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An experimental comparison of audio tempo induction algorithms

Title An experimental comparison of audio tempo induction algorithms
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 2006
Authors Gouyon, F. , Klapuri A. , Dixon S. , Alonso M. , Tzanetakis G. , Uhle C. , & Cano P.
Journal Title IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing
Volume 14
Abstract We report on the tempo induction contest organised during the International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR 2004) held at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona in October 2004. The goal of this contest was to evaluate some state-of-the-art algorithms in the task of inducing the basic tempo (as a scalar, in beats per minute) from musical audio signals. To our knowledge, this is the first published large scale cross-validation of audio tempo induction algorithms.
Participants were invited to submit algorithms to the contest organiser, in one of several allowed formats. No training data was provided. A total of 12 entries (representing the work of 7~research teams) were evaluated, 11 of which are reported in this document. Results on the test set of 3199 instances were returned to the participants before they were made public. Anssi Klapuri's algorithm won the contest.
his evaluation shows that tempo induction algorithms can reach over 80% accuracy for music with a constant tempo, if we do not insist on finding a specific metrical level. After the competition, the algorithms and results were analysed in order to discover general lessons for the future development of tempo induction systems. One conclusion is that robust tempo induction entails the processing of frame features rather than that of onset lists. Further, we propose a new ``redundant'' approach to tempo induction, inspired by knowledge of human perceptual mechanisms, which combines multiple simpler methods using a voting mechanism.
Machine emulation of human tempo induction is still an open issue. Many avenues for future work in audio tempo tracking are highlighted, as for instance the definition of the best rhythmic features and the most appropriate periodicity detection method.
In order to stimulate further research, the contest results, annotations, evaluation software and part of the data are available at http //
preprint/postprint document
Final publication