Seminar Computational Intelligence B (708.112)

WS 2012

Institut für Grundlagen der Informationsverarbeitung (708)

o.Univ.-Prof.Dr.Wolfgang Maass


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Legenstein


Objectives of the seminar:

This seminar will introduce into a few research areas related to Computational Intelligence.
It is designed for master students in their second year (possibly also in the first year, if they take simultaneously NN A or ML B).
The papers and talks will be on an introductory level, and will be accessible to an audience with minimal technical background.
Each of the talks is related to possible projects and thesis topics for a master, and could serve as preparation for that.

One of the courses NN A, NN B, ML A, ML B suffices.

Location:    IGI-seminar room, Inffeldgasse 16b/I, 8010 Graz

Date:            Preparatory Meeting on Monday Oct 8th  2012,  16.15 p.m. - 18.00 p.m.

                    03.12.2012    Grabuschnig Stefan, slides
                    10.12.2012    Haas Gabriel, slides
                    17.12.2012    entfällt
                    07.01.2013    Hell Timotheus,
                    14.01.2013    Lamprecht Daniel,
                                          Hubner Florian,
                    21.01.2013    Ofner Patrick, 
                                          Klatzer Teresa,
                    28.01.2013    Rath Michael,

Content of the seminar
Several topics will be discussed:

Topics related to the AMARSI Project (Robotics)

AMARSI is an EU project that aims at a qualitative jump in robotic motor skills towards biological richness.
It examines to what extent movement control of robots can be learnt. Another innovation of the project is that it
investigates a new generation of compliant robot. A first prototype of a compliant robot developed in this project
will be available for experiments at IGI. The IGI is a partner in this project.

Topics and papers:

Topics related to the Blue-Brain Project

The Blue-Brain Project (BBP) is a large research project situated at EPFL lead by Prof. Henry Markram.
The goal of the project is to use supercomputers to simulate one or several cortical columns of mice.
The IGI will collaborate with Prof. Markram on research related to the BBP.

A new type of EU research project, a socalled flagship project, is currently submitted as an extension of the BPP:

Topics and papers:

Topics related to the PNEUMA Project (Memristors)

PNEUMA is an international project that aims to utilize memristors - a novel electronic circuit element that is basically a resistor
with memory - for brain-inspired computation. The IGI is a partner in this project.
New hardware technologies related to memristive elements on the nanoscale have motivated major companies like IBM and HP
to investigate new computing architectures related to neural circuits (see e.g. the recent workshop at the IBM Research Center in Zürich).
In the seminar, we will discuss the basics of memristors.

Topics and papers:

2-photon calcium imaging data

2-photon Calcium imaging (2p-imaging) is a novel experimental technique that makes it possible to image the activity of hundreds
to thousands of neurons in the living brain. We collaborate with several researchers to study suitable analysis methods
for this novel high-dimensional data.

Topics and papers:

Stochastic synaptic transmission

Synapses transmit information between neurons in a stochastic manner. An interesting research question is how neuronal networks
can utilize this stochasticity for computation and learning.

Topics and papers:

Further topics may include

  • Retrograde plasticity signals
  • Clever exploration and creativity (intrinsic motivation)