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2019


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

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

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

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

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paper pdf DOI [BibTex]

2019


paper pdf DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

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pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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

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

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

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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

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

arxiv preprint arXiv:1909.01815, September 2019 (article)

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

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paper project page [BibTex]

paper project page [BibTex]


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Data scarcity, robustness and extreme multi-label classification

Babbar, R., Schölkopf, B.

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

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

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pdf Journal DOI [BibTex]

pdf Journal DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

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publisher pdf DOI [BibTex]

publisher pdf DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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

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

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

ei

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]

arXiv link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Enhancing Human Learning via Spaced Repetition Optimization

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

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

ei

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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

Büchler, D., Calandra, R., Peters, J.

2019 (article) Submitted

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

ei

Arxiv Video [BibTex]


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Inferring causation from time series with perspectives in Earth system sciences

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

Nature Communications, 2019 (article) In revision

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Quantum mean embedding of probability distributions

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

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

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Cognitive Prostheses for Goal Achievement

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

Nature Human Behavior, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A rational reinterpretation of dual process theories

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

2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Eigendecompositions of Transfer Operators in Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces

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

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

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2011


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Combined whole-body PET/MR imaging: MR contrast agents do not affect the quantitative accuracy of PET following attenuation correction

Lois, C., Kupferschläger, J., Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Werner, M., Mannheim, J., Pichler, B., Schwenzer, N., Beyer, T.

(SST15-05 ), 97th Scientific Assemble and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), December 2011 (talk)

Abstract
PURPOSE Combined PET/MR imaging entails the use of MR contrast agents (MRCA) as part of integrated protocols. We assess additional attenuation of the PET emission signals in the presence of oral and intraveneous (iv) MRCA made up of iron oxide and Gd-chelates, respectively. METHOD AND MATERIALS Phantom scans were performed on a clinical PET/CT (Biograph HiRez16, Siemens) and integrated whole-body PET/MR (Biograph mMR, Siemens) using oral (Lumirem) and intraveneous (Gadovist) MRCA. Reference PET attenuation values were determined on a small-animal PET (Inveon, Siemens) using standard PET transmission imaging (TX). Seven syringes of 5mL were filled with (a) Water, (b) Lumirem_100 (100% conc.), (c) Gadovist_100 (100%), (d) Gadovist_18 (18%), (e) Gadovist_02 (0.2%), (f) Imeron-400 CT iv-contrast (100%) and (g) Imeron-400 (2.4%). The same set of syringes was scanned on CT (Sensation16, Siemens) at 120kVp and 160mAs. The effect of MRCA on the attenuation of PET emission data was evaluated using a 20cm cylinder filled uniformly with [18F]-FDG (FDG) in water (BGD). Three 4.5cm diameter cylinders were inserted into the phantom: (C1) Teflon, (C2) Water+FDG (2:1) and (C3) Lumirem_100+FDG (2:1). Two 50mL syringes filled with Gadovist_02+FDG (Sy1) and water+FDG (Sy2) were attached to the sides of (C1) to mimick the effects of iv-contrast in vessels near bone. Syringe-to-background activity ratio was 4-to-1. PET emission data were acquired for 10min each using the PET/CT and the PET/MR. Images were reconstructed using CT- and MR-based attenuation correction. RESULTS Mean linear PET attenuation (cm-1) on TX was (a) 0.098, (b) 0.098, (c) 0.300, (d) 0.134, (e) 0.095, (f) 0.397 and (g) 0.105. Corresponding CT attenuation (HU) was: (a) 5, (b) 14, (c) 3070, (d) 1040, (e) 13, (f) 3070 and (g) 347. Lumirem had little effect on PET attenuation with (C3) being 13% and 10% higher than (C2) on PET/CT and PET/MR, respectively. Gadovist_02 had even smaller effects with (Sy1) being 2.5% lower than (Sy2) on PET/CT and 1.2% higher than (Sy2) on PET/MR. CONCLUSION MRCA in high and clinically relevant concentrations have attenuation values similar to that of CT contrast and water, respectively. In clinical PET/MR scenarios MRCA are not expected to lead to significant attenuation of the PET emission signals.

ei

Web [BibTex]

2011


Web [BibTex]


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Causal Inference on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

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

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 33(12):2436-2450, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. The case of two random variables is particularly challenging since no (conditional) independences can be exploited. Recent methods that are based on additive noise models suggest the following principle: Whenever the joint distribution {\bf P}^{(X,Y)} admits such a model in one direction, e.g., Y=f(X)+N, N \perp\kern-6pt \perp X, but does not admit the reversed model X=g(Y)+\tilde{N}, \tilde{N} \perp\kern-6pt \perp Y, one infers the former direction to be causal (i.e., X\rightarrow Y). Up to now, these approaches only dealt with continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work, we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. We prove that it almost never occurs that additive noise models can be fit in both directions. We further propose an efficient algorithm that is able to perform this way of causal inference on finite samples of discrete variables. We show that the algorithm works on both synthetic and real data sets.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Spontaneous epigenetic variation in the Arabidopsis thaliana methylome

Becker, C., Hagmann, J., Müller, J., Koenig, D., Stegle, O., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

Nature, 480(7376):245-249, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Heritable epigenetic polymorphisms, such as differential cytosine methylation, can underlie phenotypic variation1, 2. Moreover, wild strains of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana differ in many epialleles3, 4, and these can influence the expression of nearby genes1, 2. However, to understand their role in evolution5, it is imperative to ascertain the emergence rate and stability of epialleles, including those that are not due to structural variation. We have compared genome-wide DNA methylation among 10 A. thaliana lines, derived 30 generations ago from a common ancestor6. Epimutations at individual positions were easily detected, and close to 30,000 cytosines in each strain were differentially methylated. In contrast, larger regions of contiguous methylation were much more stable, and the frequency of changes was in the same low range as that of DNA mutations7. Like individual positions, the same regions were often affected by differential methylation in independent lines, with evidence for recurrent cycles of forward and reverse mutations. Transposable elements and short interfering RNAs have been causally linked to DNA methylation8. In agreement, differentially methylated sites were farther from transposable elements and showed less association with short interfering RNA expression than invariant positions. The biased distribution and frequent reversion of epimutations have important implications for the potential contribution of sequence-independent epialleles to plant evolution.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Optimization for Machine Learning

Sra, S., Nowozin, S., Wright, S.

pages: 494, Neural information processing series, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2011 (book)

Abstract
The interplay between optimization and machine learning is one of the most important developments in modern computational science. Optimization formulations and methods are proving to be vital in designing algorithms to extract essential knowledge from huge volumes of data. Machine learning, however, is not simply a consumer of optimization technology but a rapidly evolving field that is itself generating new optimization ideas. This book captures the state of the art of the interaction between optimization and machine learning in a way that is accessible to researchers in both fields. Optimization approaches have enjoyed prominence in machine learning because of their wide applicability and attractive theoretical properties. The increasing complexity, size, and variety of today's machine learning models call for the reassessment of existing assumptions. This book starts the process of reassessment. It describes the resurgence in novel contexts of established frameworks such as first-order methods, stochastic approximations, convex relaxations, interior-point methods, and proximal methods. It also devotes attention to newer themes such as regularized optimization, robust optimization, gradient and subgradient methods, splitting techniques, and second-order methods. Many of these techniques draw inspiration from other fields, including operations research, theoretical computer science, and subfields of optimization. The book will enrich the ongoing cross-fertilization between the machine learning community and these other fields, and within the broader optimization community.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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HHfrag: HMM-based fragment detection using HHpred

Kalev, I., Habeck, M.

Bioinformatics, 27(22):3110-3116, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Over the last decade, both static and dynamic fragment libraries for protein structure prediction have been introduced. The former are built from clusters in either sequence or structure space and aim to extract a universal structural alphabet. The latter are tailored for a particular query protein sequence and aim to provide local structural templates that need to be assembled in order to build the full-length structure. Results: Here, we introduce HHfrag, a dynamic HMM-based fragment search method built on the profile–profile comparison tool HHpred. We show that HHfrag provides advantages over existing fragment assignment methods in that it: (i) improves the precision of the fragments at the expense of a minor loss in sequence coverage; (ii) detects fragments of variable length (6–21 amino acid residues); (iii) allows for gapped fragments and (iv) does not assign fragments to regions where there is no clear sequence conservation. We illustrate the usefulness of fragments detected by HHfrag on targets from most recent CASP.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Reward-Weighted Regression with Sample Reuse for Direct Policy Search in Reinforcement Learning

Hachiya, H., Peters, J., Sugiyama, M.

Neural Computation, 23(11):2798-2832, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Direct policy search is a promising reinforcement learning framework, in particular for controlling continuous, high-dimensional systems. Policy search often requires a large number of samples for obtaining a stable policy update estimator, and this is prohibitive when the sampling cost is expensive. In this letter, we extend an expectation-maximization-based policy search method so that previously collected samples can be efficiently reused. The usefulness of the proposed method, reward-weighted regression with sample reuse (R), is demonstrated through robot learning experiments.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Model Learning in Robotics: a Survey

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

Cognitive Processing, 12(4):319-340, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Models are among the most essential tools in robotics, such as kinematics and dynamics models of the robot's own body and controllable external objects. It is widely believed that intelligent mammals also rely on internal models in order to generate their actions. However, while classical robotics relies on manually generated models that are based on human insights into physics, future autonomous, cognitive robots need to be able to automatically generate models that are based on information which is extracted from the data streams accessible to the robot. In this paper, we survey the progress in model learning with a strong focus on robot control on a kinematic as well as dynamical level. Here, a model describes essential information about the behavior of the environment and the in uence of an agent on this environment. In the context of model based learning control, we view the model from three di fferent perspectives. First, we need to study the di erent possible model learning architectures for robotics. Second, we discuss what kind of problems these architecture and the domain of robotics imply for the applicable learning methods. From this discussion, we deduce future directions of real-time learning algorithms. Third, we show where these scenarios have been used successfully in several case studies.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts: a new use of submodularity in image segmentation

Jegelka, S.

Second I.S.T. Austria Symposium on Computer Vision and Machine Learning, October 2011 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Effect of MR Contrast Agents on Quantitative Accuracy of PET in Combined Whole-Body PET/MR Imaging

Lois, C., Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Schwenzer, N., Werner, M., Pichler, B., Kupferschläger, J., Beyer, T.

2011(MIC3-3), 2011 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), October 2011 (talk)

Abstract
Combined whole-body PET/MR systems are being tested in clinical practice today. Integrated imaging protocols entail the use of MR contrast agents (MRCA) that could bias PET attenuation correction. In this work, we assess the effect of MRCA in PET/MR imaging. We analyze the effect of oral and intravenous MRCA on PET activity after attenuation correction. We conclude that in clinical scenarios, MRCA are not expected to lead to significant attenuation of PET signals, and that attenuation maps are not biased after the ingestion of adequate oral contrasts.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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First Results on Patients and Phantoms of a Fully Integrated Clinical Whole-Body PET/MRI

Schmidt, H., Schwenzer, N., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Mantlik, F., Kupferschläger, J., Lois, C., Sauter, A., Brendle, C., Pfannenberg, C., Pichler, B.

2011(J2-8), 2011 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), October 2011 (talk)

Abstract
First clinical fully integrated whole-body PET/MR scanners are just entering the field. Here, we present studies toward quantification accuracy and variation within the PET field of view of small lesions from our BrainPET/MRI, a dedicated clinical brain scanner which was installed three years ago in Tbingen. Also, we present first results for patient and phantom scans of a fully integral whole-body PET/MRI, which was installed two months ago at our department. The quantification accuracy and homogeneity of the BrainPET-Insert (Siemens Medical Solutions, Germany) installed inside the magnet bore of a clinical 3T MRI scanner (Magnetom TIM Trio, Siemens Medical Solutions, Germany) was evaluated by using eight hollow spheres with inner diameters from 3.95 to 7.86 mm placed at different positions inside a homogeneous cylinder phantom with an 9:1 and 6:1 sphere to background ratio. The quantification accuracy for small lesions at different positions in the PET FoV shows a standard deviation of up to 11% and is acceptable for quantitative brain studies where the homogeneity of quantification on the entire FoV is essental. Image quality and resolution of the new Siemens whole-body PET/MR system (Biograph mMR, Siemens Medical Solutions, Germany) was evaluated according to the NEMA NU2 2007 protocol using a body phantom containing six spheres with inner diameter from 10 to 37 mm at sphere to background ratios of 8:1 and 4:1 and the F-18 point sources located at different positions inside the PET FoV, respectively. The evaluation of the whole-body PET/MR system reveals a good PET image quality and resolution comparable to state-of-the-art clinical PET/CT scanners. First images of patient studies carried out at the whole-body PET/MR are presented highlighting the potency of combined PET/MR imaging.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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FaST linear mixed models for genome-wide association studies

Lippert, C., Listgarten, J., Liu, Y., Kadie, CM., Davidson, RI., Heckerman, D.

Nature Methods, 8(10):833–835, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
We describe factored spectrally transformed linear mixed models (FaST-LMM), an algorithm for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that scales linearly with cohort size in both run time and memory use. On Wellcome Trust data for 15,000 individuals, FaST-LMM ran an order of magnitude faster than current efficient algorithms. Our algorithm can analyze data for 120,000 individuals in just a few hours, whereas current algorithms fail on data for even 20,000 individuals (http://mscompbio.codeplex.com/).

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Effect of MR contrast agents on quantitative accuracy of PET in combined whole-body PET/MR imaging

Lois, C., Kupferschläger, J., Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Werner, M., Mannheim, J., Pichler, B., Schwenzer, N., Beyer, T.

(OP314), Annual Congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM), October 2011 (talk)

Abstract
PURPOSE:Combined PET/MR imaging entails the use of MR contrast agents (MRCA) as part of integrated protocols. MRCA are made up of iron oxide and Gd-chelates for oral and intravenous (iv) application, respectively. We assess additional attenuation of the PET emission signals in the presence of oral and iv MRCA.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Phantom scans were performed on a clinical PET/CT (Biograph HiRez16, Siemens) and an integrated whole-body PET/MR (Biograph mMR, Siemens). Two common MRCA were evaluated: Lumirem (oral) and Gadovist (iv).Reference PET attenuation values were determined on a dedicated small-animal PET (Inveon, Siemens) using equivalent standard PET transmission source imaging (TX). Seven syringes of 5mL were filled with (a) Water, (b) Lumirem_100 (100% concentration), (c) Gadovist_100 (100%), (d) Gadovist_18 (18%), (e) Gadovist_02 (0.2%), (f) Imeron-400 CT iv-contrast (100%) and (g) Imeron-400 (2.4%). The same set of syringes was scanned on CT (Sensation16, Siemens) at 120kVp and 160mAs.The effect of MRCA on the attenuation of PET emission data was evaluated using a 20cm cylinder filled uniformly with [18F]-FDG (FDG) in water (BGD). Three 4.5cm diameter cylinders were inserted into the phantom: (C1) Teflon, (C2) Water+FDG (2:1) and (C3) Lumirem_100+FDG (2:1). Two 50mL syringes filled with Gadovist_02+FDG (Sy1) and water+FDG (Sy2) were attached to the sides of (C1) to mimick the effects of iv-contrast in vessels near bone. Syringe-to-background activity ratio was 4-to-1.PET emission data were acquired for 10min each using the PET/CT and the PET/MR. Images were reconstructed using CT- and MR-based attenuation correction (AC). Since Teflon is not correctly identified on MR, PET(/MR) data were reconstructed using MR-AC and CT-AC.RESULTS:Mean linear PET attenuation (cm-1) on TX was (a) 0.098, (b) 0.098, (c) 0.300, (d) 0.134, (e) 0.095, (f) 0.397 and (g) 0.105. Corresponding CT attenuation (HU) was: (a) 5, (b) 14, (c) 3070, (d) 1040, (e) 13, (f) 3070 and (g) 347.Lumirem had little effect on PET attenuation with (C3) being 13%, 10% and 11% higher than (C2) on PET/CT, PET/MR with MR-AC, and PET/MR with CT-AC, respectively. Gadovist_02 had even smaller effects with (Sy1) being 2.5% lower, 1.2% higher, and 3.5% lower than (Sy2) on PET/CT, PET/MR with MR-AC and PET/MR with CT-AC, respectively.CONCLUSION:MRCA in high and clinically relevant concentrations have attenuation values similar to that of CT contrast and water, respectively. In clinical PET/MR scenarios MRCA are not expected to lead to significant attenuation of the PET emission signals.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The effect of noise correlations in populations of diversely tuned neurons

Ecker, A., Berens, P., Tolias, A., Bethge, M.

Journal of Neuroscience, 31(40):14272-14283, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
The amount of information encoded by networks of neurons critically depends on the correlation structure of their activity. Neurons with similar stimulus preferences tend to have higher noise correlations than others. In homogeneous populations of neurons, this limited range correlation structure is highly detrimental to the accuracy of a population code. Therefore, reduced spike count correlations under attention, after adaptation, or after learning have been interpreted as evidence for a more efficient population code. Here, we analyze the role of limited range correlations in more realistic, heterogeneous population models. We use Fisher information and maximum-likelihood decoding to show that reduced correlations do not necessarily improve encoding accuracy. In fact, in populations with more than a few hundred neurons, increasing the level of limited range correlations can substantially improve encoding accuracy. We found that this improvement results from a decrease in noise entropy that is associated with increasing correlations if the marginal distributions are unchanged. Surprisingly, for constant noise entropy and in the limit of large populations, the encoding accuracy is independent of both structure and magnitude of noise correlations.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Analysis of Fixed-Point and Coordinate Descent Algorithms for Regularized Kernel Methods

Dinuzzo, F.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 22(10):1576-1587, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we analyze the convergence of two general classes of optimization algorithms for regularized kernel methods with convex loss function and quadratic norm regularization. The first methodology is a new class of algorithms based on fixed-point iterations that are well-suited for a parallel implementation and can be used with any convex loss function. The second methodology is based on coordinate descent, and generalizes some techniques previously proposed for linear support vector machines. It exploits the structure of additively separable loss functions to compute solutions of line searches in closed form. The two methodologies are both very easy to implement. In this paper, we also show how to remove non-differentiability of the objective functional by exactly reformulating a convex regularization problem as an unconstrained differentiable stabilization problem.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A biomimetic approach to robot table tennis

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

Adaptive Behavior , 19(5):359-376 , October 2011 (article)

Abstract
Playing table tennis is a difficult motor task that requires fast movements, accurate control and adaptation to task parameters. Although human beings see and move slower than most robot systems, they significantly outperform all table tennis robots. One important reason for this higher performance is the human movement generation. In this paper, we study human movements during table tennis and present a robot system that mimics human striking behavior. Our focus lies on generating hitting motions capable of adapting to variations in environmental conditions, such as changes in ball speed and position. Therefore, we model the human movements involved in hitting a table tennis ball using discrete movement stages and the virtual hitting point hypothesis. The resulting model was evaluated both in a physically realistic simulation and on a real anthropomorphic seven degrees of freedom Barrett WAM™ robot arm.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Whole-genome sequencing of multiple Arabidopsis thaliana populations

Cao, J., Schneeberger, K., Ossowski, S., Günther, T., Bender, S., Fitz, J., Koenig, D., Lanz, C., Stegle, O., Lippert, C., Wang, X., Ott, F., Müller, J., Alonso-Blanco, C., Borgwardt, K., Schmid, K., Weigel, D.

Nature Genetics, 43(10):956–963, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
The plant Arabidopsis thaliana occurs naturally in many different habitats throughout Eurasia. As a foundation for identifying genetic variation contributing to adaptation to diverse environments, a 1001 Genomes Project to sequence geographically diverse A. thaliana strains has been initiated. Here we present the first phase of this project, based on population-scale sequencing of 80 strains drawn from eight regions throughout the species' native range. We describe the majority of common small-scale polymorphisms as well as many larger insertions and deletions in the A. thaliana pan-genome, their effects on gene function, and the patterns of local and global linkage among these variants. The action of processes other than spontaneous mutation is identified by comparing the spectrum of mutations that have accumulated since A. thaliana diverged from its closest relative 10 million years ago with the spectrum observed in the laboratory. Recent species-wide selective sweeps are rare, and potentially deleterious mutations are more common in marginal populations.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Multiple reference genomes and transcriptomes for Arabidopsis thaliana

Gan, X., Stegle, O., Behr, J., Steffen, J., Drewe, P., Hildebrand, K., Lyngsoe, R., Schultheiss, S., Osborne, E., Sreedharan, V., Kahles, A., Bohnert, R., Jean, G., Derwent, P., Kersey, P., Belfield, E., Harberd, N., Kemen, E., Toomajian, C., Kover, P., Clark, R., Rätsch, G., Mott, R.

Nature, 477(7365):419–423, September 2011 (article)

Abstract
Genetic differences between Arabidopsis thaliana accessions underlie the plant’s extensive phenotypic variation, and until now these have been interpreted largely in the context of the annotated reference accession Col-0. Here we report the sequencing, assembly and annotation of the genomes of 18 natural A. thaliana accessions, and their transcriptomes. When assessed on the basis of the reference annotation, one-third of protein-coding genes are predicted to be disrupted in at least one accession. However, re-annotation of each genome revealed that alternative gene models often restore coding potential. Gene expression in seedlings differed for nearly half of expressed genes and was frequently associated with cis variants within 5 kilobases, as were intron retention alternative splicing events. Sequence and expression variation is most pronounced in genes that respond to the biotic environment. Our data further promote evolutionary and functional studies in A. thaliana, especially the MAGIC genetic reference population descended from these accessions.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Weisfeiler-Lehman Graph Kernels

Shervashidze, N., Schweitzer, P., van Leeuwen, E., Mehlhorn, K., Borgwardt, M.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 12, pages: 2539-2561, September 2011 (article)

Abstract
In this article, we propose a family of efficient kernels for large graphs with discrete node labels. Key to our method is a rapid feature extraction scheme based on the Weisfeiler-Lehman test of isomorphism on graphs. It maps the original graph to a sequence of graphs, whose node attributes capture topological and label information. A family of kernels can be defined based on this Weisfeiler-Lehman sequence of graphs, including a highly efficient kernel comparing subtree-like patterns. Its runtime scales only linearly in the number of edges of the graphs and the length of the Weisfeiler-Lehman graph sequence. In our experimental evaluation, our kernels outperform state-of-the-art graph kernels on several graph classification benchmark data sets in terms of accuracy and runtime. Our kernels open the door to large-scale applications of graph kernels in various disciplines such as computational biology and social network analysis.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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What are the Causes of Performance Variation in Brain-Computer Interfacing?

Grosse-Wentrup, M.

International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13(3):115-116, September 2011 (article)

Abstract
While research on brain-computer interfacing (BCI) has seen tremendous progress in recent years, performance still varies substantially between as well as within subjects, with roughly 10 - 20% of subjects being incapable of successfully operating a BCI system. In this short report, I argue that this variation in performance constitutes one of the major obstacles that impedes a successful commercialization of BCI systems. I review the current state of research on the neuro-physiological causes of performance variation in BCI, discuss recent progress and open problems, and delineate potential research programs for addressing this issue.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Gravitational Lensing Accuracy Testing 2010 (GREAT10) Challenge Handbook

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

Annals of Applied Statistics, 5(3):2231-2263, September 2011 (article)

Abstract
GRavitational lEnsing Accuracy Testing 2010 (GREAT10) is a public image analysis challenge aimed at the development of algorithms to analyze astronomical images. Specifically, the challenge is to measure varying image distortions in the presence of a variable convolution kernel, pixelization and noise. This is the second in a series of challenges set to the astronomy, computer science and statistics communities, providing a structured environment in which methods can be improved and tested in preparation for planned astronomical surveys. GREAT10 extends upon previous work by introducing variable fields into the challenge. The “Galaxy Challenge” involves the precise measurement of galaxy shape distortions, quantified locally by two parameters called shear, in the presence of a known convolution kernel. Crucially, the convolution kernel and the simulated gravitational lensing shape distortion both now vary as a function of position within the images, as is the case for real data. In addition, we introduce the “Star Challenge” that concerns the reconstruction of a variable convolution kernel, similar to that in a typical astronomical observation. This document details the GREAT10 Challenge for potential participants. Continually updated information is also available from www.greatchallenges.info.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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MRI-Based Attenuation Correction for Whole-Body PET/MRI: Quantitative Evaluation of Segmentation- and Atlas-Based Methods

Hofmann, M., Bezrukov, I., Mantlik, F., Aschoff, P., Steinke, F., Beyer, T., Pichler, B., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 52(9):1392-1399, September 2011 (article)

Abstract
PET/MRI is an emerging dual-modality imaging technology that requires new approaches to PET attenuation correction (AC). We assessed 2 algorithms for whole-body MRI-based AC (MRAC): a basic MR image segmentation algorithm and a method based on atlas registration and pattern recognition (AT&PR). METHODS: Eleven patients each underwent a whole-body PET/CT study and a separate multibed whole-body MRI study. The MR image segmentation algorithm uses a combination of image thresholds, Dixon fat-water segmentation, and component analysis to detect the lungs. MR images are segmented into 5 tissue classes (not including bone), and each class is assigned a default linear attenuation value. The AT&PR algorithm uses a database of previously aligned pairs of MRI/CT image volumes. For each patient, these pairs are registered to the patient MRI volume, and machine-learning techniques are used to predict attenuation values on a continuous scale. MRAC methods are compared via the quantitative analysis of AC PET images using volumes of interest in normal organs and on lesions. We assume the PET/CT values after CT-based AC to be the reference standard. RESULTS: In regions of normal physiologic uptake, the average error of the mean standardized uptake value was 14.1% ± 10.2% and 7.7% ± 8.4% for the segmentation and the AT&PR methods, respectively. Lesion-based errors were 7.5% ± 7.9% for the segmentation method and 5.7% ± 4.7% for the AT&PR method. CONCLUSION: The MRAC method using AT&PR provided better overall PET quantification accuracy than the basic MR image segmentation approach. This better quantification was due to the significantly reduced volume of errors made regarding volumes of interest within or near bones and the slightly reduced volume of errors made regarding areas outside the lungs.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Multi-parametric Tumor Characterization and Therapy Monitoring using Simultaneous PET/MRI: initial results for Lung Cancer and GvHD

Sauter, A., Schmidt, H., Gueckel, B., Brendle, C., Bezrukov, I., Mantlik, F., Kolb, A., Mueller, M., Reimold, M., Federmann, B., Hetzel, J., Claussen, C., Pfannenberg, C., Horger, M., Pichler, B., Schwenzer, N.

(T110), 2011 World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), September 2011 (talk)

Abstract
Hybrid imaging modalities such as [18F]FDG-PET/CT are superior in staging of e.g. lung cancer disease compared with stand-alone modalities. Clinical PET/MRI systems are about to enter the field of hybrid imaging and offer potential advantages. One added value could be a deeper insight into the tumor metabolism and tumorigenesis due to the combination of PET and dedicated MR methods such as MRS and DWI. Additionally, therapy monitoring of diffucult to diagnose disease such as chronic sclerodermic GvHD (csGvHD) can potentially be improved by this combination. We have applied PET/MRI in 3 patients with lung cancer and 4 patients with csGvHD before and during therapy. All 3 patients had lung cancer confirmed by histology (2 adenocarcinoma, 1 carcinoid). First, a [18F]FDG-PET/CT was performed with the following parameters: injected dose 351.7±25.1 MBq, uptake time 59.0±2.6 min, 3 min/bed. Subsequently, patients were brought to the PET/MRI imaging facility. The whole-body PET/MRI Biograph mMR system comprises 56 detector cassettes with a 59.4 cm transaxial and 25.8 cm axial FoV. The MRI is a modified Verio system with a magnet bore of 60 cm. The following parameters for PET acquisition were applied: uptake time 121.3±2.3 min, 3 bed positions, 6 min/bed. T1w, T2w, and DWI MR images were recorded simultaneously for each bed. Acquired PET data were reconstructed with an iterative 3D OSEM algorithm using 3 iterations and 21 subsets, Gaussian filter of 3 mm. The 4 patients with GvHD were brought to the brainPET/MRI imaging facility 2:10h-2:28h after tracer injection. A 9 min brainPET-acquisition with simultaneous MRI of the lower extremities was accomplished. MRI examination included T1-weighted (pre and post gadolinium) and T2-weighted sequences. Attenuation correction was calculated based on manual bone segmentation and thresholds for soft tissue, fat and air. Soleus muscle (m), crural fascia (f1) and posterior crural intermuscular septum fascia (f2) were surrounded with ROIs based on the pre-treatment T1-weighted images and coregistered using IRW (Siemens). Fascia-to-muscle ratios for PET (f/m), T1 contrast uptake (T1_post-contrast_f-pre-contrast_f/post-contrast_m-pre-contrast_m) and T2 (T2_f/m) were calculated. Both patients with adenocarcinoma show a lower ADC value compared with the carcinoid patient suggesting a higher cellularity. This is also reflected in FDG-PET with higher SUV values. Our initial results reveal that PET/MRI can provide complementary information for a profound tumor characterization and therapy monitoring. The high soft tissue contrast provided by MRI is valuable for the assessment of the fascial inflammation. While in the first patient FDG and contrast uptake as well as edema, represented by T2 signals, decreased with ongoing therapy, all parameters remained comparatively stable in the second patient. Contrary to expectations, an increase in FDG uptake of patient 3 and 4 was accompanied by an increase of the T2 signals, but a decrease in contrast uptake. These initial results suggest that PET/MRI provides complementary information of the complex disease mechanisms in fibrosing disorders.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised kernel canonical correlation analysis with application to human fMRI

Blaschko, M., Shelton, J., Bartels, A., Lampert, C., Gretton, A.

Pattern Recognition Letters, 32(11):1572-1583 , August 2011 (article)

Abstract
Kernel canonical correlation analysis (KCCA) is a general technique for subspace learning that incorporates principal components analysis (PCA) and Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as special cases. By finding directions that maximize correlation, KCCA learns representations that are more closely tied to the underlying process that generates the data and can ignore high-variance noise directions. However, for data where acquisition in one or more modalities is expensive or otherwise limited, KCCA may suffer from small sample effects. We propose to use semi-supervised Laplacian regularization to utilize data that are present in only one modality. This approach is able to find highly correlated directions that also lie along the data manifold, resulting in a more robust estimate of correlated subspaces. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data are naturally amenable to subspace techniques as data are well aligned. fMRI data of the human brain are a particularly interesting candidate. In this study we implemented various supervised and semi-supervised versions of KCCA on human fMRI data, with regression to single and multi-variate labels (corresponding to video content subjects viewed during the image acquisition). In each variate condition, the semi-supervised variants of KCCA performed better than the supervised variants, including a supervised variant with Laplacian regularization. We additionally analyze the weights learned by the regression in order to infer brain regions that are important to different types of visual processing.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical Image Analysis and Percolation Theory

Langovoy, M., Habeck, M., Schölkopf, B.

2011 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), August 2011 (talk)

Abstract
We develop a novel method for detection of signals and reconstruction of images in the presence of random noise. The method uses results from percolation theory. We specifically address the problem of detection of multiple objects of unknown shapes in the case of nonparametric noise. The noise density is unknown and can be heavy-tailed. The objects of interest have unknown varying intensities. No boundary shape constraints are imposed on the objects, only a set of weak bulk conditions is required. We view the object detection problem as hypothesis testing for discrete statistical inverse problems. We present an algorithm that allows to detect greyscale objects of various shapes in noisy images. We prove results on consistency and algorithmic complexity of our procedures. Applications to cryo-electron microscopy are presented.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Multi-subject learning for common spatial patterns in motor-imagery BCI

Devlaminck, D., Wyns, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Otte, G., Santens, P.

Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, 2011(217987):1-9, August 2011 (article)

Abstract
Motor-imagery-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) commonly use the common spatial pattern filter (CSP) as preprocessing step before feature extraction and classification. The CSP method is a supervised algorithm and therefore needs subject-specific training data for calibration, which is very time consuming to collect. In order to reduce the amount of calibration data that is needed for a new subject, one can apply multitask (from now on called multisubject) machine learning techniques to the preprocessing phase. Here, the goal of multisubject learning is to learn a spatial filter for a new subject based on its own data and that of other subjects. This paper outlines the details of the multitask CSP algorithm and shows results on two data sets. In certain subjects a clear improvement can be seen, especially when the number of training trials is relatively low.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Bayesian Time Series Models

Barber, D., Cemgil, A., Chiappa, S.

pages: 432, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, August 2011 (book)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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ccSVM: correcting Support Vector Machines for confounding factors in biological data classification

Li, L., Rakitsch, B., Borgwardt, K.

Bioinformatics, 27(13: ISMB/ECCB 2011):i342-i348, July 2011 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Classifying biological data into different groups is a central task of bioinformatics: for instance, to predict the function of a gene or protein, the disease state of a patient or the phenotype of an individual based on its genotype. Support Vector Machines are a wide spread approach for classifying biological data, due to their high accuracy, their ability to deal with structured data such as strings, and the ease to integrate various types of data. However, it is unclear how to correct for confounding factors such as population structure, age or gender or experimental conditions in Support Vector Machine classification. Results: In this article, we present a Support Vector Machine classifier that can correct the prediction for observed confounding factors. This is achieved by minimizing the statistical dependence between the classifier and the confounding factors. We prove that this formulation can be transformed into a standard Support Vector Machine with rescaled input data. In our experiments, our confounder correcting SVM (ccSVM) improves tumor diagnosis based on samples from different labs, tuberculosis diagnosis in patients of varying age, ethnicity and gender, and phenotype prediction in the presence of population structure and outperforms state-of-the-art methods in terms of prediction accuracy.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Search for Motor Primitives in Robotics

Kober, J., Peters, J.

Machine Learning, 84(1-2):171-203, July 2011 (article)

Abstract
Many motor skills in humanoid robotics can be learned using parametrized motor primitives. While successful applications to date have been achieved with imitation learning, most of the interesting motor learning problems are high-dimensional reinforcement learning problems. These problems are often beyond the reach of current reinforcement learning methods. In this paper, we study parametrized policy search methods and apply these to benchmark problems of motor primitive learning in robotics. We show that many well-known parametrized policy search methods can be derived from a general, common framework. This framework yields both policy gradient methods and expectation-maximization (EM) inspired algorithms. We introduce a novel EM-inspired algorithm for policy learning that is particularly well-suited for dynamical system motor primitives. We compare this algorithm, both in simulation and on a real robot, to several well-known parametrized policy search methods such as episodic REINFORCE, ‘Vanilla’ Policy Gradients with optimal baselines, episodic Natural Actor Critic, and episodic Reward-Weighted Regression. We show that the proposed method out-performs them on an empirical benchmark of learning dynamical system motor primitives both in simulation and on a real robot. We apply it in the context of motor learning and show that it can learn a complex Ball-in-a-Cup task on a real Barrett WAM™ robot arm.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]