Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
School of Psychology - Georgia Institute of Technology

Auditory Graphs

Overview

One of the major research areas that is being explored at the Sonification Lab is the creation and use of Auditory Graphs. This research seeks to discover the optimal data-to-display mappings for use in scientific sonification and investigate whether these optimal mappings vary within and/or across fields of application.

People

Ben Davison
Mike Nees
Lisa Mauney

Program of Research

Auditory Graph Design and Context Cues
Creating a (visual) graph without axes, tick marks, or labels will generally earn you an 'F' in highschool math class. After all, it is just a squiggle on a page without the added context that those things provide. Auditory graphs require the same elements, so we are studying how best to create them, introduce them into an auditory graph, and examine how people learn to use them for better (auditory) graph comprehension.

Individual Differences in Auditory Display Comprehension
Every person hears things slightly differently. How can we determine, in advance, what these differences will make (if any) in the perception and comprehension of auditory graphs and sonification? What are the characteristics of the listener that predict performance?

Examples of Auditory Graphs

For examples and an explanation of the elements of an auditory graph, please see the Auditory Graphs Explained web page, which has examples, sound clips, and explanations of context, mappings, and more.



Sonification Sandbox Software

Motivated by the need for a simple, multi-platform, multi-purpose toolkit for sonifying data and creating auditory/multimodal graphs, the Sonification Sandbox allows the user to map data to multiple auditory parameters and add context using a graphical interface. Visual and auditory renderings of the data are available, and the auditory graphs can be exported to a variety of file formats (including QT movies) for later viewing, playback or embedding in Web pages.

Check out the Sonification Sandbox Website for further details, training, examples, and to download the software.

Publications Relating to the Research

(See the Publications page for all Sonification Lab publications.)

in press

(Note: Please do not quote or cite preprints without permission.)

Walker, B. N. & Mauney, L. (in press). Universal Design of Auditory Graphs: A Comparison of Sonification Mappings for Visually Impaired and Sighted Listeners. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. <Preprint PDF>

2009

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N., (2009). Auditory Interfaces and Sonification. In Constantine Stephanidis (Ed.), The Universal Access Handbook (pp. 507-521). New York: CRC Press Taylor & Francis. <PDF>

2008

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Data Density and Trend Reversals in Auditory Graphs: Effects on Point Estimation and Trend Identification Tasks. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 5(3) pp 13:1-24. DOI: 10.1145/1402236.1402237 <PDF>

Davison, B., & Walker, B. N. (2008). AudioPlusWidgets: Bringing sound to software widgets and interface components. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2008), Paris, France (24-27 June). <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Encoding and representation of information in auditory graphs: Descriptive reports of listener strategies for understanding data. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2008), Paris, France (24-27 June). <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Encoding of information in auditory displays: Initial research on flexibility and processing codes in dual-task scenarios. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2008), New York, NY (22-26 September). pp. 1820-1824. <PDF>

2007

Walker, B. N. (2007). Consistency of Magnitude Estimations With Conceptual Data Dimensions Used for Sonification. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 579-599. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1291. <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Listener, task, and auditory graph: Toward a conceptual model of auditory graph comprehension. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2007), Montreal, Canada (26-29 June). pp. 266-273. <PDF>

Mauney, L. M., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Individual differences and the field of auditory display: Past research,a present study, and an agenda for the future. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2007), Montreal, Canada (26-29 June). pp. 386-390. <PDF>

Davison, B., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Sonification Sandbox overhaul: Software standard for auditory graphs. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2007), Montreal, Canada (26-29 June). pp. 509-512. <PDF>

Mauney, L. M., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Individual Differences in Cognitive, Musical, and Perceptual Abilities. Proceedings of the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, August, 2007. <PDF>

2006

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (2006). Auditory Displays, Alarms, and Auditory Interfaces. In W. Karwowski (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors (2nd ed.) (pp. 1021-1025). New York: CRC Press. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (2006). Sonification. In W. Karwowski (Ed.),International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors (2nd ed.) (pp. 1254-1256). New York: CRC Press. <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2006). Relative intensity of auditory context for auditory graph design. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2006), London, England (20-24 June). pp. 95-98. <PDF>

2005

Smith, D. R., & Walker, B. N. (2005). Effects of auditory context cues and training on performance of a point estimation sonification task. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19(8), 1065-1087. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1146<PDF>

Walker, B. N. & Kramer, G. (2005). Sonification design and metaphors: Comments on Walker and Kramer, ICAD 1996. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 413-417. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101535 <PDF>

Walker, B. N. & Kramer, G. (2005). Mappings and metaphors in auditory displays: An experimental assessment. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 407-412. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101534 <PDF>

Kramer, G. & Walker, B. N. (2005). Sound science: Marking ten International Conferences on Auditory Display. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 383-388. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101531 <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M. A. (2005). Brief training for performance of a point estimation sonification task. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD2005), Limerick, Ireland (6-10 July). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M. A. (2005). An agenda for research and development of multimodal graphs. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Auditory Graphs, in the Proceedings of International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD2005), Limerick, Ireland (6-10 July) pp 428-432. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M.A. (2005). Conceptual versus perceptual training for auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2005), Orlando, FL (26-30 September). pp. 1598-1601. <PDF>

2004

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (2004). Ecological psychoacoustics and auditory displays: Hearing, grouping, and meaning making. In J. Neuhoff (Ed.), Ecological psychoacoustics (pp.150-175). New York: Academic Press.  <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Mauney, L. (2004). Individual differences, cognitive abilities, and the interpretation of auditory graphs. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2004, Sydney (6-10 July). <PDF>

Smith, D. R., & Walker, B. N. (2004). Effects of training and auditory context on performance of a point estimation sonification task. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2004). New Orleans, LA (20-24 September) pp 1828-1831. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Siebenaler, L. M. (2004). Individual Differences and the Interpretation of Auditory Graphs: Cognitive Abilities and Demographics. Proceedings of the American Psychological Society 16th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL (27-30 May). <Abstract PDF> <Poster PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Lowey, M. (2004). Sonification Sandbox: A graphical toolkit for auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of America (RESNA) 27th International Conference, Orlando, FL., 20-22 June. <Poster PDF>

2003

Walker, B. N., & Cothran, J. T. (2003). Sonification Sandbox: A graphical toolkit for auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2003, Boston, MA (6-9 July) pp 161-163. <PDF>

2002

Smith, D. R. & Walker, B. N. (2002). Tick-marks, axes, and labels: The effects of adding context to auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2002, Kyoto, Japan (02-05 July) pp 362-367. <PDF>

Walker, B. N. (2002). Magnitude estimation of conceptual data dimensions for use in sonification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8, 211-221. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.8.4.211 <PDF>

2001

Walker, B. N., & Lane, D. M. (2001). Psychophysical scaling of sonification mappings: A comparison of visually impaired and sighted listeners. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2001, Espoo, Finland (28 July-01 August) pp 90-94. <PDF of Abstract> <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Lane, D. M. (2001). Sonification mappings database on the Web. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2001, Espoo, Finland (28 July-01 August) p 281. <PDF>

2000

Walker, B. N. (2000). Magnitude estimation of conceptual data dimensions for use in sonification. Doctoral Dissertation. Rice University, Houston, TX. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (2000). Pitch and pitch change interact in auditory displays. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 6, 15-30. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.6.1.15<PDF>

Walker, B. N., Kramer, G., & Lane, D. M. (2000). Psychophysical scaling of sonification mappings. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2000, Atlanta, GA (April). <PDF> <PDF of Presentation>

1999

Kramer, G., Walker, B., Bonebright, T., Cook, P., Flowers, J., Miner, N.; Neuhoff, J., Bargar, R., Barrass, S., Berger, J., Evreinov, G., Fitch, W., Gröhn, M., Handel, S., Kaper, H., Levkowitz, H., Lodha, S., Shinn-Cunningham, B., Simoni, M., Tipei, S. (1999). The Sonification Report: Status of the Field and Research Agenda. Report prepared for the National Science Foundation by members of the International Community for Auditory Display. Santa Fe, NM: ICAD. <PDF>

1998

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1998). Congruity and compatibility effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Paper presented at the annual conference for research psychologists in Texas, ARMADILLO '98, Houston, TX, May.

1997

Walker, B. N. (1997). Congruency effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Masters Thesis. Rice University, Houston, TX. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1997). Congruency effects with dynamic auditory stimuli: Design implications. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD97, Palo Alto, CA (2-5 November). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1997). Congruity effects with dynamic auditory stimuli: Pitch and pitch change interact in speeded classification. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomics Society, Philadelphia, PA, October.

1996

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1996). Cross-dimensional compatibility effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association, Houston, TX, April.

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (1996). Human factors and the acoustic ecology: Considerations for multimedia audio design. Proceedings of the Audio Engineering Society 101st Convention, Los Angeles, CA (8-11 November). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (1996). Mappings and metaphors in auditory displays: An experimental assessment. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD96, Palo Alto, CA (4-6 November). <PDF>

Acknowledgments

This research has been supported, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies or sponsors.
NSF logo

Contact Us:

Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
Bruce Walker
Mike Nees