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2010


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Critical Casimir forces involving a chemically structured substrate

Parisen Toldin, F., Dietrich, S.

In International Journal of Modern Physics, 25, pages: 355-359, University of Oklahoma, USA, 2010 (inproceedings)

icm

DOI [BibTex]

2010


DOI [BibTex]


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Adhesion recovery and passive peeling in a wall climbing robot using adhesives

Kute, C., Murphy, M. P., Mengüç, Y., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 2797-2802, 2010 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Are reaching movements planned in kinematic or dynamic coordinates?

Ellmer, A., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of Neural Control of Movement Conference (NCM 2010), Naples, Florida, 2010, 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Whether human reaching movements are planned and optimized in kinematic (task space) or dynamic (joint or muscle space) coordinates is still an issue of debate. The first hypothesis implies that a planner produces a desired end-effector position at each point in time during the reaching movement, whereas the latter hypothesis includes the dynamics of the muscular-skeletal control system to produce a continuous end-effector trajectory. Previous work by Wolpert et al (1995) showed that when subjects were led to believe that their straight reaching paths corresponded to curved paths as shown on a computer screen, participants adapted the true path of their hand such that they would visually perceive a straight line in visual space, despite that they actually produced a curved path. These results were interpreted as supporting the stance that reaching trajectories are planned in kinematic coordinates. However, this experiment could only demonstrate that adaptation to altered paths, i.e. the position of the end-effector, did occur, but not that the precise timing of end-effector position was equally planned, i.e., the trajectory. Our current experiment aims at filling this gap by explicitly testing whether position over time, i.e. velocity, is a property of reaching movements that is planned in kinematic coordinates. In the current experiment, the velocity profiles of cursor movements corresponding to the participant's hand motions were skewed either to the left or to the right; the path itself was left unaltered. We developed an adaptation paradigm, where the skew of the velocity profile was introduced gradually and participants reported no awareness of any manipulation. Preliminary results indicate that the true hand motion of participants did not alter, i.e. there was no adaptation so as to counterbalance the introduced skew. However, for some participants, peak hand velocities were lowered for higher skews, which suggests that participants interpreted the manipulation as mere noise due to variance in their own movement. In summary, for a visuomotor transformation task, the hypothesis of a planned continuous end-effector trajectory predicts adaptation to a modified velocity profile. The current experiment found no systematic adaptation under such transformation, but did demonstrate an effect that is more in accordance that subjects could not perceive the manipulation and rather interpreted as an increase of noise.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Absence of element specific ferromagnetism in Co doped ZnO investigated by soft X-ray resonant reflectivity

Goering, E., Brück, S., Tietze, T., Jakob, G., Gacic, M., Adrian, H.

In 200, Glasgow, Scotland, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Probing the local magnetization dynamics in large systems with spatial inhomogeneity

Li, J, Lee, M.-S., Amaladass, E., He, W., Eimüller, T.

In 200, Glasgow, Scotland, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Wetting of grain boundaries in Al by the solid Al3Mg2 phase

Straumal, B. B., Baretzky, B., Kogtenkova, O. A., Straumal, A. B., Sidorenko, A. S.

In 45, pages: 2057-2061, Athens, Greek, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Damping of near-adiabatic magnetization dynamics by excitations of electron-hole pairs

Seib, J., Steiauf, D., Fähnle, M.

In 200, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Comparison of linear and nonlinear buck converter models with varying compensator gain values for design optimization

Sattler, Michael, Lui, Yusi, Edrington, Chris S

In North American Power Symposium (NAPS), 2010, pages: 1-7, 2010 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Optimality in Neuromuscular Systems

Theodorou, E. A., Valero-Cuevas, F.

In 32nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Abstract? We provide an overview of optimal control meth- ods to nonlinear neuromuscular systems and discuss their lim- itations. Moreover we extend current optimal control methods to their application to neuromuscular models with realistically numerous musculotendons; as most prior work is limited to torque-driven systems. Recent work on computational motor control has explored the used of control theory and esti- mation as a conceptual tool to understand the underlying computational principles of neuromuscular systems. After all, successful biological systems regularly meet conditions for stability, robustness and performance for multiple classes of complex tasks. Among a variety of proposed control theory frameworks to explain this, stochastic optimal control has become a dominant framework to the point of being a standard computational technique to reproduce kinematic trajectories of reaching movements (see [12]) In particular, we demonstrate the application of optimal control to a neuromuscular model of the index finger with all seven musculotendons producing a tapping task. Our simu- lations include 1) a muscle model that includes force- length and force-velocity characteristics; 2) an anatomically plausible biomechanical model of the index finger that includes a tendi- nous network for the extensor mechanism and 3) a contact model that is based on a nonlinear spring-damper attached at the end effector of the index finger. We demonstrate that it is feasible to apply optimal control to systems with realistically large state vectors and conclude that, while optimal control is an adequate formalism to create computational models of neuro- musculoskeletal systems, there remain important challenges and limitations that need to be considered and overcome such as contact transitions, curse of dimensionality, and constraints on states and controls.

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Magnetization reversal of Fe/Gd multilayers on self-assembled arrays of nanospheres

Amaladass, E., Eimüller, T., Ludescher, B., Tyliszczak, T., Schütz, G.

In 200, Glasgow, Scotland, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Enhancing the performance of Bio-inspired adhesives

Chung, H., Glass, P., Sitti, M., Washburn, N. R.

In ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 240, 2010 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Control performance simulation in the design of a flapping wing micro-aerial vehicle

Hines, L. L., Arabagi, V., Sitti, M.

In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pages: 1090-1095, 2010 (inproceedings)

pi

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Learning Policy Improvements with Path Integrals

Theodorou, E. A., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS 2010), 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
With the goal to generate more scalable algo- rithms with higher efficiency and fewer open parameters, reinforcement learning (RL) has recently moved towards combining classi- cal techniques from optimal control and dy- namic programming with modern learning techniques from statistical estimation the- ory. In this vein, this paper suggests the framework of stochastic optimal control with path integrals to derive a novel approach to RL with parametrized policies. While solidly grounded in value function estimation and optimal control based on the stochastic Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equations, policy improvements can be transformed into an approximation problem of a path inte- gral which has no open parameters other than the exploration noise. The resulting algorithm can be conceived of as model- based, semi-model-based, or even model free, depending on how the learning problem is structured. Our new algorithm demon- strates interesting similarities with previous RL research in the framework of proba- bility matching and provides intuition why the slightly heuristically motivated proba- bility matching approach can actually per- form well. Empirical evaluations demon- strate significant performance improvements over gradient-based policy learning and scal- ability to high-dimensional control problems. We believe that Policy Improvement with Path Integrals (PI2) offers currently one of the most efficient, numerically robust, and easy to implement algorithms for RL based on trajectory roll-outs.

am

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning optimal control solutions: a path integral approach

Theodorou, E., Schaal, S.

In Abstracts of Neural Control of Movement Conference (NCM 2010), Naples, Florida, 2010, 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
Investigating principles of human motor control in the framework of optimal control has had a long tradition in neural control of movement, and has recently experienced a new surge of investigations. Ideally, optimal control problems are addresses as a reinforcement learning (RL) problem, which would allow to investigate both the process of acquiring an optimal control solution as well as the solution itself. Unfortunately, the applicability of RL to complex neural and biomechanics systems has been largely impossible so far due to the computational difficulties that arise in high dimensional continuous state-action spaces. As a way out, research has focussed on computing optimal control solutions based on iterative optimal control methods that are based on linear and quadratic approximations of dynamical models and cost functions. These methods require perfect knowledge of the dynamics and cost functions while they are based on gradient and Newton optimization schemes. Their applicability is also restricted to low dimensional problems due to problematic convergence in high dimensions. Moreover, the process of computing the optimal solution is removed from the learning process that might be plausible in biology. In this work, we present a new reinforcement learning method for learning optimal control solutions or motor control. This method, based on the framework of stochastic optimal control with path integrals, has a very solid theoretical foundation, while resulting in surprisingly simple learning algorithms. It is also possible to apply this approach without knowledge of the system model, and to use a wide variety of complex nonlinear cost functions for optimization. We illustrate the theoretical properties of this approach and its applicability to learning motor control tasks for reaching movements and locomotion studies. We discuss its applicability to learning desired trajectories, variable stiffness control (co-contraction), and parameterized control policies. We also investigate the applicability to signal dependent noise control systems. We believe that the suggested method offers one of the easiest to use approaches to learning optimal control suggested in the literature so far, which makes it ideally suited for computational investigations of biological motor control.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Contact angles by the solid-phase grain boundary wetting (coverage) in the Co-Cu system

Straumal, B. B., Kogtenkova, O. A., Straumal, A. B., Kuchyeyev, Y. O., Baretzky, B.

In 45, pages: 4271-4275, Glasgow, Scotland, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A highly integrated low pressure fluid servo-valve for applications in wearable robotic systems

Folgheraiter, M., Jordan, M., Vaca Benitez, L. M., Grimminger, F., Schmidt, S., Albiez, J., Kirchner, F.

In ICINCO 2010 - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics, 2, pages: 72-78, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper an innovative low pressure servo-valve is presented. The device was designed with the main aim to be easily integrable into complex hydraulic/pneumatic actuation systems, and to operate at relatively low pressure (<50·105Pa). Characteristics like compactness, lightweight, high bandwidth, and autonomous sensory capability, where considered during the design process in order to achieve a device that fulfills the basic requirements for a wearable robotic system. Preliminary results about the prototype performances are presented here, in particular its dynamic behavior was measured for different working conditions, and a non-linear model identified using a recursive Hammerstein-Wiener parameter adaptation algorithm.

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Constrained Accelerations for Controlled Geometric Reduction: Sagittal-Plane Decoupling for Bipedal Locomotion

Gregg, R., Righetti, L., Buchli, J., Schaal, S.

In 2010 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, pages: 1-7, IEEE, Nashville, USA, 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Energy-shaping control methods have produced strong theoretical results for asymptotically stable 3D bipedal dynamic walking in the literature. In particular, geometric controlled reduction exploits robot symmetries to control momentum conservation laws that decouple the sagittal-plane dynamics, which are easier to stabilize. However, the associated control laws require high-dimensional matrix inverses multiplied with complicated energy-shaping terms, often making these control theories difficult to apply to highly-redundant humanoid robots. This paper presents a first step towards the application of energy-shaping methods on real robots by casting controlled reduction into a framework of constrained accelerations for inverse dynamics control. By representing momentum conservation laws as constraints in acceleration space, we construct a general expression for desired joint accelerations that render the constraint surface invariant. By appropriately choosing an orthogonal projection, we show that the unconstrained (reduced) dynamics are decoupled from the constrained dynamics. Any acceleration-based controller can then be used to stabilize this planar subsystem, including passivity-based methods. The resulting control law is surprisingly simple and represents a practical way to employ control theoretic stability results in robotic platforms. Simulated walking of a 3D compass-gait biped show correspondence between the new and original controllers, and simulated motions of a 16-DOF humanoid demonstrate the applicability of this method.

am mg

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Unusual super-ductility at room temperature in an ultrafine-grained aluminum alloy

Valiev, R. Z., Murashkin, M. Y., Kilmametov, A., Straumal, B., Chinh, N. Q., Langdon, T.

In 45, pages: 4718-4724, Seattle, WA, USA, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Demagnetization on the fs time-scale by the Elliott-Yafet mechanism

Steiauf, D., Illg, C., Fähnle, M.

In 200, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Surface tension driven water strider robot using circular footpads

Ozcan, O., Wang, H., Taylor, J. D., Sitti, M.

In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 3799-3804, 2010 (inproceedings)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Variable impedance control - a reinforcement learning approach

Buchli, J., Theodorou, E., Stulp, F., Schaal, S.

In Robotics Science and Systems (2010), Zaragoza, Spain, June 27-30, 2010, clmc (inproceedings)

Abstract
One of the hallmarks of the performance, versatility, and robustness of biological motor control is the ability to adapt the impedance of the overall biomechanical system to different task requirements and stochastic disturbances. A transfer of this principle to robotics is desirable, for instance to enable robots to work robustly and safely in everyday human environments. It is, however, not trivial to derive variable impedance controllers for practical high DOF robotic tasks. In this contribution, we accomplish such gain scheduling with a reinforcement learning approach algorithm, PI2 (Policy Improvement with Path Integrals). PI2 is a model-free, sampling based learning method derived from first principles of optimal control. The PI2 algorithm requires no tuning of algorithmic parameters besides the exploration noise. The designer can thus fully focus on cost function design to specify the task. From the viewpoint of robotics, a particular useful property of PI2 is that it can scale to problems of many DOFs, so that RL on real robotic systems becomes feasible. We sketch the PI2 algorithm and its theoretical properties, and how it is applied to gain scheduling. We evaluate our approach by presenting results on two different simulated robotic systems, a 3-DOF Phantom Premium Robot and a 6-DOF Kuka Lightweight Robot. We investigate tasks where the optimal strategy requires both tuning of the impedance of the end-effector, and tuning of a reference trajectory. The results show that we can use path integral based RL not only for planning but also to derive variable gain feedback controllers in realistic scenarios. Thus, the power of variable impedance control is made available to a wide variety of robotic systems and practical applications.

am

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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The X-ray microscopy beamline UE46-PGM2 at BESSY

Follath, R., Schmidt, J. S., Weigand, M., Fauth, K.

In 10th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation, 1234, pages: 323-326, AIP Conference Proceedings, American Institute of Physics, Melbourne, Australia, 2010 (inproceedings)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Inverse dynamics with optimal distribution of ground reaction forces for legged robot

Righetti, L., Buchli, J., Mistry, M., Schaal, S.

In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR), pages: 580-587, Nagoya, Japan, sep 2010 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Contact interaction with the environment is crucial in the design of locomotion controllers for legged robots, to prevent slipping for example. Therefore, it is of great importance to be able to control the effects of the robots movements on the contact reaction forces. In this contribution, we extend a recent inverse dynamics algorithm for floating base robots to optimize the distribution of contact forces while achieving precise trajectory tracking. The resulting controller is algorithmically simple as compared to other approaches. Numerical simulations show that this result significantly increases the range of possible movements of a humanoid robot as compared to the previous inverse dynamics algorithm. We also present a simplification of the result where no inversion of the inertia matrix is needed which is particularly relevant for practical use on a real robot. Such an algorithm becomes interesting for agile locomotion of robots on difficult terrains where the contacts with the environment are critical, such as walking over rough or slippery terrain.

am mg

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Effects of Wheel Synchronization for the Hybrid Leg-Wheel Robot Asguard

Babu, A., Joyeux, S., Schwendner, J., Grimminger, F.

In Proceedings of International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space. International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS-10), August 29-September 1, Sapporo, Japan, August 2010 (inproceedings)

am

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2008


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Stereo Matching for Calibrated Cameras without Correspondence

Helmke, U., Hüper, K., Vences, L.

In CDC 2008, pages: 2408-2413, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 47th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study the stereo matching problem for reconstruction of the location of 3D-points on an unknown surface patch from two calibrated identical cameras without using any a priori information about the pointwise correspondences. We assume that camera parameters and the pose between the cameras are known. Our approach follows earlier work for coplanar cameras where a gradient flow algorithm was proposed to match associated Gramians. Here we extend this method by allowing arbitrary poses for the cameras. We introduce an intrinsic Riemannian Newton algorithm that achieves local quadratic convergence rates. A closed form solution is presented, too. The efficiency of both algorithms is demonstrated by numerical experiments.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

2008


PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Joint Kernel Support Estimation for Structured Prediction

Lampert, C., Blaschko, M.

In Proceedings of the NIPS 2008 Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO 2008), pages: 1-4, NIPS Workshop on "Structured Input - Structured Output" (NIPS SISO), December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a new technique for structured prediction that works in a hybrid generative/ discriminative way, using a one-class support vector machine to model the joint probability of (input, output)-pairs in a joint reproducing kernel Hilbert space. Compared to discriminative techniques, like conditional random elds or structured out- put SVMs, the proposed method has the advantage that its training time depends only on the number of training examples, not on the size of the label space. Due to its generative aspect, it is also very tolerant against ambiguous, incomplete or incorrect labels. Experiments on realistic data show that our method works eciently and robustly in situations for which discriminative techniques have computational or statistical problems.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Frequent Subgraph Retrieval in Geometric Graph Databases

Nowozin, S., Tsuda, K.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 953-958, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 8th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

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 lar ger than for non-geometric graph mining,the total time is within a reasonable level even for small minimum support.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Block Iterative Algorithms for Non-negative Matrix Approximation

Sra, S.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 1037-1042, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, Eighth IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper 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~cite{lee00} 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 textbf {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~cite{suv.nips}. Experimentally, we show that our algorithms outperform the traditional Lee/Seung approach most of the time.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Bayesian Approach to Switching Linear Gaussian State-Space Models for Unsupervised Time-Series Segmentation

Chiappa, S.

In ICMLA 2008, pages: 3-9, (Editors: Wani, M. A., X.-W. Chen, D. Casasent, L. Kurgan, T. Hu, K. Hafeez), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 7th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Time-series segmentation in the fully unsupervised scenario in which the number of segment-types is a priori unknown is a fundamental problem in many applications. We propose a Bayesian approach to a segmentation model based on the switching linear Gaussian state-space model that enforces a sparse parametrization, such as to use only a small number of a priori available different dynamics to explain the data. This enables us to estimate the number of segment-types within the model, in contrast to previous non-Bayesian approaches where training and comparing several separate models was required. As the resulting model is computationally intractable, we introduce a variational approximation where a reformulation of the problem enables the use of efficient inference algorithms.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Iterative Subgraph Mining for Principal Component Analysis

Saigo, H., Tsuda, K.

In ICDM 2008, pages: 1007-1012, (Editors: Giannotti, F. , D. Gunopulos, F. Turini, C. Zaniolo, N. Ramakrishnan, X. Wu), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, December 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Graph mining methods enumerate frequent subgraphs efficiently, but they are not necessarily good features for machine learning due to high correlation among features. Thus it makes sense to perform principal component analysis to reduce the dimensionality and create decorrelated features. We present a novel iterative mining algorithm that captures informative patterns corresponding to major entries of top principal components. It repeatedly calls weighted substructure mining where example weights are updated in each iteration. The Lanczos algorithm, a standard algorithm of eigendecomposition, is employed to update the weights. In experiments, our patterns are shown to approximate the principal components obtained by frequent mining.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Probabilistic Inference for Fast Learning in Control

Rasmussen, CE., Deisenroth, MP.

In EWRL 2008, pages: 229-242, (Editors: Girgin, S. , M. Loth, R. Munos, P. Preux, D. Ryabko), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning, November 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We provide a novel framework for very fast model-based reinforcement learning in continuous state and action spaces. The framework requires probabilistic models that explicitly characterize their levels of confidence. Within this framework, we use flexible, non-parametric models to describe the world based on previously collected experience. We demonstrate learning on the cart-pole problem in a setting where we provide very limited prior knowledge about the task. Learning progresses rapidly, and a good policy is found after only a hand-full of iterations.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Learning: A Unified Perspective with Applications in Robotics

Peters, J., Kober, J., Nguyen-Tuong, D.

In EWRL 2008, pages: 220-228, (Editors: Girgin, S. , M. Loth, R. Munos, P. Preux, D. Ryabko), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 8th European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning, November 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Policy Learning approaches are among the best suited methods for high-dimensional, continuous control systems such as anthropomorphic robot arms and humanoid robots. In this paper, we show two contributions: firstly, we show a unified perspective which allows us to derive several policy learning algorithms from a common point of view, i.e, policy gradient algorithms, natural-gradient algorithms and EM-like policy learning. Secondly, we present several applications to both robot motor primitive learning as well as to robot control in task space. Results both from simulation and several different real robots are shown.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning to Localize Objects with Structured Output Regression

Blaschko, MB., Lampert, CH.

In ECCV 2008, pages: 2-15, (Editors: Forsyth, D. A., P. H.S. Torr, A. Zisserman), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 10th European Conference on Computer Vision, October 2008, Best Student Paper Award (inproceedings)

Abstract
Sliding window classifiers are among the most successful and widely applied techniques for object localization. However, training is typically done in a way that is not specific to the localization task. First a binary classifier is trained using a sample of positive and negative examples, and this classifier is subsequently applied to multiple regions within test images. We propose instead to treat object localization in a principled way by posing it as a problem of predicting structured data: we model the problem not as binary classification, but as the prediction of the bounding box of objects located in images. The use of a joint-kernel framework allows us to formulate the training procedure as a generalization of an SVM, which can be solved efficiently. We further improve computational efficiency by using a branch-and-bound strategy for localization during both training and testing. Experimental evaluation on the PASCAL VOC and TU Darmstadt datasets show that the structured training procedure improves pe rformance over binary training as well as the best previously published scores.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Automatic Image Colorization Via Multimodal Predictions

Charpiat, G., Hofmann, M., Schölkopf, B.

In Computer Vision - ECCV 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5304, pages: 126-139, (Editors: DA Forsyth and PHS Torr and A Zisserman), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 10th European Conference on Computer Vision, October 2008 (inproceedings)

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

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Nonparametric Independence Tests: Space Partitioning and Kernel Approaches

Gretton, A., Györfi, L.

In ALT08, pages: 183-198, (Editors: Freund, Y. , L. Györfi, G. Turán, T. Zeugmann), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 19th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT08), October 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Three simple and explicit procedures for testing the independence of two multi-dimensional random variables are described. Two of the associated test statistics (L1, log-likelihood) are defined when the empirical distribution of the variables is restricted to finite partitions. A third test statistic is defined as a kernel-based independence measure. All tests reject the null hypothesis of independence if the test statistics become large. The large deviation and limit distribution properties of all three test statistics are given. Following from these results, distributionfree strong consistent tests of independence are derived, as are asymptotically alpha-level tests. The performance of the tests is evaluated experimentally on benchmark data.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Automatic 3D Face Reconstruction from Single Images or Video

Breuer, P., Kim, K., Kienzle, W., Schölkopf, B., Blanz, V.

In FG 2008, pages: 1-8, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 8th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper presents a fully automated algorithm for reconstructing a textured 3D model of a face from a single photograph or a raw video stream. The algorithm is based on a combination of Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and a Morphable Model of 3D faces. After SVM face detection, individual facial features are detected using a novel regression- and classification-based approach, and probabilistically plausible configurations of features are selected to produce a list of candidates for several facial feature positions. In the next step, the configurations of feature points are evaluated using a novel criterion that is based on a Morphable Model and a combination of linear projections. To make the algorithm robust with respect to head orientation, this process is iterated while the estimate of pose is refined. Finally, the feature points initialize a model-fitting procedure of the Morphable Model. The result is a highresolution 3D surface model.

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel Measures of Conditional Dependence

Fukumizu, K., Gretton, A., Sun, X., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 489-496, (Editors: JC Platt and D Koller and Y Singer and S Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 21st Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose a new measure of conditional dependence of random variables, based on normalized cross-covariance operators on reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces. Unlike previous kernel dependence measures, the proposed criterion does not depend on the choice of kernel in the limit of infinite data, for a wide class of kernels. At the same time, it has a straightforward empirical estimate with good convergence behaviour. We discuss the theoretical properties of the measure, and demonstrate its application in experiments.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Analysis of Inference with the Universum

Sinz, F., Chapelle, O., Agarwal, A., Schölkopf, B.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 1369-1376, (Editors: JC Platt and D Koller and Y Singer and S Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 21st Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We study a pattern classification algorithm which has recently been proposed by Vapnik and coworkers. It builds on a new inductive principle which assumes that in addition to positive and negative data, a third class of data is available, termed the Universum. We assay the behavior of the algorithm by establishing links with Fisher discriminant analysis and oriented PCA, as well as with an SVM in a projected subspace (or, equivalently, with a data-dependent reduced kernel). We also provide experimental results.

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PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning with Transformation Invariant Kernels

Walder, C., Chapelle, O.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 1561-1568, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper considers kernels invariant to translation, rotation and dilation. We show that no non-trivial positive definite (p.d.) kernels exist which are radial and dilation invariant, only conditionally positive definite (c.p.d.) ones. Accordingly, we discuss the c.p.d. case and provide some novel analysis, including an elementary derivation of a c.p.d. representer theorem. On the practical side, we give a support vector machine (s.v.m.) algorithm for arbitrary c.p.d. kernels. For the thinplate kernel this leads to a classifier with only one parameter (the amount of regularisation), which we demonstrate to be as effective as an s.v.m. with the Gaussian kernel, even though the Gaussian involves a second parameter (the length scale).

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Episodic Reinforcement Learning by Logistic Reward-Weighted Regression

Wierstra, D., Schaul, T., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

In ICANN 2008, pages: 407-416, (Editors: Kurkova-Pohlova, V. , R. Neruda, J. Koutnik), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
It has been a long-standing goal in the adaptive control community to reduce the generically difficult, general reinforcement learning (RL) problem to simpler problems solvable by supervised learning. While this approach is today’s standard for value function-based methods, fewer approaches are known that apply similar reductions to policy search methods. Recently, it has been shown that immediate RL problems can be solved by reward-weighted regression, and that the resulting algorithm is an expectation maximization (EM) algorithm with strong guarantees. In this paper, we extend this algorithm to the episodic case and show that it can be used in the context of LSTM recurrent neural networks (RNNs). The resulting RNN training algorithm is equivalent to a weighted self-modeling supervised learning technique. We focus on partially observable Markov decision problems (POMDPs) where it is essential that the policy is nonstationary in order to be optimal. We show that this new reward-weighted logistic regression u sed in conjunction with an RNN architecture can solve standard benchmark POMDPs with ease.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Local Gaussian Processes Regression for Real-time Model-based Robot Control

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

In IROS 2008, pages: 380-385, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
High performance and compliant robot control require accurate dynamics models which cannot be obtained analytically for sufficiently complex robot systems. In such cases, machine learning offers a promising alternative for approximating the robot dynamics using measured data. This approach offers a natural framework to incorporate unknown nonlinearities as well as to continually adapt online for changes in the robot dynamics. However, the most accurate regression methods, e.g. Gaussian processes regression (GPR) and support vector regression (SVR), suffer from exceptional high computational complexity which prevents their usage for large numbers of samples or online learning to date. Inspired by locally linear regression techniques, we propose an approximation to the standard GPR using local Gaussian processes models. Due to reduced computational cost, local Gaussian processes (LGP) can be applied for larger sample-sizes and online learning. Comparisons with other nonparametric regressions, e.g. standard GPR, nu-SVR and locally weighted projection regression (LWPR), show that LGP has higher accuracy than LWPR close to the performance of standard GPR and nu-SVR while being sufficiently fast for online learning.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Colored Maximum Variance Unfolding

Song, L., Smola, A., Borgwardt, K., Gretton, A.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 1385-1392, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Maximum variance unfolding (MVU) is an effective heuristic for dimensionality reduction. It produces a low-dimensional representation of the data by maximizing the variance of their embeddings while preserving the local distances of the original data. We show that MVU also optimizes a statistical dependence measure which aims to retain the identity of individual observations under the distancepreserving constraints. This general view allows us to design "colored" variants of MVU, which produce low-dimensional representations for a given task, e.g. subject to class labels or other side information.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Assessing Nonlinear Granger Causality from Multivariate Time Series

Sun, X.

In Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases: European Conference, ECML PKDD 2008, pages: 440-455, (Editors: Daelemans, W. , B. Goethals, K. Morik), Springer, Berlin, Germany, European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECML PKDD), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A straightforward nonlinear extension of Granger’s concept of causality in the kernel framework is suggested. The kernel-based approach to assessing nonlinear Granger causality in multivariate time series enables us to determine, in a model-free way, whether the causal relation between two time series is present or not and whether it is direct or mediated by other processes. The trace norm of the so-called covariance operator in feature space is used to measure the prediction error. Relying on this measure, we test the improvement of predictability between time series by subsampling-based multiple testing. The distributional properties of the resulting p-values reveal the direction of Granger causality. Experiments with simulated and real-world data show that our method provides encouraging results.

ei

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Near-Maximum Entropy Models for Binary Neural Representations of Natural Images

Bethge, M., Berens, P.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 97-104, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Maximum entropy analysis of binary variables provides an elegant way for studying the role of pairwise correlations in neural populations. Unfortunately, these approaches suffer from their poor scalability to high dimensions. In sensory coding, however, high-dimensional data is ubiquitous. Here, we introduce a new approach using a near-maximum entropy model, that makes this type of analysis feasible for very high-dimensional data - the model parameters can be derived in closed form and sampling is easy. We demonstrate its usefulness by studying a simple neural representation model of natural images. For the first time, we are able to directly compare predictions from a pairwise maximum entropy model not only in small groups of neurons, but also in larger populations of more than thousand units. Our results indicate that in such larger networks interactions exist that are not predicted by pairwise correlations, despite the fact that pairwise correlations explain the lower-dimensional marginal statistics extrem ely well up to the limit of dimensionality where estimation of the full joint distribution is feasible.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Learning Perceptual Coupling for Motor Primitives

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

In IROS 2008, pages: 834-839, IEEE Service Center, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Dynamic system-based motor primitives [1] have enabled robots to learn complex tasks ranging from Tennisswings to locomotion. However, to date there have been only few extensions which have incorporated perceptual coupling to variables of external focus, and, furthermore, these modifications have relied upon handcrafted solutions. Humans learn how to couple their movement primitives with external variables. Clearly, such a solution is needed in robotics. In this paper, we propose an augmented version of the dynamic systems motor primitives which incorporates perceptual coupling to an external variable. The resulting perceptually driven motor primitives include the previous primitives as a special case and can inherit some of their interesting properties. We show that these motor primitives can perform complex tasks such as Ball-in-a-Cup or Kendama task even with large variances in the initial conditions where a skilled human player would be challenged. For doing so, we initialize the motor primitives in the traditional way by imitation learning without perceptual coupling. Subsequently, we improve the motor primitives using a novel reinforcement learning method which is particularly well-suited for motor primitives.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Receptive Fields without Spike-Triggering

Macke, J., Zeck, G., Bethge, M.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 969-976, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Stimulus selectivity of sensory neurons is often characterized by estimating their receptive field properties such as orientation selectivity. Receptive fields are usually derived from the mean (or covariance) of the spike-triggered stimulus ensemble. This approach treats each spike as an independent message but does not take into account that information might be conveyed through patterns of neural activity that are distributed across space or time. Can we find a concise description for the processing of a whole population of neurons analogous to the receptive field for single neurons? Here, we present a generalization of the linear receptive field which is not bound to be triggered on individual spikes but can be meaningfully linked to distributed response patterns. More precisely, we seek to identify those stimulus features and the corresponding patterns of neural activity that are most reliably coupled. We use an extension of reverse-correlation methods based on canonical correlation analysis. The resulting population receptive fields span the subspace of stimuli that is most informative about the population response. We evaluate our approach using both neuronal models and multi-electrode recordings from rabbit retinal ganglion cells. We show how the model can be extended to capture nonlinear stimulus-response relationships using kernel canonical correlation analysis, which makes it possible to test different coding mechanisms. Our technique can also be used to calculate receptive fields from multi-dimensional neural measurements such as those obtained from dynamic imaging methods.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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An Automated Combination of Kernels for Predicting Protein Subcellular Localization

Ong, C., Zien, A.

In WABI 2008, pages: 186-197, (Editors: Crandall, K. A., J. Lagergren), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 8th Workshop on Algorithms in Bioinformatics, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Protein subcellular localization is a crucial ingredient to many important inferences about cellular processes, including prediction of protein function and protein interactions. While many predictive computational tools have been proposed, they tend to have complicated architectures and require many design decisions from the developer. Here we utilize the multiclass support vector machine (m-SVM) method to directly solve protein subcellular localization without resorting to the common approach of splitting the problem into several binary classification problems. We further propose a general class of protein sequence kernels which considers all motifs, including motifs with gaps. Instead of heuristically selecting one or a few kernels from this family, we utilize a recent extension of SVMs that optimizes over multiple kernels simultaneously. This way, we automatically search over families of possible amino acid motifs. We compare our automated approach to three other predictors on four different datasets, and show that we perform better than the current state of the art. Further, our method provides some insights as to which sequence motifs are most useful for determining subcellular ocalization, which are in agreement with biological reasoning.

ei

PDF PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Discriminative K-means for Clustering

Ye, J., Zhao, Z., Wu, M.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 1649-1656, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a theoretical study on the discriminative clustering framework, recently proposed for simultaneous subspace selection via linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and clustering. Empirical results have shown its favorable performance in comparison with several other popular clustering algorithms. However, the inherent relationship between subspace selection and clustering in this framework is not well understood, due to the iterative nature of the algorithm. We show in this paper that this iterative subspace selection and clustering is equivalent to kernel K-means with a specific kernel Gram matrix. This provides significant and new insights into the nature of this subspace selection procedure. Based on this equivalence relationship, we propose the Discriminative K-means (DisKmeans) algorithm for simultaneous LDA subspace selection and clustering, as well as an automatic parameter estimation procedure. We also present the nonlinear extension of DisKmeans using kernels. We show that the learning of the ke rnel matrix over a convex set of pre-specified kernel matrices can be incorporated into the clustering formulation. The connection between DisKmeans and several other clustering algorithms is also analyzed. The presented theories and algorithms are evaluated through experiments on a collection of benchmark data sets.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Inference for Spiking Neuron Models with a Sparsity Prior

Gerwinn, S., Macke, J., Seeger, M., Bethge, M.

In Advances in neural information processing systems 20, pages: 529-536, (Editors: Platt, J. C., D. Koller, Y. Singer, S. Roweis), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, Twenty-First Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Generalized linear models are the most commonly used tools to describe the stimulus selectivity of sensory neurons. Here we present a Bayesian treatment of such models. Using the expectation propagation algorithm, we are able to approximate the full posterior distribution over all weights. In addition, we use a Laplacian prior to favor sparse solutions. Therefore, stimulus features that do not critically influence neural activity will be assigned zero weights and thus be effectively excluded by the model. This feature selection mechanism facilitates both the interpretation of the neuron model as well as its predictive abilities. The posterior distribution can be used to obtain confidence intervals which makes it possible to assess the statistical significance of the solution. In neural data analysis, the available amount of experimental measurements is often limited whereas the parameter space is large. In such a situation, both regularization by a sparsity prior and uncertainty estimates for the model parameters are essential. We apply our method to multi-electrode recordings of retinal ganglion cells and use our uncertainty estimate to test the statistical significance of functional couplings between neurons. Furthermore we used the sparsity of the Laplace prior to select those filters from a spike-triggered covariance analysis that are most informative about the neural response.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Policy Gradients with Parameter-based Exploration for Control

Sehnke, F., Osendorfer, C., Rückstiess, T., Graves, A., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

In ICANN 2008, pages: 387-396, (Editors: Kurkova-Pohlova, V. , R. Neruda, J. Koutnik), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 18th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks, September 2008 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We present a model-free reinforcement learning method for partially observable Markov decision problems. Our method estimates a likelihood gradient by sampling directly in parameter space, which leads to lower variance gradient estimates than those obtained by policy gradient methods such as REINFORCE. For several complex control tasks, including robust standing with a humanoid robot, we show that our method outperforms well-known algorithms from the fields of policy gradients, finite difference methods and population based heuristics. We also provide a detailed analysis of the differences between our method and the other algorithms.

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]