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5 Janelia Publications

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    12/13/16 | An empirical analysis of deep network loss surfaces.
    Im DJ, Tao M, Branson K
    arXiv. 2016 Dec 13:arXiv:1612.04010

    The training of deep neural networks is a high-dimension optimization problem with respect to the loss function of a model. Unfortunately, these functions are of high dimension and non-convex and hence difficult to characterize. In this paper, we empirically investigate the geometry of the loss functions for state-of-the-art networks with multiple stochastic optimization methods. We do this through several experiments that are visualized on polygons to understand how and when these stochastic optimization methods find minima.

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    11/01/16 | Learning recurrent representations for hierarchical behavior modeling.
    Eyjolfsdottir E, Branson K, Yue Y, Perona P
    arXiv. 2016 Nov 1;arXiv:1611.00094(arXiv:1611.00094):

    We propose a framework for detecting action patterns from motion sequences and modeling the sensory-motor relationship of animals, using a generative recurrent neural network. The network has a discriminative part (classifying actions) and a generative part (predicting motion), whose recurrent cells are laterally connected, allowing higher levels of the network to represent high level phenomena. We test our framework on two types of data, fruit fly behavior and online handwriting. Our results show that 1) taking advantage of unlabeled sequences, by predicting future motion, significantly improves action detection performance when training labels are scarce, 2) the network learns to represent high level phenomena such as writer identity and fly gender, without supervision, and 3) simulated motion trajectories, generated by treating motion prediction as input to the network, look realistic and may be used to qualitatively evaluate whether the model has learnt generative control rules.

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    10/31/16 | Learning a metric for class-conditional KNN.
    Im DJ, Taylor GW
    International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, IJCNN 2016. 2016 Oct 31:. doi: 10.1109/IJCNN.2016.7727436

    Naïve Bayes Nearest Neighbour (NBNN) is a simple and effective framework which addresses many of the pitfalls of K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) classification. It has yielded competitive results on several computer vision benchmarks. Its central tenet is that during NN search, a query is not compared to every example in a database, ignoring class information. Instead, NN searches are performed within each class, generating a score per class. A key problem with NN techniques, including NBNN, is that they fail when the data representation does not capture perceptual (e.g. class-based) similarity. NBNN circumvents this by using independent engineered descriptors (e.g. SIFT). To extend its applicability outside of image-based domains, we propose to learn a metric which captures perceptual similarity. Similar to how Neighbourhood Components Analysis optimizes a differentiable form of KNN classification, we propose 'Class Conditional' metric learning (CCML), which optimizes a soft form of the NBNN selection rule. Typical metric learning algorithms learn either a global or local metric. However, our proposed method can be adjusted to a particular level of locality by tuning a single parameter. An empirical evaluation on classification and retrieval tasks demonstrates that our proposed method clearly outperforms existing learned distance metrics across a variety of image and non-image datasets.

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    05/15/16 | Evidence for an audience effect in mice: male social partners alter the male vocal response to female cues.
    Seagraves KM, Arthur BJ, Egnor SE
    The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2016 May 15;219(Pt 10):1437-48. doi: 10.1242/jeb.129361

    Mice (Mus musculus) form large and dynamic social groups and emit ultrasonic vocalizations in a variety of social contexts. Surprisingly, these vocalizations have been studied almost exclusively in the context of cues from only one social partner, despite the observation that in many social species the presence of additional listeners changes the structure of communication signals. Here, we show that male vocal behavior elicited by female odor is affected by the presence of a male audience - with changes in vocalization count, acoustic structure and syllable complexity. We further show that single sensory cues are not sufficient to elicit this audience effect, indicating that multiple cues may be necessary for an audience to be apparent. Together, these experiments reveal that some features of mouse vocal behavior are only expressed in more complex social situations, and introduce a powerful new assay for measuring detection of the presence of social partners in mice.

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    04/18/16 | Computational Analysis of Behavior.
    Egnor SE, Branson K
    Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2016 Apr 18;39:217-36. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-070815-013845

    In this review, we discuss the emerging field of computational behavioral analysis-the use of modern methods from computer science and engineering to quantitatively measure animal behavior. We discuss aspects of experiment design important to both obtaining biologically relevant behavioral data and enabling the use of machine vision and learning techniques for automation. These two goals are often in conflict. Restraining or restricting the environment of the animal can simplify automatic behavior quantification, but it can also degrade the quality or alter important aspects of behavior. To enable biologists to design experiments to obtain better behavioral measurements, and computer scientists to pinpoint fruitful directions for algorithm improvement, we review known effects of artificial manipulation of the animal on behavior. We also review machine vision and learning techniques for tracking, feature extraction, automated behavior classification, and automated behavior discovery, the assumptions they make, and the types of data they work best with. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Neuroscience Volume 39 is July 08, 2016. Please see for revised estimates.

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