T-61.271 Visualization project description
36. Sonification

Autumn 2004

Read the project description carefully. Questions and comments can be sent to

General information

The purpose of the project work is to get hands on experience and deeper understanding on one specific area of the course. At the same time you will be forced to think on some of the more general issues that are confronted every time a visualization method is developed or used.

To complete the project you will probably need information that has not been discussed on the lectures or in the exercises. Most of the time relevant information can be easily found on the web, course books or in some cases references to articles will be given. If you have problems finding information on the subject please contact the lecturer or the assistant for hints and guidance.

The project work will be valid for one year after the original deadline.

General requirements

specific requirements

The purpose of this project is to apply sonification to program profiling or another task. See some of [5,3,2,6,4,7,1,9,8] for background information.

  1. Sonification is useful to analyze time-dependent information and to enhance visual information. The sonification also offers an additional input channel that is independent of vision.

  2. Make a debugger that gives different kinds of sounds depending on what the program is doing. (Obviously you should run your program slower that at one gigahertz).

  3. If necessary, combine the sonification with the visualization of the executing program code.

  4. Try to design your profiler so that you can hear e.g. which parts of your program code take most of the time.

You can do the sonification off-line, that is, save the profiling information into a file and visualize and sonificate the data from the file. In fact, you may use any other time series data instead of the program profiling.


J.L. Alty and P. Vickers.
The caitlin auralization system: Hierarchical leitmotif design as a clue to program comprehension.
In Proc. ICAD'97, pages 89-96, Palo Alto, CA, Nov 1997.

D.S. Bock.
Adsl: An auditory domain specification language for program auralization.
In Proc. ICAD'94, pages 251-256, Santa Fe, NM, Nov 1994.

Jameson D.H.
The run-time components of sonnet.
In Proc. ICAD'94, pages 241-250, Santa Fe, NM, Nov 1994.

J.A. Jackson and J.M. Francioni.
Synchronization of visual and aural parallel program performance data.
In G. Kramer, editor, Auditory Display: Sonification, audification and auditory interfaces., pages 291-306. Addison-Wesley, 1994.

D.H. Jameson.
Sonnet: Audio-enhanced monitoring and debugging.
In G. Kramer, editor, Auditory Display: Sonification, audification and auditory interfaces., pages 253-266. Addison-Wesley, 1994.

A.P. Mathur, D.B. Boardman, and V. Khandelwal.
Lsl: A specification language for program auralization.
In Proc. ICAD'94, pages 257-263, Santa Fe, NM, Nov 1994.

P. Vickers and J. Alty.
Caitlin: A musical program auralisation tool to assist novice programmers with debugging.
In Proc. ICAD'96, pages 17-24, Palo Alto, CA, Nov 1996.

P. Vickers and J.L. Alty.
Musical program auralisation: Empirical studies.
In Proc. ICAD 2000, pages 157-166, Atlanta GA, Apr 2000.

P. Vickers and J.L. Alty.
Towards some organising principles for musical program auralisations.
In Proc. ICAD'98, Glasgow, Scotland, Nov 1998.

Submitting the project work

The project work should be submitted by email to:


Tapani Raiko 2004-12-21