Overview Talks

Monday, Sept. 5th, 14:00 – 15:00, Plenary Hall

Acoustic Sensor Networks: Challenges and Solutions

Prof. Reinhold Häb-Umbach, Paderborn University

Abstract: The ubiquity of wireless devices equipped with microphones offers a multitude of opportunities for improved acoustic signal enhancement, extraction and classification, when those sensors are connected to form a network. However, the typical ad-hoc nature of the setup poses significant challenges, such as unknown sensor locations, the lack of a common sampling clock, and the need to establish a communication network among them in an automatic fashion.
This talk discusses such acoustic sensor networks from a holistic perspective. Signal processing and machine learning, often in combination, are employed to tackle communication and synchronisation aspects, as well as enhancement and classification, and are even used to address privacy concerns. Examples are given that illustrate the, not surprising, benefit of cooperation among the sensor nodes. More surprisingly, there is also a payback from acoustic signal processing to the communication network, as we will also show in this talk.

The SOUNDS European Training Network

Prof. Toon van Watershoot, KU Leuven

Abstract: The SOUNDS European Training Network (ETN) revolves around a new and promising paradigm coined as Service-Oriented, Ubiquitous, Network-Driven Sound. Inspired by the ubiquity of mobile and wearable devices capable of capturing, processing, and reproducing sound, the SOUNDS ETN aims to bring audio technology to a new level by exploiting network-enabled cooperation between devices. We envision the next generation of audio devices to be capable of providing enhanced hearing assistance, creating immersive audio experience, enabling advanced voice control and much more, by seamlessly exchanging signals and parameter settings, and spatially analyzing and reproducing sound jointly with other nearby audio devices and infrastructure. Moreover, such functionality should be self-organizing, flexible, and scalable, requiring minimal user interaction for adapting to changes in the environment or network. It is anticipated that this paradigm will eventually result in an entirely new way of designing and using audio technology, by considering audio as a service enabled through shared infrastructure, rather than as a device-specific functionality limited by the capabilities and constraints of a single user device.