Formal concept analysis

  • Wickelmaier, Florian Maria (Project Participant)
  • Zimmer, Karin (Project Participant)

Project Details


Current sound-quality research makes wide use of verbal descriptors of sound-attributes. Typically, an expert panel is initiated who, after time-consuming discussions, and perceptual training, agrees on a set of labels to describe sound characteristics relevant to a class of products, be they household equipment or hi-fi loudspeakers. Problems of this approach include that both panelists within a group, and different panels tend to disagree in their choice of words. It remains unclear, however, whether these differences are due to varying labels of the same underlying attributes, or are indicative of a different semantic (perceptual) structure altogether. In order to assess individual differences in the use of descriptors, while taking into account the semantic structure underlying the assessments, a linguistic technique called 'formal concept analysis,' which allows for the mathematical modeling of the interrelations of verbal concepts, was adapted to this domain. Experimental procedures and automated data analyses have been implemented and the feasibility of the technique, which had never been applied to auditory concepts previously, has been tested. In a first application, the method was put to use in assessing the semantic structure employed by members of a "viewing panel", thus specifying (1) the consistency with which descriptors of screen-quality are used irrespective of their labeling, and (2) the individual differences in the use of descriptors. In a follow-up it was investigated whether (3) training succeeded in harmonizing the semantic structure of the panelists. A similar experiment is planned to be run with the members of a "listening panel" and their verbal descriptors of sound-quality. (Center contract)
Effective start/end date31/12/200631/12/2006


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.