Journal articles: JMUI and JASA 2016

Double win for PADVA project!!!









Two fresh new journal papers are going to be published.



This paper is an invited publication and extended version of Michele and Federico ‘s ICAD 2015 publication.

M. Geronazzo, F. Avanzini, and F. Fontana.
Auditory navigation with a tubular acoustic model for interactive distance cues and personalized head-related transfer functions.
Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, May 2016. (link to JMUI page)


This paper presents a novel spatial auditory display that combines a virtual environment based on a Digital Waveguide Mesh (DWM) model of a small tubular shape with a binaural rendering system with personalized head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) allowing interactive selection of absolute 3D spatial cues of direction as well as egocentric distance. The tube metaphor in particular minimizes loudness changes with distance, providing mainly direct-to-reverberant and spectral cues. The proposed display was assessed through a target-reaching task where participants explore a 2D virtual map with a pen tablet and hit a sound source (the target) using auditory information only; subjective time to hit and traveled distance were analyzed for three experiments. The first one aimed at assessing the proposed HRTF selection method for personalization and dimensionality of the reaching task, with particular attention to elevation perception; we showed that most subjects performed better when they had to reach a vertically unbounded (2D) rather then an elevated (3D) target. The second experiment analyzed interaction between the tube metaphor and HRTF showing a dominant effect of DWM model over binaural rendering. In the last experiment, participants using absolute distance cues from the tube model performed comparably well to when they could rely on more robust, although relative, intensity cues. These results suggest that participants made proficient use of both binaural and reverberation cues during the task, displayed as part of a coherent 3D sound model, in spite of the known complexity of use of both such cues. HRTF personalization was beneficial for participants who were able to perceive vertical dimension of a virtual sound. Further work is needed to add full physical consistency to the proposed auditory display.


We are so proud of this JASA paper resulting from a joint collaboration with the Dept. of Computer Science at Aalto University School of Science (Finland).

S. Prepelita, M. Geronazzo, F. Avanzini, and L. Savioja.
Influence of voxelization on finite difference time domain simulations of head-related transfer functions.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, April 2016. (link to JASA page)


The scattering around the human pinna that is captured by the Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) is a complex problem that creates uncertainties in both acoustical measurements and simulations. Within the simulation framework of Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) with axis-aligned staircase boundaries resulting from a voxelization process, the voxelization-based uncertainty propagating in the HRTF-captured sound field is quantified for one solid and two surface voxelization algorithms. Simulated results utilizing a laser-scanned KEMAR mesh show that in the context of complex geometries with local topology comparable to grid spacing such as the human pinna, the voxelization-related uncertainties in simulations emerge at lower frequencies than the generally used accuracy bandwidths. Numerical simulations show that the voxelization process induces both random error and algorithm-dependent bias in the simulated HRTF spectral features. Frequencies fr below which the random error is bounded by various dB thresholds are estimated and predicted. Particular shortcomings of the used voxelization algorithms are identified and the influence of the surface impedance on the induced errors is studied. Simulations are also validated against measurements.

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