[talks] R Fiebrink general exam

Melissa M Lawson mml at CS.Princeton.EDU
Fri Jan 4 10:44:03 EST 2008

Rebecca Fiebrink will present her research seminar/general exam on Thursday 
January 10 at 2PM in Room 402.  The members of her committee are:  Perry 
Cook (advisor), David Blei, and Ken Steiglitz.  Everyone is invited to attend her 
talk, and those faculty wishing to remain for the oral exam following are welcome 
to do so.  Her abstract and reading list follow below.

In this talk, I will present recent work on incorporating analysis into the ChucK music
programming language. A consequence of this project is that composers and musicians can
perform live audio analysis, even coding on the fly, using a powerful and flexible
programming language framework, and then use the output of analysis tasks to drive
synthesis parameters or to provide features for training and running classifiers in
real-time. This work also provides music information retrieval researchers with a tool for
fast prototyping of music analysis and modeling algorithms, which can be incorporated into
live performance settings as well as off-line music analysis. As such, this project draws
heavily on prior work in music information retrieval (MIR), applied machine learning,
human computer interaction, and computer music systems and performance practices. 
In the past decade, MIR has blossomed as a research area, drawing on disciplines including
machine learning, library science, signal processing, HCI, systems design, and information
retrieval. Popular research problems include learning semantically meaningful
categorizations of acoustic or symbolic data (e.g., genre labels), extracting musically or
cognitively-salient features from audio (e.g., pitch and harmony transcription, audio
source separation), and providing new interfaces and systems for people to search for
music and organize large music collections (e.g., query-by-humming, content-based playlist
generation). Many of these problems have been addressed in recent years using standard or
novel machine learning and modeling techniques.
A variety of programming frameworks and languages have been developed to create music
since the 1950s. These languages are used in live musical performance, as well as
interactive sound and art installations. Recently, languages such as ChucK have enabled
performers to write and modify code during performances, a practice known as live-coding.
Most music programming languages offer tight control over sound synthesis and modification
and draw on established metaphors for exposing this control. These languages tend not to
offer much support for analysis tasks (e.g., feature extraction); when musicians do
integrate analysis into real-time performance (e.g., pitch tracking), they tend to use
customized, task-specific systems. 
Computer music and MIR have proceeded as mainly independent fields, despite potential
benefits of cross-pollination. Many MIR systems would be appropriate and useful in a
performance context, and MIR research would be enriched by a consideration of the goals
and constraints unique to live music, but no existing MIR or computer music framework is
appropriate for both performance and analysis. Therefore, we have worked to add analysis
capabilities into ChucK, lowering the barriers to MIR researchers wishing to prototype or
port algorithms to a real-time performance context, and to computer musicians wishing to
incorporate such algorithms into their performance. The first step of this work was to
design new classes and data flow models for analysis that were in harmony with ChucK's
existing conventions for syntax, synchronization, objects, and controlling events in time.
We were then able to implement common analysis-driven synthesis tasks and extractors for
standard MIR features. Following this, we incorporated the ability to perform "on-the-fly"
machine learning using the extracted features. At present, several standard computer music
and MIR tasks have been implemented using ChucK's growing collection of feature extractors
and classifiers.
It is hoped that this work will provide new avenues for both artistic expression and
technical exploration. We have released the new version of ChucK with analysis to the
public, and we plan to take advantage of these new capabilities in future compositions for
the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. We are also excited to explore practical issues presented
by "on-the-fly" learning, including dealing with the computational constraints of
real-time performance. Next steps in this work involve efficiency-driven refinements to
the language and building infrastructure to accommodate more sophisticated musical
modeling tasks.

Reading list
Bergstra, James, Norman Casagrande, Dumitru Erhan, Douglas Eck, and Balazs Kegl. 2006.
Aggregate features and AdaBoost for music classification. Machine Learning 65: 473-484.

Collins, Nick, Alex McLean, Julian Rohrhuber, and Adrian Ward. 2003. Live coding in laptop
performance. Organised Sound 8(3): 321-330.

Downie, J. Stephen. 2003. Music information retrieval. In Annual Review of Information
Science and Technology 37, ed. Blaise Cronin, 295-340. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Ellis, Daniel P. W., and Graham E. Poliner. 2006. Classification-based melody
transcription. Machine Learning 65: 439-456.

Jordan, Michael I. 2004. Graphical models. Statistical Science 19(1): 140-155.

Lew, Michael S., Nicu Sebe, Chabane Djeraba, and Ramesh Jain. 2006. Content-based
multimedia information retrieval: State of the art and challenges. ACM Transactions on
Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications 2(1): 1-19.

Raphael, Chris. 2001. A probabilistic expert system for automatic musical accompaniment.
Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 10(3): 487-512.

Rowe, Robert. 2001. Machine musicianship. Cambridge, MA: The MIT press.

Schapire, Robert E. 2001. The boosting approach to machine learning: An overview. MSRI
Workshop on Nonlinear Estimation and Classification, Berkeley, CA, March.

Tzanetakis, Georg, and Perry R. Cook. 2002. Musical genre classification of audio signals.
IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio, July.

Wang, Ge. Forthcoming. A history of programming and music. In Cambridge Companion to
Electronic Music, ed. Nick Collins and Julio D'Escrivan. Cambridge University Press.

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