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A Multidimensional Evaluation of the Perception and Annoyance Caused by Railway Induced Groundborne Vibration

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This paper presents a study investigating seated subjects' perception of railway induced groundborne vibration in the vertical direction. Previous studies into the perception of railway induced vibration have treated this phenomenon as a unidimensional problem. The aim of the study detailed in this paper is to determine if the perception of railway induced groundborne vibration is multidimensional in nature and if the resulting perceptual dimensions can be related to a measure of annoyance. Twenty-one subjects took part in paired comparison tests of similarity and annoyance. These tests were conducted using fourteen measured vibration stimuli selected to be representative of groundborne vibration induced by railway activities in the United Kingdom. Through multidimensional scaling analysis, it is shown that the perception of railway induced vibration is dependent on up to four perceptual dimensions. These dimensions relate to energy in the 16 Hz 1/3 octave band (α 16Hz), energy in the 32 Hz 1/3 octave band (α 32Hz), the duration of the train passage (T 10dB), and the modulation frequency of the envelope of the signal (f mod). These perceptual dimensions are shown to be related to single figure Perceived Annoyance Ratings (α) by the following relationship: A = −0.40+4.57α 16Hz+3.18α 32Hz+0.02T 10dB+0.02f mod. Finally, the single figure Perceived Annoyance Ratings are related to categorical ratings of annoyance via a logistic regression model. These findings confirm the hypothesis that the perception of complex vibration stimuli is multidimensional and can be described by a small number of perceptual dimensions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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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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