations on the masking effects of Mach bands

Curnow, T., Cowie, DA., Henning, GB., Hill, NJ.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 24(10):3233-3241, October 2007 (article)

Abstract
There are 8 cycle / deg ripples or oscillations in performance as a function of location near Mach bands in experiments measuring Mach bands’ masking effects on random polarity signal bars. The oscillations with increments are 180 degrees out of phase with those for decrements. The oscillations, much larger than the measurement error, appear to relate to the weighting function of the spatial-frequency-tuned channel detecting the broad- band signals. The ripples disappear with step maskers and become much smaller at durations below 25 ms, implying either that the site of masking has changed or that the weighting function and hence spatial-frequency tuning is slow to develop.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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MR-Based PET Attenuation Correction: Method and Validation

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Scheel, V., Brady, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

Joint Molecular Imaging Conference, September 2007 (talk)

Abstract
PET/MR combines the high soft tissue contrast of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the functional information of Positron Emission Tomography (PET). For quantitative PET information, correction of tissue photon attenuation is mandatory. Usually in conventional PET, the attenuation map is obtained from a transmission scan, which uses a rotating source, or from the CT scan in case of combined PET/CT. In the case of a PET/MR scanner, there is insufficient space for the rotating source and ideally one would want to calculate the attenuation map from the MR image instead. Since MR images provide information about proton density of the different tissue types, it is not trivial to use this data for PET attenuation correction. We present a method for predicting the PET attenuation map from a given the MR image, using a combination of atlas-registration and recognition of local patterns. Using "leave one out cross validation" we show on a database of 16 MR-CT image pairs that our method reliably allows estimating the CT image from the MR image. Subsequently, as in PET/CT, the PET attenuation map can be predicted from the CT image. On an additional dataset of MR/CT/PET triplets we quantitatively validate that our approach allows PET quantification with an error that is smaller than what would be clinically significant. We demonstrate our approach on T1-weighted human brain scans. However, the presented methods are more general and current research focuses on applying the established methods to human whole body PET/MRI applications.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Mining complex genotypic features for predicting HIV-1 drug resistance

Saigo, H., Uno, T., Tsuda, K.

Bioinformatics, 23(18):2455-2462, September 2007 (article)

Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolves in human body, and its exposure to a drug often causes mutations that enhance the resistance against the drug. To design an effective pharmacotherapy for an individual patient, it is important to accurately predict the drug resistance based on genotype data. Notably, the resistance is not just the simple sum of the effects of all mutations. Structural biological studies suggest that the association of mutations is crucial: Even if mutations A or B alone do not affect the resistance, a significant change might happen when the two mutations occur together. Linear regression methods cannot take the associations into account, while decision tree methods can reveal only limited associations. Kernel methods and neural networks implicitly use all possible associations for prediction, but cannot select salient associations explicitly. Our method, itemset boosting, performs linear regression in the complete space of power sets of mutations. It implements a forward feature selection procedure where, in each iteration, one mutation combination is found by an efficient branch-and-bound search. This method uses all possible combinations, and salient associations are explicitly shown. In experiments, our method worked particularly well for predicting the resistance of nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Furthermore, it successfully recovered many mutation associations known in biological literature.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian methods for NMR structure determination

Habeck, M.

29th Annual Discussion Meeting: Magnetic Resonance in Biophysical Chemistry, September 2007 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Real-Time Fetal Heart Monitoring in Biomagnetic Measurements Using Adaptive Real-Time ICA

Waldert, S., Bensch, M., Bogdan, M., Rosenstiel, W., Schölkopf, B., Lowery, C., Eswaran, H., Preissl, H.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 54(10):1867-1874, September 2007 (article)

Abstract
Electrophysiological signals of the developing fetal brain and heart can be investigated by fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG). During such investigations, the fetal heart activity and that of the mother should be monitored continuously to provide an important indication of current well-being. Due to physical constraints of an fMEG system, it is not possible to use clinically established heart monitors for this purpose. Considering this constraint, we developed a real-time heart monitoring system for biomagnetic measurements and showed its reliability and applicability in research and for clinical examinations. The developed system consists of real-time access to fMEG data, an algorithm based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA), and a graphical user interface (GUI). The algorithm extracts the current fetal and maternal heart signal from a noisy and artifact-contaminated data stream in real-time and is able to adapt automatically to continuously varying environmental parameters. This algorithm has been na med Adaptive Real-time ICA (ARICA) and is applicable to real-time artifact removal as well as to related blind signal separation problems.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Overcomplete Independent Component Analysis via Linearly Constrained Minimum Variance Spatial Filtering

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Buss, M.

Journal of VLSI Signal Processing, 48(1-2):161-171, August 2007 (article)

Abstract
Independent Component Analysis (ICA) designed for complete bases is used in a variety of applications with great success, despite the often questionable assumption of having N sensors and M sources with N&#8805;M. In this article, we assume a source model with more sources than sensors (M>N), only L<N of which are assumed to have a non-Gaussian distribution. We argue that this is a realistic source model for a variety of applications, and prove that for ICA algorithms designed for complete bases (i.e., algorithms assuming N=M) based on mutual information the mixture coefficients of the L non-Gaussian sources can be reconstructed in spite of the overcomplete mixture model. Further, it is shown that the reconstructed temporal activity of non-Gaussian sources is arbitrarily mixed with Gaussian sources. To obtain estimates of the temporal activity of the non-Gaussian sources, we use the correctly reconstructed mixture coefficients in conjunction with linearly constrained minimum variance spatial filtering. This results in estimates of the non-Gaussian sources minimizing the variance of the interference of other sources. The approach is applied to the denoising of Event Related Fields recorded by MEG, and it is shown that it performs superiorly to ordinary ICA.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Thinking Out Loud: Research and Development of Brain Computer Interfaces

Hill, NJ.

Invited keynote talk at the Max Planck Society‘s PhDNet Workshop., July 2007 (talk)

Abstract
My principal interest is in applying machine-learning methods to the development of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI). This involves the classification of a user‘s intentions or mental states, or regression against some continuous intentional control signal, using brain signals obtained for example by EEG, ECoG or MEG. The long-term aim is to develop systems that a completely paralysed person (such as someone suffering from advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) could use to communicate. Such systems have the potential to improve the lives of many people who would be otherwise completely unable to communicate, but they are still very much in the research and development stages.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Feature Selection for Trouble Shooting in Complex Assembly Lines

Pfingsten, T., Herrmann, D., Schnitzler, T., Feustel, A., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 4(3):465-469, July 2007 (article)

Abstract
The final properties of sophisticated products can be affected by many unapparent dependencies within the manufacturing process, and the products’ integrity can often only be checked in a final measurement. Troubleshooting can therefore be very tedious if not impossible in large assembly lines. In this paper we show that Feature Selection is an efficient tool for serial-grouped lines to reveal causes for irregularities in product attributes. We compare the performance of several methods for Feature Selection on real-world problems in mass-production of semiconductor devices. Note to Practitioners— We present a data based procedure to localize flaws in large production lines: using the results of final quality inspections and information about which machines processed which batches, we are able to identify machines which cause low yield.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Gene selection via the BAHSIC family of algorithms

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

Bioinformatics, 23(13: ISMB/ECCB 2007 Conference Proceedings):i490-i498, July 2007 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Identifying significant genes among thousands of sequences on a microarray is a central challenge for cancer research in bioinformatics. The ultimate goal is to detect the genes that are involved in disease outbreak and progression. A multitude of methods have been proposed for this task of feature selection, yet the selected gene lists differ greatly between different methods. To accomplish biologically meaningful gene selection from microarray data, we have to understand the theoretical connections and the differences between these methods. In this article, we define a kernel-based framework for feature selection based on the Hilbert–Schmidt independence criterion and backward elimination, called BAHSIC. We show that several well-known feature selectors are instances of BAHSIC, thereby clarifying their relationship. Furthermore, by choosing a different kernel, BAHSIC allows us to easily define novel feature selection algorithms. As a further advantage, feature selection via BAHSIC works directly on multiclass problems. Results: In a broad experimental evaluation, the members of the BAHSIC family reach high levels of accuracy and robustness when compared to other feature selection techniques. Experiments show that features selected with a linear kernel provide the best classification performance in general, but if strong non-linearities are present in the data then non-linear kernels can be more suitable.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Phenotyping of Chondrocytes In Vivo and In Vitro Using cDNA Array Technology

Zien, A., Gebhard, P., Fundel, K., Aigner, T.

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 460, pages: 226-233, July 2007 (article)

Abstract
The cDNA array technology is a powerful tool to analyze a high number of genes in parallel. We investigated whether large-scale gene expression analysis allows clustering and identification of cellular phenotypes of chondrocytes in different in vivo and in vitro conditions. In 100% of cases, clustering analysis distinguished between in vivo and in vitro samples, suggesting fundamental differences in chondrocytes in situ and in vitro regardless of the culture conditions or disease status. It also allowed us to differentiate between healthy and osteoarthritic cartilage. The clustering also revealed the relative importance of the investigated culturing conditions (stimulation agent, stimulation time, bead/monolayer). We augmented the cluster analysis with a statistical search for genes showing differential expression. The identified genes provided hints to the molecular basis of the differences between the sample classes. Our approach shows the power of modern bioinformatic algorithms for understanding and class ifying chondrocytic phenotypes in vivo and in vitro. Although it does not generate new experimental data per se, it provides valuable information regarding the biology of chondrocytes and may provide tools for diagnosing and staging the osteoarthritic disease process.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]