Scale-space theory for auditory signals

Tony Lindeberg and Anders Friberg

SSVM 2015: Scale Space and Variational Methods in Computer Vision, Springer LNCS vol 9087, pages 90-102, Lege Cap Ferret, France, May 31 - Jun 4, 2015.

Digitally published with DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-18461-6_1 in April 2015.


We show how the axiomatic structure of scale-space theory can be applied to the auditory domain and be used for deriving idealized models of auditory receptive fields via scale-space principles.

For defining a time-frequency transformation of a purely temporal signal, it is shown that the scale-space framework allows for a new way of deriving the Gabor and Gammatone filters as well as a novel family of generalized Gammatone filters with additional degrees of freedom to obtain different trade-offs between the spectral selectivity and the temporal delay of time-causal window functions.

Applied to the definition of a second layer of receptive fields from the spectrogram, it is shown that the scale-space framework leads to two canonical families of spectro-temporal receptive fields, using a combination of Gaussian filters over the logspectral domain with either Gaussian filters or a cascade of first-order integrators over the temporal domain. These spectro-temporal receptive fields can be either separable over the time-frequency domain or be adapted to local glissando transformations that represent variations in logarithmic frequencies over time.

Such idealized models of auditory receptive fields respect auditory invariances, can be used for computing basic auditory features for audio processing and lead to predictions about auditory receptive fields with good qualitative similarity to biological receptive fields in the inferior colliculus (ICC) and the primary auditory cortex (A1).

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On-line version: (At the official site of Springer LNCS)

Background and related material: (More extensive journal paper on idealized computational models for auditory receptive fields) (Closely related theory for time-causal and time-recursive visual receptive fields) (Closely related computational theory for visual receptive fields) (Closely related framework for invariant visual receptive fields under natural image transformations) (Underlying mathematical necessity results regarding scale covariant, affine covariant and Galilean covariant receptive fields)

Responsible for this page: Tony Lindeberg