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  • Journal article
    Cyras K, Heinrich Q, Toni F, 2021,

    Computational complexity of flat and generic assumption-based argumentation, with and without probabilities

    , Artificial Intelligence, Vol: 293, Pages: 1-36, ISSN: 0004-3702

    Reasoning with probabilistic information has recently attracted considerable attention in argumentation, and formalisms of Probabilistic Abstract Argumentation (PAA), Probabilistic Bipolar Argumentation (PBA) and Probabilistic Structured Argumentation (PSA) have been proposed. These foundational advances have been complemented with investigations on the complexity of some approaches to PAA and PBA, but not to PSA. We study the complexity of an existing form of PSA, namely Probabilistic Assumption-Based Argumentation (PABA), a powerful, implemented formalism which subsumes several forms of PAA and other forms of PSA. Specifically, we establish membership (general upper bounds) and completeness (instantiated lower bounds) of reasoning in PABA for the class FP#P (of functions with a #P-oracle for counting the solutions of an NP problem) with respect to newly introduced probabilistic verification, credulous and sceptical acceptance function problems under several ABA semantics. As a by-product necessary to establish PABA complexity results, we provide a comprehensive picture of the ABA complexity landscape (for both flat and generic, possibly non-flat ABA) for the classical decision problems of verification, existence, credulous and sceptical acceptance under those ABA semantics.

  • Journal article
    Zheng JX, Pawar S, Goodman DFM, 2021,

    Further towards unambiguous edge bundling: Investigating power-confluentdrawings for network visualization

    , IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol: 27, Pages: 2244-2249, ISSN: 1077-2626

    Bach et al. [1] recently presented an algorithm for constructing confluentdrawings, by leveraging power graph decomposition to generate an auxiliaryrouting graph. We identify two problems with their method and offer a singlesolution to solve both. We also classify the exact type of confluent drawingsthat the algorithm can produce as 'power-confluent', and prove that it is asubclass of the previously studied 'strict confluent' drawing. A descriptionand source code of our implementation is also provided, which additionallyincludes an improved method for power graph construction.

  • Journal article
    Kuntz J, Thomas P, Stan G-B, Barahona Met al., 2020,

    Stationary distributions of continuous-time Markov chains: a review of theory and truncation-based approximations

    , SIAM Review, ISSN: 0036-1445

    Computing the stationary distributions of a continuous-time Markov chaininvolves solving a set of linear equations. In most cases of interest, thenumber of equations is infinite or too large, and cannot be solved analyticallyor numerically. Several approximation schemes overcome this issue by truncatingthe state space to a manageable size. In this review, we first give acomprehensive theoretical account of the stationary distributions and theirrelation to the long-term behaviour of the Markov chain, which is readilyaccessible to non-experts and free of irreducibility assumptions made instandard texts. We then review truncation-based approximation schemes payingparticular attention to their convergence and to the errors they introduce, andwe illustrate their performance with an example of a stochastic reactionnetwork of relevance in biology and chemistry. We conclude by elaborating oncomputational trade-offs associated with error control and some open questions.

  • Conference paper
    Lauren S, Belardinelli F, Toni F, 2020,

    Aggregating Bipolar Opinions

    , 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
  • Conference paper
    Kotonya N, Toni F, 2020,

    Explainable Automated Fact-Checking: A Survey

    , Barcelona. Spain, 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2020), Publisher: International Committee on Computational Linguistics, Pages: 5430-5443

    A number of exciting advances have been made in automated fact-checkingthanks to increasingly larger datasets and more powerful systems, leading toimprovements in the complexity of claims which can be accurately fact-checked.However, despite these advances, there are still desirable functionalitiesmissing from the fact-checking pipeline. In this survey, we focus on theexplanation functionality -- that is fact-checking systems providing reasonsfor their predictions. We summarize existing methods for explaining thepredictions of fact-checking systems and we explore trends in this topic.Further, we consider what makes for good explanations in this specific domainthrough a comparative analysis of existing fact-checking explanations againstsome desirable properties. Finally, we propose further research directions forgenerating fact-checking explanations, and describe how these may lead toimprovements in the research area.v

  • Journal article
    Cyras K, Oliveira T, Karamlou M, Toni Fet al.,

    Assumption-based argumentation with preferences and goals for patient-centric reasoning with interacting clinical guidelines

    , Argument and Computation, ISSN: 1946-2166

    A paramount, yet unresolved issue in personalised medicine is that of automated reasoning with clinical guidelines in multimorbidity settings. This entails enabling machines to use computerised generic clinical guideline recommendations and patient-specific information to yield patient-tailored recommendations where interactions arising due to multimorbidities are resolved. This problem is further complicated by patient management desiderata, in particular the need to account for patient-centric goals as well as preferences of various parties involved. We propose to solve this problem of automated reasoning with interacting guideline recommendations in the context of a given patient by means of computational argumentation. In particular, we advance a structured argumentation formalism ABA+G (short for Assumption-Based Argumentation with Preferences (ABA+) and Goals) for integrating and reasoning with information about recommendations, interactions, patient’s state, preferences and prioritised goals. ABA+G combines assumption-based reasoning with preferences and goal-driven selection among reasoning outcomes. Specifically, we assume defeasible applicability of guideline recommendations with the general goal of patient well-being, resolve interactions (conflicts and otherwise undesirable situations) among recommendations based on the state and preferences of the patient, and employ patient-centered goals to suggest interaction-resolving, goal-importance maximising and preference-adhering recommendations. We use a well-established Transition-based Medical Recommendation model for representing guideline recommendations and identifying interactions thereof, and map the components in question, together with the given patient’s state, prioritised goals, and preferences over actions, to ABA+G for automated reasoning. In this, we follow principles of patient management and establish corresponding theoretical properties as well as illustrate our approach in realis

  • Conference paper
    Liu S, Lin Z, Wang Y, Jianming Z, Perazzi F, Johns Eet al., 2020,

    Shape adaptor: a learnable resizing module

    , European Conference on Computer Vision 2020, Publisher: Springer Verlag, Pages: 661-677, ISSN: 0302-9743

    We present a novel resizing module for neural networks: shape adaptor, a drop-in enhancement built on top of traditional resizing layers, such as pooling, bilinear sampling, and strided convolution. Whilst traditional resizing layers have fixed and deterministic reshaping factors, our module allows for a learnable reshaping factor. Our implementation enables shape adaptors to be trained end-to-end without any additional supervision, through which network architectures can be optimised for each individual task, in a fully automated way. We performed experiments across seven image classification datasets, and results show that by simply using a set of our shape adaptors instead of the original resizing layers, performance increases consistently over human-designed networks, across all datasets. Additionally, we show the effectiveness of shape adaptors on two other applications: network compression and transfer learning.

  • Journal article
    Russell F, Kormushev P, Vaidyanathan R, Ellison Pet al., 2020,

    The impact of ACL laxity on a bicondylar robotic knee and implications in human joint biomechanics

    , IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 67, Pages: 2817-2827, ISSN: 0018-9294

    Objective: Elucidating the role of structural mechanisms in the knee can improve joint surgeries, rehabilitation, and understanding of biped locomotion. Identification of key features, however, is challenging due to limitations in simulation and in-vivo studies. In particular the coupling of the patello-femoral and tibio-femoral joints with ligaments and its impact on joint mechanics and movement is not understood. We investigate this coupling experimentally through the design and testing of a robotic sagittal plane model. Methods: We constructed a sagittal plane robot comprised of: 1) elastic links representing cruciate ligaments; 2) a bi-condylar joint; 3) a patella; and 4) actuator hamstrings and quadriceps. Stiffness and geometry were derived from anthropometric data. 10° - 110° squatting tests were executed at speeds of 0.1 - 0.25Hz over a range of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) slack lengths. Results: Increasing ACL length compromised joint stability, yet did not impact quadriceps mechanical advantage and force required for squat. The trend was consistent through varying condyle contact point and ligament force changes. Conclusion: The geometry of the condyles allows the ratio of quadriceps to patella tendon force to compensate for contact point changes imparted by the removal of the ACL. Thus the system maintains a constant mechanical advantage. Significance: The investigation uncovers critical features of human knee biomechanics. Findings contribute to understanding of knee ligament damage, inform procedures for knee surgery and orthopaedic implant design, and support design of trans-femoral prosthetics and walking robots. Results further demonstrate the utility of robotics as a powerful means of studying human joint biomechanics.

  • Journal article
    Bai W, Suzuki H, Huang J, Francis C, Wang S, Tarroni G, Guitton F, Aung N, Fung K, Petersen SE, Piechnik SK, Neubauer S, Evangelou E, Dehghan A, O'Regan DP, Wilkins MR, Guo Y, Matthews PM, Rueckert Det al., 2020,

    A population-based phenome-wide association study of cardiac and aortic structure and function

    , Nature Medicine, Vol: 26, Pages: 1654-1662, ISSN: 1078-8956

    Differences in cardiac and aortic structure and function are associated with cardiovascular diseases and a wide range of other types of disease. Here we analyzed cardiovascular magnetic resonance images from a population-based study, the UK Biobank, using an automated machine-learning-based analysis pipeline. We report a comprehensive range of structural and functional phenotypes for the heart and aorta across 26,893 participants, and explore how these phenotypes vary according to sex, age and major cardiovascular risk factors. We extended this analysis with a phenome-wide association study, in which we tested for correlations of a wide range of non-imaging phenotypes of the participants with imaging phenotypes. We further explored the associations of imaging phenotypes with early-life factors, mental health and cognitive function using both observational analysis and Mendelian randomization. Our study illustrates how population-based cardiac and aortic imaging phenotypes can be used to better define cardiovascular disease risks as well as heart–brain health interactions, highlighting new opportunities for studying disease mechanisms and developing image-based biomarkers.

  • Conference paper
    Wang K, Marsh DM, Saputra RP, Chappell D, Jiang Z, Kon B, Kormushev Pet al., 2020,

    Design and control of SLIDER: an ultra-lightweight, knee-less, low-cost bipedal walking robot

    , Las Vegas, USA, International Conference on Intelligence Robots and Systems (IROS)

    Most state-of-the-art bipedal robots are designedto be highly anthropomorphic and therefore possess legs withknees. Whilst this facilitates more human-like locomotion, thereare implementation issues that make walking with straight ornear-straight legs difficult. Most bipedal robots have to movewith a constant bend in the legs to avoid singularities at theknee joints, and to keep the centre of mass at a constant heightfor control purposes. Furthermore, having a knee on the legincreases the design complexity as well as the weight of the leg,hindering the robot’s performance in agile behaviours such asrunning and jumping.We present SLIDER, an ultra-lightweight, low-cost bipedalwalking robot with a novel knee-less leg design. This nonanthropomorphic straight-legged design reduces the weight ofthe legs significantly whilst keeping the same functionality asanthropomorphic legs. Simulation results show that SLIDER’slow-inertia legs contribute to less vertical motion in the centerof mass (CoM) than anthropomorphic robots during walking,indicating that SLIDER’s model is closer to the widely usedInverted Pendulum (IP) model. Finally, stable walking onflat terrain is demonstrated both in simulation and in thephysical world, and feedback control is implemented to addresschallenges with the physical robot.

  • Journal article
    AlAttar A, Kormushev P, 2020,

    Kinematic-model-free orientation control for robot manipulation using locally weighted dual quaternions

    , Robotics, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2218-6581

    Conventional control of robotic manipulators requires prior knowledge of their kinematic structure. Model-learning controllers have the advantage of being able to control robots without requiring a complete kinematic model and work well in less structured environments. Our recently proposed Encoderless controller has shown promising ability to control a manipulator without requiring any prior kinematic model whatsoever. However, this controller is only limited to position control, leaving orientation control unsolved. The research presented in this paper extends the state-of-the-art kinematic-model-free controller to handle orientation control to manipulate a robotic arm without requiring any prior model of the robot or any joint angle information during control. This paper presents a novel method to simultaneously control the position and orientation of a robot’s end effector using locally weighted dual quaternions. The proposed novel controller is also scaled up to control three-degrees-of-freedom robots.

  • Conference paper
    Kotonya N, Toni F, 2020,

    Explainable Automated Fact-Checking for Public Health Claims

    , 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP(1) 2020), Publisher: ACL

    Fact-checking is the task of verifying the veracity of claims by assessing their assertions against credible evidence. The vast major-ity of fact-checking studies focus exclusively on political claims. Very little research explores fact-checking for other topics, specifically subject matters for which expertise is required. We present the first study of explainable fact-checking for claims which require specific expertise. For our case study we choose the setting of public health. To support this case study we construct a new datasetPUBHEALTHof 11.8K claims accompanied by journalist crafted, gold standard explanations(i.e., judgments) to support the fact-check la-bels for claims1. We explore two tasks: veracity prediction and explanation generation. We also define and evaluate, with humans and computationally, three coherence properties of explanation quality. Our results indicate that,by training on in-domain data, gains can be made in explainable, automated fact-checking for claims which require specific expertise.

  • Conference paper
    Lertvittayakumjorn P, Specia L, Toni F, 2020,

    FIND: Human-in-the-Loop Debugging Deep Text Classifiers

    , 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Publisher: ACL

    Since obtaining a perfect training dataset (i.e., a dataset which is considerably large, unbiased, and well-representative of unseen cases)is hardly possible, many real-world text classifiers are trained on the available, yet imperfect, datasets. These classifiers are thus likely to have undesirable properties. For instance, they may have biases against some sub-populations or may not work effectively in the wild due to overfitting. In this paper, we propose FIND–a framework which enables humans to debug deep learning text classifiers by disabling irrelevant hidden features. Experiments show that by using FIND, humans can improve CNN text classifiers which were trained under different types of imperfect datasets (including datasets with biases and datasets with dissimilar train-test distributions).

  • Journal article
    Cursi F, Mylonas GP, Kormushev P, 2020,

    Adaptive kinematic modelling for multiobjective control of a redundant surgical robotic tool

    , Robotics, Vol: 9, Pages: 68-68, ISSN: 2218-6581

    Accurate kinematic models are essential for effective control of surgical robots. For tendon driven robots, which are common for minimally invasive surgery, the high nonlinearities in the transmission make modelling complex. Machine learning techniques are a preferred approach to tackle this problem. However, surgical environments are rarely structured, due to organs being very soft and deformable, and unpredictable, for instance, because of fluids in the system, wear and break of the tendons that lead to changes of the system’s behaviour. Therefore, the model needs to quickly adapt. In this work, we propose a method to learn the kinematic model of a redundant surgical robot and control it to perform surgical tasks both autonomously and in teleoperation. The approach employs Feedforward Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) for building the kinematic model of the robot offline, and an online adaptive strategy in order to allow the system to conform to the changing environment. To prove the capabilities of the method, a comparison with a simple feedback controller for autonomous tracking is carried out. Simulation results show that the proposed method is capable of achieving very small tracking errors, even when unpredicted changes in the system occur, such as broken joints. The method proved effective also in guaranteeing accurate tracking in teleoperation.

  • Conference paper
    Albini E, Baroni P, Rago A, Toni Fet al., 2020,

    PageRank as an argumentation semantics

    , Pages: 55-66, ISSN: 0922-6389

    © 2020 The authors and IOS Press. This paper provides an initial exploration on the relationships between PageRank and gradual argumentation semantics. After showing that PageRank, directly interpreted as an argumentation semantics for support frameworks, fails to satisfy some generally desirable properties, we propose a novel approach to reconstruct PageRank as gradual semantics of a suitably defined bipolar argumentation framework, while satisfying these desirable properties. The theoretical advantages of the approach are complemented by an illustration of its potential application to support the generation of better explanations of PageRank scores for end users.

  • Journal article
    Meyer H, Dawes T, Serrani M, Bai W, Tokarczuk P, Cai J, Simoes Monteiro de Marvao A, Henry A, Lumbers T, Gierten J, Thumberger T, Wittbrodt J, Ware J, Rueckert D, Matthews P, Prasad S, Costantino M, Cook S, Birney E, O'Regan Det al., 2020,

    Genetic and functional insights into the fractal structure of the heart

    , Nature, Vol: 584, Pages: 589-594, ISSN: 0028-0836

    The inner surfaces of the human heart are covered by a complex network of muscular strands that is thought to be a vestigeof embryonic development.1,2 The function of these trabeculae in adults and their genetic architecture are unknown. Toinvestigate this we performed a genome-wide association study using fractal analysis of trabecular morphology as animage-derived phenotype in 18,096 UK Biobank participants. We identified 16 significant loci containing genes associatedwith haemodynamic phenotypes and regulation of cytoskeletal arborisation.3,4 Using biomechanical simulations and humanobservational data, we demonstrate that trabecular morphology is an important determinant of cardiac performance. Throughgenetic association studies with cardiac disease phenotypes and Mendelian randomisation, we find a causal relationshipbetween trabecular morphology and cardiovascular disease risk. These findings suggest an unexpected role for myocardialtrabeculae in the function of the adult heart, identify conserved pathways that regulate structural complexity, and reveal theirinfluence on susceptibility to disease

  • Journal article
    Falck F, Doshi S, Tormento M, Nersisyan G, Smuts N, Lingi J, Rants K, Saputra RP, Wang K, Kormushev Pet al., 2020,

    Robot DE NIRO: a human-centered, autonomous, mobile research platform for cognitively-enhanced manipulation

    , Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Vol: A17, ISSN: 2296-9144

    We introduceRobot DE NIRO, an autonomous, collaborative, humanoid robot for mobilemanipulation. We built DE NIRO to perform a wide variety of manipulation behaviors, with afocus on pick-and-place tasks. DE NIRO is designed to be used in a domestic environment,especially in support of caregivers working with the elderly. Given this design focus, DE NIRO caninteract naturally, reliably, and safely with humans, autonomously navigate through environmentson command, intelligently retrieve or move target objects, and avoid collisions efficiently. Wedescribe DE NIRO’s hardware and software, including an extensive vision sensor suite of 2Dand 3D LIDARs, a depth camera, and a 360-degree camera rig; two types of custom grippers;and a custom-built exoskeleton called DE VITO. We demonstrate DE NIRO’s manipulationcapabilities in three illustrative challenges: First, we have DE NIRO perform a fetch-an-objectchallenge. Next, we add more cognition to DE NIRO’s object recognition and grasping abilities,confronting it with small objects of unknown shape. Finally, we extend DE NIRO’s capabilitiesinto dual-arm manipulation of larger objects. We put particular emphasis on the features thatenable DE NIRO to interact safely and naturally with humans. Our contribution is in sharinghow a humanoid robot with complex capabilities can be designed and built quickly with off-the-shelf hardware and open-source software. Supplementary material including our code, adocumentation, videos and the CAD models of several hardware parts are openly availableavailable at

  • Conference paper
    Flageat M, Cully A, 2020,

    Fast and stable MAP-Elites in noisy domains using deep grids

    , 2020 Conference on Artificial Life, Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pages: 273-282

    Quality-Diversity optimisation algorithms enable the evolutionof collections of both high-performing and diverse solutions.These collections offer the possibility to quickly adapt andswitch from one solution to another in case it is not workingas expected. It therefore finds many applications in real-worlddomain problems such as robotic control. However, QD algo-rithms, like most optimisation algorithms, are very sensitive touncertainty on the fitness function, but also on the behaviouraldescriptors. Yet, such uncertainties are frequent in real-worldapplications. Few works have explored this issue in the spe-cific case of QD algorithms, and inspired by the literature inEvolutionary Computation, mainly focus on using samplingto approximate the ”true” value of the performances of a solu-tion. However, sampling approaches require a high number ofevaluations, which in many applications such as robotics, canquickly become impractical.In this work, we propose Deep-Grid MAP-Elites, a variantof the MAP-Elites algorithm that uses an archive of similarpreviously encountered solutions to approximate the perfor-mance of a solution. We compare our approach to previouslyexplored ones on three noisy tasks: a standard optimisationtask, the control of a redundant arm and a simulated Hexapodrobot. The experimental results show that this simple approachis significantly more resilient to noise on the behavioural de-scriptors, while achieving competitive performances in termsof fitness optimisation, and being more sample-efficient thanother existing approaches.

  • Conference paper
    Johns E, Garcia-Hernando G, Kim T-K, 2020,

    Physics-Based Dexterous Manipulations with Estimated Hand Poses and Residual Reinforcement Learning

    , 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
  • Conference paper
    Valassakis P, Ding Z, Johns E, 2020,

    Crossing the gap: a deep dive into zero-shot sim-to-real transfer for dynamics

    , 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Publisher: IEEE

    Zero-shot sim-to-real transfer of tasks with complex dynamics is a highly challenging and unsolved problem. A number of solutions have been proposed in recent years, but we have found that many works do not present a thorough evaluation in the real world, or underplay the significant engineering effort and task-specific fine tuning that is required to achieve the published results. In this paper, we dive deeper into the sim-to-real transfer challenge, investigate why this issuch a difficult problem, and present objective evaluations of anumber of transfer methods across a range of real-world tasks.Surprisingly, we found that a method which simply injects random forces into the simulation performs just as well as more complex methods, such as those which randomise the simulator's dynamics parameters

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