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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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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)

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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)

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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.

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[BibTex]

[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.

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[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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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]

2014


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Model transport: towards scalable transfer learning on manifolds - supplemental material

Freifeld, O., Hauberg, S., Black, M. J.

(9), April 2014 (techreport)

Abstract
This technical report is complementary to "Model Transport: Towards Scalable Transfer Learning on Manifolds" and contains proofs, explanation of the attached video (visualization of bases from the body shape experiments), and high-resolution images of select results of individual reconstructions from the shape experiments. It is identical to the supplemental mate- rial submitted to the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2014) on November 2013.

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PDF [BibTex]


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Local Gaussian Regression

Meier, F., Hennig, P., Schaal, S.

arXiv preprint, March 2014, clmc (misc)

Abstract
Abstract: Locally weighted regression was created as a nonparametric learning method that is computationally efficient, can learn from very large amounts of data and add data incrementally. An interesting feature of locally weighted regression is that it can work with ...

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Web link (url) [BibTex]

Web link (url) [BibTex]


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Fibrillar structures to reduce viscous drag on aerodynamic and hydrodynamic wall surfaces

Castillo, L., Aksak, B., Sitti, M.

March 2014, US Patent App. 14/774,767 (misc)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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The design of microfibers with mushroom-shaped tips for optimal adhesion

Sitti, M., Aksak, B.

February 2014, US Patent App. 14/766,561 (misc)

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[BibTex]

[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.

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Web [BibTex]

Web [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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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\textscLpzRobots: A free and powerful robot simulator

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

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

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Playful Machines: Tutorial

Der, R., Martius, G.

\urlhttp://robot.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/tutorial?lang=en, 2010 (misc)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2008


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Frequent Subgraph Retrieval in Geometric Graph Databases

Nowozin, S., Tsuda, K.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2008


PDF [BibTex]


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Simultaneous Implicit Surface Reconstruction and Meshing

Giesen, J., Maier, M., Schölkopf, B.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Taxonomy Inference Using Kernel Dependence Measures

Blaschko, M., Gretton, A.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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

Seeger, M., Nickisch, H.

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Block-Iterative Algorithms for Non-Negative Matrix Approximation

Sra, S.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Approximation Algorithms for Bregman Clustering Co-clustering and Tensor Clustering

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

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Combining Appearance and Motion for Human Action Classification in Videos

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

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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

Kim, K., Kwon, Y.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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

Chiappa, S.

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

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

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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

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

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

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Non-monotonic Poisson Likelihood Maximization

Sra, S., Kim, D., Schölkopf, B.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Kernel Method for the Two-sample Problem

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

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Energy Functionals for Manifold-valued Mappings and Their Properties

Hein, M., Steinke, F., Schölkopf, B.

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

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

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Biologically Inspired Polymer Micro-Patterned Adhesives

Cheung, E., Sitti, M.

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

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient inverse kinematics algorithms for highdimensional movement systems

Tevatia, G., Schaal, S.

CLMC Technical Report: TR-CLMC-2008-1, 2008, clmc (techreport)

Abstract
Real-time control of the endeffector of a humanoid robot in external coordinates requires computationally efficient solutions of the inverse kinematics problem. In this context, this paper investigates methods of resolved motion rate control (RMRC) that employ optimization criteria to resolve kinematic redundancies. In particular we focus on two established techniques, the pseudo inverse with explicit optimization and the extended Jacobian method. We prove that the extended Jacobian method includes pseudo-inverse methods as a special solution. In terms of computational complexity, however, pseudo-inverse and extended Jacobian differ significantly in favor of pseudo-inverse methods. Employing numerical estimation techniques, we introduce a computationally efficient version of the extended Jacobian with performance comparable to the original version. Our results are illustrated in simulation studies with a multiple degree-offreedom robot, and were evaluated on an actual 30 degree-of-freedom full-body humanoid robot.

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]