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2018


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Reducing 3D Vibrations to 1D in Real Time

Park, G., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration (4 pages) presented at AsiaHaptics, Incheon, South Korea, November 2018 (misc)

Abstract
For simple and realistic vibrotactile feedback, 3D accelerations from real contact interactions are usually rendered using a single-axis vibration actuator; this dimensional reduction can be performed in many ways. This demonstration implements a real-time conversion system that simultaneously measures 3D accelerations and renders corresponding 1D vibrations using a two-pen interface. In the demonstration, a user freely interacts with various objects using an In-Pen that contains a 3-axis accelerometer. The captured accelerations are converted to a single-axis signal, and an Out-Pen renders the reduced signal for the user to feel. We prepared seven conversion methods from the simple use of a single-axis signal to applying principal component analysis (PCA) so that users can compare the performance of each conversion method in this demonstration.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

2018


Project Page [BibTex]


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A Large-Scale Fabric-Based Tactile Sensor Using Electrical Resistance Tomography

Lee, H., Park, K., Kim, J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration (3 pages) presented at AsiaHaptics, Incheon, South Korea, November 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Large-scale tactile sensing is important for household robots and human-robot interaction because contacts can occur all over a robot’s body surface. This paper presents a new fabric-based tactile sensor that is straightforward to manufacture and can cover a large area. The tactile sensor is made of conductive and non-conductive fabric layers, and the electrodes are stitched with conductive thread, so the resulting device is flexible and stretchable. The sensor utilizes internal array electrodes and a reconstruction method called electrical resistance tomography (ERT) to achieve a high spatial resolution with a small number of electrodes. The developed sensor shows that only 16 electrodes can accurately estimate single and multiple contacts over a square that measures 20 cm by 20 cm.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Statistical Modelling of Fingertip Deformations and Contact Forces during Tactile Interaction

Gueorguiev, D., Tzionas, D., Pacchierotti, C., Black, M. J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Extended abstract presented at the Hand, Brain and Technology conference (HBT), Ascona, Switzerland, August 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Little is known about the shape and properties of the human finger during haptic interaction, even though these are essential parameters for controlling wearable finger devices and deliver realistic tactile feedback. This study explores a framework for four-dimensional scanning (3D over time) and modelling of finger-surface interactions, aiming to capture the motion and deformations of the entire finger with high resolution while simultaneously recording the interfacial forces at the contact. Preliminary results show that when the fingertip is actively pressing a rigid surface, it undergoes lateral expansion and proximal/distal bending, deformations that cannot be captured by imaging of the contact area alone. Therefore, we are currently capturing a dataset that will enable us to create a statistical model of the finger’s deformations and predict the contact forces induced by tactile interaction with objects. This technique could improve current methods for tactile rendering in wearable haptic devices, which rely on general physical modelling of the skin’s compliance, by developing an accurate model of the variations in finger properties across the human population. The availability of such a model will also enable a more realistic simulation of virtual finger behaviour in virtual reality (VR) environments, as well as the ability to accurately model a specific user’s finger from lower resolution data. It may also be relevant for inferring the physical properties of the underlying tissue from observing the surface mesh deformations, as previously shown for body tissues.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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A machine from machines

Fischer, P.

Nature Physics, 14, pages: 1072–1073, July 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Building spinning microrotors that self-assemble and synchronize to form a gear sounds like an impossible feat. However, it has now been achieved using only a single type of building block -- a colloid that self-propels.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Reducing 3D Vibrations to 1D in Real Time

Park, G., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at EuroHaptics, Pisa, Italy, June 2018 (misc)

Abstract
In this demonstration, you will hold two pen-shaped modules: an in-pen and an out-pen. The in-pen is instrumented with a high-bandwidth three-axis accelerometer, and the out-pen contains a one-axis voice coil actuator. Use the in-pen to interact with different surfaces; the measured 3D accelerations are continually converted into 1D vibrations and rendered with the out-pen for you to feel. You can test conversion methods that range from simply selecting a single axis to applying a discrete Fourier transform or principal component analysis for realistic and brisk real-time conversion.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Haptipedia: Exploring Haptic Device Design Through Interactive Visualizations

Seifi, H., Fazlollahi, F., Park, G., Kuchenbecker, K. J., MacLean, K. E.

Hands-on demonstration presented at EuroHaptics, Pisa, Italy, June 2018 (misc)

Abstract
How many haptic devices have been proposed in the last 30 years? How can we leverage this rich source of design knowledge to inspire future innovations? Our goal is to make historical haptic invention accessible through interactive visualization of a comprehensive library – a Haptipedia – of devices that have been annotated with designer-relevant metadata. In this demonstration, participants can explore Haptipedia’s growing library of grounded force feedback devices through several prototype visualizations, interact with 3D simulations of the device mechanisms and movements, and tell us about the attributes and devices that could make Haptipedia a useful resource for the haptic design community.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Delivering 6-DOF Fingertip Tactile Cues

Young, E., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (5 pages) presented at EuroHaptics, Pisa, Italy, June 2018 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Designing a Haptic Empathetic Robot Animal for Children with Autism

Burns, R., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (4 pages) presented at the Robotics: Science and Systems Workshop on Robot-Mediated Autism Intervention: Hardware, Software and Curriculum, Pittsburgh, USA, June 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Children with autism often endure sensory overload, may be nonverbal, and have difficulty understanding and relaying emotions. These experiences result in heightened stress during social interaction. Animal-assisted intervention has been found to improve the behavior of children with autism during social interaction, but live animal companions are not always feasible. We are thus in the process of designing a robotic animal to mimic some successful characteristics of animal-assisted intervention while trying to improve on others. The over-arching hypothesis of this research is that an appropriately designed robot animal can reduce stress in children with autism and empower them to engage in social interaction.

hi

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Soft Multi-Axis Boundary-Electrode Tactile Sensors for Whole-Body Robotic Skin

Lee, H., Kim, J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (2 pages) presented at the RSS Pioneers Workshop, Pittsburgh, USA, June 2018 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Arm-Worn Tactile Displays

Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Cross-Cutting Challenge Interactive Discussion presented at the IEEE Haptics Symposium, San Francisco, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Fingertips and hands captivate the attention of most haptic interface designers, but humans can feel touch stimuli across the entire body surface. Trying to create devices that both can be worn and can deliver good haptic sensations raises challenges that rarely arise in other contexts. Most notably, tactile cues such as vibration, tapping, and squeezing are far simpler to implement in wearable systems than kinesthetic haptic feedback. This interactive discussion will present a variety of relevant projects to which I have contributed, attempting to pull out common themes and ideas for the future.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Haptipedia: An Expert-Sourced Interactive Device Visualization for Haptic Designers

Seifi, H., MacLean, K. E., Kuchenbecker, K. J., Park, G.

Work-in-progress paper (3 pages) presented at the IEEE Haptics Symposium, San Francisco, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Much of three decades of haptic device invention is effectively lost to today’s designers: dispersion across time, region, and discipline imposes an incalculable drag on innovation in this field. Our goal is to make historical haptic invention accessible through interactive navigation of a comprehensive library – a Haptipedia – of devices that have been annotated with designer-relevant metadata. To build this open resource, we will systematically mine the literature and engage the haptics community for expert annotation. In a multi-year broad-based initiative, we will empirically derive salient attributes of haptic devices, design an interactive visualization tool where device creators and repurposers can efficiently explore and search Haptipedia, and establish methods and tools to manually and algorithmically collect data from the haptics literature and our community of experts. This paper outlines progress in compiling an initial corpus of grounded force-feedback devices and their attributes, and it presents a concept sketch of the interface we envision.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Exercising with Baxter: Design and Evaluation of Assistive Social-Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Fitter, N. T., Mohan, M., Kuchenbecker, K. J., Johnson, M. J.

Workshop paper (6 pages) presented at the HRI Workshop on Personal Robots for Exercising and Coaching, Chicago, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
The worldwide population of older adults is steadily increasing and will soon exceed the capacity of assisted living facilities. Accordingly, we aim to understand whether appropriately designed robots could help older adults stay active and engaged while living at home. We developed eight human-robot exercise games for the Baxter Research Robot with the guidance of experts in game design, therapy, and rehabilitation. After extensive iteration, these games were employed in a user study that tested their viability with 20 younger and 20 older adult users. All participants were willing to enter Baxter’s workspace and physically interact with the robot. User trust and confidence in Baxter increased significantly between pre- and post-experiment assessments, and one individual from the target user population supplied us with abundant positive feedback about her experience. The preliminary results presented in this paper indicate potential for the use of two-armed human-scale robots for social-physical exercise interaction.

hi

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Emotionally Supporting Humans Through Robot Hugs

Block, A. E., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (2 pages) presented at the HRI Pioneers Workshop, Chicago, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Hugs are one of the first forms of contact and affection humans experience. Due to their prevalence and health benefits, we want to enable robots to safely hug humans. This research strives to create and study a high fidelity robotic system that provides emotional support to people through hugs. This paper outlines our previous work evaluating human responses to a prototype’s physical and behavioral characteristics, and then it lays out our ongoing and future work.

hi

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Towards a Statistical Model of Fingertip Contact Deformations from 4D Data

Gueorguiev, D., Tzionas, D., Pacchierotti, C., Black, M. J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (3 pages) presented at the IEEE Haptics Symposium, San Francisco, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Little is known about the shape and properties of the human finger during haptic interaction even though this knowledge is essential to control wearable finger devices and deliver realistic tactile feedback. This study explores a framework for four-dimensional scanning and modeling of finger-surface interactions, aiming to capture the motion and deformations of the entire finger with high resolution. The results show that when the fingertip is actively pressing a rigid surface, it undergoes lateral expansion of about 0.2 cm and proximal/distal bending of about 30◦, deformations that cannot be captured by imaging of the contact area alone. This project constitutes a first step towards an accurate statistical model of the finger’s behavior during haptic interaction.

hi

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Can Humans Infer Haptic Surface Properties from Images?

Burka, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (3 pages) presented at the IEEE Haptics Symposium, San Francisco, USA, March 2018 (misc)

Abstract
Human children typically experience their surroundings both visually and haptically, providing ample opportunities to learn rich cross-sensory associations. To thrive in human environments and interact with the real world, robots also need to build models of these cross-sensory associations; current advances in machine learning should make it possible to infer models from large amounts of data. We previously built a visuo-haptic sensing device, the Proton Pack, and are using it to collect a large database of matched multimodal data from tool-surface interactions. As a benchmark to compare with machine learning performance, we conducted a human subject study (n = 84) on estimating haptic surface properties (here: hardness, roughness, friction, and warmness) from images. Using a 100-surface subset of our database, we showed images to study participants and collected 5635 ratings of the four haptic properties, which we compared with ratings made by the Proton Pack operator and with physical data recorded using motion, force, and vibration sensors. Preliminary results indicate weak correlation between participant and operator ratings, but potential for matching up certain human ratings (particularly hardness and roughness) with features from the literature.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Co-Registration – Simultaneous Alignment and Modeling of Articulated 3D Shapes

Black, M., Hirshberg, D., Loper, M., Rachlin, E., Weiss, A.

Febuary 2018, U.S.~Patent 9,898,848 (misc)

Abstract
Present application refers to a method, a model generation unit and a computer program (product) for generating trained models (M) of moving persons, based on physically measured person scan data (S). The approach is based on a common template (T) for the respective person and on the measured person scan data (S) in different shapes and different poses. Scan data are measured with a 3D laser scanner. A generic personal model is used for co-registering a set of person scan data (S) aligning the template (T) to the set of person scans (S) while simultaneously training the generic personal model to become a trained person model (M) by constraining the generic person model to be scan-specific, person-specific and pose-specific and providing the trained model (M), based on the co registering of the measured object scan data (S).

ps

text [BibTex]


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Die kybernetische Revolution

Schölkopf, B.

15-Mar-2018, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2018 (misc)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Detailed Dense Inference with Convolutional Neural Networks via Discrete Wavelet Transform

Ma, L., Stueckler, J., Wu, T., Cremers, D.

arxiv, 2018, arXiv:1808.01834 (techreport)

ev

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Emission and propagation of multi-dimensional spin waves in anisotropic spin textures

Sluka, V., Schneider, T., Gallardo, R. A., Kakay, A., Weigand, M., Warnatz, T., Mattheis, R., Roldan-Molina, A., Landeros, P., Tiberkevich, V., Slavin, A., Schütz, G., Erbe, A., Deac, A., Lindner, J., Raabe, J., Fassbender, J., Wintz, S.

2018 (misc)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Thermal skyrmion diffusion applied in probabilistic computing

Zázvorka, J., Jakobs, F., Heinze, D., Keil, N., Kromin, S., Jaiswal, S., Litzius, K., Jakob, G., Virnau, P., Pinna, D., Everschor-Sitte, K., Donges, A., Nowak, U., Kläui, M.

2018 (misc)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2015


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Distributed Event-based State Estimation

Trimpe, S.

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, November 2015 (techreport)

Abstract
An event-based state estimation approach for reducing communication in a networked control system is proposed. Multiple distributed sensor-actuator-agents observe a dynamic process and sporadically exchange their measurements and inputs over a bus network. Based on these data, each agent estimates the full state of the dynamic system, which may exhibit arbitrary inter-agent couplings. Local event-based protocols ensure that data is transmitted only when necessary to meet a desired estimation accuracy. This event-based scheme is shown to mimic a centralized Luenberger observer design up to guaranteed bounds, and stability is proven in the sense of bounded estimation errors for bounded disturbances. The stability result extends to the distributed control system that results when the local state estimates are used for distributed feedback control. Simulation results highlight the benefit of the event-based approach over classical periodic ones in reducing communication requirements.

am ics

arXiv [BibTex]

2015


arXiv [BibTex]


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Cosmology from Cosmic Shear with DES Science Verification Data

Abbott, T., Abdalla, F. B., Allam, S., Amara, A., Annis, J., Armstrong, R., Bacon, D., Banerji, M., Bauer, A. H., Baxter, E., others,

arXiv preprint arXiv:1507.05552, 2015 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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The DES Science Verification Weak Lensing Shear Catalogs

Jarvis, M., Sheldon, E., Zuntz, J., Kacprzak, T., Bridle, S. L., Amara, A., Armstrong, R., Becker, M. R., Bernstein, G. M., Bonnett, C., others,

arXiv preprint arXiv:1507.05603, 2015 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Derivation of phenomenological expressions for transition matrix elements for electron-phonon scattering

Illg, C., Haag, M., Müller, B. Y., Czycholl, G., Fähnle, M.

2015 (misc)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

2013


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Puppet Flow

Zuffi, S., Black, M. J.

(7), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, October 2013 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce Puppet Flow (PF), a layered model describing the optical flow of a person in a video sequence. We consider video frames composed by two layers: a foreground layer corresponding to a person, and background. We model the background as an affine flow field. The foreground layer, being a moving person, requires reasoning about the articulated nature of the human body. We thus represent the foreground layer with the Deformable Structures model (DS), a parametrized 2D part-based human body representation. We call the motion field defined through articulated motion and deformation of the DS model, a Puppet Flow. By exploiting the DS representation, Puppet Flow is a parametrized optical flow field, where parameters are the person's pose, gender and body shape.

ps

pdf Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

2013


pdf Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Dry adhesives and methods for making dry adhesives

Sitti, M., Kim, S.

sep 2013, US Patent App. 14/016,651 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dry adhesives and methods for making dry adhesives

Sitti, M., Kim, S.

sep 2013, US Patent App. 14/016,683 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dry adhesives and methods for making dry adhesives

Sitti, M., Kim, S.

sep 2013, US Patent 8,524,092 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning and Optimization with Submodular Functions

Sankaran, B., Ghazvininejad, M., He, X., Kale, D., Cohen, L.

ArXiv, May 2013 (techreport)

Abstract
In many naturally occurring optimization problems one needs to ensure that the definition of the optimization problem lends itself to solutions that are tractable to compute. In cases where exact solutions cannot be computed tractably, it is beneficial to have strong guarantees on the tractable approximate solutions. In order operate under these criterion most optimization problems are cast under the umbrella of convexity or submodularity. In this report we will study design and optimization over a common class of functions called submodular functions. Set functions, and specifically submodular set functions, characterize a wide variety of naturally occurring optimization problems, and the property of submodularity of set functions has deep theoretical consequences with wide ranging applications. Informally, the property of submodularity of set functions concerns the intuitive principle of diminishing returns. This property states that adding an element to a smaller set has more value than adding it to a larger set. Common examples of submodular monotone functions are entropies, concave functions of cardinality, and matroid rank functions; non-monotone examples include graph cuts, network flows, and mutual information. In this paper we will review the formal definition of submodularity; the optimization of submodular functions, both maximization and minimization; and finally discuss some applications in relation to learning and reasoning using submodular functions.

am

arxiv link (url) [BibTex]

arxiv link (url) [BibTex]


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Dry adhesives and methods of making dry adhesives

Sitti, M., Murphy, M., Aksak, B.

March 2013, US Patent App. 13/845,702 (misc)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Quantitative Analysis of Current Practices in Optical Flow Estimation and the Principles Behind Them

Sun, D., Roth, S., Black, M. J.

(CS-10-03), Brown University, Department of Computer Science, January 2013 (techreport)

ps

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Animating Samples from Gaussian Distributions

Hennig, P.

(8), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany, 2013 (techreport)

ei pn

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Maximizing Kepler science return per telemetered pixel: Detailed models of the focal plane in the two-wheel era

Hogg, D. W., Angus, R., Barclay, T., Dawson, R., Fergus, R., Foreman-Mackey, D., Harmeling, S., Hirsch, M., Lang, D., Montet, B. T., Schiminovich, D., Schölkopf, B.

arXiv:1309.0653, 2013 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Maximizing Kepler science return per telemetered pixel: Searching the habitable zones of the brightest stars

Montet, B. T., Angus, R., Barclay, T., Dawson, R., Fergus, R., Foreman-Mackey, D., Harmeling, S., Hirsch, M., Hogg, D. W., Lang, D., Schiminovich, D., Schölkopf, B.

arXiv:1309.0654, 2013 (techreport)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2008


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Frequent Subgraph Retrieval in Geometric Graph Databases

Nowozin, S., Tsuda, K.

(180), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
Discovery of knowledge from geometric graph databases is of particular importance in chemistry and biology, because chemical compounds and proteins are represented as graphs with 3D geometric coordinates. In such applications, scientists are not interested in the statistics of the whole database. Instead they need information about a novel drug candidate or protein at hand, represented as a query graph. We propose a polynomial-delay algorithm for geometric frequent subgraph retrieval. It enumerates all subgraphs of a single given query graph which are frequent geometric epsilon-subgraphs under the entire class of rigid geometric transformations in a database. By using geometric epsilon-subgraphs, we achieve tolerance against variations in geometry. We compare the proposed algorithm to gSpan on chemical compound data, and we show that for a given minimum support the total number of frequent patterns is substantially limited by requiring geometric matching. Although the computation time per pattern is larger than for non-geometric graph mining, the total time is within a reasonable level even for small minimum support.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2008


PDF [BibTex]


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Simultaneous Implicit Surface Reconstruction and Meshing

Giesen, J., Maier, M., Schölkopf, B.

(179), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate an implicit method to compute a piecewise linear representation of a surface from a set of sample points. As implicit surface functions we use the weighted sum of piecewise linear kernel functions. For such a function we can partition Rd in such a way that these functions are linear on the subsets of the partition. For each subset in the partition we can then compute the zero level set of the function exactly as the intersection of a hyperplane with the subset.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Taxonomy Inference Using Kernel Dependence Measures

Blaschko, M., Gretton, A.

(181), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a family of unsupervised algorithms, numerical taxonomy clustering, to simultaneously cluster data, and to learn a taxonomy that encodes the relationship between the clusters. The algorithms work by maximizing the dependence between the taxonomy and the original data. The resulting taxonomy is a more informative visualization of complex data than simple clustering; in addition, taking into account the relations between different clusters is shown to substantially improve the quality of the clustering, when compared with state-of-the-art algorithms in the literature (both spectral clustering and a previous dependence maximization approach). We demonstrate our algorithm on image and text data.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Large Scale Variational Inference and Experimental Design for Sparse Generalized Linear Models

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

(175), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Block-Iterative Algorithms for Non-Negative Matrix Approximation

Sra, S.

(176), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
In this report we present new algorithms for non-negative matrix approximation (NMA), commonly known as the NMF problem. Our methods improve upon the well-known methods of Lee & Seung [19] for both the Frobenius norm as well the Kullback-Leibler divergence versions of the problem. For the latter problem, our results are especially interesting because it seems to have witnessed much lesser algorithmic progress as compared to the Frobenius norm NMA problem. Our algorithms are based on a particular block-iterative acceleration technique for EM, which preserves the multiplicative nature of the updates and also ensures monotonicity. Furthermore, our algorithms also naturally apply to the Bregman-divergence NMA algorithms of Dhillon and Sra [8]. Experimentally, we show that our algorithms outperform the traditional Lee/Seung approach most of the time.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Bregman Clustering Co-clustering and Tensor Clustering

Sra, S., Jegelka, S., Banerjee, A.

(177), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
The Euclidean K-means problem is fundamental to clustering and over the years it has been intensely investigated. More recently, generalizations such as Bregman k-means [8], co-clustering [10], and tensor (multi-way) clustering [40] have also gained prominence. A well-known computational difficulty encountered by these clustering problems is the NP-Hardness of the associated optimization task, and commonly used methods guarantee at most local optimality. Consequently, approximation algorithms of varying degrees of sophistication have been developed, though largely for the basic Euclidean K-means (or `1-norm K-median) problem. In this paper we present approximation algorithms for several Bregman clustering problems by building upon the recent paper of Arthur and Vassilvitskii [5]. Our algorithms obtain objective values within a factor O(logK) for Bregman k-means, Bregman co-clustering, Bregman tensor clustering, and weighted kernel k-means. To our knowledge, except for some special cases, approximation algorithms have not been considered for these general clustering problems. There are several important implications of our work: (i) under the same assumptions as Ackermann et al. [1] it yields a much faster algorithm (non-exponential in K, unlike [1]) for information-theoretic clustering, (ii) it answers several open problems posed by [4], including generalizations to Bregman co-clustering, and tensor clustering, (iii) it provides practical and easy to implement methods—in contrast to several other common approximation approaches.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Combining Appearance and Motion for Human Action Classification in Videos

Dhillon, P., Nowozin, S., Lampert, C.

(174), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We study the question of activity classification in videos and present a novel approach for recognizing human action categories in videos by combining information from appearance and motion of human body parts. Our approach uses a tracking step which involves Particle Filtering and a local non - parametric clustering step. The motion information is provided by the trajectory of the cluster modes of a local set of particles. The statistical information about the particles of that cluster over a number of frames provides the appearance information. Later we use a “Bag ofWords” model to build one histogram per video sequence from the set of these robust appearance and motion descriptors. These histograms provide us characteristic information which helps us to discriminate among various human actions and thus classify them correctly. We tested our approach on the standard KTH and Weizmann human action datasets and the results were comparable to the state of the art. Additionally our approach is able to distinguish between activities that involve the motion of complete body from those in which only certain body parts move. In other words, our method discriminates well between activities with “gross motion” like running, jogging etc. and “local motion” like waving, boxing etc.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Example-based Learning for Single-image Super-resolution and JPEG Artifact Removal

Kim, K., Kwon, Y.

(173), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper proposes a framework for single-image super-resolution and JPEG artifact removal. The underlying idea is to learn a map from input low-quality images (suitably preprocessed low-resolution or JPEG encoded images) to target high-quality images based on example pairs of input and output images. To retain the complexity of the resulting learning problem at a moderate level, a patch-based approach is taken such that kernel ridge regression (KRR) scans the input image with a small window (patch) and produces a patchvalued output for each output pixel location. These constitute a set of candidate images each of which reflects different local information. An image output is then obtained as a convex combination of candidates for each pixel based on estimated confidences of candidates. To reduce the time complexity of training and testing for KRR, a sparse solution is found by combining the ideas of kernel matching pursuit and gradient descent. As a regularized solution, KRR leads to a better generalization than simply storing the examples as it has been done in existing example-based super-resolution algorithms and results in much less noisy images. However, this may introduce blurring and ringing artifacts around major edges as sharp changes are penalized severely. A prior model of a generic image class which takes into account the discontinuity property of images is adopted to resolve this problem. Comparison with existing super-resolution and JPEG artifact removal methods shows the effectiveness of the proposed method. Furthermore, the proposed method is generic in that it has the potential to be applied to many other image enhancement applications.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Unsupervised Bayesian Time-series Segmentation based on Linear Gaussian State-space Models

Chiappa, S.

(171), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
Unsupervised time-series segmentation in the general scenario in which the number of segment-types and segment boundaries are a priori unknown is a fundamental problem in many applications and requires an accurate segmentation model as well as a way of determining an appropriate number of segment-types. In most approaches, segmentation and determination of number of segment-types are addressed in two separate steps, since the segmentation model assumes a predefined number of segment-types. The determination of number of segment-types is thus achieved by training and comparing several separate models. In this paper, we take a Bayesian approach to a segmentation model based on linear Gaussian state-space models to achieve structure selection within the model. An appropriate prior distribution on the parameters is used to enforce a sparse parametrization, such that the model automatically selects the smallest number of underlying dynamical systems that explain the data well and a parsimonious structure for each dynamical system. As the resulting model is computationally intractable, we introduce a variational approximation, in which a reformulation of the problem enables to use an efficient inference algorithm.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A New Non-monotonic Gradient Projection Method for the Non-negative Least Squares Problem

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

(TR-08-28), University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA, June 2008 (techreport)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Non-monotonic Poisson Likelihood Maximization

Sra, S., Kim, D., Schölkopf, B.

(170), Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This report summarizes the theory and some main applications of a new non-monotonic algorithm for maximizing a Poisson Likelihood, which for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is equivalent to minimizing the associated Kullback-Leibler Divergence, and for Transmission Tomography is similar to maximizing the dual of a maximum entropy problem. We call our method non-monotonic maximum likelihood (NMML) and show its application to different problems such as tomography and image restoration. We discuss some theoretical properties such as convergence for our algorithm. Our experimental results indicate that speedups obtained via our non-monotonic methods are substantial.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-sample Problem

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

(157), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics Tübingen, April 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a framework for analyzing and comparing distributions, allowing us to design statistical tests to determine if two samples are drawn from different distributions. Our test statistic is the largest difference in expectations over functions in the unit ball of a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). We present two tests based on large deviation bounds for the test statistic, while a third is based on the asymptotic distribution of this statistic. The test statistic can be computed in quadratic time, although efficient linear time approximations are available. Several classical metrics on distributions are recovered when the function space used to compute the difference in expectations is allowed to be more general (eg.~a Banach space). We apply our two-sample tests to a variety of problems, including attribute matching for databases using the Hungarian marriage method, where they perform strongly. Excellent performance is also obtained when comparing distributions over graphs, for which these are the first such tests.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Energy Functionals for Manifold-valued Mappings and Their Properties

Hein, M., Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

(167), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, January 2008 (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report is merely an extended version of the appendix of Steinke et.al. "Manifold-valued Thin-Plate Splines with Applications in Computer Graphics" (2008) with complete proofs, which had to be omitted due to space restrictions. This technical report requires a basic knowledge of differential geometry. However, apart from that requirement the technical report is self-contained.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Biologically Inspired Polymer Micro-Patterned Adhesives

Cheung, E., Sitti, M.

EDGEWOOD CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL CENTER ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD, 2008 (techreport)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]