Background: Glycosylation is one of the most complex post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins in eukaryotic cells. Glycosylation plays an important role in biological processes ranging from protein folding and subcellular localization, to ligand recognition and cell-cell interactions. Experimental identification of glycosylation sites is expensive and laborious. Hence, there is significant interest in the development of computational methods for reliable prediction of glycosylation sites from amino acid sequences.
In this work, we present methods for using human-robot dialog to improve language understanding for a mobile robot agent. The agent parses natural language to underlying semantic meanings and uses robotic sensors to create multi-modal models of perceptual concepts like red and heavy. The agent can be used for showing navigation routes, delivering objects to people, and relocating objects from one location to another. We use dialog clari_cation questions both to understand commands and to generate additional parsing training data. The agent employs opportunistic active learning to select questions about how words relate to objects, improving its understanding of perceptual concepts. We evaluated this agent on Amazon Mechanical Turk. After training on data induced from conversations, the agent reduced the number of dialog questions it asked while receiving higher usability ratings. Additionally, we demonstrated the agent on a robotic platform, where it learned new perceptual concepts on the y while completing a real-world task.
Transfer learning is a method where an agent reuses knowledge learned in a source task to improve learning on a target task. Recent work has shown that transfer learning can be extended to the idea of curriculum learning, where the agent incrementally accumulates knowledge over a sequence of tasks (i.e. a curriculum). In most existing work, such curricula have been constructed manually. Furthermore, they are fixed ahead of time, and do not adapt to the progress or abilities of the agent. In this paper, we formulate the design of a curriculum as a Markov Decision Process, which directly models the accumulation of knowledge as an agent interacts with tasks, and propose a method that approximates an execution of an optimal policy in this MDP to produce an agent-specific curriculum. We use our approach to automatically sequence tasks for 3 agents with varying sensing and action capabilities in an experimental domain, and show that our method produces curricula customized for each agent that improve performance relative to learning from scratch or using a different agent's curriculum.
In this paper we propose a method for interactive recognition of household objects using proprioceptive and auditory feedback. In our experiments, the robot observed the changes in its proprioceptive and auditory sensory streams while performing five exploratory behaviors (lift, shake, drop, crush, and push) on 50 common household objects (e.g. bottles, cups, balls, toys, etc.). The robot was tasked with recognizing the objects it was manipulating by feeling them and listening to the sounds that they make without using any visual information. The results show that both proprioception and audio, coupled with exploratory behaviors, can be used successfully for object recognition. Furthermore, the robot was able to integrate feedback from the two modalities, to achieve even better recognition accuracy. Finally, the results show that the robot can boost its recognition rate even further by applying multiple different exploratory behaviors on the object.
Natural language understanding for robotics can require substantial domain-and platform-specific engineering. For example, for mobile robots to pick-and-place objects in an environment to satisfy human commands, we can specify the language humans use to issue such commands, and connect concept words like red can to physical object properties. One way to alleviate this engineering for a new domain is to enable robots in human environments to adapt dynamicallycontinually learning new language constructions and perceptual concepts. In this work, we present an end-to-end pipeline for translating natural language commands to discrete robot actions, and use clarification dialogs to jointly improve language parsing and concept grounding. We train and evaluate this agent in a virtual setting on Amazon Mechanical Turk, and we transfer the learned agent to a physical robot platform to demonstrate it in the real world.
Abstract-The ability to reason about multiple tools and their functional similarities is a prerequisite for intelligent tool use. This paper presents a model which allows a robot to detect the similarity between tools based on the environmental outcomes observed with each tool. To do this, the robot incrementally learns an adaptive hierarchical representation (i.e., a taxonomy) for the types of environmental changes that it can induce and detect with each tool. Using the learned taxonomies, the robot can infer the similarity between different tools based on the types of outcomes they produce. The results show that the robot is able to learn accurate outcome models for six different tools. In addition, the robot was able to detect the similarity between tools using the learned outcome models.
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