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2011


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Learning elementary movements jointly with a higher level task

Kober, J., Peters, J.

In pages: 338-343 , (Editors: Amato, N.M.), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many motor skills consist of many lower level elementary movements that need to be sequenced in order to achieve a task. In order to learn such a task, both the primitive movements as well as the higher-level strategy need to be acquired at the same time. In contrast, most learning approaches focus either on learning to combine a fixed set of options or to learn just single options. In this paper, we discuss a new approach that allows improving the performance of lower level actions while pursuing a higher level task. The presented approach is applicable to learning a wider range motor skills, but in this paper, we employ it for learning games where the player wants to improve his performance at the individual actions of the game while still performing well at the strategy level game. We propose to learn the lower level actions using Cost-regularized Kernel Regression and the higher level actions using a form of Policy Iteration. The two approaches are coupled by their transition probabilities. We evaluate the approach on a side-stall-style throwing game both in simulation and with a real BioRob.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2011


PDF 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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Active Versus Semi-supervised Learning Paradigm for the Classification of Remote Sensing Images

Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

In pages: 1-15, (Editors: Bruzzone, L.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA, Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XVII, September 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper presents a comparative study in order to analyze active learning (AL) and semi-supervised learning (SSL) for the classification of remote sensing (RS) images. The two learning paradigms are analyzed both from the theoretical and experimental point of view. The aim of this work is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of AL and SSL methods, and to point out the boundary conditions on the applicability of these methods with respect to both the number of available labeled samples and the reliability of classification results. In our experimental analysis, AL and SSL techniques have been applied to the classification of both synthetic and real RS data, defining different classification problems starting from different initial training sets and considering different distributions of the classes. This analysis allowed us to derive important conclusion about the use of these classification approaches and to obtain insight about which one of the two approaches is more appropriate according to the specific classification problem, the available initial training set and the available budget for the acquisition of new labeled samples.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Adaptive nonparametric detection in cryo-electron microscopy

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

In Proceedings of the 58th World Statistics Congress, pages: 4456-4461, ISI, August 2011 (inproceedings)

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

PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [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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Balancing Safety and Exploitability in Opponent Modeling

Wang, Z., Boularias, A., Mülling, K., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2011), pages: 1515-1520, (Editors: Burgard, W. and Roth, D.), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, August 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Opponent modeling is a critical mechanism in repeated games. It allows a player to adapt its strategy in order to better respond to the presumed preferences of his opponents. We introduce a new modeling technique that adaptively balances exploitability and risk reduction. An opponent’s strategy is modeled with a set of possible strategies that contain the actual strategy with a high probability. The algorithm is safe as the expected payoff is above the minimax payoff with a high probability, and can exploit the opponents’ preferences when sufficient observations have been obtained. We apply them to normal-form games and stochastic games with a finite number of stages. The performance of the proposed approach is first demonstrated on repeated rock-paper-scissors games. Subsequently, the approach is evaluated in a human-robot table-tennis setting where the robot player learns to prepare to return a served ball. By modeling the human players, the robot chooses a forehand, backhand or middle preparation pose before they serve. The learned strategies can exploit the opponent’s preferences, leading to a higher rate of successful returns.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Detecting emergent processes in cellular automata with excess information

Balduzzi, D.

In Advances in Artificial Life: ECAL 2011, pages: 55-62, (Editors: Lenaerts, T. , M. Giacobini, H. Bersini, P. Bourgine, M. Dorigo, R. Doursat), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, Eleventh European Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, August 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many natural processes occur over characteristic spatial and temporal scales. This paper presents tools for (i) flexibly and scalably coarse-graining cellular automata and (ii) identifying which coarse-grainings express an automaton’s dynamics well, and which express its dynamics badly. We apply the tools to investigate a range of examples in Conway’s Game of Life and Hopfield networks and demonstrate that they capture some basic intuitions about emergent processes. Finally, we formalize the notion that a process is emergent if it is better expressed at a coarser granularity.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Spatial statistics, image analysis and percolation theory

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

In pages: 11, American Statistical Association, Alexandria, VA, USA, 2011 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), August 2011 (inproceedings)

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. 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 a multiple 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

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Two-locus association mapping in subquadratic time

Achlioptas, P., Schölkopf, B., Borgwardt, K.

In pages: 726-734, (Editors: C Apté and J Ghosh and P Smyth), ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 17th ACM SIGKKD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) , August 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have not been able to discover strong associations between many complex human diseases and single genetic loci. Mapping these phenotypes to pairs of genetic loci is hindered by the huge number of candidates leading to enormous computational and statistical problems. In GWAS on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), one has to consider in the order of 1010 to 1014 pairs, which is infeasible in practice. In this article, we give the first algorithm for 2-locus genome-wide association studies that is subquadratic in the number, n, of SNPs. The running time of our algorithm is data-dependent, but large experiments over real genomic data suggest that it scales empirically as n3/2. As a result, our algorithm can easily cope with n ~ 107, i.e., it can efficiently search all pairs of SNPs in the human genome.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [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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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 Project Page [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning to adjust Robot Movements to New Situations

Kober, J., Oztop, E., Peters, J.

In pages: 2650-2655, (Editors: Walsh, T.), AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, USA, Twenty-Second International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many complex robot motor skills can be represented using elementary movements, and there exist efficient techniques for learning parametrized motor plans using demonstrations and self-improvement. However with current techniques, in many cases, the robot currently needs to learn a new elementary movement even if a parametrized motor plan exists that covers a related situation. A method is needed that modulates the elementary movement through the meta-parameters of its representation. In this paper, we describe how to learn such mappings from circumstances to meta-parameters using reinforcement learning. In particular we use a kernelized version of the reward-weighted regression. We show two robot applications of the presented setup in robotic domains; the generalization of throwing movements in darts, and of hitting movements in table tennis. We demonstrate that both tasks can be learned successfully using simulated and real robots.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Online submodular minimization for combinatorial structures

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 345-352, (Editors: Getoor, L. , T. Scheffer), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 28th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Most results for online decision problems with structured concepts, such as trees or cuts, assume linear costs. In many settings, however, nonlinear costs are more realistic. Owing to their non-separability, these lead to much harder optimization problems. Going beyond linearity, we address online approximation algorithms for structured concepts that allow the cost to be submodular, i.e., nonseparable. In particular, we show regret bounds for three Hannan-consistent strategies that capture different settings. Our results also tighten a regret bound for unconstrained online submodular minimization.

ei

PDF PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis of the Exploration-Exploitation Trade-off

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

In pages: 1-8, ICML Workshop on Online Trading of Exploration and Exploitation 2, July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We develop a coherent framework for integrative simultaneous analysis of the exploration-exploitation and model order selection trade-offs. We improve over our preceding results on the same subject (Seldin et al., 2011) by combining PAC-Bayesian analysis with Bernstein-type inequality for martingales. Such a combination is also of independent interest for studies of multiple simultaneously evolving martingales.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [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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Detecting low-complexity unobserved causes

Janzing, D., Sgouritsa, E., Stegle, O., Peters, J., Schölkopf, B.

In pages: 383-391, (Editors: FG Cozman and A Pfeffer), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 27th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We describe a method that infers whether statistical dependences between two observed variables X and Y are due to a \direct" causal link or only due to a connecting causal path that contains an unobserved variable of low complexity, e.g., a binary variable. This problem is motivated by statistical genetics. Given a genetic marker that is correlated with a phenotype of interest, we want to detect whether this marker is causal or it only correlates with a causal one. Our method is based on the analysis of the location of the conditional distributions P(Y jx) in the simplex of all distributions of Y . We report encouraging results on semi-empirical data.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Support Vector Machines as Probabilistic Models

Franc, V., Zien, A., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 665-672, (Editors: L Getoor and T Scheffer), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, ICML, July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We show how the SVM can be viewed as a maximum likelihood estimate of a class of probabilistic models. This model class can be viewed as a reparametrization of the SVM in a similar vein to the v-SVM reparametrizing the classical (C-)SVM. It is not discriminative, but has a non-uniform marginal. We illustrate the benefits of this new view by rederiving and re-investigating two established SVM-related algorithms.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A Novel Active Learning Strategy for Domain Adaptation in the Classification of Remote Sensing Images

Persello, C., Bruzzone, L.

In pages: 3720-3723 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a novel technique for addressing domain adaptation problems in the classification of remote sensing images with active learning. Domain adaptation is the important problem of adapting a supervised classifier trained on a given image (source domain) to the classification of another similar (but not identical) image (target domain) acquired on a different area, or on the same area at a different time. The main idea of the proposed approach is to iteratively labeling and adding to the training set the minimum number of the most informative samples from target domain, while removing the source-domain samples that does not fit with the distributions of the classes in the target domain. In this way, the classification system exploits already available information, i.e., the labeled samples of source domain, in order to minimize the number of target domain samples to be labeled, thus reducing the cost associated to the definition of the training set for the classification of the target domain. Experimental results obtained in the classification of a hyperspectral image confirm the effectiveness of the proposed technique.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Identifiability of causal graphs using functional models

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

In pages: 589-598, (Editors: FG Cozman and A Pfeffer), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 27th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This work addresses the following question: Under what assumptions on the data generating process can one infer the causal graph from the joint distribution? The approach taken by conditional independencebased causal discovery methods is based on two assumptions: the Markov condition and faithfulness. It has been shown that under these assumptions the causal graph can be identified up to Markov equivalence (some arrows remain undirected) using methods like the PC algorithm. In this work we propose an alternative by Identifiable Functional Model Classes (IFMOCs). As our main theorem we prove that if the data generating process belongs to an IFMOC, one can identify the complete causal graph. To the best of our knowledge this is the first identifiability result of this kind that is not limited to linear functional relationships. We discuss how the IFMOC assumption and the Markov and faithfulness assumptions relate to each other and explain why we believe that the IFMOC assumption can be tested more easily on given data. We further provide a practical algorithm that recovers the causal graph from finitely many data; experiments on simulated data support the theoretical fndings.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Epistasis detection on quantitative phenotypes by exhaustive enumeration using GPUs

Kam-Thong, T., Pütz, B., Karbalai, N., Müller-Myhsok, B., Borgwardt, K.

Bioinformatics, 27(13: ISMB/ECCB 2011):i214-i221, July 2011 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: In recent years, numerous genome-wide association studies have been conducted to identify genetic makeup that explains phenotypic differences observed in human population. Analytical tests on single loci are readily available and embedded in common genome analysis software toolset. The search for significant epistasis (gene–gene interactions) still poses as a computational challenge for modern day computing systems, due to the large number of hypotheses that have to be tested. Results: In this article, we present an approach to epistasis detection by exhaustive testing of all possible SNP pairs. The search strategy based on the Hilbert–Schmidt Independence Criterion can help delineate various forms of statistical dependence between the genetic markers and the phenotype. The actual implementation of this search is done on the highly parallelized architecture available on graphics processing units rendering the completion of the full search feasible within a day.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Empirical Inference

Schölkopf, B.

International Journal of Materials Research, 2011(7):809-814, July 2011 (article)

Abstract
Empirical Inference is the process of drawing conclusions from observational data. For instance, the data can be measurements from an experiment, which are used by a researcher to infer a scientific law. Another kind of empirical inference is performed by living beings, continuously recording data from their environment and carrying out appropriate actions. Do these problems have anything in common, and are there underlying principles governing the extraction of regularities from data? What characterizes hard inference problems, and how can we solve them? Such questions are studied by a community of scientists from various fields, engaged in machine learning research. This short paper, which is based on the author’s lecture to the scientific council of the Max Planck Society in February 2010, will attempt to describe some of the main ideas and problems of machine learning. It will provide illustrative examples of real world machine learning applications, including the use of machine learning towards the design of intelligent systems.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Online Multi-frame Blind Deconvolution with Super-resolution and Saturation Correction

Hirsch, M., Harmeling, S., Sra, S., Schölkopf, B.

Astronomy & Astrophysics, 531(A9):11, July 2011 (article)

Abstract
Astronomical images taken by ground-based telescopes suffer degradation due to atmospheric turbulence. This degradation can be tackled by costly hardware-based approaches such as adaptive optics, or by sophisticated software-based methods such as lucky imaging, speckle imaging, or multi-frame deconvolution. Software-based methods process a sequence of images to reconstruct a deblurred high-quality image. However, existing approaches are limited in one or several aspects: (i) they process all images in batch mode, which for thousands of images is prohibitive; (ii) they do not reconstruct a super-resolved image, even though an image sequence often contains enough information; (iii) they are unable to deal with saturated pixels; and (iv) they are usually non-blind, i.e., they assume the blur kernels to be known. In this paper we present a new method for multi-frame deconvolution called online blind deconvolution (OBD) that overcomes all these limitations simultaneously. Encouraging results on simulated and real astronomical images demonstrate that OBD yields deblurred images of comparable and often better quality than existing approaches.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Brain-Robot Interfaces in Stroke Rehabilitation

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Hill, J., Gharabaghi, A., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

In pages: 6, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 12th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A neurorehabilitation approach that combines robot-assisted active physical therapy and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) may provide an additional mileage with respect to traditional rehabilitation methods for patients with severe motor impairment due to cerebrovascular brain damage (e.g., stroke) and other neurological conditions. In this paper, we describe the design and modes of operation of a robot-based rehabilitation framework that enables artificial support of the sensorimotor feedback loop. The aim is to increase cortical plasticity by means of Hebbian-type learning rules. A BCI-based shared-control strategy is used to drive a Barret WAM 7-degree-of-freedom arm that guides a subject's arm. Experimental validation of our setup is carried out both with healthy subjects and stroke patients. We review the empirical results which we have obtained to date, and argue that they support the feasibility of future rehabilitative treatments employing this novel approach.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Uncovering the Temporal Dynamics of Diffusion Networks

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Balduzzi, D., Schölkopf, B.

In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Machine Learning, pages: 561-568, (Editors: L. Getoor and T. Scheffer), Omnipress, Madison, WI, USA, ICML, July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Time plays an essential role in the diffusion of information, influence and disease over networks. In many cases we only observe when a node copies information, makes a decision or becomes infected -- but the connectivity, transmission rates between nodes and transmission sources are unknown. Inferring the underlying dynamics is of outstanding interest since it enables forecasting, influencing and retarding infections, broadly construed. To this end, we model diffusion processes as discrete networks of continuous temporal processes occurring at different rates. Given cascade data -- observed infection times of nodes -- we infer the edges of the global diffusion network and estimate the transmission rates of each edge that best explain the observed data. The optimization problem is convex. The model naturally (without heuristics) imposes sparse solutions and requires no parameter tuning. The problem decouples into a collection of independent smaller problems, thus scaling easily to networks on the order of hundreds of thousands of nodes. Experiments on real and synthetic data show that our algorithm both recovers the edges of diffusion networks and accurately estimates their transmission rates from cascade data.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Pruning nearest neighbor cluster trees

Kpotufe, S., von Luxburg, U.

In pages: 225-232, (Editors: Getoor, L. , T. Scheffer), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 28th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Nearest neighbor ($k$-NN) graphs are widely used in machine learning and data mining applications, and our aim is to better understand what they reveal about the cluster structure of the unknown underlying distribution of points. Moreover, is it possible to identify spurious structures that might arise due to sampling variability? Our first contribution is a statistical analysis that reveals how certain subgraphs of a $k$-NN graph form a consistent estimator of the cluster tree of the underlying distribution of points. Our second and perhaps most important contribution is the following finite sample guarantee. We carefully work out the tradeoff between aggressive and conservative pruning and are able to guarantee the removal of all spurious cluster structures while at the same time guaranteeing the recovery of salient clusters. This is the first such finite sample result in the context of clustering.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Testing whether linear equations are causal: A free probability theory approach

Zscheischler, J., Janzing, D., Zhang, K.

In pages: 839-847, (Editors: Cozman, F.G. , A. Pfeffer), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 27th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a method that infers whether linear relations between two high-dimensional variables X and Y are due to a causal influence from X to Y or from Y to X. The earlier proposed so-called Trace Method is extended to the regime where the dimension of the observed variables exceeds the sample size. Based on previous work, we postulate conditions that characterize a causal relation between X and Y . Moreover, we describe a statistical test and argue that both causal directions are typically rejected if there is a common cause. A full theoretical analysis is presented for the deterministic case but our approach seems to be valid for the noisy case, too, for which we additionally present an approach based on a sparsity constraint. The discussed method yields promising results for both simulated and real world data.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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On the information-theoretic structure of distributed measurements

Balduzzi, D.

In pages: 1-15, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 7th International Workshop on Developments of Computational Models (DCM), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The internal structure of a measuring device, which depends on what its components are and how they are organized, determines how it categorizes its inputs. This paper presents a geometric approach to studying the internal structure of measurements performed by distributed systems such as probabilistic cellular automata. It constructs the quale, a family of sections of a suitably defined presheaf, whose elements correspond to the measurements performed by all subsystems of a distributed system. Using the quale we quantify (i) the information generated by a measurement; (ii) the extent to which a measurement is context-dependent; and (iii) whether a measurement is decomposable into independent submeasurements, which turns out to be equivalent to context-dependence. Finally, we show that only indecomposable measurements are more informative than the sum of their submeasurements.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Risk-Based Generalizations of f-divergences

García-García, D., von Luxburg, U., Santos-Rodríguez, R.

In pages: 417-424, (Editors: Getoor, L. , T. Scheffer), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 28th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We derive a generalized notion of f-divergences, called (f,l)-divergences. We show that this generalization enjoys many of the nice properties of f-divergences, although it is a richer family. It also provides alternative definitions of standard divergences in terms of surrogate risks. As a first practical application of this theory, we derive a new estimator for the Kulback-Leibler divergence that we use for clustering sets of vectors.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Kernel-based Conditional Independence Test and Application in Causal Discovery

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

In pages: 804-813, (Editors: FG Cozman and A Pfeffer), AUAI Press, Corvallis, OR, USA, 27th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Conditional independence testing is an important problem, especially in Bayesian network learning and causal discovery. Due to the curse of dimensionality, testing for conditional independence of continuous variables is particularly challenging. We propose a Kernel-based Conditional Independence test (KCI-test), by constructing an appropriate test statistic and deriving its asymptotic distribution under the null hypothesis of conditional independence. The proposed method is computationally efficient and easy to implement. Experimental results show that it outperforms other methods, especially when the conditioning set is large or the sample size is not very large, in which case other methods encounter difficulties.

ei

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


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Approximation Bounds for Inference using Cooperative Cut

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 577-584, (Editors: Getoor, L. , T. Scheffer), International Machine Learning Society, Madison, WI, USA, 28th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We analyze a family of probability distributions that are characterized by an embedded combinatorial structure. This family includes models having arbitrary treewidth and arbitrary sized factors. Unlike general models with such freedom, where the “most probable explanation” (MPE) problem is inapproximable, the combinatorial structure within our model, in particular the indirect use of submodularity, leads to several MPE algorithms that all have approximation guarantees.

ei

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web Project Page [BibTex]


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Submodularity beyond submodular energies: coupling edges in graph cuts

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1897-1904, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new family of non-submodular global energy functions that still use submodularity internally to couple edges in a graph cut. We show it is possible to develop an efficient approximation algorithm that, thanks to the internal submodularity, can use standard graph cuts as a subroutine. We demonstrate the advantages of edge coupling in a natural setting, namely image segmentation. In particular, for finestructured objects and objects with shading variation, our structured edge coupling leads to significant improvements over standard approaches.

ei

PDF Web DOI Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Closing the sensorimotor loop: haptic feedback facilitates decoding of motor imagery

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Peters, J., Hill, J., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 8(3):1-12, June 2011 (article)

Abstract
The combination of brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) with robot-assisted physical therapy constitutes a promising approach to neurorehabilitation of patients with severe hemiparetic syndromes caused by cerebrovascular brain damage (e.g. stroke) and other neurological conditions. In such a scenario, a key aspect is how to reestablish the disrupted sensorimotor feedback loop. However, to date it is an open question how artificially closing the sensorimotor feedback loop influences the decoding performance of a BCI. In this paper, we answer this issue by studying six healthy subjects and two stroke patients. We present empirical evidence that haptic feedback, provided by a seven degrees of freedom robotic arm, facilitates online decoding of arm movement intention. The results support the feasibility of future rehabilitative treatments based on the combination of robot-assisted physical therapy with BCIs.

ei

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Multi-label cooperative cuts

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

In pages: 1-4, CVPR Workshop on Inference in Graphical Models with Structured Potentials, June 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Recently, a family of global, non-submodular energy functions has been proposed that is expressed as coupling edges in a graph cut. This formulation provides a rich modelling framework and also leads to efficient approximate inference algorithms. So far, the results addressed binary random variables. Here, we extend these results to the multi-label case, and combine edge coupling with move-making algorithms.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Greedy Learning of Binary Latent Trees

Harmeling, S., Williams, C.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 33(6):1087-1097, June 2011 (article)

Abstract
Inferring latent structures from observations helps to model and possibly also understand underlying data generating processes. A rich class of latent structures are hierarchical latent class (HLC) models. Zhang (2004) proposed a search algorithm for learning such models that can find good solutions but is often computationally expensive. As an alternative we investigate two greedy procedures: the BIN-G algorithm determines both the structure of the tree and the cardinality of the latent variables in a bottom-up fashion. The BIN-A algorithm first determines the tree structure using agglomerative hierarchical clustering, and then determines the cardinality of the latent variables as for BIN-G. We show that even with restricting ourselves to binary trees we obtain HLC models of comparable quality to Zhang‘s solutions, while being faster to compute. This claim is validated by a comprehensive comparison on several datasets. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our methods are able to estimate int erpretable latent structures on real-world data with a large number of variables. By applying our method to a restricted version of the 20 newsgroups data these models turn out to be related to topic models, and on data from the PASCAL Visual Object Classes (VOC) 2007 challenge we show how such tree-structured models help us understand how objects co-occur in images.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning Dynamic Tactile Sensing with Robust Vision-based Training

Kroemer, O., Lampert, C., Peters, J.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 27(3):545-557 , June 2011 (article)

Abstract
Dynamic tactile sensing is a fundamental ability to recognize materials and objects. However, while humans are born with partially developed dynamic tactile sensing and quickly master this skill, today's robots remain in their infancy. The development of such a sense requires not only better sensors but the right algorithms to deal with these sensors' data as well. For example, when classifying a material based on touch, the data are noisy, high-dimensional, and contain irrelevant signals as well as essential ones. Few classification methods from machine learning can deal with such problems. In this paper, we propose an efficient approach to infer suitable lower dimensional representations of the tactile data. In order to classify materials based on only the sense of touch, these representations are autonomously discovered using visual information of the surfaces during training. However, accurately pairing vision and tactile samples in real-robot applications is a difficult problem. The proposed approach, therefore, works with weak pairings between the modalities. Experiments show that the resulting approach is very robust and yields significantly higher classification performance based on only dynamic tactile sensing.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Algebraic polynomials and moments of stochastic integrals

Langovoy, M.

Statistics & Probability Letters, 81(6):627-631, June 2011 (article)

Abstract
We propose an algebraic method for proving estimates on moments of stochastic integrals. The method uses qualitative properties of roots of algebraic polynomials from certain general classes. As an application, we give a new proof of a variation of the Burkholder–Davis–Gundy inequality for the case of stochastic integrals with respect to real locally square integrable martingales. Further possible applications and extensions of the method are outlined.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 19: COLT 2011

Kakade, S., von Luxburg, U.

pages: 834, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 24th Annual Conference on Learning Theory , June 2011 (proceedings)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Inference for psychometric functions in the presence of nonstationary behavior

Fründ, I., Haenel, N., Wichmann, F.

Journal of Vision, 11(6):1-19, May 2011 (article)

Abstract
Measuring sensitivity is at the heart of psychophysics. Often, sensitivity is derived from estimates of the psychometric function. This function relates response probability to stimulus intensity. In estimating these response probabilities, most studies assume stationary observers: Responses are expected to be dependent only on the intensity of a presented stimulus and not on other factors such as stimulus sequence, duration of the experiment, or the responses on previous trials. Unfortunately, a number of factors such as learning, fatigue, or fluctuations in attention and motivation will typically result in violations of this assumption. The severity of these violations is yet unknown. We use Monte Carlo simulations to show that violations of these assumptions can result in underestimation of confidence intervals for parameters of the psychometric function. Even worse, collecting more trials does not eliminate this misestimation of confidence intervals. We present a simple adjustment of the confidence intervals that corrects for the underestimation almost independently of the number of trials and the particular type of violation.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Transition from the locked in to the completely locked-in state: A physiological analysis

Ramos Murguialday, A., Hill, J., Bensch, M., Martens, S., Halder, S., Nijboer, F., Schölkopf, B., Birbaumer, N., Gharabaghi, A.

Clinical Neurophysiology, 122(5):925-933 , May 2011 (article)

Abstract
Objective To clarify the physiological and behavioral boundaries between locked-in (LIS) and the completely locked-in state (CLIS) (no voluntary eye movements, no communication possible) through electrophysiological data and to secure brain–computer-interface (BCI) communication. Methods Electromyography from facial muscles, external anal sphincter (EAS), electrooculography and electrocorticographic data during different psychophysiological tests were acquired to define electrophysiological differences in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient with an intracranially implanted grid of 112 electrodes for nine months while the patient passed from the LIS to the CLIS. Results At the very end of the LIS there was no facial muscle activity, nor external anal sphincter but eye control. Eye movements were slow and lasted for short periods only. During CLIS event related brain potentials (ERP) to passive limb movements and auditory stimuli were recorded, vibrotactile stimulation of different body parts resulted in no ERP response. Conclusions The results presented contradict the commonly accepted assumption that the EAS is the last remaining muscle under voluntary control and demonstrate complete loss of eye movements in CLIS. The eye muscle was shown to be the last muscle group under voluntary control. The findings suggest ALS as a multisystem disorder, even affecting afferent sensory pathways. Significance Auditory and proprioceptive brain–computer-interface (BCI) systems are the only remaining communication channels in CLIS.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Finding dependencies between frequencies with the kernel cross-spectral density

Besserve, M., Janzing, D., Logothetis, N., Schölkopf, B.

In pages: 2080-2083 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) , May 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Cross-spectral density (CSD), is widely used to find linear dependency between two real or complex valued time series. We define a non-linear extension of this measure by mapping the time series into two Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces. The dependency is quantified by the Hilbert Schmidt norm of a cross-spectral density operator between these two spaces. We prove that, by choosing a characteristic kernel for the mapping, this quantity detects any pairwise dependency between the time series. Then we provide a fast estimator for the Hilbert-Schmidt norm based on the Fast Fourier Trans form. We demonstrate the interest of this approach to quantify non-linear dependencies between frequency bands of simulated signals and intra-cortical neural recordings.

ei

Web DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

Web DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Incremental online sparsification for model learning in real-time robot control

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

Neurocomputing, 74(11):1859-1867, May 2011 (article)

Abstract
For many applications such as compliant, accurate robot tracking control, dynamics models learned from data can help to achieve both compliant control performance as well as high tracking quality. Online learning of these dynamics models allows the robot controller to adapt itself to changes in the dynamics (e.g., due to time-variant nonlinearities or unforeseen loads). However, online learning in real-time applications -- as required in control -- cannot be realized by straightforward usage of off-the-shelf machine learning methods such as Gaussian process regression or support vector regression. In this paper, we propose a framework for online, incremental sparsification with a fixed budget designed for fast real-time model learning. The proposed approach employs a sparsification method based on an independence measure. In combination with an incremental learning approach such as incremental Gaussian process regression, we obtain a model approximation method which is applicable in real-time online learning. It exhibits competitive learning accuracy when compared with standard regression techniques. Implementation on a real Barrett WAM robot demonstrates the applicability of the approach in real-time online model learning for real world systems.

ei

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Trajectory Planning for Optimal Robot Catching in Real-Time

Lampariello, R., Nguyen-Tuong, D., Castellini, C., Hirzinger, G., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), pages: 3719-3726 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Many real-world tasks require fast planning of highly dynamic movements for their execution in real-time. The success often hinges on quickly finding one of the few plans that can achieve the task at all. A further challenge is to quickly find a plan which optimizes a desired cost. In this paper, we will discuss this problem in the context of catching small flying targets efficiently. This can be formulated as a non-linear optimization problem where the desired trajectory is encoded by an adequate parametric representation. The optimizer generates an energy-optimal trajectory by efficiently using the robot kinematic redundancy while taking into account maximal joint motion, collision avoidance and local minima. To enable the resulting method to work in real-time, examples of the global planner are generalized using nearest neighbour approaches, Support Vector Machines and Gaussian process regression, which are compared in this context. Evaluations indicate that the presented method is highly efficient in complex tasks such as ball-catching.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Influence of Gamma Oscillations on the Sensorimotor Rhythm

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B., Hill, J.

NeuroImage, 56(2):837-842, May 2011 (article)

Abstract
Gamma oscillations of the electromagnetic field of the brain are known to be involved in a variety of cognitive processes, and are believed to be fundamental for information processing within the brain. While gamma oscillations have been shown to be correlated with brain rhythms at different frequencies, to date no empirical evidence has been presented that supports a causal influence of gamma oscillations on other brain rhythms. In this work, we study the relation of gamma oscillations and the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) in healthy human subjects using electroencephalography. We first demonstrate that modulation of the SMR, induced by motor imagery of either the left or right hand, is positively correlated with the power of frontal and occipital gamma oscillations, and negatively correlated with the power of centro-parietal gamma oscillations. We then demonstrate that the most simple causal structure, capable of explaining the observed correlation of gamma oscillations and the SMR, entails a causal influence of gamma oscillations on the SMR. This finding supports the fundamental role attributed to gamma oscillations for information processing within the brain, and is of particular importance for brain–computer interfaces (BCIs). As modulation of the SMR is typically used in BCIs to infer a subject's intention, our findings entail that gamma oscillations have a causal influence on a subject's capability to utilize a BCI for means of communication.

ei

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Statistical Learning Theory: Models, Concepts, and Results

von Luxburg, U., Schölkopf, B.

In Handbook of the History of Logic, Vol. 10: Inductive Logic, 10, pages: 651-706, (Editors: Gabbay, D. M., Hartmann, S. and Woods, J. H.), Elsevier North Holland, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 2011 (inbook)

Abstract
Statistical learning theory provides the theoretical basis for many of today's machine learning algorithms and is arguably one of the most beautifully developed branches of artificial intelligence in general. It originated in Russia in the 1960s and gained wide popularity in the 1990s following the development of the so-called Support Vector Machine (SVM), which has become a standard tool for pattern recognition in a variety of domains ranging from computer vision to computational biology. Providing the basis of new learning algorithms, however, was not the only motivation for developing statistical learning theory. It was just as much a philosophical one, attempting to answer the question of what it is that allows us to draw valid conclusions from empirical data. In this article we attempt to give a gentle, non-technical overview over the key ideas and insights of statistical learning theory. We do not assume that the reader has a deep background in mathematics, statistics, or computer science. Given the nature of the subject matter, however, some familiarity with mathematical concepts and notations and some intuitive understanding of basic probability is required. There exist many excellent references to more technical surveys of the mathematics of statistical learning theory: the monographs by one of the founders of statistical learning theory ([Vapnik, 1995], [Vapnik, 1998]), a brief overview over statistical learning theory in Section 5 of [Sch{\"o}lkopf and Smola, 2002], more technical overview papers such as [Bousquet et al., 2003], [Mendelson, 2003], [Boucheron et al., 2005], [Herbrich and Williamson, 2002], and the monograph [Devroye et al., 1996].

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Fronto-Parietal Gamma-Oscillations are a Cause of Performance Variation in Brain-Computer Interfacing

Grosse-Wentrup, M.

In pages: 384-387, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 5th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER) , May 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In recent work, we have provided evidence that fronto-parietal γ-oscillations of the electromagnetic field of the brain modulate the sensorimotor-rhythm. It is unclear, however, what impact this effect may have on explaining and addressing within-subject performance variations of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). In this paper, we provide evidence that on a group-average classification accuracies in a two-class motor-imagery paradigm differ by up to 22.2% depending on the state of fronto-parietal γ-power. As such, this effect may have a large impact on the design of future BCI-systems. We further investigate whether adapting classification procedures to the current state of γ-power improves classification accuracy, and discuss other approaches to exploiting this effect.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Flexible Hybrid Framework for Modeling Complex Manipulation Tasks

Kroemer, O., Peters, J.

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), pages: 1856-1861 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Future service robots will need to perform a wide range of tasks using various objects. In order to perform complex tasks, robots require a suitable internal representation of the task. We propose a hybrid framework for representing manipulation tasks, which combines continuous motion planning and discrete task-level planning. In addition, we use a mid-level planner to optimize individual actions according to the plan. The proposed framework incorporates biologically-inspired concepts, such as affordances and motor primitives, in order to efficiently plan for manipulation tasks. The final framework is modular, can generalize well to different situations, and is straightforward to expand. Our demonstrations also show how the use of affordances and mid-level planning can lead to improved performance.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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The effect of patient positioning aids on PET quantification in PET/MR imaging

Mantlik, F., Hofmann, M., Werner, M., Sauter, A., Kupferschläger, J., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B., Beyer, T.

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 38(5):920-929, May 2011 (article)

Abstract
Objectives Clinical PET/MR requires the use of patient positioning aids to immobilize and support patients for the duration of the combined examination. Ancillary immobilization devices contribute to overall attenuation of the PET signal, but are not detected with conventional MR sequences and, hence, are ignored in standard MR-based attenuation correction (MR-AC). We report on the quantitative effect of not accounting for the attenuation of patient positioning aids in combined PET/MR imaging. Methods We used phantom and patient data acquired with positioning aids on a PET/CT scanner (Biograph 16, HI-REZ) to mimic PET/MR imaging conditions. Reference CT-based attenuation maps were generated from measured (original) CT transmission images (origCT-AC). We also created MR-like attenuation maps by following the same conversion procedure of the attenuation values except for the prior delineation and subtraction of the positioning aids from the CT images (modCT-AC). First, a uniform 68Ge cylinder was positioned centrally in the PET/CT scanner and fixed with a vacuum mattress (10 cm thick) and, in a repeat examination, with MR positioning foam pads. Second, 16 patient datasets were selected for subsequent processing. All patients were regionally immobilized with positioning aids: a vacuum mattress for head/neck imaging (nine patients) and a foam mattress for imaging of the lower extremities (seven patients). PET images were reconstructed following CT-based attenuation and scatter correction using the original and modified (MR-like) CT images: PETorigCT-AC and PETmodCT-AC, respectively. PET images following origCT-AC and modCT-AC were compared visually and in terms of mean differences of voxels with a standardized uptake value of at least 1.0. In addition, we report maximum activity concentration in lesions for selected patients. Results In the phantom study employing the vacuum mattress the average voxel activity in PETmodCT-AC was underestimated by 6.4% compared to PETorigCT-AC, with 3.4% of the PET voxels being underestimated by 10% or more. When the MR foam pads were not accounted for during AC, PETmodCT-AC was underestimated by 1.1% on average, with none of the PET voxels being underestimated by 10% or more. Evaluation of the head/neck patient data showed a decrease of 8.4% ([68Ga]DOTATOC) and 7.4% ([18F]FDG) when patient positioning aids were not accounted for during AC, while the corresponding decrease was insignificant for the lower extremities. Conclusion Depending on the size and density of the positioning aids used, a regionally variable underestimation of PET activity following AC is observed when positioning aids are not accounted for. This underestimation may become relevant in combined PET/MR imaging of patients with neuropsychiatric indications, but appears to be of no clinical relevance in imaging the extremities.

ei

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PDF DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Martingales and Multiarmed Bandits

Seldin, Y., Laviolette, F., Shawe-Taylor, J., Peters, J., Auer, P.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
We present two alternative ways to apply PAC-Bayesian analysis to sequences of dependent random variables. The first is based on a new lemma that enables to bound expectations of convex functions of certain dependent random variables by expectations of the same functions of independent Bernoulli random variables. This lemma provides an alternative tool to Hoeffding-Azuma inequality to bound concentration of martingale values. Our second approach is based on integration of Hoeffding-Azuma inequality with PAC-Bayesian analysis. We also introduce a way to apply PAC-Bayesian analysis in situation of limited feedback. We combine the new tools to derive PAC-Bayesian generalization and regret bounds for the multiarmed bandit problem. Although our regret bound is not yet as tight as state-of-the-art regret bounds based on other well-established techniques, our results significantly expand the range of potential applications of PAC-Bayesian analysis and introduce a new analysis tool to reinforcement learning and many other fields, where martingales and limited feedback are encountered.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]