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2018


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Instrumentation, Data, and Algorithms for Visually Understanding Haptic Surface Properties

Burka, A. L.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, August 2018, Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (phdthesis)

Abstract
Autonomous robots need to efficiently walk over varied surfaces and grasp diverse objects. We hypothesize that the association between how such surfaces look and how they physically feel during contact can be learned from a database of matched haptic and visual data recorded from various end-effectors' interactions with hundreds of real-world surfaces. Testing this hypothesis required the creation of a new multimodal sensing apparatus, the collection of a large multimodal dataset, and development of a machine-learning pipeline. This thesis begins by describing the design and construction of the Portable Robotic Optical/Tactile ObservatioN PACKage (PROTONPACK, or Proton for short), an untethered handheld sensing device that emulates the capabilities of the human senses of vision and touch. Its sensory modalities include RGBD vision, egomotion, contact force, and contact vibration. Three interchangeable end-effectors (a steel tooling ball, an OptoForce three-axis force sensor, and a SynTouch BioTac artificial fingertip) allow for different material properties at the contact point and provide additional tactile data. We then detail the calibration process for the motion and force sensing systems, as well as several proof-of-concept surface discrimination experiments that demonstrate the reliability of the device and the utility of the data it collects. This thesis then presents a large-scale dataset of multimodal surface interaction recordings, including 357 unique surfaces such as furniture, fabrics, outdoor fixtures, and items from several private and public material sample collections. Each surface was touched with one, two, or three end-effectors, comprising approximately one minute per end-effector of tapping and dragging at various forces and speeds. We hope that the larger community of robotics researchers will find broad applications for the published dataset. Lastly, we demonstrate an algorithm that learns to estimate haptic surface properties given visual input. Surfaces were rated on hardness, roughness, stickiness, and temperature by the human experimenter and by a pool of purely visual observers. Then we trained an algorithm to perform the same task as well as infer quantitative properties calculated from the haptic data. Overall, the task of predicting haptic properties from vision alone proved difficult for both humans and computers, but a hybrid algorithm using a deep neural network and a support vector machine achieved a correlation between expected and actual regression output between approximately ρ = 0.3 and ρ = 0.5 on previously unseen surfaces.

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Project Page [BibTex]

2018


Project Page [BibTex]


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Robust Visual Augmented Reality in Robot-Assisted Surgery

Forte, M. P.

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, July 2018, Department of Electronic, Information, and Biomedical Engineering (mastersthesis)

Abstract
The broader research objective of this line of research is to test the hypothesis that real-time stereo video analysis and augmented reality can increase safety and task efficiency in robot-assisted surgery. This master’s thesis aims to solve the first step needed to achieve this goal: the creation of a robust system that delivers the envisioned feedback to a surgeon while he or she controls a surgical robot that is identical to those used on human patients. Several approaches for applying augmented reality to da Vinci Surgical Systems have been proposed, but none of them entirely rely on a clinical robot; specifically, they require additional sensors, depend on access to the da Vinci API, are designed for a very specific task, or were tested on systems that are starkly different from those in clinical use. There has also been prior work that presents the real-world camera view and the computer graphics on separate screens, or not in real time. In other scenarios, the digital information is overlaid manually by the surgeons themselves or by computer scientists, rather than being generated automatically in response to the surgeon’s actions. We attempted to overcome the aforementioned constraints by acquiring input signals from the da Vinci stereo endoscope and providing augmented reality to the console in real time (less than 150 ms delay, including the 62 ms of inherent latency of the da Vinci). The potential benefits of the resulting system are broad because it was built to be general, rather than customized for any specific task. The entire platform is compatible with any generation of the da Vinci System and does not require a dVRK (da Vinci Research Kit) or access to the API. Thus, it can be applied to existing da Vinci Systems in operating rooms around the world.

hi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors

Alarcon-Correa, M.

Colloidal Chemical Nanomotors, pages: 150, Cuvillier Verlag, MPI-IS , June 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
Synthetic sophisticated nanostructures represent a fundamental building block for the development of nanotechnology. The fabrication of nanoparticles complex in structure and material composition is key to build nanomachines that can operate as man-made nanoscale motors, which autonomously convert external energy into motion. To achieve this, asymmetric nanoparticles were fabricated combining a physical vapor deposition technique known as NanoGLAD and wet chemical synthesis. This thesis primarily concerns three complex colloidal systems that have been developed: i)Hollow nanocup inclusion complexes that have a single Au nanoparticle in their pocket. The Au particle can be released with an external trigger. ii)The smallest self-propelling nanocolloids that have been made to date, which give rise to a local concentration gradient that causes enhanced diffusion of the particles. iii)Enzyme-powered pumps that have been assembled using bacteriophages as biological nanoscaffolds. This construct also can be used for enzyme recovery after heterogeneous catalysis.

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Poster Abstract: Toward Fast Closed-loop Control over Multi-hop Low-power Wireless Networks

Mager, F., Baumann, D., Trimpe, S., Zimmerling, M.

Proceedings of the 17th ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), pages: 158-159, Porto, Portugal, April 2018 (poster)

ics

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Model-based Optical Flow: Layers, Learning, and Geometry

Wulff, J.

Tuebingen University, April 2018 (phdthesis)

Abstract
The estimation of motion in video sequences establishes temporal correspondences between pixels and surfaces and allows reasoning about a scene using multiple frames. Despite being a focus of research for over three decades, computing motion, or optical flow, remains challenging due to a number of difficulties, including the treatment of motion discontinuities and occluded regions, and the integration of information from more than two frames. One reason for these issues is that most optical flow algorithms only reason about the motion of pixels on the image plane, while not taking the image formation pipeline or the 3D structure of the world into account. One approach to address this uses layered models, which represent the occlusion structure of a scene and provide an approximation to the geometry. The goal of this dissertation is to show ways to inject additional knowledge about the scene into layered methods, making them more robust, faster, and more accurate. First, this thesis demonstrates the modeling power of layers using the example of motion blur in videos, which is caused by fast motion relative to the exposure time of the camera. Layers segment the scene into regions that move coherently while preserving their occlusion relationships. The motion of each layer therefore directly determines its motion blur. At the same time, the layered model captures complex blur overlap effects at motion discontinuities. Using layers, we can thus formulate a generative model for blurred video sequences, and use this model to simultaneously deblur a video and compute accurate optical flow for highly dynamic scenes containing motion blur. Next, we consider the representation of the motion within layers. Since, in a layered model, important motion discontinuities are captured by the segmentation into layers, the flow within each layer varies smoothly and can be approximated using a low dimensional subspace. We show how this subspace can be learned from training data using principal component analysis (PCA), and that flow estimation using this subspace is computationally efficient. The combination of the layered model and the low-dimensional subspace gives the best of both worlds, sharp motion discontinuities from the layers and computational efficiency from the subspace. Lastly, we show how layered methods can be dramatically improved using simple semantics. Instead of treating all layers equally, a semantic segmentation divides the scene into its static parts and moving objects. Static parts of the scene constitute a large majority of what is shown in typical video sequences; yet, in such regions optical flow is fully constrained by the depth structure of the scene and the camera motion. After segmenting out moving objects, we consider only static regions, and explicitly reason about the structure of the scene and the camera motion, yielding much better optical flow estimates. Furthermore, computing the structure of the scene allows to better combine information from multiple frames, resulting in high accuracies even in occluded regions. For moving regions, we compute the flow using a generic optical flow method, and combine it with the flow computed for the static regions to obtain a full optical flow field. By combining layered models of the scene with reasoning about the dynamic behavior of the real, three-dimensional world, the methods presented herein push the envelope of optical flow computation in terms of robustness, speed, and accuracy, giving state-of-the-art results on benchmarks and pointing to important future research directions for the estimation of motion in natural scenes.

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Official link DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Representation of sensory uncertainty in macaque visual cortex

Goris, R., Henaff, O., Meding, K.

Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) 2018, March 2018 (poster)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Detailed Dense Inference with Convolutional Neural Networks via Discrete Wavelet Transform

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

arxiv, 2018, arXiv:1808.01834 (techreport)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A virtual reality environment for experiments in assistive robotics and neural interfaces

Bustamante, S.

Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Optimal Trajectory Generation and Learning Control for Robot Table Tennis

Koc, O.

Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Distribution-Dissimilarities in Machine Learning

Simon-Gabriel, C. J.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Generalized phase locking analysis of electrophysiology data

Safavi, S., Panagiotaropoulos, T., Kapoor, V., Logothetis, N. K., Besserve, M.

7th AREADNE Conference on Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, 2018 (poster)

ei

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Domain Adaptation Under Causal Assumptions

Lechner, T.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Causal Perspective on Deep Representation Learning

Suter, R.

ETH Zurich, 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Approaches to Stochastic Optimization

Mahsereci, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei pn

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for High-Speed Robotics with Muscular Actuation

Guist, S.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg , 2018 (mastersthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Photorealistic Video Super Resolution

Pérez-Pellitero, E., Sajjadi, M. S. M., Hirsch, M., Schölkopf, B.

Workshop and Challenge on Perceptual Image Restoration and Manipulation (PIRM) at the 15th European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018 (poster)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Retinal image quality of the human eye across the visual field

Meding, K., Hirsch, M., Wichmann, F. A.

14th Biannual Conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science (KOGWIS 2018), 2018 (poster)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Probabilistic Ordinary Differential Equation Solvers — Theory and Applications

Schober, M.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei pn

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A machine learning approach to taking EEG-based computer interfaces out of the lab

Jayaram, V.

Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, IMPRS, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, 2018 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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XMCD investigations on new hard magnetic systems

Chen, Y.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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High-Resolution X-ray Ptychography for Magnetic Imaging

Bykova, I.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2018 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [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.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

2010


PDF [BibTex]


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Similarities in resting state and feature-driven activity: Non-parametric evaluation of human fMRI

Shelton, J., Blaschko, M., Gretton, A., Müller, J., Fischer, E., Bartels, A.

NIPS Workshop on Learning and Planning from Batch Time Series Data, December 2010 (poster)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [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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Augmentation of fMRI Data Analysis using Resting State Activity and Semi-supervised Canonical Correlation Analysis

Shelton, JA., Blaschko, MB., Bartels, A.

NIPS Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML), December 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Resting state activity is brain activation that arises in the absence of any task, and is usually measured in awake subjects during prolonged fMRI scanning sessions where the only instruction given is to close the eyes and do nothing. It has been recognized in recent years that resting state activity is implicated in a wide variety of brain function. While certain networks of brain areas have different levels of activation at rest and during a task, there is nevertheless significant similarity between activations in the two cases. This suggests that recordings of resting state activity can be used as a source of unlabeled data to augment kernel canonical correlation analysis (KCCA) in a semisupervised setting. We evaluate this setting empirically yielding three main results: (i) KCCA tends to be improved by the use of Laplacian regularization even when no additional unlabeled data are available, (ii) resting state data seem to have a similar marginal distribution to that recorded during the execution of a visual processing task implying largely similar types of activation, and (iii) this source of information can be broadly exploited to improve the robustness of empirical inference in fMRI studies, an inherently data poor domain.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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High frequency phase-spike synchronization of extracellular signals modulates causal interactions in monkey primary visual cortex

Besserve, M., Murayama, Y., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N., Panzeri, S.

40(616.2), 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), November 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Functional correlates of Rhythms in the gamma band (30-100Hz) are observed in the mammalian brain with a large variety of functional correlates. Nevertheless, their functional role is still debated. One way to disentangle this issue is to go beyond usual correlation analysis and apply causality measures that quantify the directed interactions between the gamma rhythms and other aspects of neural activity. These measures can be further compared with other aspects of neurophysicological signals to find markers of neural interactions. In a recent study, we analyzed extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of 4 anesthetized macaques during the presentation of movie stimuli using a causality measure named Transfer Entropy. We found causal interactions between high frequency gamma rhythms (60-100Hz) recorded in different electrodes, involving in particular their phase, and between the gamma phase and spiking activity quantified by the instantaneous envelope of the MUA band (1-3kHz). Here, we further investigate in the same dataset the meaning of these phase-MUA and phase-phase causal interactions by studying the distribution of phases at multiple recording sites at lags around the occurrence of spiking events. First, we found a sharpening of the gamma phase distribution in one electrode when spikes are occurring in other recording site. This phenomena appeared as a form of phase-spike synchronization and was quantified by an information theoretic measure. We found this measure correlates significantly with phase-MUA causal interactions. Additionally, we quantified in a similar way the interplay between spiking and the phase difference between two recording sites (reflecting the well-know concept of phase synchronization). We found that, depending on the couple of recording site, spiking can correlate either with a phase synchronization or with a desynchronization with respect to the baseline. This effect correlates very well with the phase-phase causality measure. These results provide evidence for high frequency phase-spike synchronization to reflect communication between distant neural populations in V1. Conversely, both phase synchronization or desynchronization may favor neural communication between recording sites. This new result, which contrasts with current hypothesis on the role of phase synchronization, could be interpreted as the presence of inhibitory interactions that are suppressed by desynchronization. Finally, our findings give new insights into the role of gamma rhythms in regulating local computation in the visual cortex.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Attenuation Correction for Whole Body PET/MR: Quantitative Evaluation and Lung Attenuation Estimation with Consistency Information

Bezrukov, I., Hofmann, M., Aschoff, P., Beyer, T., Mantlik, F., Pichler, B., Schölkopf, B.

2010(M13-122), 2010 Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), November 2010 (poster)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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PET/MRI: Observation of Non-Isotropic Positron Distribution in High Magnetic Fields and Its Diagnostic Impact

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sauter, A., Liu, C., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

2010 Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, 2010(M18-119):1, November 2010 (poster)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Assignment of Chemical Shift Data for Semi-Automatic Amino Acid Recognition

Hooge, J.

11(10):30, 11th Conference of Junior Neuroscientists of T{\"u}bingen (NeNa), October 2010 (poster)

Abstract
manner. First the backbone resonances are assigned. This is usually achieved from sequential information provided by three chemical shifts: CA, CB and C’. Once the sequence is solved, the second assignment step takes place. For this purpose, the CA-CB and HA chemical shifts are used as a start point for assignment of the side chain resonances, thus connecting the backbone resonances to their respective side chains. This strategy is unfortunately limited by the size of the protein due to increasing signal overlap and missing signals. Therefore, amino acid recognition is in many cases not possible as the CA-CB chemical shift pattern is not sufficient to discriminate between the 20 amino acids. As a result, the first step of the strategy described above remains tedious and time consuming. The combination of modern NMR techniques with new spectrometers now provide information that was not always accessible in the past, due to sensitivity problems. These experiments can be applied efficiently to measure a protein size up to 45 kDa and furthermore provide a unique combination of sequential carbon spin system information. The assignment process can thus benefit from a maximum knowledge input, containing âallâ backbone and side chain chemical shifts as well as an immediate amino acid recognition from the side chain spin system. We propose to extend the software PASTA (Protein ASsignment by Threshold Accepting) to achieve a general sequential assignment of backbone and side-chain resonances in a semi- to fullautomatic per-residue approach. PASTA will offer the possibility to achieve the sequential assignment using any kind of chemical shifts (carbons and/or protons) that can provide sequential information combined with an amino acid recognition feature based on carbon spin system analysis.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Generalizing Demonstrated Actions in Manipulation Tasks

Kroemer, O., Detry, R., Piater, J., Peters, J.

IROS 2010 Workshop on Grasp Planning and Task Learning by Imitation, 2010, pages: 1, October 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Programming-by-demonstration promises to significantly reduce the burden of coding robots to perform new tasks. However, service robots will be presented with a variety of different situations that were not specifically demonstrated to it. In such cases, the robot must autonomously generalize its learned motions to these new situations. We propose a system that can generalize movements to new target locations and even new objects. The former is achieved by using a task-specific coordinate system together with dynamical systems motor primitives. Generalizing actions to new objects is a more complex problem, which we solve by treating it as a continuum-armed bandits problem. Using the bandits framework, we can efficiently optimize the learned action for a specific object. The proposed method was implemented on a real robot and succesfully adapted the grasping action to three different objects. Although we focus on grasping as an example of a task, the proposed methods are much more widely applicable to robot manipulation tasks.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference and Experimental Design for Large Generalised Linear Models

Nickisch, H.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, September 2010 (phdthesis)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Inhomogeneous Positron Range Effects in High Magnetic Fields might Cause Severe Artefacts in PET/MRI

Kolb, A., Hofmann, M., Sauter, A., Liu, C., Eriksson, L., Pichler, B.

(0305B), 2010 World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), September 2010 (poster)

Abstract
The combination of PET and MRI is an emerging field of current research. It is known that the positron range is shortened in high magnetic fields (MF), leading to an improved resolution in PET images. Interestingly, only the fraction of positron range (PR) orthogonal to the MF is reduced and the fraction along the MF is not affected and yields to a non-isotropic count distribution. We measured the PR effect with PET isotopes like F-18, Cu-64, C-11, N-13 and Ga-68. A piece of paper (1 cm2) was soaked with each isotope and placed in the cFOV of a clinical 3T BrainPET/MR scanner. A polyethylene board (PE) was placed as a positron (β+) stopper with an axial distance of 3 cm from the soaked paper. The area under the peaks of one pixel wide profiles along the z-axis in coronal images was compared. Based on these measurements we confirmed our data in organic tissue. A larynx/trachea and lung of a butchered swine were injected with a mixture of NiSO4 for T1 MRI signals and Ga-68, simulating tumor lesions in the respiratory tract. The trachea/larynx were aligned in 35° to the MF lines and a small mass lesion was inserted to imitate a primary tracheal tumor whereas the larynx was injected submucosally in the lower medial part of the epiglottis. Reconstructed PET data show that the annihilated ratio of β+ at the origin position and in the PE depends on the isotope energy and the direction of the MF. The annihilation ratios of the source and PE are 52.4/47.6 (F-18), 57.5/42.5 (Cu-64), 43.7/56.7 (C-11), 31.1/68.9 (N-13) and 14.9/85.1 (Ga-68). In the swine larynx measurement, an artefact with approximately 39% of the lesion activity formed along MF lines 3cm away from the original injected position (fig.1). The data of the trachea showed two shine artefacts with a symmetric alignment along the MF lines. About 58% of the positrons annihilated at the lesion and 21% formed each artefact. The PR effects areminor in tissue of higher or equal density to water (0.096 cm-1). However, the effect is severe in low density tissue or air and might lead to misinterpretation of clinical data.

ei

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.

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.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Inferring High-Dimensional Causal Relations using Free Probability Theory

Zscheischler, J.

Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany, August 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [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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Reinforcement Learning by Relative Entropy Policy Search

Peters, J., Mülling, K., Altun, Y.

30th International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering (MaxEnt 2010), 30, pages: 69, July 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Policy search is a successful approach to reinforcement learning. However, policy improvements often result in the loss of information. Hence, it has been marred by premature convergence and implausible solutions. As first suggested in the context of covariant policy gradients, many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this book chapter, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest the Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method. The resulting method differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems. We will also present a real-world applications where a robot employs REPS to learn how to return balls in a game of table tennis.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-supervised Subspace Learning and Application to Human Functional Magnetic Brain Resonance Imaging Data

Shelton, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany, July 2010 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Maximum Entropy Approach to Semi-supervised Learning

Erkan, A., Altun, Y.

30th International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering (MaxEnt 2010), 30, pages: 80, July 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Maximum entropy (MaxEnt) framework has been studied extensively in supervised learning. Here, the goal is to find a distribution p that maximizes an entropy function while enforcing data constraints so that the expected values of some (pre-defined) features with respect to p match their empirical counterparts approximately. Using different entropy measures, different model spaces for p and different approximation criteria for the data constraints yields a family of discriminative supervised learning methods (e.g., logistic regression, conditional random fields, least squares and boosting). This framework is known as the generalized maximum entropy framework. Semi-supervised learning (SSL) has emerged in the last decade as a promising field that combines unlabeled data along with labeled data so as to increase the accuracy and robustness of inference algorithms. However, most SSL algorithms to date have had trade-offs, e.g., in terms of scalability or applicability to multi-categorical data. We extend the generalized MaxEnt framework to develop a family of novel SSL algorithms. Extensive empirical evaluation on benchmark data sets that are widely used in the literature demonstrates the validity and competitiveness of the proposed algorithms.

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PDF PDF [BibTex]


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The effect of positioning aids on PET quantification following MR-based attenuation correction (AC) in PET/MR imaging

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

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 51(Supplement 2):1418 , June 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Objectives: We study the quantitative effect of not accounting for the attenuation of patient positioning aids in combined PET/MR imaging. Methods: Positioning aids cannot be detected with conventional MR sequences. We mimic this effect using PET/CT data (Biograph HiRez16) with the foams removed from CT images prior to using them for CT-AC. PET/CT data were acquired using standard parameters (phantoms/patients): 120/140 kVp, 30/250 mAs, 5 mm slices, OSEM (4i, 8s, 5 mm filter) following CT-AC. First, a uniform 68Ge-cylinder was positioned centrally in the PET/CT and fixed with a vacuum mattress (10 cm thick). Second, the same cylinder was placed in 3 positioning aids from the PET/MR (BrainPET-3T). Third, 5 head/neck patients who were fixed in a vacuum mattress were selected. In all 3 studies PET recon post CT-AC based on measured CT images was used as the reference (mCT-AC). The PET/MR set-up was mimicked by segmenting the foam inserts from the measured CT images and setting their voxel values to -1000 HU (air). PET images were reconstructed using CT-AC with the segmented CT images (sCT-AC). PET images with mCT- and sCT-AC were compared. Results: sCT-AC underestimated PET voxel values in the phantom by 6.7% on average compared to mCT-AC with the vacuum mattress in place. 5% of the PET voxels were underestimated by >=10%. Not accounting for MR positioning aids during AC led to an underestimation of 2.8% following sCT-AC, with 5% of the PET voxels being underestimated by >=7% wrt mCT-AC. Preliminary evaluation of the patient data indicates a slightly higher bias from not accounting for patient positioning aids (mean: -9.1%, 5% percentile: -11.2%). Conclusions: A considerable and regionally variable underestimation of the PET activity following AC is observed when positioning aids are not accounted for. This bias may become relevant in neurological activation or dementia studies with PET/MR

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Multi-task Learning for Zero Training Brain-Computer Interfaces

Alamgir, M., Grosse-Wentrup, M., Altun, Y.

4th International BCI Meeting, June 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are limited in their applicability in everyday settings by the current necessity to record subject-specific calibration data prior to actual use of the BCI for communication. In this work, we utilize the framework of multitask learning to construct a BCI that can be used without any subject-specific calibration process, i.e., with zero training data. In BCIs based on EEG or MEG, the predictive function of a subject's intention is commonly modeled as a linear combination of some features derived from spatial and spectral recordings. The coefficients of this combination correspond to the importance of the features for predicting the intention of the subject. These coefficients are usually learned separately for each subject due to inter-subject variability. Principle feature characteristics, however, are known to remain invariant across subject. For example, it is well known that in motor imagery paradigms spectral power in the mu- and beta frequency ranges (roughly 8-14 Hz and 20-30 Hz, respectively) over sensorimotor areas provides most information on a subject's intention. Based on this assumption, we define the intention prediction function as a combination of subject-invariant and subject-specific models, and propose a machine learning method that infers these models jointly using data from multiple subjects. This framework leads to an out-of-the-box intention predictor, where the subject-invariant model can be employed immediately for a subject with no prior data. We present a computationally efficient method to further improve this BCI to incorporate subject-specific variations as such data becomes available. To overcome the problem of high dimensional feature spaces in this context, we further present a new method for finding the relevance of different recording channels according to actions performed by subjects. Usually, the BCI feature representation is a concatenation of spectral features extracted from different channels. This representation, however, is redundant, as recording channels at different spatial locations typically measure overlapping sources within the brain due to volume conduction. We address this problem by assuming that the relevance of different spectral bands is invariant across channels, while learning different weights for each recording electrode. This framework allows us to significantly reduce the feature space dimensionality without discarding potentially useful information. Furthermore, the resulting out-of-the-box BCI can be adapted to different experimental setups, for example EEG caps with different numbers of channels, as long as there exists a mapping across channels in different setups. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach on a set of experimental EEG data recorded during a standard two-class motor imagery paradigm from a total of ten healthy subjects. Specifically, we show that satisfactory classification results can be achieved with zero training data, and that combining prior recordings with subject-specific calibration data substantially outperforms using subject-specific data only.

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Causal Influence of Gamma Oscillations on Performance in Brain-Computer Interfaces

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

4th International BCI Meeting0, June 2010 (poster)

Abstract
Background and Objective: While machine learning approaches have led to tremendous advances in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in recent years (cf. [1]), there still exists a large variation in performance across subjects. Furthermore, a significant proportion of subjects appears incapable of achieving above chance-level classification accuracy [2], which to date includes all subjects in a completely locked-in state that have been trained in BCI control. Understanding the reasons for this variation in performance arguably constitutes one of the most fundamental open questions in research on BCIs. Methods & Results Using a machine learning approach, we derive a trial-wise measure of how well EEG recordings can be classified as either left- or right-hand motor imagery. Specifically, we train a support vector machine (SVM) on log-bandpower features (7-40 Hz) derived from EEG channels after spatial filtering with a surface Laplacian, and then compute the trial-wise distance of the output of the SVM from the separating hyperplane using a cross-validation procedure. We then correlate this trial-wise performance measure, computed on EEG recordings of ten healthy subjects, with log-bandpower in the gamma frequency range (55-85 Hz), and demonstrate that it is positively correlated with frontal- and occipital gamma-power and negatively correlated with centro-parietal gamma-power. This correlation is shown to be highly significant on the group level as well as in six out of ten subjects on the single-subject level. We then utilize the framework for causal inference developed by Pearl, Spirtes and others [3,4] to present evidence that gamma-power is not only correlated with BCI performance but does indeed exert a causal influence on it. Discussion and Conclusions Our results indicate that successful execution of motor imagery, and hence reliable communication by means of a BCI based on motor imagery, requires a volitional shift of gamma-power from centro-parietal to frontal and occipital regions. As such, our results provide the first non-trivial explanation for the variation in BCI performance across and within subjects. As this topographical alteration in gamma-power is likely to correspond to a specific attentional shift, we propose to provide subjects with feedback on their topographical distribution of gamma-power in order to establish the attentional state required for successful execution of motor imagery.

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Web [BibTex]