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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.

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link (url) DOI [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.

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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.

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[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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl fig multidimensional contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization kb
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]


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

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Thumb xl linear solvers stco figure7 1
Probabilistic Linear Solvers: A Unifying View

Bartels, S., Cockayne, J., Ipsen, I. C. F., Hennig, P.

Statistics and Computing, 2019 (article) Accepted

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [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]

2010


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Causal relationships between frequency bands of extracellular signals in visual cortex revealed by an information theoretic analysis

Besserve, M., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N., Panzeri, S.

Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 29(3):547-566, December 2010 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

2010


PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Tackling Box-Constrained Optimization via a New Projected Quasi-Newton Approach

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

SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 32(6):3548-3563 , December 2010 (article)

Abstract
Numerous scientific applications across a variety of fields depend on box-constrained convex optimization. Box-constrained problems therefore continue to attract research interest. We address box-constrained (strictly convex) problems by deriving two new quasi-Newton algorithms. Our algorithms are positioned between the projected-gradient [J. B. Rosen, J. SIAM, 8 (1960), pp. 181–217] and projected-Newton [D. P. Bertsekas, SIAM J. Control Optim., 20 (1982), pp. 221–246] methods. We also prove their convergence under a simple Armijo step-size rule. We provide experimental results for two particular box-constrained problems: nonnegative least squares (NNLS), and nonnegative Kullback–Leibler (NNKL) minimization. For both NNLS and NNKL our algorithms perform competitively as compared to well-established methods on medium-sized problems; for larger problems our approach frequently outperforms the competition.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Algorithmen zum Automatischen Erlernen von Motorfähigkeiten

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

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

Abstract
Robot learning methods which allow autonomous robots to adapt to novel situations have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics. If possible, scaling was usually only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach policy learning with the goal of an application to motor skill refinement in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i. e., firstly, we study policy learning algorithms which can be applied in the general setting of motor skill learning, and, secondly, we study a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Co-clustering and Beyond

Seldin, Y., Tishby, N.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 3595-3646, December 2010 (article)

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning (GPML) Toolbox

Rasmussen, C., Nickisch, H.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 3011-3015, November 2010 (article)

Abstract
The GPML toolbox provides a wide range of functionality for Gaussian process (GP) inference and prediction. GPs are specified by mean and covariance functions; we offer a library of simple mean and covariance functions and mechanisms to compose more complex ones. Several likelihood functions are supported including Gaussian and heavy-tailed for regression as well as others suitable for classification. Finally, a range of inference methods is provided, including exact and variational inference, Expectation Propagation, and Laplace's method dealing with non-Gaussian likelihoods and FITC for dealing with large regression tasks.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Cryo-EM structure and rRNA model of a translating eukaryotic 80S ribosome at 5.5-Å resolution

Armache, J-P., Jarasch, A., Anger, AM., Villa, E., Becker, T., Bhushan, S., Jossinet, F., Habeck, M., Dindar, G., Franckenberg, S., Marquez, V., Mielke, T., Thomm, M., Berninghausen, O., Beatrix, B., Söding, J., Westhof, E., Wilson, DN., Beckmann, R.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(46):19748-19753, November 2010 (article)

Abstract
Protein biosynthesis, the translation of the genetic code into polypeptides, occurs on ribonucleoprotein particles called ribosomes. Although X-ray structures of bacterial ribosomes are available, high-resolution structures of eukaryotic 80S ribosomes are lacking. Using cryoelectron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction, we have determined the structure of a translating plant (Triticum aestivum) 80S ribosome at 5.5-Å resolution. This map, together with a 6.1-Å map of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae 80S ribosome, has enabled us to model ∼98% of the rRNA. Accurate assignment of the rRNA expansion segments (ES) and variable regions has revealed unique ES–ES and r-protein–ES interactions, providing insight into the structure and evolution of the eukaryotic ribosome.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Policy gradient methods

Peters, J.

Scholarpedia, 5(11):3698, November 2010 (article)

Abstract
Policy gradient methods are a type of reinforcement learning techniques that rely upon optimizing parametrized policies with respect to the expected return (long-term cumulative reward) by gradient descent. They do not suffer from many of the problems that have been marring traditional reinforcement learning approaches such as the lack of guarantees of a value function, the intractability problem resulting from uncertain state information and the complexity arising from continuous states & actions.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Localization of eukaryote-specific ribosomal proteins in a 5.5-Å cryo-EM map of the 80S eukaryotic ribosome

Armache, J-P., Jarasch, A., Anger, AM., Villa, E., Becker, T., Bhushan, S., Jossinet, F., Habeck, M., Dindar, G., Franckenberg, S., Marquez, V., Mielke, T., Thomm, M., Berninghausen, O., Beatrix, B., Söding, J., Westhof, E., Wilson, DN., Beckmann, R.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(46):19754-19759, November 2010 (article)

Abstract
Protein synthesis in all living organisms occurs on ribonucleoprotein particles, called ribosomes. Despite the universality of this process, eukaryotic ribosomes are significantly larger in size than their bacterial counterparts due in part to the presence of 80 r proteins rather than 54 in bacteria. Using cryoelectron microscopy reconstructions of a translating plant (Triticum aestivum) 80S ribosome at 5.5-Å resolution, together with a 6.1-Å map of a translating Saccharomyces cerevisiae 80S ribosome, we have localized and modeled 74/80 (92.5%) of the ribosomal proteins, encompassing 12 archaeal/eukaryote-specific small subunit proteins as well as the complete complement of the ribosomal proteins of the eukaryotic large subunit. Near-complete atomic models of the 80S ribosome provide insights into the structure, function, and evolution of the eukaryotic translational apparatus.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Spatio-Spectral Remote Sensing Image Classification With Graph Kernels

Camps-Valls, G., Shervashidze, N., Borgwardt, K.

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 7(4):741-745, October 2010 (article)

Abstract
This letter presents a graph kernel for spatio-spectral remote sensing image classification with support vector machines (SVMs). The method considers higher order relations in the neighborhood (beyond pairwise spatial relations) to iteratively compute a kernel matrix for SVM learning. The proposed kernel is easy to compute and constitutes a powerful alternative to existing approaches. The capabilities of the method are illustrated in several multi- and hyperspectral remote sensing images acquired over both urban and agricultural areas.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Inference Using the Algorithmic Markov Condition

Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 56(10):5168-5194, October 2010 (article)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure that links $n$ observables is usually based upon detecting statistical dependences and choosing simple graphs that make the joint measure Markovian. Here we argue why causal inference is also possible when the sample size is one. We develop a theory how to generate causal graphs explaining similarities between single objects. To this end, we replace the notion of conditional stochastic independence in the causal Markov condition with the vanishing of conditional algorithmic mutual information and describe the corresponding causal inference rules. We explain why a consistent reformulation of causal inference in terms of algorithmic complexity implies a new inference principle that takes into account also the complexity of conditional probability densities, making it possible to select among Markov equivalent causal graphs. This insight provides a theoretical foundation of a heuristic principle proposed in earlier work. We also sketch some ideas on how to replace Kolmogorov complexity with decidable complexity criteria. This can be seen as an algorithmic analog of replacing the empirically undecidable question of statistical independence with practical independence tests that are based on implicit or explicit assumptions on the underlying distribution.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Recurrent Policy Gradients

Wierstra, D., Förster, A., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

Logic Journal of the IGPL, 18(5):620-634, October 2010 (article)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning for partially observable Markov decision problems (POMDPs) is a challenge as it requires policies with an internal state. Traditional approaches suffer significantly from this shortcoming and usually make strong assumptions on the problem domain such as perfect system models, state-estimators and a Markovian hidden system. Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) offer a natural framework for dealing with policy learning using hidden state and require only few limiting assumptions. As they can be trained well using gradient descent, they are suited for policy gradient approaches. In this paper, we present a policy gradient method, the Recurrent Policy Gradient which constitutes a model-free reinforcement learning method. It is aimed at training limited-memory stochastic policies on problems which require long-term memories of past observations. The approach involves approximating a policy gradient for a recurrent neural network by backpropagating return-weighted characteristic eligibilities through time. Using a ‘‘Long Short-Term Memory’’ RNN architecture, we are able to outperform previous RL methods on three important benchmark tasks. Furthermore, we show that using history-dependent baselines helps reducing estimation variance significantly, thus enabling our approach to tackle more challenging, highly stochastic environments.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Discriminative frequent subgraph mining with optimality guarantees

Thoma, M., Cheng, H., Gretton, A., Han, J., Kriegel, H., Smola, A., Song, L., Yu, P., Yan, X., Borgwardt, K.

Journal of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, 3(5):302–318, October 2010 (article)

Abstract
The goal of frequent subgraph mining is to detect subgraphs that frequently occur in a dataset of graphs. In classification settings, one is often interested in discovering discriminative frequent subgraphs, whose presence or absence is indicative of the class membership of a graph. In this article, we propose an approach to feature selection on frequent subgraphs, called CORK, that combines two central advantages. First, it optimizes a submodular quality criterion, which means that we can yield a near-optimal solution using greedy feature selection. Second, our submodular quality function criterion can be integrated into gSpan, the state-of-the-art tool for frequent subgraph mining, and help to prune the search space for discriminative frequent subgraphs even during frequent subgraph mining.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Combining active learning and reactive control for robot grasping

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

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 58(9):1105-1116, September 2010 (article)

Abstract
Grasping an object is a task that inherently needs to be treated in a hybrid fashion. The system must decide both where and how to grasp the object. While selecting where to grasp requires learning about the object as a whole, the execution only needs to reactively adapt to the context close to the grasp’s location. We propose a hierarchical controller that reflects the structure of these two sub-problems, and attempts to learn solutions that work for both. A hybrid architecture is employed by the controller to make use of various machine learning methods that can cope with the large amount of uncertainty inherent to the task. The controller’s upper level selects where to grasp the object using a reinforcement learner, while the lower level comprises an imitation learner and a vision-based reactive controller to determine appropriate grasping motions. The resulting system is able to quickly learn good grasps of a novel object in an unstructured environment, by executing smooth reaching motions and preshapin g the hand depending on the object’s geometry. The system was evaluated both in simulation and on a real robot.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Nonparametric Regression between General Riemannian Manifolds

Steinke, F., Hein, M., Schölkopf, B.

SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences, 3(3):527-563, September 2010 (article)

Abstract
We study nonparametric regression between Riemannian manifolds based on regularized empirical risk minimization. Regularization functionals for mappings between manifolds should respect the geometry of input and output manifold and be independent of the chosen parametrization of the manifolds. We define and analyze the three most simple regularization functionals with these properties and present a rather general scheme for solving the resulting optimization problem. As application examples we discuss interpolation on the sphere, fingerprint processing, and correspondence computations between three-dimensional surfaces. We conclude with characterizing interesting and sometimes counterintuitive implications and new open problems that are specific to learning between Riemannian manifolds and are not encountered in multivariate regression in Euclidean space.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Hybrid PET/MRI of Intracranial Masses: Initial Experiences and Comparison to PET/CT

Boss, A., Bisdas, S., Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Ernemann, U., Claussen, C., Pfannenberg, C., Pichler, B., Reimold, M., Stegger, L.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 51(8):1198-1205, August 2010 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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libDAI: A Free and Open Source C++ Library for Discrete Approximate Inference in Graphical Models

Mooij, JM.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 2169-2173, August 2010 (article)

Abstract
This paper describes the software package libDAI, a free & open source C++ library that provides implementations of various exact and approximate inference methods for graphical models with discrete-valued variables. libDAI supports directed graphical models (Bayesian networks) as well as undirected ones (Markov random fields and factor graphs). It offers various approximations of the partition sum, marginal probability distributions and maximum probability states. Parameter learning is also supported. A feature comparison with other open source software packages for approximate inference is given. libDAI is licensed under the GPL v2+ license and is available at http://www.libdai.org.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Convolutive blind source separation by efficient blind deconvolution and minimal filter distortion

Zhang, K., Chan, L.

Neurocomputing, 73(13-15):2580-2588, August 2010 (article)

Abstract
Convolutive blind source separation (BSS) usually encounters two difficulties—the filter indeterminacy in the recovered sources and the relatively high computational load. In this paper we propose an efficient method to convolutive BSS, by dealing with these two issues. It consists of two stages, namely, multichannel blind deconvolution (MBD) and learning the post-filters with the minimum filter distortion (MFD) principle. We present a computationally efficient approach to MBD in the first stage: a vector autoregression (VAR) model is first fitted to the data, admitting a closed-form solution and giving temporally independent errors; traditional independent component analysis (ICA) is then applied to these errors to produce the MBD results. In the second stage, the least linear reconstruction error (LLRE) constraint of the separation system, which was previously used to regularize the solutions to nonlinear ICA, enforces a MFD principle of the estimated mixing system for convolutive BSS. One can then easily learn the post-filters to preserve the temporal structure of the sources. We show that with this principle, each recovered source is approximately the principal component of the contributions of this source to all observations. Experimental results on both synthetic data and real room recordings show the good performance of this method.

ei

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Biased Feedback in Brain-Computer Interfaces

Barbero, A., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 7(34):1-4, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
Even though feedback is considered to play an important role in learning how to operate a brain-computer interface (BCI), to date no significant influence of feedback design on BCI-performance has been reported in literature. In this work, we adapt a standard motor-imagery BCI-paradigm to study how BCI-performance is affected by biasing the belief subjects have on their level of control over the BCI system. Our findings indicate that subjects already capable of operating a BCI are impeded by inaccurate feedback, while subjects normally performing on or close to chance level may actually benefit from an incorrect belief on their performance level. Our results imply that optimal feedback design in BCIs should take into account a subject‘s current skill level.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Varieties of Justification in Machine Learning

Corfield, D.

Minds and Machines, 20(2):291-301, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
Forms of justification for inductive machine learning techniques are discussed and classified into four types. This is done with a view to introduce some of these techniques and their justificatory guarantees to the attention of philosophers, and to initiate a discussion as to whether they must be treated separately or rather can be viewed consistently from within a single framework.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Dirichlet Process Gaussian Mixture Models: Choice of the Base Distribution

Görür, D., Rasmussen, C.

Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 25(4):653-664, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
In the Bayesian mixture modeling framework it is possible to infer the necessary number of components to model the data and therefore it is unnecessary to explicitly restrict the number of components. Nonparametric mixture models sidestep the problem of finding the “correct” number of mixture components by assuming infinitely many components. In this paper Dirichlet process mixture (DPM) models are cast as infinite mixture models and inference using Markov chain Monte Carlo is described. The specification of the priors on the model parameters is often guided by mathematical and practical convenience. The primary goal of this paper is to compare the choice of conjugate and non-conjugate base distributions on a particular class of DPM models which is widely used in applications, the Dirichlet process Gaussian mixture model (DPGMM). We compare computational efficiency and modeling performance of DPGMM defined using a conjugate and a conditionally conjugate base distribution. We show that better density models can result from using a wider class of priors with no or only a modest increase in computational effort.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Robust probabilistic superposition and comparison of protein structures

Mechelke, M., Habeck, M.

BMC Bioinformatics, 11(363):1-13, July 2010 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Results of the GREAT08 Challenge: An image analysis competition for cosmological lensing

Bridle, S., Balan, S., Bethge, M., Gentile, M., Harmeling, S., Heymans, C., Hirsch, M., Hosseini, R., Jarvis, M., Kirk, D., Kitching, T., Kuijken, K., Lewis, A., Paulin-Henriksson, S., Schölkopf, B., Velander, M., Voigt, L., Witherick, D., Amara, A., Bernstein, G., Courbin, F., Gill, M., Heavens, A., Mandelbaum, R., Massey, R., Moghaddam, B., Rassat, A., Refregier, A., Rhodes, J., Schrabback, T., Shawe-Taylor, J., Shmakova, M., van Waerbeke, L., Wittman, D.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 405(3):2044-2061, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
We present the results of the GREAT08 Challenge, a blind analysis challenge to infer weak gravitational lensing shear distortions from images. The primary goal was to stimulate new ideas by presenting the problem to researchers outside the shear measurement community. Six GREAT08 Team methods were presented at the launch of the Challenge and five additional groups submitted results during the 6 month competition. Participants analyzed 30 million simulated galaxies with a range in signal to noise ratio, point-spread function ellipticity, galaxy size, and galaxy type. The large quantity of simulations allowed shear measurement methods to be assessed at a level of accuracy suitable for currently planned future cosmic shear observations for the first time. Different methods perform well in different parts of simulation parameter space and come close to the target level of accuracy in several of these. A number of fresh ideas have emerged as a result of the Challenge including a re-examination of the process of combining information from different galaxies, which reduces the dependence on realistic galaxy modelling. The image simulations will become increasingly sophis- ticated in future GREAT challenges, meanwhile the GREAT08 simulations remain as a benchmark for additional developments in shear measurement algorithms.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Remote Sensing Feature Selection by Kernel Dependence Estimation

Camps-Valls, G., Mooij, J., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 7(3):587-591, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
This letter introduces a nonlinear measure of independence between random variables for remote sensing supervised feature selection. The so-called Hilbert–Schmidt independence criterion (HSIC) is a kernel method for evaluating statistical dependence and it is based on computing the Hilbert–Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator of mapped samples in the corresponding Hilbert spaces. The HSIC empirical estimator is easy to compute and has good theoretical and practical properties. Rather than using this estimate for maximizing the dependence between the selected features and the class labels, we propose the more sensitive criterion of minimizing the associated HSIC p-value. Results in multispectral, hyperspectral, and SAR data feature selection for classification show the good performance of the proposed approach.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Clustering stability: an overview

von Luxburg, U.

Foundations and Trends in Machine Learning, 2(3):235-274, July 2010 (article)

Abstract
A popular method for selecting the number of clusters is based on stability arguments: one chooses the number of clusters such that the corresponding clustering results are "most stable". In recent years, a series of papers has analyzed the behavior of this method from a theoretical point of view. However, the results are very technical and difficult to interpret for non-experts. In this paper we give a high-level overview about the existing literature on clustering stability. In addition to presenting the results in a slightly informal but accessible way, we relate them to each other and discuss their different implications.

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Justifying Additive Noise Model-Based Causal Discovery via Algorithmic Information Theory

Janzing, D., Steudel, B.

Open Systems and Information Dynamics, 17(2):189-212, June 2010 (article)

Abstract
A recent method for causal discovery is in many cases able to infer whether X causes Y or Y causes X for just two observed variables X and Y. It is based on the observation that there exist (non-Gaussian) joint distributions P(X,Y) for which Y may be written as a function of X up to an additive noise term that is independent of X and no such model exists from Y to X. Whenever this is the case, one prefers the causal model X → Y. Here we justify this method by showing that the causal hypothesis Y → X is unlikely because it requires a specific tuning between P(Y) and P(X|Y) to generate a distribution that admits an additive noise model from X to Y. To quantify the amount of tuning, needed we derive lower bounds on the algorithmic information shared by P(Y) and P(X|Y). This way, our justification is consistent with recent approaches for using algorithmic information theory for causal reasoning. We extend this principle to the case where P(X,Y) almost admits an additive noise model. Our results suggest that the above conclusion is more reliable if the complexity of P(Y) is high.

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Dynamic Dissimilarity Measure for Support-Based Clustering

Lee, D., Lee, J.

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 22(6):900-905, June 2010 (article)

Abstract
Clustering methods utilizing support estimates of a data distribution have recently attracted much attention because of their ability to generate cluster boundaries of arbitrary shape and to deal with outliers efficiently. In this paper, we propose a novel dissimilarity measure based on a dynamical system associated with support estimating functions. Theoretical foundations of the proposed measure are developed and applied to construct a clustering method that can effectively partition the whole data space. Simulation results demonstrate that clustering based on the proposed dissimilarity measure is robust to the choice of kernel parameters and able to control the number of clusters efficiently.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Sparse Spectrum Gaussian Process Regression

Lázaro-Gredilla, M., Quiñonero-Candela, J., Rasmussen, CE., Figueiras-Vidal, AR.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 11, pages: 1865-1881, June 2010 (article)

Abstract
We present a new sparse Gaussian Process (GP) model for regression. The key novel idea is to sparsify the spectral representation of the GP. This leads to a simple, practical algorithm for regression tasks. We compare the achievable trade-offs between predictive accuracy and computational requirements, and show that these are typically superior to existing state-of-the-art sparse approximations. We discuss both the weight space and function space representations, and note that the new construction implies priors over functions which are always stationary, and can approximate any covariance function in this class.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Unsupervised Object Discovery: A Comparison

Tuytelaars, T., Lampert, CH., Blaschko, MB., Buntine, W.

International Journal of Computer Vision, 88(2):284-302, June 2010 (article)

Abstract
The goal of this paper is to evaluate and compare models and methods for learning to recognize basic entities in images in an unsupervised setting. In other words, we want to discover the objects present in the images by analyzing unlabeled data and searching for re-occurring patterns. We experiment with various baseline methods, methods based on latent variable models, as well as spectral clustering methods. The results are presented and compared both on subsets of Caltech256 and MSRC2, data sets that are larger and more challenging and that include more object classes than what has previously been reported in the literature. A rigorous framework for evaluating unsupervised object discovery methods is proposed.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]