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## Publications

Publications (877)

We rethink the traditional reinforcement learning approach, which is based on optimizing over feedback policies, and propose a new framework that optimizes over feedforward inputs instead. This not only mitigates the risk of destabilizing the system during training but also reduces the bulk of the learning to a supervised learning task. As a result...

Atmospheric retrievals (AR) of exoplanets typically rely on a combination of a Bayesian inference technique and a forward simulator to estimate atmospheric properties from an observed spectrum. A key component in simulating spectra is the pressure-temperature (PT) profile, which describes the thermal structure of the atmosphere. Current AR pipeline...

We present an implementation of an online optimization algorithm for hitting a predefined target when returning ping-pong balls with a table tennis robot. The online algorithm optimizes over so-called interception policies, which define the manner in which the robot arm intercepts the ball. In our case, these are composed of the state of the robot...

Coupling normalizing flows allow for fast sampling and density evaluation, making them the tool of choice for probabilistic modeling of physical systems. However, the standard coupling architecture precludes endowing flows that operate on the Cartesian coordinates of atoms with the SE(3) and permutation invariances of physical systems. This work pr...

Experimentation on real robots is demanding in terms of time and costs. For this reason, a large part of the reinforcement learning (RL) community uses simulators to develop and benchmark algorithms. However, insights gained in simulation do not necessarily translate to real robots, in particular for tasks involving complex interactions with the en...

Epigenetic modifications are dynamic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. Unlike the DNA sequence, epigenetic patterns vary not only between individuals, but also between different cell types within an individual. Environmental factors, somatic mutations and ageing contribute to epigenetic changes that may constitute early hall...

Learning policies from previously recorded data is a promising direction for real-world robotics tasks, as online learning is often infeasible. Dexterous manipulation in particular remains an open problem in its general form. The combination of offline reinforcement learning with large diverse datasets, however, has the potential to lead to a break...

To avoid failures on out-of-distribution data, recent works have sought to extract features that have a stable or invariant relationship with the label across domains, discarding the "spurious" or unstable features whose relationship with the label changes across domains. However, unstable features often carry complementary information about the la...

A long-lasting goal of robotics research is to operate robots safely, while achieving high performance which often involves fast motions. Traditional motor-driven systems frequently struggle to balance these competing demands. Addressing this trade-off is crucial for advancing fields such as manufacturing and healthcare, where seamless collaboratio...

Robotic applications require the integration of various modalities, encompassing perception, control of real robots and possibly the control of simulated environments. While the state-of-the-art robotic software solutions such as ROS 2 provide most of the required features, flexible synchronization between algorithms, data streams and control loops...

Traditional large-scale neuroscience models and machine learning utilize simplified models of individual neurons, relying on collective activity and properly adjusted connections to perform complex computations. However, each biological cortical neuron is inherently a sophisticated computational device, as corroborated in a recent study where it to...

Large text-to-image diffusion models have impressive capabilities in generating photorealistic images from text prompts. How to effectively guide or control these powerful models to perform different downstream tasks becomes an important open problem. To tackle this challenge, we introduce a principled finetuning method -- Orthogonal Finetuning (OF...

Causal inference is one of the hallmarks of human intelligence. While the field of CausalNLP has attracted much interest in the recent years, existing causal inference datasets in NLP primarily rely on discovering causality from empirical knowledge (e.g., commonsense knowledge). In this work, we propose the first benchmark dataset to test the pure...

We study causal effect estimation from a mixture of observational and interventional data in a confounded linear regression model with multivariate treatments. We show that the statistical efficiency in terms of expected squared error can be improved by combining estimators arising from both the observational and interventional setting. To this end...

Selecting hyperparameters in deep learning greatly impacts its effectiveness but requires manual effort and expertise. Recent works show that Bayesian model selection with Laplace approximations can allow to optimize such hyperparameters just like standard neural network parameters using gradients and on the training data. However, estimating a sin...

In oncology, intratumoural heterogeneity is closely linked with the efficacy of therapy, and can be partially characterized via tumour biopsies. Here we show that intratumoural heterogeneity can be characterized spatially via phenotype-specific, multi-view learning classifiers trained with data from dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) and mu...

We study the problem of learning causal representations from unknown, latent interventions in a general setting, where the latent distribution is Gaussian but the mixing function is completely general. We prove strong identifiability results given unknown single-node interventions, i.e., without having access to the intervention targets. This gener...

We study causal representation learning, the task of inferring latent causal variables and their causal relations from high-dimensional functions ("mixtures") of the variables. Prior work relies on weak supervision, in the form of counterfactual pre- and post-intervention views or temporal structure; places restrictive assumptions, such as linearit...

Membership Inference attacks (MIAs) aim to predict whether a data sample was present in the training data of a machine learning model or not, and are widely used for assessing the privacy risks of language models. Most existing attacks rely on the observation that models tend to assign higher probabilities to their training samples than non-trainin...

Independent Component Analysis (ICA) aims to recover independent latent variables from observed mixtures thereof. Causal Representation Learning (CRL) aims instead to infer causally related (thus often statistically dependent) latent variables, together with the unknown graph encoding their causal relationships. We introduce an intermediate problem...

Neural posterior estimation methods based on discrete normalizing flows have become established tools for simulation-based inference (SBI), but scaling them to high-dimensional problems can be challenging. Building on recent advances in generative modeling, we here present flow matching posterior estimation (FMPE), a technique for SBI using continu...

Learning structured representations of the visual world in terms of objects promises to significantly improve the generalization abilities of current machine learning models. While recent efforts to this end have shown promising empirical progress, a theoretical account of when unsupervised object-centric representation learning is possible is stil...

Transformer models bring propelling advances in various NLP tasks, thus inducing lots of interpretability research on the learned representations of the models. However, we raise a fundamental question regarding the reliability of the representations. Specifically, we investigate whether transformers learn essentially isomorphic representation spac...

While several previous studies have analyzed gender bias in research, we are still missing a comprehensive analysis of gender differences in the AI community, covering diverse topics and different development trends. Using the AI Scholar dataset of 78K researchers in the field of AI, we identify several gender differences: (1) Although female resea...

Causality is a central concept in a wide range of research areas, yet there is still no universally agreed axiomatisation of causality. We view causality both as an extension of probability theory and as a study of \textit{what happens when one intervenes on a system}, and argue in favour of taking Kolmogorov's measure-theoretic axiomatisation of p...

Moment restrictions and their conditional counterparts emerge in many areas of machine learning and statistics ranging from causal inference to reinforcement learning. Estimators for these tasks, generally called methods of moments, include the prominent generalized method of moments (GMM) which has recently gained attention in causal inference. GM...

With the recent advances in natural language processing (NLP), a vast number of applications have emerged across various use cases. Among the plethora of NLP applications, many academic researchers are motivated to do work that has a positive social impact, in line with the recent initiatives of NLP for Social Good (NLP4SG). However, it is not alwa...

NLP datasets are richer than just input-output pairs; rather, they carry causal relations between the input and output variables. In this work, we take sentiment classification as an example and look into the causal relations between the review (X) and sentiment (Y). As psychology studies show that language can affect emotion, different psychologic...

The number of published metagenome assemblies is rapidly growing due to advances in sequencing technologies. However, sequencing errors, variable coverage, repetitive genomic regions, and other factors can produce misassemblies, which are challenging to detect for taxonomically novel genomic data. Assembly errors can affect all downstream analyses...

We develop a model to retrospectively evaluate age-dependent counterfactual vaccine allocation strategies against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To estimate the effect of allocation on the expected severe-case incidence, we employ a simulation-assisted causal modeling approach that combines a compartmental infection-dynamics simu...

A promising alternative to comprehensively performing genomics experiments is to, instead, perform a subset of experiments and use computational methods to impute the remainder. However, identifying the best imputation methods and what measures meaningfully evaluate performance are open questions. We address these questions by comprehensively analy...

Recovering the latent factors of variation of high dimensional data has so far focused on simple synthetic settings. Mostly building on unsupervised and weakly-supervised objectives, prior work missed out on the positive implications for representation learning on real world data. In this work, we propose to leverage knowledge extracted from a dive...

We investigate a simple objective for nonlinear instrumental variable (IV) regression based on a kernelized conditional moment restriction known as a maximum moment restriction (MMR). The MMR objective is formulated by maximizing the interaction between the residual and the instruments belonging to a unit ball in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space....

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an unprecedented demand for interventions that can reduce disease spread without excessively restricting daily activity, given negative impacts on mental health and economic outcomes. Digital contact tracing (DCT) apps have emerged as a component of the epidemic management toolkit. Existing DCT apps typically recom...

The neural collapse (NC) phenomenon describes an underlying geometric symmetry for deep neural networks, where both deeply learned features and classifiers converge to a simplex equiangular tight frame. It has been shown that both cross-entropy loss and mean square error can provably lead to NC. We remove NC's key assumption on the feature dimensio...

Reinforcement learning has shown great potential in solving complex tasks when large amounts of data can be generated with little effort. In robotics, one approach to generate training data builds on simulations based on dynamics models derived from first principles. However, for tasks that, for instance, involve complex soft robots, devising such...

We describe the results of the autoPET challenge, a biomedical image analysis challenge aimed to motivate and focus research in the field of automated whole-body PET/CT image analysis. The challenge task was the automated segmentation of metabolically active tumor lesions on whole-body FDG-PET/CT. Challenge participants had access to one of the lar...

Acoustic waves exert forces when they interact with matter. Shaping ultrasound fields precisely in 3D thus allows control over the force landscape and should permit particulates to fall into place to potentially form whole 3D objects in "one shot." This is promising for rapid prototyping, most notably biofabrication, since conventional methods are...

Algorithmic recourse aims to disclose the inner workings of the black-box decision process in situations where decisions have significant consequences, by providing recommendations to empower beneficiaries to achieve a more favorable outcome. To ensure an effective remedy, suggested interventions must not only be low-cost but also robust and fair....

The recent surge in popularity of diffusion models for image generation has brought new attention to the potential of these models in other areas of media synthesis. One area that has yet to be fully explored is the application of diffusion models to music generation. Music generation requires to handle multiple aspects, including the temporal dime...

Normalizing flows model probability distributions through an expressive tractable density. They transform a simple base distribution, such as a Gaussian, through a sequence of invertible functions, which are referred to as layers. These layers typically use neural networks to become very expressive. Flows are ubiquitous in machine learning and have...

Simulating the spread of infectious diseases in human communities is critical for predicting the trajectory of an epidemic and verifying various policies to control the devastating impacts of the outbreak. Many existing simulators are based on compartment models that divide people into a few subsets and simulate the dynamics among those subsets usi...

Multi armed bandits are one of the theoretical pillars of reinforcement learning. Recently, the investigation of quantum algorithms for multi armed bandit problems was started, and it was found that a quadratic speed-up is possible when the arms and the randomness of the rewards of the arms can be queried in superposition. Here we introduce further...

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in learning high-level causal representations from low-level image pairs under interventions. Yet, existing efforts are largely limited to simple synthetic settings that are far away from real-world problems. In this paper, we present Causal Triplet, a causal representation learning benchmark featuring not...

The electronic band structure and crystal structure are the two complementary identifiers of solid-state materials. Although convenient instruments and reconstruction algorithms have made large, empirical, crystal structure databases possible, extracting the quasiparticle dispersion (closely related to band structure) from photoemission band mappin...

Generated texts from large pretrained language models have been shown to exhibit a variety of harmful, human-like biases about various demographics. These findings prompted large efforts aiming to understand and measure such effects, with the goal of providing benchmarks that can guide the development of techniques mitigating these stereotypical as...

Early on during a pandemic, vaccine availability is limited, requiring prioritisation of different population groups. Evaluating vaccine allocation is therefore a crucial element of pandemics response. In the present work, we develop a model to retrospectively evaluate age-dependent counterfactual vaccine allocation strategies against the COVID-19...

Explainability has become a central requirement for the development, deployment, and adoption of machine learning (ML) models and we are yet to understand what explanation methods can and cannot do. Several factors such as data, model prediction, hyperparameters used in training the model, and random initialization can all influence downstream expl...

Causal discovery, the inference of causal relations from data, is a core task of fundamental importance in all scientific domains, and several new machine learning methods for addressing the causal discovery problem have been proposed recently. However, existing machine learning methods for causal discovery typically require that the data used for...

Geospatial Information Systems are used by researchers and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) practitioners to support a wide variety of important applications. However, collaboration between these actors is difficult due to the heterogeneous nature of geospatial data modalities (e.g., multi-spectral images of various resolutions,...

We consider the problem of iterative machine teaching, where a teacher sequentially provides examples based on the status of a learner under a discrete input space (i.e., a pool of finite samples), which greatly limits the teacher's capability. To address this issue, we study iterative teaching under a continuous input space where the input example...

Many problems in causal inference and economics can be formulated in the framework of conditional moment models, which characterize the target function through a collection of conditional moment restrictions. For nonparametric conditional moment models, efficient estimation has always relied on preimposed conditions on various measures of ill-posed...

To protect the privacy of individuals whose data is being shared, it is of high importance to develop methods allowing researchers and companies to release textual data while providing formal privacy guarantees to its originators. In the field of NLP, substantial efforts have been directed at building mechanisms following the framework of local dif...

This paper considers the problem of unsupervised 3D object reconstruction from in-the-wild single-view images. Due to ambiguity and intrinsic ill-posedness, this problem is inherently difficult to solve and therefore requires strong regularization to achieve disentanglement of different latent factors. Unlike existing works that introduce explicit...

We have recently witnessed a number of impressive results on hard mathematical reasoning problems with language models. At the same time, the robustness of these models has also been called into question; recent works have shown that models can rely on shallow patterns in the problem description when predicting a solution. Building on the idea of b...

Recent work has seen the development of general purpose neural architectures that can be trained to perform tasks across diverse data modalities. General purpose models typically make few assumptions about the underlying data-structure and are known to perform well in the large-data regime. At the same time, there has been growing interest in modul...

We study the class of location-scale or heteroscedastic noise models (LSNMs), in which the effect $Y$ can be written as a function of the cause $X$ and a noise source $N$ independent of $X$, which may be scaled by a positive function $g$ over the cause, i.e., $Y = f(X) + g(X)N$. Despite the generality of the model class, we show the causal directio...

The creation of whole 3D objects in one shot is an ultimate goal for rapid prototyping, most notably biofabrication, where conventional methods are typically slow and apply mechanical or chemical stress on biological cells. Here, we demonstrate one-step assembly of matter to form compact 3D shapes using acoustic forces, which is enabled by the supe...

To approach the level of advanced human players in table tennis with robots, generating varied ball trajectories in a reproducible and controlled manner is essential. Current ball launchers used in robot table tennis either do not provide an interface for automatic control or are limited in their capabilities to adapt speed, direction, and spin of...

We build a multi-output generative model for quasar spectra and the properties of their black hole engines, based on a Gaussian process latent-variable model. This model treats every quasar as a vector of latent properties such that the spectrum and all physical properties of the quasar are associated with non-linear functions of those latent param...

AI systems are becoming increasingly intertwined with human life. In order to effectively collaborate with humans and ensure safety, AI systems need to be able to understand, interpret and predict human moral judgments and decisions. Human moral judgments are often guided by rules, but not always. A central challenge for AI safety is capturing the...

Humans naturally decompose their environment into entities at the appropriate level of abstraction to act in the world. Allowing machine learning algorithms to derive this decomposition in an unsupervised way has become an important line of research. However, current methods are restricted to simulated data or require additional information in the...

We build a multi-output generative model for quasar spectra and the properties of their black hole engines, based on a Gaussian process latent-variable model. This model treats every quasar as a vector of latent properties such that the spectrum and all physical properties of the quasar are associated with non-linear functions of those latent param...

Normalizing flows are tractable density models that can approximate complicated target distributions, e.g. Boltzmann distributions of physical systems. However, current methods for training flows either suffer from mode-seeking behavior, use samples from the target generated beforehand by expensive MCMC simulations, or use stochastic losses that ha...