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Neural Information ProcessingLearning on Structured Representations

Neuronale Informationsverarbeitung

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Learning on Structured Representations


Learning from examples in order to predict is one of the standard tasks in machine learning. Many techniques have been developed to solve classification and regression problems, but by far, most of them were specifically designed for vectorial data. Vectorial data are very convenient because of the structure imposed by the Euclidean metric. For many data sets (protein sequences, text, images, videos, chemical formulas, etc.) a vector-based description is not only inconvenient but may simply wrong, and representations that consider relationships between objects or that embed objects in spaces with non-Euclidean structure are often more appropriate. Here we follow different approaches to extend learning from examples to non-vectorial data. One approach is focussed on an extension of kernel methods leading to learning algorithms specifically designed for relational data representations of a general form. In a second approach - specifically designed for objects which are naturally represented in terms of finite combinatorial structures - we explore embeddings into quotient spaces of a Euclidean vector space ("structure spaces"). In a third approach we consider representations of in spaces with data adapted geometries, i.e. using Riemannian manifolds as models for data spaces. In this context we are also interested in active learning schemes which are based on geometrical concepts. The developed algorithms have been applied to various applications domains, including bio- and chemoinformatics (cf. "Research" page "Applications to Problems in Bio- and Chemoinformatics") and the analysis of multimodal neural data (cf. "Research" page "MRI, EM, Autoradiography, and Multi-modal Data").

Acknowledgement: This work was funded by the BMWA and by the Technical University of Berlin.


The Potential Support Vector Machine (P-SVM)

Selected Publications:

Interaction of Instrumental and Goal-directed Learning Modulates Prediction Error Representations in the Ventral Striatum
Citation key Guo2016
Author Guo, R. and Böhmer, W. and Hebart, M. and Chien, S. and Sommer, T. and Obermayer, K.* and Gläscher, J.*
Pages 12650-12660
Year 2016
DOI https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1677-16.2016
Journal Journal of Neuroscience
Volume 36
Number 50
Month Dec
Abstract Goal-directed and instrumental learning are both important controllers of human behavior. Learning about which stimulus event occurs in the environment and the reward associated with them allows humans to seek out the most valuable stimulus and move through the environment in a goal-directed manner. Stimulus–response associations are characteristic of instrumental learning, whereas response–outcome associations are the hallmark of goal-directed learning. Here we provide behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging results from a novel task in which stimulus–response and response–outcome associations are learned simultaneously but dominate behavior at different stages of the experiment. We found that prediction error representations in the ventral striatum depend on which type of learning dominates. Furthermore, the amygdala tracks the time-dependent weighting of stimulus–response versus response–outcome learning. Our findings suggest that the goal-directed and instrumental controllers dynamically engage the ventral striatum in representing prediction errors whenever one of them is dominating choice behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Converging evidence in human neuroimaging studies has shown that the reward prediction errors are correlated with activity in the ventral striatum. Our results demonstrate that this region is simultaneously correlated with a stimulus prediction error. Furthermore, the learning system that is currently dominating behavioral choice dynamically engages the ventral striatum for computing its prediction errors. This demonstrates that the prediction error representations are highly dynamic and influenced by various experimental context. This finding points to a general role of the ventral striatum in detecting expectancy violations and encoding error signals regardless of the specific nature of the reinforcer itself.
Bibtex Type of Publication Selected:main selected:structured selected:publications
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