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2017


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Editorial for the Special Issue on Microdevices and Microsystems for Cell Manipulation

Hu, W., Ohta, A. T.

8, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, September 2017 (misc)

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DOI [BibTex]

2017


DOI [BibTex]


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Physical and Behavioral Factors Improve Robot Hug Quality

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

Workshop Paper (2 pages) presented at the RO-MAN Workshop on Social Interaction and Multimodal Expression for Socially Intelligent Robots, Lisbon, Portugal, August 2017 (misc)

Abstract
A hug is one of the most basic ways humans can express affection. As hugs are so common, a natural progression of robot development is to have robots one day hug humans as seamlessly as these intimate human-human interactions occur. This project’s purpose is to evaluate human responses to different robot physical characteristics and hugging behaviors. Specifically, we aim to test the hypothesis that a warm, soft, touch-sensitive PR2 humanoid robot can provide humans with satisfying hugs by matching both their hugging pressure and their hugging duration. Thirty participants experienced and evaluated twelve hugs with the robot, divided into three randomly ordered trials that focused on physical robot char- acteristics and nine randomly ordered trials with varied hug pressure and duration. We found that people prefer soft, warm hugs over hard, cold hugs. Furthermore, users prefer hugs that physically squeeze them and release immediately when they are ready for the hug to end.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Crowdshaping Realistic 3D Avatars with Words

Streuber, S., Ramirez, M. Q., Black, M., Zuffi, S., O’Toole, A., Hill, M. Q., Hahn, C. A.

August 2017, Application PCT/EP2017/051954 (misc)

Abstract
A method for generating a body shape, comprising the steps: - receiving one or more linguistic descriptors related to the body shape; - retrieving an association between the one or more linguistic descriptors and a body shape; and - generating the body shape, based on the association.

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Google Patents [BibTex]

Google Patents [BibTex]


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Asymptotic Normality of the Median Heuristic

Garreau, Damien

July 2017, preprint (unpublished)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Physically Interactive Exercise Games with a Baxter Robot

Fitter, N. T., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Proton Pack: Visuo-Haptic Surface Data Recording

Burka, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Teaching a Robot to Collaborate with a Human Via Haptic Teleoperation

Hu, S., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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How Should Robots Hug?

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

Work-in-progress paper (2 pages) presented at the IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Munich, Germany, June 2017 (misc)

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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An Interactive Augmented-Reality Video Training Platform for the da Vinci Surgical System

Carlson, J., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (3 pages) presented at the ICRA Workshop on C4 Surgical Robots, Singapore, May 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Teleoperated surgical robots such as the Intuitive da Vinci Surgical System facilitate minimally invasive surgeries, which decrease risk to patients. However, these systems can be difficult to learn, and existing training curricula on surgical simulators do not offer students the realistic experience of a full operation. This paper presents an augmented-reality video training platform for the da Vinci that will allow trainees to rehearse any surgery recorded by an expert. While the trainee operates a da Vinci in free space, they see their own instruments overlaid on the expert video. Tools are identified in the source videos via color segmentation and kernelized correlation filter tracking, and their depth is calculated from the da Vinci’s stereoscopic video feed. The user tries to follow the expert’s movements, and if any of their tools venture too far away, the system provides instantaneous visual feedback and pauses to allow the user to correct their motion. The trainee can also rewind the expert video by bringing either da Vinci tool very close to the camera. This combined and augmented video provides the user with an immersive and interactive training experience.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Chapter 8 - Micro- and nanorobots in Newtonian and biological viscoelastic fluids

Palagi, S., (Walker) Schamel, D., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

In Microbiorobotics, pages: 133 - 162, 8, Micro and Nano Technologies, Second edition, Elsevier, Boston, March 2017 (incollection)

Abstract
Swimming microorganisms are a source of inspiration for small scale robots that are intended to operate in fluidic environments including complex biomedical fluids. Nature has devised swimming strategies that are effective at small scales and at low Reynolds number. These include the rotary corkscrew motion that, for instance, propels a flagellated bacterial cell, as well as the asymmetric beat of appendages that sperm cells or ciliated protozoa use to move through fluids. These mechanisms can overcome the reciprocity that governs the hydrodynamics at small scale. The complex molecular structure of biologically important fluids presents an additional challenge for the effective propulsion of microrobots. In this chapter it is shown how physical and chemical approaches are essential in realizing engineered abiotic micro- and nanorobots that can move in biomedically important environments. Interestingly, we also describe a microswimmer that is effective in biological viscoelastic fluids that does not have a natural analogue.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Hand-Clapping Games with a Baxter Robot

Fitter, N. T., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Hands-on demonstration presented at ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Vienna, Austria, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Robots that work alongside humans might be more effective if they could forge a strong social bond with their human partners. Hand-clapping games and other forms of rhythmic social-physical interaction may foster human-robot teamwork, but the design of such interactions has scarcely been explored. At the HRI 2017 conference, we will showcase several such interactions taken from our recent work with the Rethink Robotics Baxter Research Robot, including tempo-matching, Simon says, and Pat-a-cake-like games. We believe conference attendees will be both entertained and intrigued by this novel demonstration of social-physical HRI.

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Automatic OSATS Rating of Trainee Skill at a Pediatric Laparoscopic Suturing Task

Oquendo, Y. A., Riddle, E. W., Hiller, D., Blinman, T. A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Surgical Endoscopy, 31(Supplement 1):S28, Extended abstract presented as a podium presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), Springer, Houston, USA, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
Introduction: Minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized surgical practice, but challenges remain. Trainees must acquire complex technical skills while minimizing patient risk, and surgeons must maintain their skills for rare procedures. These challenges are magnified in pediatric surgery due to the smaller spaces, finer tissue, and relative dearth of both inanimate and virtual simulators. To build technical expertise, trainees need opportunities for deliberate practice with specific performance feedback, which is typically provided via tedious human grading. This study aimed to validate a novel motion-tracking system and machine learning algorithm for automatically evaluating trainee performance on a pediatric laparoscopic suturing task using a 1–5 OSATS Overall Skill rating. Methods: Subjects (n=14) ranging from medical students to fellows per- formed one or two trials of an intracorporeal suturing task in a custom pediatric laparoscopy training box (Fig. 1) after watching a video of ideal performance by an expert. The position and orientation of the tools and endoscope were recorded over time using Ascension trakSTAR magnetic motion-tracking sensors, and both instrument grasp angles were recorded over time using flex sensors on the handles. The 27 trials were video-recorded and scored on the OSATS scale by a senior fellow; ratings ranged from 1 to 4. The raw motion data from each trial was processed to calculate over 200 preliminary motion parameters. Regularized least-squares regression (LASSO) was used to identify the most predictive parameters for inclusion in a regression tree. Model performance was evaluated by leave-one-subject-out cross validation, wherein the automatic scores given to each subject’s trials (by a model trained on all other data) are compared to the corresponding human rater scores. Results: The best-performing LASSO algorithm identified 14 predictive parameters for inclusion in the regression tree, including completion time, linear path length, angular path length, angular acceleration, grasp velocity, and grasp acceleration. The final model’s raw output showed a strong positive correlation of 0.87 with the reviewer-generated scores, and rounding the output to the nearest integer yielded a leave-one-subject-out cross-validation accuracy of 77.8%. Results are summarized in the confusion matrix (Table 1). Conclusions: Our novel motion-tracking system and regression model automatically gave previously unseen trials overall skill scores that closely match scores from an expert human rater. With additional data and further development, this system may enable creation of a motion-based training platform for pediatric laparoscopic surgery and could yield insights into the fundamental components of surgical skill.

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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How Much Haptic Surface Data is Enough?

Burka, A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Workshop paper (5 pages) presented at the AAAI Spring Symposium on Interactive Multi-Sensory Object Perception for Embodied Agents, Stanford, USA, March 2017 (misc)

Abstract
The Proton Pack is a portable visuo-haptic surface interaction recording device that will be used to collect a vast multimodal dataset, intended for robots to use as part of an approach to understanding the world around them. In order to collect a useful dataset, we want to pick a suitable interaction duration for each surface, noting the tradeoff between data collection resources and completeness of data. One interesting approach frames the data collection process as an online learning problem, building an incremental surface model and using that model to decide when there is enough data. Here we examine how to do such online surface modeling and when to stop collecting data, using kinetic friction as a first domain in which to apply online modeling.

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Appealing Avatars from 3D Body Scans: Perceptual Effects of Stylization

Fleming, R., Mohler, B. J., Romero, J., Black, M. J., Breidt, M.

In Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications: 11th International Joint Conference, VISIGRAPP 2016, Rome, Italy, February 27 – 29, 2016, Revised Selected Papers, pages: 175-196, Springer International Publishing, 2017 (inbook)

Abstract
Using styles derived from existing popular character designs, we present a novel automatic stylization technique for body shape and colour information based on a statistical 3D model of human bodies. We investigate whether such stylized body shapes result in increased perceived appeal with two different experiments: One focuses on body shape alone, the other investigates the additional role of surface colour and lighting. Our results consistently show that the most appealing avatar is a partially stylized one. Importantly, avatars with high stylization or no stylization at all were rated to have the least appeal. The inclusion of colour information and improvements to render quality had no significant effect on the overall perceived appeal of the avatars, and we observe that the body shape primarily drives the change in appeal ratings. For body scans with colour information, we found that a partially stylized avatar was perceived as most appealing.

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publisher site pdf DOI [BibTex]

publisher site pdf DOI [BibTex]


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Robot Learning

Peters, J., Lee, D., Kober, J., Nguyen-Tuong, D., Bagnell, J., Schaal, S.

In Springer Handbook of Robotics, pages: 357-394, 15, 2nd, (Editors: Siciliano, Bruno and Khatib, Oussama), Springer International Publishing, 2017 (inbook)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Learning to Filter Object Detections

Prokudin, S., Kappler, D., Nowozin, S., Gehler, P.

In Pattern Recognition: 39th German Conference, GCPR 2017, Basel, Switzerland, September 12–15, 2017, Proceedings, pages: 52-62, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2017 (inbook)

Abstract
Most object detection systems consist of three stages. First, a set of individual hypotheses for object locations is generated using a proposal generating algorithm. Second, a classifier scores every generated hypothesis independently to obtain a multi-class prediction. Finally, all scored hypotheses are filtered via a non-differentiable and decoupled non-maximum suppression (NMS) post-processing step. In this paper, we propose a filtering network (FNet), a method which replaces NMS with a differentiable neural network that allows joint reasoning and re-scoring of the generated set of hypotheses per image. This formulation enables end-to-end training of the full object detection pipeline. First, we demonstrate that FNet, a feed-forward network architecture, is able to mimic NMS decisions, despite the sequential nature of NMS. We further analyze NMS failures and propose a loss formulation that is better aligned with the mean average precision (mAP) evaluation metric. We evaluate FNet on several standard detection datasets. Results surpass standard NMS on highly occluded settings of a synthetic overlapping MNIST dataset and show competitive behavior on PascalVOC2007 and KITTI detection benchmarks.

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Paper link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

Paper link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Policy Gradient Methods

Peters, J., Bagnell, J.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning and Data Mining, pages: 982-985, 2nd, (Editors: Sammut, Claude and Webb, Geoffrey I.), Springer US, 2017 (inbook)

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link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Unsupervised clustering of EOG as a viable substitute for optical eye-tracking

Flad, N., Fomina, T., Bülthoff, H. H., Chuang, L. L.

In First Workshop on Eye Tracking and Visualization (ETVIS 2015), pages: 151-167, Mathematics and Visualization, (Editors: Burch, M., Chuang, L., Fisher, B., Schmidt, A., and Weiskopf, D.), Springer, 2017 (inbook)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Statistical Asymmetries Between Cause and Effect

Janzing, D.

In Time in Physics, pages: 129-139, Tutorials, Schools, and Workshops in the Mathematical Sciences, (Editors: Renner, Renato and Stupar, Sandra), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2017 (inbook)

ei

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Robot Learning

Peters, J., Tedrake, R., Roy, N., Morimoto, J.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning and Data Mining, pages: 1106-1109, 2nd, (Editors: Sammut, Claude and Webb, Geoffrey I.), Springer US, 2017 (inbook)

ei

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [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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Decentralized Simultaneous Multi-target Exploration using a Connected Network of Multiple Robots

Nestmeyer, T., Robuffo Giordano, P., Bülthoff, H. H., Franchi, A.

In pages: 989-1011, Autonomous Robots, 2017 (incollection)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Momentum-Centered Control of Contact Interactions

Righetti, L., Herzog, A.

In Geometric and Numerical Foundations of Movements, 117, pages: 339-359, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Springer, Cham, 2017 (incollection)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]

2010


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Computationally efficient algorithms for statistical image processing: Implementation in R

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

(2010-053), EURANDOM, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, December 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
In the series of our earlier papers on the subject, we proposed a novel statistical hy- pothesis testing method for detection of objects in noisy images. The method uses results from percolation theory and random graph theory. We developed algorithms that allowed to detect objects of unknown shapes in the presence of nonparametric noise of unknown level and of un- known distribution. No boundary shape constraints were imposed on the objects, only a weak bulk condition for the object's interior was required. Our algorithms have linear complexity and exponential accuracy. In the present paper, we describe an implementation of our nonparametric hypothesis testing method. We provide a program that can be used for statistical experiments in image processing. This program is written in the statistical programming language R.

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PDF [BibTex]

2010


PDF [BibTex]


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Fast Convergent Algorithms for Expectation Propagation Approximate Bayesian Inference

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, December 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel algorithm to solve the expectation propagation relaxation of Bayesian inference for continuous-variable graphical models. In contrast to most previous algorithms, our method is provably convergent. By marrying convergent EP ideas from (Opper&Winther 05) with covariance decoupling techniques (Wipf&Nagarajan 08, Nickisch&Seeger 09), it runs at least an order of magnitude faster than the most commonly used EP solver.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Markerless tracking of Dynamic 3D Scans of Faces

Walder, C., Breidt, M., Bülthoff, H., Schölkopf, B., Curio, C.

In Dynamic Faces: Insights from Experiments and Computation, pages: 255-276, (Editors: Curio, C., Bülthoff, H. H. and Giese, M. A.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2010 (inbook)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Policy Gradient Methods

Peters, J., Bagnell, J.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning, pages: 774-776, (Editors: Sammut, C. and Webb, G. I.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, December 2010 (inbook)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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A PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Graph Clustering and Pairwise Clustering

Seldin, Y.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We formulate weighted graph clustering as a prediction problem: given a subset of edge weights we analyze the ability of graph clustering to predict the remaining edge weights. This formulation enables practical and theoretical comparison of different approaches to graph clustering as well as comparison of graph clustering with other possible ways to model the graph. We adapt the PAC-Bayesian analysis of co-clustering (Seldin and Tishby, 2008; Seldin, 2009) to derive a PAC-Bayesian generalization bound for graph clustering. The bound shows that graph clustering should optimize a trade-off between empirical data fit and the mutual information that clusters preserve on the graph nodes. A similar trade-off derived from information-theoretic considerations was already shown to produce state-of-the-art results in practice (Slonim et al., 2005; Yom-Tov and Slonim, 2009). This paper supports the empirical evidence by providing a better theoretical foundation, suggesting formal generalization guarantees, and offering a more accurate way to deal with finite sample issues. We derive a bound minimization algorithm and show that it provides good results in real-life problems and that the derived PAC-Bayesian bound is reasonably tight.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Sparse nonnegative matrix approximation: new formulations and algorithms

Tandon, R., Sra, S.

(193), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce several new formulations for sparse nonnegative matrix approximation. Subsequently, we solve these formulations by developing generic algorithms. Further, to help selecting a particular sparse formulation, we briefly discuss the interpretation of each formulation. Finally, preliminary experiments are presented to illustrate the behavior of our formulations and algorithms.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Robust nonparametric detection of objects in noisy images

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

(2010-049), EURANDOM, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, September 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel statistical hypothesis testing method for detection of objects in noisy images. The method uses results from percolation theory and random graph theory. We present an algorithm that allows to detect objects of unknown shapes in the presence of nonparametric noise of unknown level and of unknown distribution. No boundary shape constraints are imposed on the object, only a weak bulk condition for the object's interior is required. The algorithm has linear complexity and exponential accuracy and is appropriate for real-time systems. In this paper, we develop further the mathematical formalism of our method and explore im- portant connections to the mathematical theory of percolation and statistical physics. We prove results on consistency and algorithmic complexity of our testing procedure. In addition, we address not only an asymptotic behavior of the method, but also a nite sample performance of our test.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
Many problems of low-level computer vision and image processing, such as denoising, deconvolution, tomographic reconstruction or super-resolution, can be addressed by maximizing the posterior distribution of a sparse linear model (SLM). We show how higher-order Bayesian decision-making problems, such as optimizing image acquisition in magnetic resonance scanners, can be addressed by querying the SLM posterior covariance, unrelated to the density's mode. We propose a scalable algorithmic framework, with which SLM posteriors over full, high-resolution images can be approximated for the first time, solving a variational optimization problem which is convex iff posterior mode finding is convex. These methods successfully drive the optimization of sampling trajectories for real-world magnetic resonance imaging through Bayesian experimental design, which has not been attempted before. Our methodology provides new insight into similarities and differences between sparse reconstruction and approximate Bayesian inference, and has important implications for compressive sensing of real-world images.

ei

Web [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts for Image Segmentation

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

(UWEETR-1020-0003), University of Washington, Washington DC, USA, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a novel framework for graph-based cooperative regularization that uses submodular costs on graph edges. We introduce an efficient iterative algorithm to solve the resulting hard discrete optimization problem, and show that it has a guaranteed approximation factor. The edge-submodular formulation is amenable to the same extensions as standard graph cut approaches, and applicable to a range of problems. We apply this method to the image segmentation problem. Specifically, Here, we apply it to introduce a discount for homogeneous boundaries in binary image segmentation on very difficult images, precisely, long thin objects and color and grayscale images with a shading gradient. The experiments show that significant portions of previously truncated objects are now preserved.

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Fast algorithms for total-variationbased optimization

Barbero, A., Sra, S.

(194), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We derive a number of methods to solve efficiently simple optimization problems subject to a totalvariation (TV) regularization, under different norms of the TV operator and both for the case of 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional data. In spite of the non-smooth, non-separable nature of the TV terms considered, we show that a dual formulation with strong structure can be derived. Taking advantage of this structure we develop adaptions of existing algorithms from the optimization literature, resulting in efficient methods for the problem at hand. Experimental results show that for 1-dimensional data the proposed methods achieve convergence within good accuracy levels in practically linear time, both for L1 and L2 norms. For the more challenging 2-dimensional case a performance of order O(N2 log2 N) for N x N inputs is achieved when using the L2 norm. A final section suggests possible extensions and lines of further work.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Gaussian Mixture Modeling with Gaussian Process Latent Variable Models

Nickisch, H., Rasmussen, C.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, June 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
Density modeling is notoriously difficult for high dimensional data. One approach to the problem is to search for a lower dimensional manifold which captures the main characteristics of the data. Recently, the Gaussian Process Latent Variable Model (GPLVM) has successfully been used to find low dimensional manifolds in a variety of complex data. The GPLVM consists of a set of points in a low dimensional latent space, and a stochastic map to the observed space. We show how it can be interpreted as a density model in the observed space. However, the GPLVM is not trained as a density model and therefore yields bad density estimates. We propose a new training strategy and obtain improved generalisation performance and better density estimates in comparative evaluations on several benchmark data sets.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Generalized Proximity and Projection with Norms and Mixed-norms

Sra, S.

(192), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We discuss generalized proximity operators (GPO) and their associated generalized projection problems. On inputs of size n, we show how to efficiently apply GPOs and generalized projections for separable norms and distance-like functions to accuracy e in O(n log(1/e)) time. We also derive projection algorithms that run theoretically in O(n log n log(1/e)) time but can for suitable parameter ranges empirically outperform the O(n log(1/e)) projection method. The proximity and projection tasks are either separable, and solved directly, or are reduced to a single root-finding step. We highlight that as a byproduct, our analysis also yields an O(n log(1/e)) (weakly linear-time) procedure for Euclidean projections onto the l1;1-norm ball; previously only an O(n log n) method was known. We provide empirical evaluation to illustrate the performance of our methods, noting that for the l1;1-norm projection, our implementation is more than two orders of magnitude faster than the previously known method.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Cooperative Cuts: Graph Cuts with Submodular Edge Weights

Jegelka, S., Bilmes, J.

(189), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, March 2010 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a problem we call Cooperative cut, where the goal is to find a minimum-cost graph cut but where a submodular function is used to define the cost of a subsets of edges. That means, the cost of an edge that is added to the current cut set C depends on the edges in C. This generalization of the cost in the standard min-cut problem to a submodular cost function immediately makes the problem harder. Not only do we prove NP hardness even for nonnegative submodular costs, but also show a lower bound of Omega(|V|^(1/3)) on the approximation factor for the problem. On the positive side, we propose and compare four approximation algorithms with an overall approximation factor of min { |V|/2, |C*|, O( sqrt(|E|) log |V|), |P_max|}, where C* is the optimal solution, and P_max is the longest s, t path across the cut between given s, t. We also introduce additional heuristics for the problem which have attractive properties from the perspective of practical applications and implementations in that existing fast min-cut libraries may be used as subroutines. Both our approximation algorithms, and our heuristics, appear to do well in practice.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning Continuous Grasp Affordances by Sensorimotor Exploration

Detry, R., Baseski, E., Popovic, M., Touati, Y., Krüger, N., Kroemer, O., Peters, J., Piater, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 451-465, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We develop means of learning and representing object grasp affordances probabilistically. By grasp affordance, we refer to an entity that is able to assess whether a given relative object-gripper configuration will yield a stable grasp. These affordances are represented with grasp densities, continuous probability density functions defined on the space of 3D positions and orientations. Grasp densities are registered with a visual model of the object they characterize. They are exploited by aligning them to a target object using visual pose estimation. Grasp densities are refined through experience: A robot “plays” with an object by executing grasps drawn randomly for the object’s grasp density. The robot then uses the outcomes of these grasps to build a richer density through an importance sampling mechanism. Initial grasp densities, called hypothesis densities, are bootstrapped from grasps collected using a motion capture system, or from grasps generated from the visual model of the object. Refined densities, called empirical densities, represent affordances that have been confirmed through physical experience. The applicability of our method is demonstrated by producing empirical densities for two object with a real robot and its 3-finger hand. Hypothesis densities are created from visual cues and human demonstration.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Imitation and Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives with Perceptual Coupling

Kober, J., Mohler, B., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 209-225, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
Traditional motor primitive approaches deal largely with open-loop policies which can only deal with small perturbations. In this paper, we present a new type of motor primitive policies which serve as closed-loop policies together with an appropriate learning algorithm. Our new motor primitives are an augmented version version of the dynamical system-based motor primitives [Ijspeert et al(2002)Ijspeert, Nakanishi, and Schaal] that incorporates perceptual coupling to external variables. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such as Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a skilled human player would be challenged. We initialize the open-loop policies by imitation learning and the perceptual coupling with a handcrafted solution. We first improve the open-loop policies and subsequently the perceptual coupling using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for dynamical system-based motor primitives.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots

Sigaud, O., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, pages: 1-12, Studies in Computational Intelligence ; 264, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
The number of advanced robot systems has been increasing in recent years yielding a large variety of versatile designs with many degrees of freedom. These robots have the potential of being applicable in uncertain tasks outside wellstructured industrial settings. However, the complexity of both systems and tasks is often beyond the reach of classical robot programming methods. As a result, a more autonomous solution for robot task acquisition is needed where robots adaptively adjust their behaviour to the encountered situations and required tasks. Learning approaches pose one of the most appealing ways to achieve this goal. However, while learning approaches are of high importance for robotics, we cannot simply use off-the-shelf methods from the machine learning community as these usually do not scale into the domains of robotics due to excessive computational cost as well as a lack of scalability. Instead, domain appropriate approaches are needed. In this book, we focus on several core domains of robot learning. For accurate task execution, we need motor learning capabilities. For fast learning of the motor tasks, imitation learning offers the most promising approach. Self improvement requires reinforcement learning approaches that scale into the domain of complex robots. Finally, for efficient interaction of humans with robot systems, we will need a form of interaction learning. This chapter provides a general introduction to these issues and briefly presents the contributions of the subsequent chapters to the corresponding research topics.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Real-Time Local GP Model Learning

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Seeger, M., Peters, J.

In From Motor Learning to Interaction Learning in Robots, 264, pages: 193-207, Studies in Computational Intelligence, (Editors: Sigaud, O. and Peters, J.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, January 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
For many applications in robotics, accurate dynamics models are essential. However, in some applications, e.g., in model-based tracking control, precise dynamics models cannot be obtained analytically for sufficiently complex robot systems. In such cases, machine learning offers a promising alternative for approximating the robot dynamics using measured data. However, standard regression methods such as Gaussian process regression (GPR) suffer from high computational complexity which prevents their usage for large numbers of samples or online learning to date. In this paper, we propose an approximation to the standard GPR using local Gaussian processes models inspired by [Vijayakumar et al(2005)Vijayakumar, D’Souza, and Schaal, Snelson and Ghahramani(2007)]. Due to reduced computational cost, local Gaussian processes (LGP) can be applied for larger sample-sizes and online learning. Comparisons with other nonparametric regressions, e.g., standard GPR, support vector regression (SVR) and locally weighted proje ction regression (LWPR), show that LGP has high approximation accuracy while being sufficiently fast for real-time online learning.

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Machine Learning Methods for Automatic Image Colorization

Charpiat, G., Bezrukov, I., Hofmann, M., Altun, Y., Schölkopf, B.

In Computational Photography: Methods and Applications, pages: 395-418, Digital Imaging and Computer Vision, (Editors: Lukac, R.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
We aim to color greyscale images automatically, without any manual intervention. The color proposition could then be interactively corrected by user-provided color landmarks if necessary. Automatic colorization is nontrivial since there is usually no one-to-one correspondence between color and local texture. The contribution of our framework is that we deal directly with multimodality and estimate, for each pixel of the image to be colored, the probability distribution of all possible colors, instead of choosing the most probable color at the local level. We also predict the expected variation of color at each pixel, thus defining a non-uniform spatial coherency criterion. We then use graph cuts to maximize the probability of the whole colored image at the global level. We work in the L-a-b color space in order to approximate the human perception of distances between colors, and we use machine learning tools to extract as much information as possible from a dataset of colored examples. The resulting algorithm is fast, designed to be more robust to texture noise, and is above all able to deal with ambiguity, in contrary to previous approaches.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Approaches Based on Support Vector Machine to Classification of Remote Sensing Data

Bruzzone, L., Persello, C.

In Handbook of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision, pages: 329-352, (Editors: Chen, C.H.), ICP, London, UK, 2010 (inbook)

Abstract
This chapter presents an extensive and critical review on the use of kernel methods and in particular of support vector machines (SVMs) in the classification of remote-sensing (RS) data. The chapter recalls the mathematical formulation and the main theoretical concepts related to SVMs, and discusses the motivations at the basis of the use of SVMs in remote sensing. A review on the main applications of SVMs in classification of remote sensing is given, presenting a literature survey on the use of SVMs for the analysis of different kinds of RS images. In addition, the most recent methodological developments related to SVM-based classification techniques in RS are illustrated by focusing on semisupervised, domain adaptation, and context sensitive approaches. Finally, the most promising research directions on SVM in RS are identified and discussed.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Information-theoretic inference of common ancestors

Steudel, B., Ay, N.

Computing Research Repository (CoRR), abs/1010.5720, pages: 18, 2010 (techreport)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Nanohandling robot cells

Fatikow, Sergej, Wich, Thomas, Dahmen, Christian, Jasper, Daniel, Stolle, Christian, Eichhorn, Volkmar, Hagemann, Saskia, Weigel-Jech, Michael

In Handbook of Nanophysics: Nanomedicine and Nanorobotics, pages: 1-31, CRC Press, 2010 (incollection)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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\textscLpzRobots: A free and powerful robot simulator

Martius, G., Hesse, F., Güttler, F., Der, R.

\urlhttp://robot.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/software, 2010 (misc)

al

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Locally weighted regression for control

Ting, J., Vijayakumar, S., Schaal, S.

In Encyclopedia of Machine Learning, pages: 613-624, (Editors: Sammut, C.;Webb, G. I.), Springer, 2010, clmc (inbook)

Abstract
This is article addresses two topics: learning control and locally weighted regression.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]