Djalel Benbouzid

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AI Research Scientist at Volkswagen Data:Lab Munich

  • Active Learning based on Data Uncertainty and Model Sensitivity

    Robots can rapidly acquire new skills from demonstrations. However, during generalisation of skills or transitioning across fundamentally different skills, it is unclear whether the robot has the necessary knowledge to perform the task. Failing to detect missing information often leads to abrupt movements or to collisions with the environment. Active learning can quantify the uncertainty of performing the task and, in general, locate regions of missing information. We introduce a novel algorithm for active learning and demonstrate its utility for generating smooth trajectories. Our approach is based on deep generative models and metric learning in latent spaces. It relies on the Jacobian of the likelihood to detect non-smooth transitions in the latent space, i.e., transitions that lead to abrupt changes in the movement of the robot. When non-smooth transitions are detected, our algorithm asks for an additional demonstration from that specific region. The newly acquired knowledge modifies the data manifold and allows for learning a latent representation for generating smooth movements. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach on generalising elementary skills, transitioning across different skills, and implicitly avoiding collisions with the environment. For our experiments, we use a simulated pendulum where we observe its motion from images and a 7-DoF anthropomorphic arm.

    08/06/2018 ∙ by Nutan Chen, et al. ∙ 8 share

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  • Unsupervised Real-Time Control through Variational Empowerment

    We introduce a methodology for efficiently computing a lower bound to empowerment, allowing it to be used as an unsupervised cost function for policy learning in real-time control. Empowerment, being the channel capacity between actions and states, maximises the influence of an agent on its near future. It has been shown to be a good model of biological behaviour in the absence of an extrinsic goal. But empowerment is also prohibitively hard to compute, especially in nonlinear continuous spaces. We introduce an efficient, amortised method for learning empowerment-maximising policies. We demonstrate that our algorithm can reliably handle continuous dynamical systems using system dynamics learned from raw data. The resulting policies consistently drive the agents into states where they can use their full potential.

    10/13/2017 ∙ by Maximilian Karl, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Fast classification using sparse decision DAGs

    In this paper we propose an algorithm that builds sparse decision DAGs (directed acyclic graphs) from a list of base classifiers provided by an external learning method such as AdaBoost. The basic idea is to cast the DAG design task as a Markov decision process. Each instance can decide to use or to skip each base classifier, based on the current state of the classifier being built. The result is a sparse decision DAG where the base classifiers are selected in a data-dependent way. The method has a single hyperparameter with a clear semantics of controlling the accuracy/speed trade-off. The algorithm is competitive with state-of-the-art cascade detectors on three object-detection benchmarks, and it clearly outperforms them when there is a small number of base classifiers. Unlike cascades, it is also readily applicable for multi-class classification. Using the multi-class setup, we show on a benchmark web page ranking data set that we can significantly improve the decision speed without harming the performance of the ranker.

    06/27/2012 ∙ by Djalel Benbouzid, et al. ∙ 0 share

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