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Title: Understanding sorting algorithms using music and spatial distribution
Author: Mumford, Richard N.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3431 1913
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis is concerned with the communication of information using auditory techniques. In particular, a music-based interface has been used to communicate the operation of a number of sorting algorithms to users. This auditory interface has been further enhanced by the creation of an auditory scene including a sound wall, which enables the auditory interface to utilise music parameters in conjunction with 2D/3D spatial distribution to communicate the essential processes in the algorithms. The sound wall has been constructed from a grid of measurements using a human head to create a spatial distribution. The algorithm designer can therefore communicate events using pitch, rhythm and timbre and associate these with particular positions in space. A number of experiments have been carried out to investigate the usefulness of music and the sound wall in communicating information relevant to the algorithms. Further, user understanding of the six algorithms has been tested. In all experiments the effects of previous musical experience has been allowed for. The results show that users can utilise musical parameters in understanding algorithms and that in all cases improvements have been observed using the sound wall. Different user performance was observed with different algorithms and it is concluded that certain types of information lend themselves more readily to communication through auditory interfaces than others. As a result of the experimental analysis, recommendations are given on how to improve the sound wall and user understanding by improved choice of the musical mappings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Musical metaphor