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Spring 2011 GRASP Seminar – Stefano Soatto, University of California, Los Angeles, “Perception, Action and the Information Knot that Ties Them”

April 22, 2011 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: I will discuss a notion of Information for the purpose of decision and
control tasks, as opposed to data transmission and storage tasks
implicit in Communication Theory a’ la Wiener-Shannon. It is rooted in
ideas of J. J. Gibson, and stands in contrast to entropy, complexity or
coding length of the data regardless of the use, and regardless of
nuisance factors. I will describe the relationship between such
“Actionable Information” and the sufficient statistics for a typical
decision task, and argue that the “information gap” between the two can
only be filled by controlling the data acquisition process. I will
discuss the consequences of such an “Actionable Information” Theory in
understanding the so-called “signal-to-symbol barrier” problem, and in
understanding information processing in biological systems. Data
formation processes that include scaling and occlusion phenomena play a
key role in the theory, vision being a prime example.


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Professor Soatto received his Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems
from the California Institute of Technology in 1996; he joined UCLA in
2000 after being Assistant and then Associate Professor of Electrical
and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University, Research Associate
in Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and Assistant Professor in
Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Udine, Italy. He
received his D.Ing. degree (highest honors) from the University of
Padova- Italy in 1992. Dr. Soatto is the recipient of the David Marr
Prize (with Y. Ma, J. Kosecka and S. Sastry of U.C. Berkeley) for work
on Euclidean reconstruction and reprojection up to subgroups. He also
received the Siemens Prize with the Outstanding Paper Award from the
IEEE Computer Society for his work on optimal structure from motion
(with R. Brockett of Harvard). He received the National Science
Foundation Career Award and the Okawa Foundation Grant. He is a Member
of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Computer Vision
(IJCV), the International Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision
(JMIV) and Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision. See http://vision.ucla.edu for more details.


April 22, 2011
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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