Conceptual Imitation Learning: An Application to Human-robot Interaction
; Proceedings of 2nd Asian Conference on Machine Learning, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings 13:331-346, 2010.
In general, imitation is imprecisely used to address different levels of social learning from high level knowledge transfer to low level regeneration of motor commands. However, true imitation is based on abstraction and conceptualization. This paper presents a conceptual approach for imitation learning using feedback cues and interactive training to abstract spatio-temporal demonstrations based on their perceptual and functional characteristics. Abstraction, concept acquisition, and self-organization of proto-symbols are performed through an incremental and gradual learning algorithm. In this algorithm, Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) are used to abstract perceptually similar demonstrations. However, abstract (relational) concepts emerge as a collection of HMMs irregularly scattered in the perceptual space. Performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated in a human-robot interaction task of imitating signs produced by hand movements. Experimental results show efficiency of our model for concept extraction, symbol emergence, motion pattern recognition, and regeneration.