Computers, machines and even smart phones can process sounds and audio signals with apparent ease, but they all require significant computing power.
A brain-based pattern-recognition process that searches for familiar features in the audio spectrum improves sound recognition in computers.
Copyright : 2013 A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research
Researchers from the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research in Singapore have proposed a way to improve computer audio processing by applying lessons inspired from the way the brain processes sounds.
“The method proposed in our study may not only contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the biological acoustic systems operate, but also enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of audio processing,” comments Huajin Tang, an electrical engineer from the research team.
When listening to someone speaking in a quiet room, it is easy to identify the speaker and understand their words. While the same words spoken in a loud bar are more difficult to process, our brain is still capable of distinguishing the voice of the speaker from the background noise. Computers, on the other hand, still have considerable problems identifying complex sounds from a noisy background; even smart phones must send audio signals to a powerful centralized server for processing.
Considerable computing power at the server is required because the computer continuously processes the entire spectrum of human audio frequencies. The brain, however, analyzes information more selectively: it processes audio patterns localized in time and frequency (see image). When someone speaks with a deep voice, for example, the brain dispenses with analyzing high-pitched sounds. So when a speaker in a loud bar stops talking, the brain stops trying to catch and process the sounds that form his words.
Tang and his team emulated the brain’s sound-recognition strategy by identifying key points in the audio spectrum of a sound. These points could be characteristic frequencies in a voice or repeating patterns, such as those of an alarm bell. They analyzed the signal in more detail around these key points only, looking for familiar audio frequencies as well as time patterns. This analysis enabled a robust extraction of matching signals when a noise was present. To improve the detection over time, the researchers fed matching frequency patterns into a neurological algorithm that mimics the way the brain learns through the repetition of known patterns.
In computer experiments, the algorithm successfully processed known target signals, even in the presence of noise. Expanding this approach, says Tang, “could lead to a greater understanding of the way the brain processes sound; and, beyond that, it could also include touch, vision and other senses.”
Dennis, J., Yu, Q., Tang, H., Tran, H. D. & Li, H. Temporal coding of local spectrogram features for robust sound recognition. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, 26–31 May 2013.
Decoding the regulation of cell survival - A major step towards preventing neurons from dying
04.10.2018 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
New Cluster of Excellence “Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop” (CeTI)
28.09.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding