Past News

Mit Sicherheit weniger Lärm an Österreichs Straßen

Das Institut für Schallforschung (ISF) der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften optimiert Rumpelstreifen in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften der Technischen Universität Wien und der ABF Straßensanierung GmbH. Diese Rumpelstreifen melden dem Lenker durch Geräusche und Vibrationen, dass er zu nahe in den Bereich der Gegenfahrbahn oder dem Straßenbankett kommt. 

Da solche Rumpelstreifen nicht nur im Fahrzeug sondern auch in der Umgebung zu einer Erhöhung des Lärms führen, stellt die Verwendung im bebauten Gebiet ein Problem dar. Um jedoch auch dort Sicherheit zu gewährleisten ist es für die Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen-Finanzierungs-Aktiengesellschaft, kurz ASFINAG, von großem Interesse Rumpelstreifen zu verwenden die weniger Lärm an die Umgebung abgeben aber dabei die warnende Wirkung an den Fahrer beibehalten.

Diesen Herbst startete daher das von der ASFINAG und der FFG (Projektnummer 850538) geförderte Projekt LARS (Lärmarme Rumpelstreifen) des ISF mit Messungen an Teststreifen mit unterschiedlichen Fräsmustern. Untersucht werden unterschiedliche Abstände und Tiefen der Fugen, Zufallsmuster, sinusförmig gefräste Streifen und Streifen mit Keilformen.

Das Ziel keilförmiger Fugen ist es beispielsweise, den Schall unter das Auto zu lenken während man mit einem zufälligen Fräsmuster anstatt eines tonalen Geräuschs ein Rauschen erzeugt, dass in der Regel als weniger störend empfunden wird. Der Lärm in der Umgebung wird durch Messungen des Luftschalls in der Nähe der Quelle und in einiger Entfernung durchgeführt.  Dabei erfolgt die Messung mit Messmikrophonen und einem Kopf-Torso Simulator.

Zusätzlich führt das ISF Computersimulationen für Teststreifen durch, die aus einer beliebigen Folge von Einzelfugen bestehen. Dafür wurden Einzelfugen mit variabler Geometrie (Rechteckform und Keilform) gefräst und gemessen. Die Simulation erfolgt durch eine Überlagerung des Signals der Einzelfugen unter Berücksichtigung der Geschwindigkeit der simulierten Überfahrt, des zugehörigen Dopplereffekts und der Abstände der Fugen in der Simulation.

Psychoakustische Tests im Labor und die akustische Bewertungen der Luftschallmessungen geben den Wissenschaftern die Sicherheit ihrer Aussagen. Die Bewertung der warnenden Wirkung für den Fahrer erfolgt durch Messung und Bewertung der Vibrationen und des Innenraumschalls in der Fahrerkabine. Letzterer wird so wie schon der Umgebungslärm mittels Wahrnehmungstests untersucht.

 „Die bereits teilweise in der Praxis verwendeten sinusförmig gefrästen Rumpelstreifen erwiesen sich in bisherigen Untersuchungen als kaum hörbar, da sie arm an Obertönen sind. Hier wird der Fahrer nicht durch Lärm sondern hauptsächlich durch Vibrationen gewarnt. Das kommt dem Ziel des Projekts und der Realisierung der Problemlösung schon sehr nahe. Wir wollen aber auch das Potential anderer, innovativer Ansätze untersuchen.“, berichtet Projektleiter Christian Kaseß. 

The Acoustics Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences invites applications for a 50 % research position in speech communication. The successful candidate must hold a PhD in electrical engineering, computer science, or phonetics.

  • He or she has worked on the interface of phonetic description of languages (with a specific focus on Austrian German language varieties) and speech technology,
  • has knowledge of Austrian German language varieties (sociolects, dialects),
  • has in-depth knowledge of state-of-the art speech synthesis methods and technology,
  • has good knowledge of other speech technologies (speaker verification, speaker recognition),
  • has significant international research contributions in the above mentioned fields,
  • has experience in a multi-disciplinary research environment, and is willing to work closely together with the working groups of the institute.

The Acoustics Research Institute is an interdisciplinary research institution of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary for frontier research in acoustics. The Acoustics Research Institute undertakes top-level research in psychoacoustics and experimental audiology, acoustic phonetics, computational acoustics, and mathematics and signal processing. The close interaction between the working groups at the institute allow innovative research approaches based on the synergy effects of multidisciplinary research as well as concepts that stimulate the individual research fields. ARI employs approximately 30 academic, technical, and administrative staff.

The position is available from 1st of January 2016 until 31st of December 2016. Given a successful cooperation with the group and the institute, a prolongation is possible. The salary will be EUR 24.101,70 a year according to the personal cost rates of the Academy (collective agreement 5/2) with willingness to a higher payment depending on the experience and qualification of the candidate.

Applicants are expected to submit a letter of application expressing their qualifications required for the tasks specified above, their curriculum vitae, and two references with contact data until December 5th, 2015 to:

Acoustics Research Institute
Austrian
Academy of Sciences
Wohllebengasse 12-14
1040 Wien
Austria

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Robert Baumgartner has defended his PhD thesis with distinction at the Kunstuniversität Graz:
Modeling sound localization in sagittal planes for human listeners

Am 30.Juli kamen 14 SchülerInnen im Rahmen ihres Talente-Praktikums am Institut für Mathematik der Universität Wien für einen Vormittag ans Institut für Schallforschung.

Mit Präsentationen und einer Führung durch das Labor wurde den Jugendlichen das Forschungsgebiet der Mathematik am Institut für Schallforschung näher gebracht.

 
     
 

Proposal for a Master studentship (f/m)

 

Title: Measurements of auditory time-frequency masking kernels for various masker frequencies and levels.

 

Duration: 6 months, working time = 20 hours/week.

 

Starting date: ASAP.

 

Closing date for applications: until the position is filled.

Description

 

Background: Over the last decades, many psychoacoustical studies investigated auditory masking, an important property of auditory perception. Masking refers to the degradation of the detection of a sound (referred to as the “target”) in presence of another sound (the “masker”). In the literature, masking has been extensively investigated with simultaneous (spectral masking) and non-simultaneous (temporal masking) presentation of masker and target. The results were used to develop models of either spectral or temporal masking. Attempts were made to simply combine these models to account for time-frequency masking in perceptual audio codecs like mp3. However, a recent study on time-frequency masking conducted at our lab [1] revealed the inaccuracy of such simple models. The development of an efficient model of time-frequency masking for short-duration and narrow-band signals still remains a challenge. For instance, such a model is crucial for the prediction of masking in time-frequency representations of sounds and is expected to improve current perceptual audio codecs.

 

In the previous study [1], the time-frequency masking kernel for a 10-ms Gaussian-shaped sinusoid was measured at a frequency of 4 kHz and a sensation level of 60 dB. A Gaussian envelope is used because it allows for maximum compactness in the time-frequency domain. While these data constitute a crucial basis for the development of an efficient model of time-frequency masking, additional psychoacoustical data are required, particularly the time-frequency masking kernels for different Gaussian masker frequencies and sensation levels.

 

The proposed work is part of the ongoing research project POTION: “Perceptual Optimization of audio representaTIONs and coding”, jointly funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the French National Research Agency (ANR).

 

Aims: The first goal of the work is to conduct psychoacoustical experiments to measure the time-frequency masking kernels for three masker sensation levels (20, 40, and 60 dB) and three masker frequencies (0.75, 4.0, and 8.0 kHz) following the methods in [1]. This part will consist in experimental design, programming, and data collection. The second goal of the work is to interpret the data and compare them to literature data for maskers with various spectro-temporal shapes. This step shall involve the use of state-of-the-art models of the auditory periphery to predict the data.

 

Applications: The data will be used to develop a new model of time-frequency masking that should later be implemented and tested in a perceptual audio codec.

 

Required skills: Qualification for a Master thesis, knowledge in psychophysical methods andpsychoacoustics, experience with auditory models would be a plus, Matlab programming, good communication, proper spoken/written English.

 

Gross salary: 948.80€/month.

 

Supervisors: Thibaud Necciari and Bernhard Laback
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Tel: +43 1 51581-2538

 

Reference:

[1] T. Necciari. Auditory time-frequency masking: Psychoacoustical measures and application to the analysis-synthesis of sound signals. PhD thesis, Aix-Marseille I University, France, October 2010. Available online.

 Position Vacancy at the Acoustics Research Institute
 Post-Doc Research Assistant or PhD student 

 The Acoustics Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is seeking a full time research position for the START-Price Project Frames and Linear Operators for Acoustical Modeling and Parameter Estimation (FLAME), which started in May 2012.

The Acoustics Research Institute (ARI) is an interdisciplinary research institution of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary for frontier research in acoustics. The Acoustics Research Institute undertakes top-level research in psychoacoustics  and experimental audiology; acoustics phonetics; physical and computational acoustics; and mathematics and signal processing. The close interaction between the working groups at the institute allow innovative research approaches based on the synergy effects of multidisciplinary research as well as concepts that stimulate the individual research fields. ARI employs approximately 30 academic, technical and administrative staff.

The START-Program funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is the most reputable research price for outstanding young researchers in Austria granted by an international jury for the duration of 6 years.

The multidisciplinary project FLAME started in May 2012 and has the the main goal of establishing frame theory as the theoretical backbone of acoustical modeling. The mathematical concept of frames describes a theoretical background for signal processing. Frames are generalizations of orthonormal bases that give more freedom for the analysis and modification of information - however, this concept is still not firmly rooted in applied research. The link between the mathematical frame theory, the signal processing algorithms, their implementations and finally acoustical applications is a very promising, synergetic combination of research in different fields. This is a cooperative project both with other working groups at ARI and national and international partners.

See http://www.kfs.oeaw.ac.at/FLAME

We are now looking for a Post Doc Research Assistant or an exceptional PHD candidate, who will be incorporated in the 'Mathematics and Signal Processing in Acoustics'-group and will work closely together with the other members under the guidance of Dr. Peter Balazs. They will also workly closely together with the other working groups of the institute in a multi-disciplinary research context.

This is a research position, no teaching duties are involved.

Applicant are required to be able to show:

·        experience in a least one of the topics and openness to the others

 

1.    frame theory

2.    operator theory

3.    Gabor and wavelet theory

4.    time-frequency signal processing

5.    numerics of integral equations

6.    phonetics

7.    psychoacoustics

8.    acoustical measurment theory

 

·        the desire to travel and work in an international cooperative project

 

Applicants should have:

·        a PhD or an equivalent education in a relevant scientific discipline.

·        at least two years of post-doctoral experience.

·        a multi-disciplinary publication record in the involved fields

·        experience in at  least three of the above mentioned fields. A focus will be given to applicants, who are more experienced on the applied topics.

·        a good publication record

·        the ability to carry out research work independently as well as cooperatively

 

 

This full time (PhD student: 75 %) post is available from 1 November 2014 and will be offered until 30 May 2015. Given a successful cooperation with the group and the project and after a successful evaluation of the START-project by the FWF the contract will be prolonged by one year. If an excellent fit to the project, the working group and the institute the contract it will be prolonged for another two years (until 30. April 2018). It is the explicit plan to build up a long-term team for the 'Mathematics and Signal processing in Acoustics' group.

The salary will be EUR 48.767,60 at year according the personal cost rates of the FWF for Post-Doc positions, and EUR 27.956,60 for PhD students.

Applicants should submit a letter of application (expressing their particular fitting to this position. and interest in the project), their curriculum vitae, a list of 5-10 most important publications (with short summaries), a full publication list and three reference letters until the 15th of  October to:

Acoustics Research Institute

Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1st floor

1040 Vienna

Austria

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences is an equal-opportunity employer, women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

 

After an initial ranking the first ranked candidates will be invited for a presentation.

Research assistant position for a PhD student at the Acoustics Research Institute in Vienna

The Acoustics Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences invites applications for a half-time pre-doc position for a junior researcher in acoustic phonetics. The successful candidate must hold an M.A. in Phonetics or General/Applied Linguistics with special focus on phonetics and phonology. He or she is expected to work in the field of acoustic phonetics (acoustic phonetic and phonological description of languages and language varieties, especially Austrian varieties, including migrant varieties), have good knowledge of Austrian dialects, work on the phonetics-phonology interface, show experience in audio-analysis software, and be willing to work closely together with the other working groups of the institute. 

The Acoustics Research Institute is an interdisciplinary research institution of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary for frontier research in acoustics. The Acoustics Research Institute undertakes top-level research in psychoacoustics and experimental audiology, acoustic phonetics, computational acoustics, and mathematics and signal processing. The close interaction between the working groups at the institute alloww for innovative research approaches based on the synergy effects of multidisciplinary research, as well as concepts that stimulate the individual research fields. The Acoustics Research Institute employs approximately 35 academic, technical, and administrative staff.

The post is available from November 2014 until November 2015. The salary will be EUR 18.142,60 a year according to the personal cost rates of the Academy (collective agreement 4/1) 

Applicants are expected to submit a letter of application expressing their qualifications required for the tasks specified above, their curriculum vitae, and two references with contact data by September 19th 2014 to:

 

Acoustics Research Institute
Austrian Academy of Sciences

Wohllebengasse 12-14
1040 Wien
Austria

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Lange Nacht der Forschung 2014

Am 04. April diesen Jahres nahm das Institut für Schallforschung erneut an der Langen Nacht der Forschung in der Aula der Wissenschaften erfolgreich teil. Mit dem Programm "Schallanalyse: Hören - Sehen - Interpretieren" präsentierte sich das ISF und bot  Kindern und Erwachsenen Informationen, Spannung und Spiel zum Thema Akustik und Schall. 

 

Hier die Rückschau in Bildern:

 

 

Bereits im vorderen Bereich der Kinderstationen herrschte großer Andrang in entspannter Atmosphäre. 

 

 Auch im Innenbereich bestand reges Interesse an Postern, Simualtionen und persönlichen Gesprächen mit den Wissenschaftern.

Aber auch an musikalischen Experimenten bestand Interesse.

Schließlich lernte man auch Grundlegendes zur Kommunikation.

Unsere Mitarbeiter im Gespräch mit großen und kleinen Besuchern.

Unsere Besucher konnten ihr Wissen anhand von interaktiven Präsentationen bzw. Simulationen erweitern.

POTION: Perceptual optimization of time-frequency audio representations and coding

Principal investigators: Thibaud Necciari, Piotr Majdak
Co-applicants: Bernhard Laback, Peter Balazs
Collaborators: Olivier Derrien, Richard Kronland-Martinet, Sølvi Ystad (Laboratoire de Mécanique et d'Acoustique, CNRS, France).

Tentative start of the Austrian project part: 1st March 2014

Project goals: The fundamental research in POTION aims at developing new methods for the representation and interpretation of audio signals. More specifically, we propose the development of an efficient, perfectly invertible, possibly non-redundant, and perceptually optimized time-frequency representation, i.e., which displays only the audible components of sound signals. To our knowledge, such a representation is not available. The originality of POTION lies in the consideration of the mathematical theory of time-frequency representations and its application to signal processing, and psychoacoustical data on auditory time-frequency masking. The technical objective of POTION is to develop a new perceptual audio codec based on the combination of new results on non-stationary time-frequency transforms and on time-frequency masking. This codec will constitute the “end-product” of the project. While current audio codecs are mainly based on a frequency approach, the codec created in POTION will consider a joint time-frequency approach. It is therefore expected to produce higher compression ratios than current codecs at the same perceived audio quality.

BE-SyMPHONic: French-Austrian joint project granted by ANR and FWF

Principal investigators: Basilio Calderone, Wolfgang U. Dressler
Co-applicants: Hélène Giraudo, Sylvia Moosmüller

Start of the project: 13th January 2014

 

Executive Summary of the proposal

 

Language sounds are realized in several different ways. Every language exploits no more than a sub-set of the sounds that the vocal tract can produce, as well as a reduced number of their possible combinations. The restrictions and the phonemic combinations allowed in the language define a branch of phonology so-called phonotactics.

Phonotactics refers to the sequential arrangement of phonemic segments in morphemes, syllables, and words (Harris 1955) and underlies a wide range of phonological issues, from acceptability judgments (pseudowords like <poiture> in French or <Traus> in German are phonotactically plausible) to syllable processes (the syllabic structure in a given language is based on the phonotactic permission in that language) and the nature and length of possible consonant clusters (that may be seen as intrinsically marked structures with respect to the basic CV template).

Exploring the psycho-computational representation of the phonotactics in French and German is the aim of this research project.

In particular, our research will focus on the interplay between phonotactics and word structure in French and German, and investigate in particular the behavioural and computational representations of phonotactic vs. morphonotactic clusters.

As a matter of fact, the basic hypothesis underlying this research project is that there exist different cognitive and computational representations for the same consonant cluster according to its phonotactic setting. In particular, the occurrence of a cluster across a morpheme boundary (morphonotactic cluster) is considered as particularly interesting, for the following reasons.

Our research will focus on the interplay between phonotactics and morphology and investigate the behavioural and computational representations of consonant clusters according to whether they are: a) exclusively phonotactic clusters, i.e. the consonant cluster occurs only without morpheme boundaries (e.g. Stein in German); b) exclusively morphonotactic clusters, i.e. the consonant cluster occurs only beyond morpheme boundaries (e.g. lach+st), c) both are true with one of the two being more or less dominant (e.g. dominant lob+st vs. Obst)[1]. Thus we test the existence of different ‘cognitive and computational representations’ and processes for the same and for similar consonant clusters according to their appurtenance to a) or b) or c).

The central hypothesis which we test is that speakers not only reactively exploit the potential boundary signaling function of clusters that result from morphological operations, but take active measures to maintain or even enhance this functionality, for example by treating morphologically produced clusters differently than morpheme internal clusters in production or language acquisition. We call this hypothesis, the ‘Strong Morphonotactic Hypothesis’ (henceforth: SMH) (Dressler & Dziubalska-Koɫaczyk 2006, Dressler, Dziubalska-Koɫaczyk & Pestal 2010).

In particular, we suppose that sequences of phonemes exhibiting morpheme boundaries (the ‘morphonotactic clusters’) should provide the speakers with functional evidence about the morphological operation occurred in that sequence; such evidence should be absent in the case of a sequence of phonemes without morpheme boundaries (the ‘phonotactic clusters’).

Hence our idea is to investigate the psycho-computational mechanisms underlying the phonotactic-morphonotactic distinction by approaching the problem from two angles simultaneously: (a) psycholinguistic experimental study of language acquisition and production and (b) language computational modelling.

We aim therefore at providing, on one hand, the psycholinguistic and behavioural support to the hypothesis that morphologically produced clusters are treated differently than morpheme internal clusters in French and German; on the other, we will focus on the distributional and statistical properties of the language in order to verify whether such difference in clusters’ treatment can be inductively modelled by appealing to distributional regularities of the language.

The competences of the two research teams overlap and complement each other. The French team will lead in modelling, computational simulation and psycholinguistic experiments, the Austrian team in first language acquisition, phonetic production and microdiachronic change. These synergies are expected to enrich each group in innovative ways.



[1] An equivalent example for French language is given by a) prise (/priz/ ‘grip’, exclusively phonotactic cluster), b) affiche+ rai (/afiʃʁɛ/ ‘I (will) post’, exclusively morphonotactic cluster) and c) navigue+ rai (/naviɡʁɛ/ ‘I (will) sail’) vs. engrais (/ãɡʁɛ/ ‘fertilizer’), the both conditions are true with morphonotactic condition as dominant.