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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.

hi

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.

pf

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Impact of Trunk Orientation for Dynamic Bipedal Locomotion

Drama, O.

Dynamic Walking Conference, May 2018 (talk)

Abstract
Impact of trunk orientation for dynamic bipedal locomotion My research revolves around investigating the functional demands of bipedal running, with focus on stabilizing trunk orientation. When we think about postural stability, there are two critical questions we need to answer: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to achieve and maintain trunk stability? I am concentrating on how morphology affects control strategies in achieving trunk stability. In particular, I denote the trunk pitch as the predominant morphology parameter and explore the requirements it imposes on a chosen control strategy. To analyze this, I use a spring loaded inverted pendulum model extended with a rigid trunk, which is actuated by a hip motor. The challenge for the controller design here is to have a single hip actuator to achieve two coupled tasks of moving the legs to generate motion and stabilizing the trunk. I enforce orthograde and pronograde postures and aim to identify the effect of these trunk orientations on the hip torque and ground reaction profiles for different control strategies.

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Impact of trunk orientation for dynamic bipedal locomotion [DW 2018] link (url) 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.

ps

Official link DOI Project Page [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)

ei

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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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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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)

mms

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)

mms

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2008


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BCPy2000

Hill, N., Schreiner, T., Puzicha, C., Farquhar, J.

Workshop "Machine Learning Open-Source Software" at NIPS, December 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

2008


Web [BibTex]


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Logistic Regression for Graph Classification

Shervashidze, N., Tsuda, K.

NIPS Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO), December 2008 (talk)

Abstract
In this paper we deal with graph classification. We propose a new algorithm for performing sparse logistic regression for graphs, which is comparable in accuracy with other methods of graph classification and produces probabilistic output in addition. Sparsity is required for the reason of interpretability, which is often necessary in domains such as bioinformatics or chemoinformatics.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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New Projected Quasi-Newton Methods with Applications

Sra, S.

Microsoft Research Tech-talk, December 2008 (talk)

Abstract
Box-constrained convex optimization problems are central to several applications in a variety of fields such as statistics, psychometrics, signal processing, medical imaging, and machine learning. Two fundamental examples are the non-negative least squares (NNLS) problem and the non-negative Kullback-Leibler (NNKL) divergence minimization problem. The non-negativity constraints are usually based on an underlying physical restriction, for e.g., when dealing with applications in astronomy, tomography, statistical estimation, or image restoration, the underlying parameters represent physical quantities such as concentration, weight, intensity, or frequency counts and are therefore only interpretable with non-negative values. Several modern optimization methods can be inefficient for simple problems such as NNLS and NNKL as they are really designed to handle far more general and complex problems. In this work we develop two simple quasi-Newton methods for solving box-constrained (differentiable) convex optimization problems that utilize the well-known BFGS and limited memory BFGS updates. We position our method between projected gradient (Rosen, 1960) and projected Newton (Bertsekas, 1982) methods, and prove its convergence under a simple Armijo step-size rule. We illustrate our method by showing applications to: Image deblurring, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image reconstruction, and Non-negative Matrix Approximation (NMA). On medium sized data we observe performance competitive to established procedures, while for larger data the results are even better.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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MR-Based PET Attenuation Correction: Initial Results for Whole Body

Hofmann, M., Steinke, F., Aschoff, P., Lichy, M., Brady, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

Medical Imaging Conference, October 2008 (talk)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Nonparametric Indepedence Tests: Space Partitioning and Kernel Approaches

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

19th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT08), October 2008 (talk)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives

Kober, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, August 2008 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Asymmetries of Time Series under Inverting their Direction

Peters, J.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Heidelberg, August 2008 (diplomathesis)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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mGene: A Novel Discriminative Gene Finder

Schweikert, G., Zeller, G., Zien, A., Behr, J., Sonnenburg, S., Philips, P., Ong, C., Rätsch, G.

Worm Genomics and Systems Biology meeting, July 2008 (talk)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Learning an Interest Operator from Human Eye Movements

Kienzle, W.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, July 2008 (phdthesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Discovering Common Sequence Variation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Rätsch, G., Clark, R., Schweikert, G., Toomajian, C., Ossowski, S., Zeller, G., Shinn, P., Warthman, N., Hu, T., Fu, G., Hinds, D., Cheng, H., Frazer, K., Huson, D., Schölkopf, B., Nordborg, M., Ecker, J., Weigel, D., Schneeberger, K., Bohlen, A.

16th Annual International Conference Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), July 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Coding Theory in Brain-Computer Interfaces

Martens, SMM.

Soria Summerschool on Computational Mathematics "Algebraic Coding Theory" (S3CM), July 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Motor Skill Learning for Cognitive Robotics

Peters, J.

6th International Cognitive Robotics Workshop (CogRob), July 2008 (talk)

Abstract
Autonomous robots that can assist humans in situations of daily life have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. A first step towards this goal is to create robots that can learn tasks triggered by environmental context or higher level instruction. However, learning techniques have yet to live up to this promise as only few methods manage to scale to high-dimensional manipulator or humanoid robots. In this tutorial, we give a general overview on motor skill learning for cognitive robotics using research at ATR, USC, CMU and Max-Planck in order to illustrate the problems in motor skill learning. For doing so, we discuss task-appropriate representations and algorithms for learning robot motor skills. Among the topics are the learning basic movements or motor primitives by imitation and reinforcement learning, learning rhytmic and discrete movements, fast regression methods for learning inverse dynamics and setups for learning task-space policies. Examples on various robots, e.g., SARCOS DB, the SARCOS Master Arm, BDI Little Dog and a Barrett WAM, are shown and include Ball-in-a-Cup, T-Ball, Juggling, Devil-Sticking, Operational Space Control and many others.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Painless Embeddings of Distributions: the Function Space View (Part 1)

Fukumizu, K., Gretton, A., Smola, A.

25th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2008 (talk)

Abstract
This tutorial will give an introduction to the recent understanding and methodology of the kernel method: dealing with higher order statistics by embedding painlessly random variables/probability distributions. In the early days of kernel machines research, the "kernel trick" was considered a useful way of constructing nonlinear algorithms from linear ones. More recently, however, it has become clear that a potentially more far reaching use of kernels is as a linear way of dealing with higher order statistics by embedding distributions in a suitable reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS). Notably, unlike the straightforward expansion of higher order moments or conventional characteristic function approach, the use of kernels or RKHS provides a painless, tractable way of embedding distributions. This line of reasoning leads naturally to the questions: what does it mean to embed a distribution in an RKHS? when is this embedding injective (and thus, when do different distributions have unique mappings)? what implications are there for learning algorithms that make use of these embeddings? This tutorial aims at answering these questions. There are a great variety of applications in machine learning and computer science, which require distribution estimation and/or comparison.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Reinforcement Learning for Robotics

Peters, J.

8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning for Robotics (EWRL), July 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Thin-Plate Splines Between Riemannian Manifolds

Steinke, F., Hein, M., Schölkopf, B.

Workshop on Geometry and Statistics of Shapes, June 2008 (talk)

Abstract
With the help of differential geometry we describe a framework to define a thin-plate spline like energy for maps between arbitrary Riemannian manifolds. The so-called Eells energy only depends on the intrinsic geometry of the input and output manifold, but not on their respective representation. The energy can then be used for regression between manifolds, we present results for cases where the outputs are rotations, sets of angles, or points on 3D surfaces. In the future we plan to also target regression where the output is an element of "shape space", understood as a Riemannian manifold. One could also further explore the meaning of the Eells energy when applied to diffeomorphisms between shapes, especially with regard to its potential use as a distance measure between shapes that does not depend on the embedding or the parametrisation of the shapes.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Learning resolved velocity control

Peters, J.

2008 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Causal inference from statistical data

Sun, X.

Biologische Kybernetik, Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, April 2008 (phdthesis)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Pairwise Correlations and Multineuronal Firing Patterns in Primary Visual Cortex

Berens, P.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, April 2008 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Bayesian methods for protein structure determination

Habeck, M.

Machine Learning in Structural Bioinformatics, April 2008 (talk)

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Development and Application of a Python Scripting Framework for BCI2000

Schreiner, T.

Biologische Kybernetik, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, January 2008 (diplomathesis)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Efficient and Invariant Regularisation with Application to Computer Graphics

Walder, CJ.

Biologische Kybernetik, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, January 2008 (phdthesis)

Abstract
This thesis develops the theory and practise of reproducing kernel methods. Many functional inverse problems which arise in, for example, machine learning and computer graphics, have been treated with practical success using methods based on a reproducing kernel Hilbert space perspective. This perspective is often theoretically convenient, in that many functional analysis problems reduce to linear algebra problems in these spaces. Somewhat more complex is the case of conditionally positive definite kernels, and we provide an introduction to both cases, deriving in a particularly elementary manner some key results for the conditionally positive definite case. A common complaint of the practitioner is the long running time of these kernel based algorithms. We provide novel ways of alleviating these problems by essentially using a non-standard function basis which yields computational advantages. That said, by doing so we must also forego the aforementioned theoretical conveniences, and hence need some additional analysis which we provide in order to make the approach practicable. We demonstrate that the method leads to state of the art performance on the problem of surface reconstruction from points. We also provide some analysis of kernels invariant to transformations such as translation and dilation, and show that this indicates the value of learning algorithms which use conditionally positive definite kernels. Correspondingly, we provide a few approaches for making such algorithms practicable. We do this either by modifying the kernel, or directly solving problems with conditionally positive definite kernels, which had previously only been solved with positive definite kernels. We demonstrate the advantage of this approach, in particular by attaining state of the art classification performance with only one free parameter.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Ab-initio Elektronentheorie der magnetischen Anisotropie im System FePt mit der Clusterentwicklungsmethode

Subkow, S.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]


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Magnetism of amorphous and highly anisotropic multilayer systems on flat substrates and nanospheres

Amaladass, E. P.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (phdthesis)

mms

link (url) [BibTex]


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Bose-Theorie der Dämpfung der Bewegung einer magnetischen Domänenwand

Hähnel, D.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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GdFe-Multilagen zur Vergrö\sserung des magnetischen Vortexkerns

Sackmann, V.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dissipative Magnetisierungsdynamik: Ein Zugang über die ab-initio Elektronentheorie

Steiauf, D.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (phdthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Röntgenzirkulardichroische Untersuchungen XMCD an FePt und Ferrit Nanopartikeln

Nolle, D.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2008 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]