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2017


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Human Shape Estimation using Statistical Body Models

Loper, M. M.

University of Tübingen, May 2017 (thesis)

Abstract
Human body estimation methods transform real-world observations into predictions about human body state. These estimation methods benefit a variety of health, entertainment, clothing, and ergonomics applications. State may include pose, overall body shape, and appearance. Body state estimation is underconstrained by observations; ambiguity presents itself both in the form of missing data within observations, and also in the form of unknown correspondences between observations. We address this challenge with the use of a statistical body model: a data-driven virtual human. This helps resolve ambiguity in two ways. First, it fills in missing data, meaning that incomplete observations still result in complete shape estimates. Second, the model provides a statistically-motivated penalty for unlikely states, which enables more plausible body shape estimates. Body state inference requires more than a body model; we therefore build obser- vation models whose output is compared with real observations. In this thesis, body state is estimated from three types of observations: 3D motion capture markers, depth and color images, and high-resolution 3D scans. In each case, a forward process is proposed which simulates observations. By comparing observations to the results of the forward process, state can be adjusted to minimize the difference between simulated and observed data. We use gradient-based methods because they are critical to the precise estimation of state with a large number of parameters. The contributions of this work include three parts. First, we propose a method for the estimation of body shape, nonrigid deformation, and pose from 3D markers. Second, we present a concise approach to differentiating through the rendering process, with application to body shape estimation. And finally, we present a statistical body model trained from human body scans, with state-of-the-art fidelity, good runtime performance, and compatibility with existing animation packages.

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Official Version [BibTex]


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Elements of Causal Inference - Foundations and Learning Algorithms

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

Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning Series, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2017 (book)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Inference Models for Computer Vision

Jampani, V.

MPI for Intelligent Systems and University of Tübingen, 2017 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Computer vision can be understood as the ability to perform 'inference' on image data. Breakthroughs in computer vision technology are often marked by advances in inference techniques, as even the model design is often dictated by the complexity of inference in them. This thesis proposes learning based inference schemes and demonstrates applications in computer vision. We propose techniques for inference in both generative and discriminative computer vision models. Despite their intuitive appeal, the use of generative models in vision is hampered by the difficulty of posterior inference, which is often too complex or too slow to be practical. We propose techniques for improving inference in two widely used techniques: Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and message-passing inference. Our inference strategy is to learn separate discriminative models that assist Bayesian inference in a generative model. Experiments on a range of generative vision models show that the proposed techniques accelerate the inference process and/or converge to better solutions. A main complication in the design of discriminative models is the inclusion of prior knowledge in a principled way. For better inference in discriminative models, we propose techniques that modify the original model itself, as inference is simple evaluation of the model. We concentrate on convolutional neural network (CNN) models and propose a generalization of standard spatial convolutions, which are the basic building blocks of CNN architectures, to bilateral convolutions. First, we generalize the existing use of bilateral filters and then propose new neural network architectures with learnable bilateral filters, which we call `Bilateral Neural Networks'. We show how the bilateral filtering modules can be used for modifying existing CNN architectures for better image segmentation and propose a neural network approach for temporal information propagation in videos. Experiments demonstrate the potential of the proposed bilateral networks on a wide range of vision tasks and datasets. In summary, we propose learning based techniques for better inference in several computer vision models ranging from inverse graphics to freely parameterized neural networks. In generative vision models, our inference techniques alleviate some of the crucial hurdles in Bayesian posterior inference, paving new ways for the use of model based machine learning in vision. In discriminative CNN models, the proposed filter generalizations aid in the design of new neural network architectures that can handle sparse high-dimensional data as well as provide a way for incorporating prior knowledge into CNNs.

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pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Mobile Microrobotics

Sitti, M.

Mobile Microrobotics, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2017 (book)

Abstract
Progress in micro- and nano-scale science and technology has created a demand for new microsystems for high-impact applications in healthcare, biotechnology, manufacturing, and mobile sensor networks. The new robotics field of microrobotics has emerged to extend our interactions and explorations to sub-millimeter scales. This is the first textbook on micron-scale mobile robotics, introducing the fundamentals of design, analysis, fabrication, and control, and drawing on case studies of existing approaches. The book covers the scaling laws that can be used to determine the dominant forces and effects at the micron scale; models forces acting on microrobots, including surface forces, friction, and viscous drag; and describes such possible microfabrication techniques as photo-lithography, bulk micromachining, and deep reactive ion etching. It presents on-board and remote sensing methods, noting that remote sensors are currently more feasible; studies possible on-board microactuators; discusses self-propulsion methods that use self-generated local gradients and fields or biological cells in liquid environments; and describes remote microrobot actuation methods for use in limited spaces such as inside the human body. It covers possible on-board powering methods, indispensable in future medical and other applications; locomotion methods for robots on surfaces, in liquids, in air, and on fluid-air interfaces; and the challenges of microrobot localization and control, in particular multi-robot control methods for magnetic microrobots. Finally, the book addresses current and future applications, including noninvasive medical diagnosis and treatment, environmental remediation, and scientific tools.

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Mobile Microrobotics By Metin Sitti - Chapter 1 (PDF) link (url) [BibTex]

Mobile Microrobotics By Metin Sitti - Chapter 1 (PDF) link (url) [BibTex]


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New Directions for Learning with Kernels and Gaussian Processes (Dagstuhl Seminar 16481)

Gretton, A., Hennig, P., Rasmussen, C., Schölkopf, B.

Dagstuhl Reports, 6(11):142-167, 2017 (book)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Development and Evaluation of a Portable BCI System for Remote Data Acquisition

Emde, T.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Brain-Computer Interfaces for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Fomina, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Design of a visualization scheme for functional connectivity data of Human Brain

Bramlage, L.

Hochschule Osnabrück - University of Applied Sciences, 2017 (thesis)

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Bramlage_BSc_2017.pdf [BibTex]


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Causal models for decision making via integrative inference

Geiger, P.

University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2017 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Capturing Hand-Object Interaction and Reconstruction of Manipulated Objects

Tzionas, D.

University of Bonn, 2017 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Hand motion capture with an RGB-D sensor gained recently a lot of research attention, however, even most recent approaches focus on the case of a single isolated hand. We focus instead on hands that interact with other hands or with a rigid or articulated object. Our framework successfully captures motion in such scenarios by combining a generative model with discriminatively trained salient points, collision detection and physics simulation to achieve a low tracking error with physically plausible poses. All components are unified in a single objective function that can be optimized with standard optimization techniques. We initially assume a-priori knowledge of the object's shape and skeleton. In case of unknown object shape there are existing 3d reconstruction methods that capitalize on distinctive geometric or texture features. These methods though fail for textureless and highly symmetric objects like household articles, mechanical parts or toys. We show that extracting 3d hand motion for in-hand scanning effectively facilitates the reconstruction of such objects and we fuse the rich additional information of hands into a 3d reconstruction pipeline. Finally, although shape reconstruction is enough for rigid objects, there is a lack of tools that build rigged models of articulated objects that deform realistically using RGB-D data. We propose a method that creates a fully rigged model consisting of a watertight mesh, embedded skeleton and skinning weights by employing a combination of deformable mesh tracking, motion segmentation based on spectral clustering and skeletonization based on mean curvature flow.

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Thesis link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Evaluation of the passive dynamics of compliant legs with inertia

Györfi, B.

University of Applied Science Pforzheim, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning Optimal Configurations for Modeling Frowning by Transcranial Electrical Stimulation

Sücker, K.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2017 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Understanding FORC using synthetic micro-structured systems with variable coupling- and coercivefield distributions

Groß, Felix

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]


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Adsorption von Wasserstoffmolekülen in nanoporösen Gerüststrukturen

Kotzur, Nadine

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2009


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Learning an Interactive Segmentation System

Nickisch, H., Kohli, P., Rother, C.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, December 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Many successful applications of computer vision to image or video manipulation are interactive by nature. However, parameters of such systems are often trained neglecting the user. Traditionally, interactive systems have been treated in the same manner as their fully automatic counterparts. Their performance is evaluated by computing the accuracy of their solutions under some fixed set of user interactions. This paper proposes a new evaluation and learning method which brings the user in the loop. It is based on the use of an active robot user - a simulated model of a human user. We show how this approach can be used to evaluate and learn parameters of state-of-the-art interactive segmentation systems. We also show how simulated user models can be integrated into the popular max-margin method for parameter learning and propose an algorithm to solve the resulting optimisation problem.

ei

Web [BibTex]

2009


Web [BibTex]


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An Incremental GEM Framework for Multiframe Blind Deconvolution, Super-Resolution, and Saturation Correction

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

(187), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
We develop an incremental generalized expectation maximization (GEM) framework to model the multiframe blind deconvolution problem. A simplistic version of this problem was recently studied by Harmeling etal~cite{harmeling09}. We solve a more realistic version of this problem which includes the following major features: (i) super-resolution ability emph{despite} noise and unknown blurring; (ii) saturation-correction, i.e., handling of overexposed pixels that can otherwise confound the image processing; and (iii) simultaneous handling of color channels. These features are seamlessly integrated into our incremental GEM framework to yield simple but efficient multiframe blind deconvolution algorithms. We present technical details concerning critical steps of our algorithms, especially to highlight how all operations can be written using matrix-vector multiplications. We apply our algorithm to real-world images from astronomy and super resolution tasks. Our experimental results show that our methods yield improve d resolution and deconvolution at the same time.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Filter Flow for Space-Variant Multiframe Blind Deconvolution

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

(188), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, November 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Ultimately being motivated by facilitating space-variant blind deconvolution, we present a class of linear transformations, that are expressive enough for space-variant filters, but at the same time especially designed for efficient matrix-vector-multiplications. Successful results on astronomical imaging through atmospheric turbulences and on noisy magnetic resonance images of constantly moving objects demonstrate the practical significance of our approach.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Learning Approaches for Image Classification

Gehler, PV.

Biologische Kybernetik, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, October 2009 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis extends the use of kernel learning techniques to specific problems of image classification. Kernel learning is a paradigm in the field of machine learning that generalizes the use of inner products to compute similarities between arbitrary objects. In image classification one aims to separate images based on their visual content. We address two important problems that arise in this context: learning with weak label information and combination of heterogeneous data sources. The contributions we report on are not unique to image classification, and apply to a more general class of problems. We study the problem of learning with label ambiguity in the multiple instance learning framework. We discuss several different image classification scenarios that arise in this context and argue that the standard multiple instance learning requires a more detailed disambiguation. Finally we review kernel learning approaches proposed for this problem and derive a more efficient algorithm to solve them. The multiple kernel learning framework is an approach to automatically select kernel parameters. We extend it to its infinite limit and present an algorithm to solve the resulting problem. This result is then applied in two directions. We show how to learn kernels that adapt to the special structure of images. Finally we compare different ways of combining image features for object classification and present significant improvements compared to previous methods.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Consistent Nonparametric Tests of Independence

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

(172), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Three simple and explicit procedures for testing the independence of two multi-dimensional random variables are described. Two of the associated test statistics (L1, log-likelihood) are defined when the empirical distribution of the variables is restricted to finite partitions. A third test statistic is defined as a kernel-based independence measure. Two kinds of tests are provided. Distribution-free strong consistent tests are derived on the basis of large deviation bounds on the test statistcs: these tests make almost surely no Type I or Type II error after a random sample size. Asymptotically alpha-level tests are obtained from the limiting distribution of the test statistics. For the latter tests, the Type I error converges to a fixed non-zero value alpha, and the Type II error drops to zero, for increasing sample size. All tests reject the null hypothesis of independence if the test statistics become large. The performance of the tests is evaluated experimentally on benchmark data.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised subspace analysis of human functional magnetic resonance imaging data

Shelton, J., Blaschko, M., Bartels, A.

(185), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2009 (techreport)

Abstract
Kernel Canonical Correlation Analysis is a very general technique for subspace learning that incorporates PCA and LDA as special cases. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquired data is naturally amenable to these techniques as data are well aligned. fMRI data of the human brain is 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 [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Methods in Computer Vision:Object Localization, Clustering,and Taxonomy Discovery

Blaschko, MB.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, March 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Motor Control and Learning in Table Tennis

Mülling, K.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Gerrmany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Hierarchical Clustering and Density Estimation Based on k-nearest-neighbor graphs

Drewe, P.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2009 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning with Structured Data: Applications to Computer Vision

Nowozin, S.

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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From Differential Equations to Differential Geometry: Aspects of Regularisation in Machine Learning

Steinke, F.

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2009 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]


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Magnetische L10-FePt Nanostrukturen für höchste Datenspeicherdichten

Breitling, A.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Ab-initio Elliott-Yafet modeling of ultrafast demagnetization after laser irradiation

Illg, C.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Element specific investigation of the magnetization profile at the CrO2/RuO2 interface

Zafar, K.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bayesian Methods for Autonomous Learning Systems (Phd Thesis)

Ting, J.

Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 2009, clmc (phdthesis)

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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The SL simulation and real-time control software package

Schaal, S.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 2009, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
SL was originally developed as a Simulation Laboratory software package to allow creating complex rigid-body dynamics simulations with minimal development times. It was meant to complement a real-time robotics setup such that robot programs could first be debugged in simulation before trying them on the actual robot. For this purpose, the motor control setup of SL was copied from our experience with real-time robot setups with vxWorks (Windriver Systems, Inc.)Ñindeed, more than 90% of the code is identical to the actual robot software, as will be explained later in detail. As a result, SL is divided into three software components: 1) the generic code that is shared by the actual robot and the simulation, 2) the robot specific code, and 3) the simulation specific code. The robot specific code is tailored to the robotic environments that we have experienced over the years, in particular towards VME-based multi-processor real-time operating systems. The simulation specific code has all the components for OpenGL graphics simulations and mimics the robot multi-processor environment in simple C-code. Importantly, SL can be used stand-alone for creating graphics an-imationsÑthe heritage from real-time robotics does not restrict the complexity of possible simulations. This technical report describes SL in detail and can serve as a manual for new users of SL.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Magnetic resonant reflectometry on exchange bias systems

Brück, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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The SL simulation and real-time control software package

Schaal, S.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 2009, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
SL was originally developed as a Simulation Laboratory software package to allow creating complex rigid-body dynamics simulations with minimal development times. It was meant to complement a real-time robotics setup such that robot programs could first be debugged in simulation before trying them on the actual robot. For this purpose, the motor control setup of SL was copied from our experience with real-time robot setups with vxWorks (Windriver Systems, Inc.)â??indeed, more than 90% of the code is identical to the actual robot software, as will be explained later in detail. As a result, SL is divided into three software components: 1) the generic code that is shared by the actual robot and the simulation, 2) the robot specific code, and 3) the simulation specific code. The robot specific code is tailored to the robotic environments that we have experienced over the years, in particular towards VME-based multi-processor real-time operating systems. The simulation specific code has all the components for OpenGL graphics simulations and mimics the robot multi-processor environment in simple C-code. Importantly, SL can be used stand-alone for creating graphics an-imationsâ??the heritage from real-time robotics does not restrict the complexity of possible simulations. This technical report describes SL in detail and can serve as a manual for new users of SL.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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In-situ - Untersuchungen zu Interdiffusion und Magnetismus in magnetischen Multilayern

Schmidt, M.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Biologically Inspired Polymer Microfibrillar Arrays for Mask Sealing

Cheung, E., Aksak, B., Sitti, M.

CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA, 2009 (techreport)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Theorie der elektronischen Zustände in oxidischen magnetischen Materialien

Kostoglou, C.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Magnetooptische Untersuchungen an Ferromagnet- und Supraleiter-Nanosystemen und deren Hybriden

Treiber, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2009 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2005


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Popper, Falsification and the VC-dimension

Corfield, D., Schölkopf, B., Vapnik, V.

(145), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, November 2005 (techreport)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2005


PDF [BibTex]


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Extension to Kernel Dependency Estimation with Applications to Robotics

BakIr, G.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, November 2005 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Kernel Dependency Estimation(KDE) is a novel technique which was designed to learn mappings between sets without making assumptions on the type of the involved input and output data. It learns the mapping in two stages. In a first step, it tries to estimate coordinates of a feature space representation of elements of the set by solving a high dimensional multivariate regression problem in feature space. Following this, it tries to reconstruct the original representation given the estimated coordinates. This thesis introduces various algorithmic extensions to both stages in KDE. One of the contributions of this thesis is to propose a novel linear regression algorithm that explores low-dimensional subspaces during learning. Furthermore various existing strategies for reconstructing patterns from feature maps involved in KDE are discussed and novel pre-image techniques are introduced. In particular, pre-image techniques for data-types that are of discrete nature such as graphs and strings are investigated. KDE is then explored in the context of robot pose imitation where the input is a an image with a human operator and the output is the robot articulated variables. Thus, using KDE, robot pose imitation is formulated as a regression problem.

ei

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Geometrical aspects of statistical learning theory

Hein, M.

Biologische Kybernetik, Darmstadt, Darmstadt, November 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Implicit Surfaces For Modelling Human Heads

Steinke, F.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, September 2005 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Brain-Computer Interdaces

Lal, TN.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Darmstadt, September 2005 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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A Combinatorial View of Graph Laplacians

Huang, J.

(144), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Discussions about different graph Laplacian, mainly normalized and unnormalized versions of graph Laplacian, have been ardent with respect to various methods in clustering and graph based semi-supervised learning. Previous research on graph Laplacians investigated their convergence properties to Laplacian operators on continuous manifolds. There is still no strong proof on convergence for the normalized Laplacian. In this paper, we analyze different variants of graph Laplacians directly from the ways solving the original graph partitioning problem. The graph partitioning problem is a well-known combinatorial NP hard optimization problem. The spectral solutions provide evidence that normalized Laplacian encodes more reasonable considerations for graph partitioning. We also provide some examples to show their differences.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Beyond Pairwise Classification and Clustering Using Hypergraphs

Zhou, D., Huang, J., Schölkopf, B.

(143), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In many applications, relationships among objects of interest are more complex than pairwise. Simply approximating complex relationships as pairwise ones can lead to loss of information. An alternative for these applications is to analyze complex relationships among data directly, without the need to first represent the complex relationships into pairwise ones. A natural way to describe complex relationships is to use hypergraphs. A hypergraph is a graph in which edges can connect more than two vertices. Thus we consider learning from a hypergraph, and develop a general framework which is applicable to classification and clustering for complex relational data. We have applied our framework to real-world web classification problems and obtained encouraging results.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Measuring Statistical Dependence with Hilbert-Schmidt Norms

Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Smola, A., Schölkopf, B.

(140), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose an independence criterion based on the eigenspectrum of covariance operators in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs), consisting of an empirical estimate of the Hilbert-Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator (we term this a Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion, or HSIC). This approach has several advantages, compared with previous kernel-based independence criteria. First, the empirical estimate is simpler than any other kernel dependence test, and requires no user-defined regularisation. Second, there is a clearly defined population quantity which the empirical estimate approaches in the large sample limit, with exponential convergence guaranteed between the two: this ensures that independence tests based on HSIC do not suffer from slow learning rates. Finally, we show in the context of independent component analysis (ICA) that the performance of HSIC is competitive with that of previously published kernel-based criteria, and of other recently published ICA methods.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Efficient Adaptive Sampling of the Psychometric Function by Maximizing Information Gain

Tanner, TG.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, May 2005 (diplomathesis)

Abstract
A common task in psychophysics is to measure the psychometric function. A psychometric function can be described by its shape and four parameters: offset or threshold, slope or width, false alarm rate or chance level and miss or lapse rate. Depending on the parameters of interest some points on the psychometric function may be more informative than others. Adaptive methods attempt to place trials on the most informative points based on the data collected in previous trials. A new Bayesian adaptive psychometric method placing trials by minimising the expected entropy of the posterior probabilty dis- tribution over a set of possible stimuli is introduced. The method is more flexible, faster and at least as efficient as the established method (Kontsevich and Tyler, 1999). Comparably accurate (2dB) threshold and slope estimates can be obtained after about 30 and 500 trials, respectively. By using a dynamic termination criterion the efficiency can be further improved. The method can be applied to all experimental designs including yes/no designs and allows acquisition of any set of free parameters. By weighting the importance of parameters one can include nuisance parameters and adjust the relative expected errors. Use of nuisance parameters may lead to more accurate estimates than assuming a guessed fixed value. Block designs are supported and do not harm the performance if a sufficient number of trials are performed. The method was evaluated by computer simulations in which the role of parametric assumptions, its robustness, the quality of different point estimates, the effect of dynamic termination criteria and many other settings were investigated.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]