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Conferences and Courses

CWR Millenium Nucelus + Yahoo! Research Latin America Seminar

Friday, December 21st, 11:30 am
DCC Auditorium , Blanco Encalada 2120

Designing a Content-Based Music Search Engine

Slides available as PDF

Gert Lanckriet, Univ. of California at San Diego, USA


If you go to Amazon.com or Apple Itunes, your ability to search for new music will largely be limited by the 'query-by-metadata' paradigm: search by song, artist or album name. However, when we talk or write about music, we use a rich vocabulary of semantic concepts to convey our listening experience. If we can model a relationship between these concepts and the audio content, then we can produce a more flexible music search engine based on a 'query-by-semantic-description' paradigm.

In this talk, I will present a computer audition system that can both annotate novel audio tracks with semantically meaningful words and retrieve relevant tracks from a database of unlabeled audio content given a text-base query. I consider the related tasks of content-based audio annotation and retrieval as one supervised multi-class, multi-label problem in which we model the joint probability of acoustic features and words. For each word in a vocabulary, we use an annotated corpus of songs to train a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) over an audio feature space. We estimate the parameters of the model using the weighted mixture hierarchies expectation maximization algorithm. This algorithm is more scalable to large data sets and produces better density estimates than standard parameter estimation techniques. The quality of the music annotations produced by our system is comparable with the performance of humans on the same task. Our 'query-by-semantic-description' system can retrieve appropriate songs for a large number of musically relevant words. I also show that our audition system is general by learning a model that can annotate and retrieve sound effects.

Lastly, I will discuss three techniques for collecting the semantic annotations of music that are needed to train such a computer audition system. They include text-mining web documents, conducting surveys, and deploying human computation games.

Short bio:

Gert Lanckriet is assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego and founder of the interdisciplinary Computer Audition Lab (CAL - http://cosmal.ucsd.edu/cal/ ). He conducts research on machine learning, applied statistics and convex optimization with applications in computer audition and music as well as biology and finance. Gert Lanckriet was born in Bruges, Belgium on March 1, 1977. He received the Electrical Engineering degree from the Catholic University Leuven, Belgium, in 2000 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001 and 2005 respectively.



Department of Computer Sciences
University of Chile
Blanco Encalada #2120
Santiago, Chile

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