Institute of Communication Acoustics (RUB-IKA),
Ruhr-University Bochum, DE

Experience and competence

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) takes part in this proposal through its "Institute of Communication Acoustics" (IKA) headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. techn. h. c. Jens Blauert and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Herbert Hudde. The Institute was established in 1974 as part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Its personnel comprises about 20 academic researchers (electrical engineers, acousticians, psycho-acousticians, linguists, and computer scientists), eight technical and office employees plus 20 students who are in the process of specialising in various fields of acoustics. Activities in binaural technology started in 1975 with extensive research work into the field of spatial hearing and its application in information technology and architectural acoustics. The institute has, e.g., developed computer models of the human binaural-hearing system with great application potential in speech technology and electroacoustics. Since about 1985, binaural-room simulation as a major pre-requisite of auditory Virtual Reality, has become an explicit goal of the research and development in the institute. Since then, further fields of research like Auditory System Quality have been established as separate subgroups. RUB has participated in several EC projects: SCATIS (Spatially-Coordinated Audio/Tactile Interactive Scenario, ESPRIT #6358), MORIS (Motor Rider Simulator, ESPRIT #20521), AUDIS (multipurpose AUditory DISplay for 3-D hearing applications, ESPRIT #22352), VREPAR (Virtual Reality Environments for Psycho-neuro-physiological Research, Health Care #1053), VETIR (Virtual Environment Technologies in Rehabilitation, TIDE #1216), MIAMI (Multimodal Integration for Advanced Multimedia Interfaces, ESPRIT #8579), CROSSES (Crowd Simulation System for Emergency Situations, IST-1999-10510) and FIVE (Framework for Immersive Virtual Environments, ESPRIT Working Group #9122) and SPHEAR (SPeech, HEAring and Recognition).

Role in the project

Bochum brings the research fields of binaural hearing, precedence effect [Djelani and Blauert 00] and speech technology assessment (Möller 00) to the SPHEAR consortium. The `virtual auditory environment' technique is important for a number of studies and is outlined in 3.1 and [Blauert et al. 00, Djelani et al. 00]. For auditory scene analysis, binaural processing adds the space dimension to a time-frequency representation. This makes it possible to discriminate between the desired sound source in one direction and interfering noises in other directions.

Research linkages

Bochum has already established a close collaboration with Patras during SPHEAR, which will be continued in Task 2.1 and Task 2.3. Furthermore Bochum will collaborate with Keele in Task 1.4 and with IDIAP in Task 5.3.

Principal research personnel, expertise and involvement

  • Jens Blauert, Dr.-Ing. Dr. techn. h.c., Professor, chair of electrical engineering and acoustics, expertise in Auditory virtual environment & telepresence, binaural technology, models of binaural hearing, architectural acoustics, noise & product-sound engineering, speech technology (synthesis, enhancement, recognition & assessment). Involvement 4 man-months.
  • Jonas Braasch, Dipl.-Phys., project group manager of the 'Auditory signal processing and binaural technology' group, expertise in binaural hearing, models of binaural hearing and musical acoustics.
  • Sebastian Möller, Dr.-Ing., project group manager of the "Speech Communication Technology" group, expertise in speech signal processing, speech technology and communication quality aspects.


    Recent publications

  • Blauert, J., Lehnert, H., Sahrhage, J., Strauss, H. (2000). An Interactive Virtual-Environment Generator for Psychoacousic Research, I: Architecture and Implementation, ACUSTICA/acta acustica, Vol. 86, 94-106.
  • Buchholz, J., M., Mourjopoulos, J., Blauert, J. (2001). Room Masking: Understanding and Modelling the Masking of Room Reflections, presented on the 110th Audio Engineering Convention, Amsterdam, Netherlands.