ISon 2004

International Workshop on Interactive Sonification
(Human Interaction with Auditory Displays)
organised by Andy Hunt and Thomas Hermann
8th January 2004,
Bielefeld University, Germany


Auditory Displays and Sonifications are increasingly becoming an established technology for exploring data, monitoring complex processes, or assisting exploration and navigation of data spaces. Sonification addresses the auditory sense by transforming data into sound, allowing the human user to get valuable information from data by using their natural listening skills. The main differences of sound displays over visual displays are that sound can:

  • Represent frequency responses in an instant (as timbral characteristics)
  • Represent changes over time, naturally
  • Allow microstructure to be perceived
  • Rapidly portray large amounts of data
  • Alert listener to events outside the current visual focus
  • Holistically bring together many channels of information

Auditory displays typically evolve over time since sound is inherently a temporal phenomenon. Interaction thus becomes an integral part of the process in order to select, manipulate, excite or control the display, and this has implications for the interface between humans and computers. In recent years it has become clear that there is an important need for research to address the interaction with auditory displays more explicitly. Interactive Sonification is the new upcoming research topic concerned with the use of sound to portray data, but where there is a human being at the heart of an interactive control loop.  Specifically it deals with:

  • interfaces between humans and auditory displays,
  • mapping strategies and models for creating coherency between action and reaction (e.g. acoustic feedback, but also combined with haptic or visual feedback)
  • perceptual aspects of the display (how to relate actions and sound, e.g. cross-modal effects, importance of synchronisation)
  • applications of Interactive Sonifications
  • evaluation of performance, usability and multi-modal interactive systems including auditory feedback

We are trying to apply a spotlight on particular situations where there is realtime interaction with sonification systems. The usual community for exploring all aspects of auditory display is ICAD . We would like to see the topic of this workshop becoming integrated into the range of topics covered by ICAD.

The aims of the workshop are:

  • to relate actual research on the topic of gestural control of auditory displays to interactive sonification
  • to survey the requirements for building Interactive Sonification systems
  • to establish a network of interested researchers in the field and exchange experiences

As a satellite meeting to this workshop, a Management Commitee meeting of the EU COST action 287, "ConGAS - Gestural Controlled Audio Systems" takes place. The participation of the many international experts to the workshop is expected and promises that the workshop will be a highly productive event.


Attendees will receive an electronic copy of the work presented, in the form of a CD-ROM of summary papers. Authors will be invited to rework their manuscripts in preparation for journal publication. We have provisional acceptance for the proceedings to be developed into a special issue of IEEE Multimedia.


Thursday, 8th January 2004


08:30 Registration (Room W0-135)
09:00 Welcome addresses (Hunt/Hermann/Ritter)
09:25 Introduction:
  Hermann,Hunt: The Discipline of Interactive Sonification
10:10-11:00 Paper Session 1 (each 25 mins) (chair: n.n.)
10:10 Williamson, Murray-Smith
Granular Synthesis for Display of Time-Varying Probability Densities
10:35 Rath, Rocchesso
Informative sonic feedback for continuous human controlling a sound model of a rolling ball
11:00 Coffee break
11:20-12:30 Paper Session 2 (mixed 25/20 mins) (chair: n.n.)
11:20 Hinterberger
POSER: Parametric Orchestral Sonification of EEG in Real-Time for the Self-Regulation of Brain States
11:45 Effenberg
Using sonification to enhance perception and reproduction accuracy of human movement patterns
12:10 Höner, Hermann, Grunow
Sonification of Group Behavior for Analysis and Training of Sports Tactics
12:30 Lunch (in University Building, Restaurant UniVarza)
14:00-15:55 Paper Session 3 (chair: n.n.)
14:00 Stockman
Integrating Data Sonification with Synthetic Speech for Unified Data Access
14:25 Pauletto, Hunt
Interactive Sonification of Helicopter flight data and muscle (EMG) data
14:50 Eslambolchilar, Crossan, Murray-Smith
Model-based Target Sonification on Mobile devices
15:15 Martini, Hermann, Anselmetti, Ritter
Interactive Sonification for exploring Single Molecule Properties with AFM based Force Spectroscopy
15:35 Rinott
Auditory Displays & Audio-Haptic Interfaces
15:55 Coffee break
16:15-17:05 Paper Session 4 (chair: n.n.)
16:15 Rocchesso, Avanzini, Rath, Bressin, Serafin
Contact Sounds for Continuous Feedback
16:40 Fernström, Brazil
Actions and Agents -- Examining Factors for the Identification and Classification Of Everyday Sounds
17:05 Round Table (Seeding Ideas) Presentations (chair: n.n.)
(5 min. per person) (Rinott, Ng, Bovermann, et al.)
17:40 Plenary Discussion
18:00 End of Official Programme
19:00 Dinner at IBZ and informal meeting



Friday, 9th January 2004 

08:30 Lab Tour
Interaction Lab Bielefeld (Hermann, Ritter)
CAVE (Latoschek, Wachsmuth)
Robotics Lab (Röthling, Ritter)
10:00 Coffee break
10:30 COST 287 ConGAS Management Committee meeting
18:00 End of Official Programme

Call for Papers (finished)

We invite two forms of presentation:

  • Full Papers: 20 min. presentation, papers in pdf format 4-8 pages
  • Seeding Ideas: speak for max. 5 min in the round table session, sharing ideas for future work on Interactive Sonification.

For either of the above categories we ask for an Abstract (approximately a half page) to allow a decision for acceptance (see important dates below). Abstracts are to be submitted to . Please indicate in the Abstract if you intent to submit multimedia examples. Authors of accepted papers will receive further instructions (templates) for preparing the final version. For any general enquiries please contact

Important Dates

The extended deadline for Abstracts is 31st October 2003.

31.10.2003 Deadline for Abstracts
15.11.2003 Notification of Acceptance
20.11.2003 Early Registration Deadline
15.12.2003 Deadline for Final Papers
extended to 22.12.2003


Registration will be

40 EUR (25 EUR for students) before 20th November
60 EUR (35 EUR for students) after  20th November

Please register as soon as possible to facilitate our planning simply by sending your commitment to attend to Payment is due at the registration desk, please in cash (EUR).


The Workshop will take place at Bielefeld University, in the Department of Computer Science.

Bielefeld can be reached by airplane (the nearest airports are located in Paderborn, Hannover and Duesseldorf.). Further information how to get to Bielefeld (see GIF image, Bi in Germany) can be found here and here (more but may be not quite uptodate). Additional information and maps are provided by Bielefeld University. The Deutsche Bahn provides train schedules.

Recommended Hotel is the Brenner Hotel Diekmann (single rooms: 1 night=50 EUR, 2 nights=45 EUR per night, double rooms: 1 night=36 EUR per person, 2 nights 31 EUR per person per night). (please indicate participation to the workshop at Uni Bielefeld to get this price).


Roberto Bressin
Mikael Fernström
Nicola Giosmin
Gunnar Johannsen
Jan Tro
Thomas Hermann
Andy Hunt
Kia C Ng
Sile O'Modhrain
Lauri Savioja
Tony Stockman
Andrew Crossan
Roderick Murray-Smith
Eoin Brazil
Jörg Martini
Oliver Höner
Christian Grunow
Sandra Pauletto
Matthias Rath
Davide Rocchesso
Michal Rinott
John Williamson
Alfred Effenberg
Thilo Hinterberger
Till Bovermann
Florian Dombois
Joachim Gossmann
Matti Gröhn
Kim Roland Rasmussen
Helge Ritter
Martin Kaltenbrunner
Amalia de Gotzen
Rolf-Inge Godoy
Matthias Milczynski
Alberto de Campo

Last Modified: 2003-12-16 10:50 -- contact Thomas Hermann   Andy Hunt