Interesting Posters at ISMIR 2016 (day 2)

Let me start with the posters on day2.

There’s the poster of Bob on Analysing Scattering-Based Music Content Analysis Systems: Where’s the Music? which won the best poster prize this year! It raises the questions of the lack a formal evaluation framework in MIR. And the drawing was great too 😀

From the industry side, I looked at Spotify, Gracenote, Yamaha (Steinberg) ones on the third day. All very interesting: Yamaha was presenting a range of products, from plugins to hardwares; gracenote was more about the metadata database; Spotify was more about what they do in the company.

There was also the paper from a friend: Bootstrapping a System for Phoneme Recognition and Keyword Spotting in Unaccompanied Singing. She used the singing database released by Smule (I didn’t even know it!) and cleverly extracted the phoneme by aligning the lyrics with singing.

One paper was about automatic guitar tabbing: Minimax Viterbi Algorithm for HMM-Based Guitar Fingering Decision. Someone must have been working on similar thing or I must have read it before. Looks like that it’s working, and it’s a good sign that the author is using it himself.

A neat analysis on MIREX tasks was this one: Cross Task Study on MIREX Recent Results: An Index for Evolution Measurement and Some Stagnation Hypotheses. A meta-look on which tasks is doing well and which tasks is in stagnation. Whether it’s good that a task is in stagnation, we don’t know, there might be an explosion after a period of silence…

Lots of new presentation skills: adding 2D code for people to download the dataset, doing survey on the spot, etc.

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ThinkTank HAMR ISMIR COGMIR 2016 overview

Information overflow at the moment, thanks to these four events.

ThinkTank was held for the first time and it was very successful! There were 1-2 people from each major music technology company, giving lectures, mentoring around and networking and more. Obviously, it had to be more on general company structure, management, marketing etc., rather than algorithms and technical stuff. But I thought it was very useful for graduate students to know. At least now, with more knowledge in how these big and small companies work (different roles of software engineers, project managers and R&D people…) and what they care about (algorithms, code quality, tests, and team work…), students (at least I) can pay attention to some of the skills that would be truly useful in both industry and academia realm: I always have the dream that the two can work together, although some of the issues are always there, include copyright, PI, etc…But the industrial PhD positions in the UK are quite good at bridging the gap. It seems not that common in the US for some reasons…

HAMR was immediately after ThinkTank, held in Spotify. There were four interesting talks in the first evening and people were making plans as well. There were tutorials on the second day in which people without a plan can find something to do, which I find really neat. Everyone seemed quite focus and there were more than 20 presentation at the end of the day. The quality of the projects wasn’t quite uniform, but still very inspiring!
ISMIR began with tutorials. I went to an overview of the field, which summarised researches related to music very nicely, and an introduction to NLP in music, which had lots of information, tool boxes, examples. I’ve saved their slides for future references. Both are of very high quality. Go go MTG!

The actual conference then started. One very good thing was the poster sessions. Since all the papers are by default posters, I found them of very high quality! Most of the people were very good at presentations as well. The oral presentation was a mix of all different areas. Good stimuli and information resource for everyone!

For a one day event, COGMIR has been a comparable success to ISMIR. It was a shame that I couldn’t see any other poster since I was presenting one. Also a shame that most of the time my brain was just saturated and fatigued from the last week. On poster presenting, I probably did it for 5-6 times. Really enjoyed the process of taking in everyone’s comments and suggestions.

Social went moderately crazy this year. It was a little tiring due to some personal problems but in general it was just enjoyable to see all the familiar faces from other conferences. It was hard, though, to try to split time to different groups of people I know. And I think I actually screwed up a few important conversations. Very sorry…  Of course, what makes me happy is to meet new people. People there are full of characters! Talking to them during the conferences made me realised that there’re still loads to learn, loads of possibilities to explore. It’s one of the great things of conferences, retrospection. Another great thing is purely have fun: bowling and bar crawls were not bad at all! Two records was 4am and 3am, but other night were more sane, about 12-1am. I get heathy sleeps when there are interesting things for me to do!

Next year, ISMIR is going to happen in China. I’m very looking forward to it, just wrote an email to volunteer. Hope my communication skills and knowledge in MIR and China could help a little!

Now it’s been more than 9 hours transit for me. Getting tired. Thinking about writing another post on interesting papers. But perhaps not today. Will follow up soon!