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Call for abstracts: NIPS Workshop on Advances in Models for Acoustic Processing


NIPS06 Workshop on Advances in Models for Acoustic Processing

Whistler, Canada  December 8th or 9th, 2006

[Abstract submission deadline: November 2, 2006]


The analysis of audio signals is central to the scientific understanding of
human hearing abilities as well as in engineering applications such as sound
localisation, hearing aids or music information retrieval. Historically, the
main mathematical tools are from signal processing: digital filtering
theory, system identification and various transform methods such as Fourier
techniques.  In recent years, there is an increasing interest for Bayesian
treatment and graphical models which permit more refined analysis and
representation of the acoustic signals.

The application of Bayesian techniques is quite natural: acoustical time
series can be conveniently modelled using hierarchical signal models by
incorporating prior knowledge from various sources: from physics or studies
of human cognition and perception.  Once a realistic hierarchical model is
constructed,  many tasks such as coding, analysis, restoration,
transcription, separation, identification or resynthesis can be formulated
consistently as Bayesian posterior inference problems. In particular, the
development of a powerful framework for approaching such tasks is central to
improvements in the understanding of how both natural and synthetic systems
may produce efficient auditory representations.


The goal of the workshop is to establish a discussion forum between
practitioners of acoustical signal processing, researchers interested in
computational neural acoustic processing, and more theoretically oriented
researchers in machine learning, statistics and signal processing. This
includes also researchers interested in the development of efficient neural
codes for auditory representation.  In particular, we welcome contributions
that introduce interesting and challenging models for acoustical signal
analysis and related inference techniques.

Example issues are:

* What types of modelling approaches are useful for acoustic processing
(e.g. hierarchical, generative, discriminative) ?
* What classes of inference algorithms are suitable for these potentially
large and hybrid models of sound ?
* How can we improve the quality and speed of inference ?
* Can efficient online algorithms be developed?
* How can we learn efficient auditory codes based on independence
assumptions about the generating processes?
* What can biology and cognitive science can tell us about acoustic
representations and processing?

The workshop scope is deliberately broad so that key advances in acoustic
processing in natural systems, together with advances in  computational
modelling and inference methods may be discussed by experts that may not
otherwise share the same platform. In so doing, we hope that a deeper
understanding of acoustic processing, representations and applications may

We were have identified three key facets of acoustic processing :

FACET 1 : Computational Neuroscience/modelling of Auditory Organisation
FACET 2 : Models and inference techniques for Audio and Music Applications
FACET 3 : Source Separation, Statistical Inference for analysis and
processing of natural sounds

The workshop will be programmed to highlight the overlaps between these
topics to provoke interaction.  In addition to oral and poster
presentations, two invited  tutorials will also be given. Based on
submissions, we will identify themes related to the workshop topics in order
to group the talks and organize thematic discussions after the


Authors should submit an extended abstract to: amac@xxxxxxxx in pdf or ps by
November 2, 2006.
We will send an email confirming the reception of the submission. The
suggested abstract length is 3 pages (maximum 8 pages), formatted in
standard NIPS style.

The authors of the accepted abstracts will be allocated as talks or poster
highlights. Time will be allocated in the programme for poster presentations
and discussions.

Before the workshop, the abstracts will be made available to a broader
audience on the workshop web site.  We also plan to maintain the webpage
after the workshop and encourage the authors to submit slides and posters
with relevant links to their personal web pages.


Oct 3:    Workshop announcement and Call for Abstracts
Nov 2:    Extended Abstract submission deadline
Nov 10:  Notification of acceptance
Nov 23:  Final extended abstracts due
Dec 8 or 9: Workshop


David Barber, IDIAP Research Institute   http://www.idiap.ch/~barber
Taylan Cemgil, Univ. of Cambrige http://www-sigproc.eng.cam.ac.uk/~atc27


For questions/ suggestions about the workshop, please contact amac@xxxxxxxx

Please refer to  http://www.idiap.ch:9080/amac for up-to-date information
about the workshop.