Brownlee A, Kim S, Wang S, Chan S & Lawson JA (2019) Crowd Sourcing The Sounds Of Places With A Web Based Genetic Algorithm Techreport. University of Stirling. Stirling: University of Stirling.
The sounds that we associate with particular places are tightly interwoven with our memories and sense of belonging. It is assumed that such an association is a complex process, and much of its mechanism is hidden from analytical examination. The association of sound to place has been much explored and examined by artistic approaches. For example, soundscape composition, which makes great use of recorded and barely-processed sounds from places in the compositional practice, highlights the power of the association. However, it does not offer us a scientific insight into its process, particularly, the role of familiarity of sounds people hear and their association to specific places. We describe a platform designed to assist in gathering the sounds that a group of people associate with a place. A web-based evolutionary algorithm, with human-in-the-loop fitness evaluations, ranks and recombines sounds to find collections that the group rates as familiar. An experiment involving independent groups of people associated with four geographical locations shows that the process does indeed find sounds deemed familiar by participants.
sound; soundscapes; human-in-the-loop; mood