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Estimation of Sound Quality Measures Using FIR Neural Networks

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The ability of FIR neural networks to model subjects' judgments of real-world sounds is investigated. The samples for training the networks are 27 environmental sounds from the natural environment, traffic, house appliances, and the industry. 31 Subjects were asked to rate the sounds by 9 attributes on 5-point category scales. Differences between judgments on known and unknown sounds were quantified by t-tests. The largest difference is about 1 category for the attribute 'annoying'. Due to this fact only judgements on known sounds were taken into account in the following investigation. Factor analysis, performed on the subjects' answers, extracted 2 factors. The factors can be identified to represent the attributes 'annoying' and 'powerful'. In order to reduce the amount of input valves for the network a factor analysis was applied to one-third octave band spectra of the sounds. FIR neural networks were trained to predict the factor 'annoying' of the subjects' answers from the factor values as emerged from the analysis on the frequency bands. At the optimum the networks on average produce 3.2% error on the training set and 13.4% error on the validation set. The results are very promising for the application of FIR neural networks for the prediction of sound quality judgments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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