SIM4MIR — Operational Models of Music Similarity for Music Information Retrieval

A project sponsored by the Austrian National Science Foundation (FWF);
Research Line "Translational Research"; Project Number: L112-N04.

Project in co-operation and headed by the Department of Computational Perception, Johannes Kepler University Linz.

The rapidly growing amount of music available in digital form via internet or digital libraries calls for entirely new computer-based methods for analysing, describing, distributing, and presenting music. The currently emerging research and application field known as Music Information Retrieval (MIR) is a direct response to that need. Over the past years, our research group has accumulated substantial expertise in intelligent music processing. The goal of this project is to develop our know-how and methods further along three specific lines, to the point where they can be used as a basis for commercially relevant application projects.

In particular, the research goals are

  • to develop computational models and metrics of music (audio) similarity that permit the computer to effectively `understand' which pieces of music may be considered similar by human listeners;
  • to develop new ways of using such similarity metrics to automatically structure large digital music collections according to musical criteria, into richly structured `music spaces';
  • and to develop new methods for visualising such music spaces and permitting users to explore and browse through music collections structured in this way.
The result of this will be a set of methods that can be used as a basis for computer systems that provide a rich variety of intelligent music services, such as content-based music collection organisation, search and retrieval of music files, automatic playlist generation, music recommendation — services for which there is and will be a great demand in the rapidly developing era of digital music.