Activity Report from the AASP-TC

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Activity Report from the AASP-TC

Shoji Makinoby Shoji Makino (AASP-TC Chair)

New Members

In October 2013, the Technical Committee on Audio and Acoustics Signal Processing (AASP TC) had an annual election of new members with the leadership of Walter Kellermann, Chair of the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee. The following seven new members were successfully elected:

  1. Patrick Naylor (Imperial College London), Vice Chair,
  2. Shoko Araki (NTT Communication Science Laboratory),
  3. Michael Brandstein (MIT Lincoln Laboratory),
  4. Jingdong Chen (Northwestern Polytechnical University),
  5. Jonathan Le Roux (Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories),
  6. Nobutaka Ono (National Institute of Informatics),
  7. Hélène Papadopoulos (CNRS-SUPELEC-Univ Paris-Sud).

Please note that Patrick, Michael, and Jingdong were once our TC Members and come back this time. We also have six re-elected members as follows:

  1. Thushara Abhayapala (The Australian National University),
  2. Laurent Daudet (Universite Paris Diderot-Paris-7),
  3. Emanuel Habets (University Erlangen-Nuremberg),
  4. Jean-Marc Jot (DTS),
  5. Mark Plumbley (Queen Mary University of London),
  6. Paris Smaragdis (University of Illinois).

Welcome back to them. On the other hand, it is pity to ask the following seven members to leave AASP TC because of a rule imposed by the Signal Processing Society: Akihiko Sugiyama (NEC Corporation) Past Chair, Simon Doclo (University of Oldenburg), Tomas Gaensler (MH Acoustics), Hiroshi Sawada (NTT Communication Science Laboratory), Vesa Valimaki (Aalto University), Muhammad Ikram (Texas Instruments), Shigeki Sagayama (The University of Tokyo). I would like to thank all of these outgoing members for their contributions. Now, the committee consists of 36 members, well represented world-wide with roughly half the members from academia and half from industry.

Signal Processing Magazine Special Issue

IEEE Signal Processing Magazine calls for papers of the Special Issue on "Signal Processing Techniques for Assisted Listening." This special issue focuses on technical challenges of assisted listening from a signal processing perspective. Prospective authors are invited to contribute tutorial and survey articles that articulate signal processing methodologies which are critical for applying assisted listening techniques to mobile phones and other communication devices. Of particular interest is the role of signal processing in combining multi-media content, voice communication and voice pick-up in various real-world settings. Guest Editors are Sven Nordholm (Curtin University), Walter Kellermann (University Erlangen-Nürnberg), Simon Doclo (University of Oldenburg), Vesa Välimäki (Aalto University), Shoji Makino (University of Tsukuba), John Hershey (Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories), all are AASP TC Members.

Conference and Workshops

AASP TC members and voluntary reviewers have been busy reviewing papers submitted to ICASSP 2014 to be held on May 4 – 9, 2014, in Florence, Italy. The number of submissions to the AASP area was 348 and marked a record high, demonstrating that AASP is a popular area and that this field is still growing due to the steady increase of available computing power at relatively low cost allowing increasingly sophisticated processing to tackle longstanding challenges in acoustic signal processing. Tomohiro Nakatani, the Review Subcommittee Chair, has spent lots of time on review coordination of 348 submissions in a short time, not to mention the contributions by AASP TC members. Michael Brandstein, Simon Doclo, Tomas Gänsler, Jean-Marc Jot, Shoji Makino, Bryan Pardo, Gäel Richard, Hiroshi Sawada, Malcolm Slaney, Paris Smagradis, and Akihiko (Ken) Sugiyama helped Tomohiro assign reviewers and perform meta-review as area chairs who are responsible for their fields of expertise.

WASPAA 2013, IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, was over with a great success on October 20 – 23, 2013 in Mohonk Mountain House, NY. Because of too much popularity and a limited capacity of the venue, the WASPAA committee co-chaired by Sharon Gannot of Bar-Ilan University and Emanuel Habets of University Erlangen-Nürnberg had to decline some registrations. The committee selected 87 papers for presentation from 148 submissions in total. The participants enjoyed beautiful autumn leaves and a historical hotel building in addition to presentations of state-of-the-art technology in the field and hot discussions. WASPAA 2015 will be co-chaired by Gael Richard of TELECOM ParisTech and Laurent Daudet of Paris Diderot University and take place in October 2015 at the same venue.

The AASP TC is deeply involved in HSCMA, Joint Workshop on Hands-Free Speech Communication and Microphone Arrays, which is held once every couple of years. HSCMA 2014 will be held on May 12 -14, 2014, in Nancy, France chaired by TC member Emmanuel Vincent, immediately following ICASSP 2014 and the REVERB Workshop. Final deadline for submission of papers and demos is February 2, 2014.

Many members of the AASP TC are deeply involved in the International Workshop on Acoustic Signal Enhancement (IWAENC). IWAENC is held bi-annually in even years in September. The IWAENC 2014 will be held in Antibes – Juan les Pins on the French Riviera, on September 9 – 11, 2014. The general chairs are Dirk Slock of EURECOM and Christophe Beaugeant of Intel Mobile Communications. Submission deadline of regular paper (final draft) is April 25, 2014. Please note that IWAENC changed its name. It is now the International Workshop on Acoustic signal ENhanCement, retaining the acronym, IWAENC. This change in name reflects the workshop’s broadening technical scope.

AASP Challenges

Our new activity called AASP Challenges started recently directed by Patrick Naylor of Imperial College London, Chair of Challenges Subcommittee. It is to introduce a sequence of 'challenges' in order to encourage research and development with comparable and repeatable results, and to stimulate new ground‐breaking approaches to specific problems in our technical scope.

"2nd CHiME Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge" held a workshop on June 1, 2013, in Vancouver, Canada, that was held in conjunction with ICASSP 2013. The results of the challenge were unveiled at the workshop. The challenge extended the vocabulary size or applied a more realistic signal mixing process than its previous activities held in 2011. The challenge successfully attracted the industry such as Google, Adobe, Audience, Conexant Systems, and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. The organizers were Emmanuel Vincent (INRIA), Jon Barker (University of Sheffield), Shinji Watanabe and Jonathan Le Roux (MERL), Francesco Nesta and Marco Matassoni (FBK-IRST).

"Detection and Classification of Acoustic Scenes and Events (D-CASE)" challenge held a special session in WASPAA 2013, on October 20 – 23, 2013, and presented the results. D-CASE Challenge is to develop systems that achieve comparable performance to that of human auditory system with the help of computational auditory scene analysis (CASA). This challenge was organized by the following group of people: Dimitrios Giannoulis (QMUL), Emmanouil Benetos (QMUL), Dan Stowell (QMUL), Mathieu Lagrange (IRCAM), and Mark Plumbley (QMUL).

REVERB (REverberant Voice Enhancement and Recognition Benchmark) challenge provides an opportunity to the researchers in the field of reverberant speech signal processing to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of their methods based on a common database and on common evaluation metrics, and to evaluate state-of-the-art algorithms and draw new insights regarding potential future research directions. The challenge includes both single- and multi-channel de-reverberation techniques, and automatic speech recognition (ASR) techniques robust to reverberation. All entrants will be invited to submit papers describing their work to a dedicated workshop held in conjunction with ICASSP 2014 and HSCMA 2014. You will find up-to-date information at our website.

A job market page has been popular with many visitors in the AASP TC website. If there is any information about job openings, please direct it to the AASP webmaster, Patrick Naylor.

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