Two Ph.D. positions in network audio signal processing
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD stipends are within the frame of the H2020 MSCA European Training Network “Service-Oriented Ubiquitous Network-Driven Sound (SOUNDS)”.
The PhD students employed at AAU will be fully embedded in the SOUNDS research and training network, and will carry out theoretical and applied research in the interdisciplinary fields of signal processing, audio processing, communication networks and machine learning. The topics of the open PhD positions are related to the following fields:
PhD1: Learning, compressing, and distributing acoustic changes in networked environments
When people or objects are moving in a room, the room's impulse responses between the loudspeakers and the listeners change and the sound field produced by the loudspeakers is therefore also affected. The objective of this ESR project is to be able to jointly account for variations due to changes in the room impulse responses as well as the spatiotemporal dynamics of multichannel audio, when reproducing the sound field using stationary loudspeakers. A number of wireless microphones in the room, transmit a compressed model of the local sound field in near real-time to a centralized or distributed sound rendering engine. This allows for constructing accurate sound zones for home entertainment, online gaming, quiet zones, multiple listener spaces, etc. It is necessary to take into account the combined quality degradation due to modelling errors of the local sound fields acquired at the individual sensors, compression artefacts, and the estimation error due to using delayed models of local sound fields, when rendering the global sound field.
Research stays are planned at our academic partner KU Leuven in Belgium and our industrial partner Bang & Olufsen in Denmark.
PhD2: Real-time distributed speech compression and enhancement in wireless hearing aids.
State-of-the-art hearing aids are equipped with several microphones and furthermore able to transmit and receive compressed signals via radio communications. The objective of this project is to perform low latency joint compression and enhancement of speech in wireless hearing aids. Low latency is important in order to avoid distortions due to a direct path acoustic signal reaching the eardrums earlier than the hearing aid output, but also to facilitate lip synchronicity in a real-time communication situation. The compression as well as the enhancement will be jointly optimized and based upon machine learning and information theoretic ideas.
Research stays are planned at our academic partner University of Oldenburg in Germany and our industrial partner Oticon A/S in Denmark.
THE “SOUNDS” PROJECT
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.
To attain this paradigm shift in audio technology not only requires additional research but also calls for a new generation of qualified researchers with a transdisciplinary and international scientific profile, strong collaborative research and research management skills, and the intersectoral expertise needed to carry research results from academia to industry. It is believed that the SOUNDS ETN will offer the best possible framework for achieving these goals, by organizing advanced interdisciplinary research training, developing solid transferable skills, and providing intersectoral and international experience in a network of qualified and complementary industrial and academic institutions.