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An evolutionary feature synthesis approach for content-based audio retrieval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Pages (from-to)44
JournalEurasip Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A vast amount of audio features have been proposed in the literature to characterize the content of audio signals. In order to overcome specific problems related to the existing features (such as lack of discriminative power), as well as to reduce the need for manual feature selection, in this article, we propose an evolutionary feature synthesis technique with a built-in feature selection scheme. The proposed synthesis process searches for optimal linear/ nonlinear operators and feature weights from a pre-defined multi-dimensional search space to generate a highly discriminative set of new (artificial) features. The evolutionary search process is based on a stochastic optimization approach in which a multi-dimensional particle swarm optimization algorithm, along with fractional global best formation and heterogeneous particle behavior techniques, is applied. Unlike many existing feature generation approaches, the dimensionality of the synthesized feature vector is also searched and optimized within a set range in order to better meet the varying requirements set by many practical applications and classifiers. The new features generated by the proposed synthesis approach are compared with typical low-level audio features in several classification and retrieval tasks. The results demonstrate a clear improvement of up to 15–20% in average retrieval performance. Moreover, the proposed synthesis technique surpasses the synthesis performance of evolutionary artificial neural networks, exhibiting a considerable capability to accurately distinguish among different audio classes.

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