Jackob Kauffmann on Føya, Tromsø
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Jackob Kauffmann on Føya, Tromsø

Jacob Kauffmann research stay at Visual intelligence

Jacob Kauffmann, PhD student at the Machine Learning group at Technical University of Berlin, was a guest scientist at Visual Intelligence, UiT July-October 2023.

Jacob Kauffmann research stay at the Machine learning group at UiT and Visual intelligence

Jacob Kauffmann, PhD student at the Machine Learning group at Technical University of Berlin. Guest at Visual Intelligence, UiT July-October 2023.

Why did you choose Tromsø and Visual Intelligence for your reteach stay?

I visited the UiT Machine Learning group near the end of my doctorate, coming from the Technical University of Berlin. I met Michael during his research stay at TU Berlin in 2019. At the time, I was working on a framework for explainable clustering and valued his expertise in both clustering and explainable AI. At the end of his stay, he invited us to visit his group at UiT and I have stuck with the idea. The plan finally came together in the summer of 2023 and we arranged a visit from July to October.

What was the outcome of your stay?

My time at the Machine Learning group was very rewarding. I gained knowledge in clustering and identifying unique cluster characteristics. Michael and Ahcène shared their experience and provided advice. Their insights offered perspectives I could not have gained elsewhere. We started by comparing activation-maximization, relevance propagation and the reconstruction of a decoder. Our observations suggest that cluster characterization can offer insights that go beyond label accuracy. I look forward to continuing this research after my stay.

The VI Days 2023 near Oslo were a particular highlight. I enjoyed attending the VIGS event, to which I was invited. Robert gave me the chance to display a poster at VI Days, leading to a collaboration with Suaiba on disentangled explanations for mammography classification. It is well-known that classifiers tend to use statistical cues, and disentangling explanations can potentially decouple the main signal from such cues.

How was life in Tromsø?

Outside of research, a climbing session at the Klatresenter with Eirik and Teddy offered a pleasant break and the chance to connect on a personal level. I also had the opportunity to witness Tromsø in autumn — a particularly captivating experience that I wouldn't want to miss.

I am thankful to the researchers in the Machine Learning group for their warm hospitality and look forward to continuing the collaborations.

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