Archive for September, 2008

Note from the class “Web Skills for Everyone”

September 27, 2008 Leave a comment

soundslides –> add narrator and sound to the slides

Professional themes for wordpress at

google jockeying (GJ) –> speech to text –> automatic GJ software invisible web — book find it online — book e-learning facilities is an interesting business!!! speech recog that distinguish the speaker –> class room log internet archive: waybackmachine to check the owner of a website: betterwhois criteria for a website validation –> berkely lib website find RSS,, google reader —> read .xml file

We can do database on website — For me, it looks like doing it with SQL.
Go to
You can also do
1) Table on your blog
2) Search engine inside your blog
3) You can represent the data on Google map***

Map and places
With ATLAS, we can make a lot of thing like google map does. You can put places, comment, anything on the map.
1) One interesting thing is that if we have multiple places saved as .cvs format, then we can upload the address to the Atlas easily. I don’t think google map support this feature though.
2) We can make a map, then let others to add their interesting places in our maps as we are the moderator for those maps.
3) You can also put the map on your blog.

Categories: Uncategorized

Coming soon!…variational methods for graphical models

September 24, 2008 Leave a comment

I haven’t had time to write on this topic yet.

  • “Exploiting tractable substructures in intractable networks (1996)”, by Lawrence K. Saul, Michael I. Jordan, looks like a famous paper on this area.
  • On Structured Variational Approximations (1997) by by Zoubin Ghahramani
  • Inference papers from Prof. Tommy Jaakkola [link]
Categories: Uncategorized

On manifold learning and interpretation of PCA

September 24, 2008 Leave a comment

This is a must-read article about manifold learning. The article gives a great intuition about what is manifold learning and why should we know it. I found this article very exciting, inspiring and extremely brain-entertaining.

Science 22 December 2000:
Vol. 290. no. 5500, pp. 2268 – 2269

Some recent famous works

There are some famous algorithms on this topic that I surveyed — LLE, MDS, GPCA.

Multidimensional Scaling (MDS)
This is a classic data visualization and dimensionality reduction method. You can find a lot of good tutorials and books on this topic.

The cost function is to preserve the graph distance between each point in the space. This algorithm can be viewed as MDS + all-point shortest path in combination.
ISOMAP on Science magazine 2000

Locally Linear Embedding (LLE)
The objective function is to preserve the weights coming from neighborhood points. First the algorithm will find neighborhood points of each point in the input space (high-dimension space). Then estimate each point by using linear combination (weighted sum) of its neighbors. After that find a projection on the low-dimension space that preserves the weights obtained in the previous step.
article on Science magazine 2000
An Introduction to Locally Linear Embedding [pdf] (2000)
Professor Sam Roweis’s homepage on LLE [link]

Generalized Principal Component Analysis (GPCA)
GPCA Homepage [link]
GPCA on PAMI 2005 [pdf]
Applications of GPCA (very exciting webpage) [link]

Related topics and resources

There are a lot more resources on this topic

This is a good book and also available online for free “Principal Manifolds for Data Visualisation and Dimension Reduction” [link]

Interpretation of PCA
It’s also beneficial for the interested readers in this area to know variety of interpretation of PCA. That will make you understand the overview of this area and come up with a lot of new ideas on this manifold learning topic.

  • This is a very understandable tutorial by Lindsay I Smith (2002). The paper covers all the basic knowledge from the beginning — what’s eigenvector, what’s covariance, how to use it. This is a great one. [pdf]
  • Yet, I have another very good PCA tutorial “A Tutorial on Principal Component Analysis” (2005) by Jonathon Shlens. This tutorial paper is my favorite one. The paper give a good intuition about how to use PCA and show how to derive the principal components from the beginning. Very understandable tutorial. Also the paper did a really good job on explaining several crucial theorems on linear algebra related to PCA. The paper also discuss about the connection between PCA and SVD interestingly. At the end of the paper, the author discussed about the previous works on PCA and several types of PCA and their importance. [pdf]
  • Interpret PCA as minimal approximation error as on a very recent paper “New Routes from Minimal Approximation Error to Principal Components” (2007). [pdf]
  • I believe there are still more for this type of paper. Actually the key of all thing is “How can you pick the objective function!!!” The objective function will determine every thing about an algorithm.

Coming soon!….Collaborative filtering

September 24, 2008 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Dependency-Structure Learning in Graphical Models

September 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Given a graphical models we, human, can understand the dependency among the random variables pretty well. Also we can compute the distribution of the hidden variables given the observed variables and the structure of the graphical models by existing inference frameworks. However, there are lot of applications in which we don’t know the structure or the topology of the dependency among the random variables. The question is “How can we give the best guess to the structure of the dependency?” So far there have been a lot of works which I’m interested in.

    These are some interesting publications on this topic

    1. Dynamic Trees: A Hierarchical Probabilistic Approach to Image Modelling by Nicholas J. Adams (Ph.D. thesis 2001)
    2. Dynamic Trees by by Christopher K. I. Williams, Nicholas J. Adams (NIPS 1999)
    3. MFDTs: Mean Field Dynamic Trees by Nicholas J Adams, Amos J Storkey, Zoubin Ghahramani, Christopher K I Williams (2000)
    4. Dynamic Trees: A structured Variational Approach Giving Efficient Propagation Rules by Amos Storkey (2000)
    5. Image modeling with position-encoding dynamic trees by by Amos J Storkey, Christopher K I Williams (2003)
    6. Tractable bayesian learning of tree belief networks by Marina Meila, Tommi Jaakkola (2000)
    7. Learning with Mixtures of Trees by Marina Meila, Michael Jordan (JMLR 2000)
    8. Learning with Mixtures of Trees by Marina Meila (Ph.D. thesis 1999)
    9. Estimating dependency structure as a hidden variable by Marina Meila, Michael Jordan (1998)
    10. Being Bayesian About Network Structure: A Bayesian Approach to Structure Discovery in Bayesian Networks by Nir Friedman and Daphne Koller (2003)

    Install WordPress on Bluehost

    September 22, 2008 Leave a comment

    Make a new database

    1. Go to cPanel in Bluehost
    2. Go to MySQL Database Wizard
    3. Make a new database
    4. Here you will have database name, username and password to access this new database
    5. You will have to use the information above to config the file wp-config.php when install WordPress

    Install WordPress on the website folder

    1. You may ftp or use File Manager in cPanel to access your folder
    2. Put the install package, usually, in the website folder
    3. Extract the zip file
    4. Open the file wp-config-sample.php and put the database information into it
    5. Save as wp-config.php
    6. Go to your website
    7. Now name your blog and finalize it!
    8. Now enjoy having your own webpage
    Categories: Uncategorized

    Download FLV from YouTube and convert to AVI or MP3

    September 22, 2008 Leave a comment

    How to download .flv from YouTube
    If you are using the browser Firefox, you can easily download .flv file from the website by simply using an add-on “DownloadHelper”. Please refer to the link below

    There are so many softwares that can download the video file from YouTube. However, I prefer using the firefox add-on, DownloadHelper since it’s really easy.

    How to convert FLV file to AVI
    Of course, AVI is like a crucial material for any kind of video/media file. Once we can convert a file to AVI, then we can go from there to all types of file so easily. There are a lot of freeware of this sort. The one I’m using right now is Pazera Free FLV to AVI converter.
    This link also contains tons of other media file converters.

    How to convert/rip FLV to MP3
    Again there are a lot of freewares on the internet. The one I’m using is
    I think the website works pretty well, so far as good. The website not only converts the file from URL, but also can convert the file on your machine as well. The website will upload the video from the source, then convert the FLV to MP3. When finish, you will get a small window pop up and ask you to save the MP3 file on your machine. However, the file does not have extension, don’t panic, you just put the extension .mp3 afterward and every thing will work just fine!

    Categories: Labs Tags: ,