A Sonification System for Monitoring Processes as Secondary Task

A Sonification System for Monitoring Processes as Secondary Task


This paper presents a novel process monitoring system to explore and evaluate the potential of real-time sonifications (i.e. non-verbal auditory representations) for supporting awareness of process states and for detecting and resolving critical process situations. Different from established auditory alarms and warnings, our sonifications convey analogue, i.e. continuous information in form of a process-data-driven soundscape that can be easily blended out in favor of a primary task, yet which is designed to attract the user’s attention even before things become critical. We argue that a sub symbolic, implicit and rich display connects better to the human sense to establish auditory categories and develop sensitivity to changes within and in between. In consequence, users may profit from prerational automatic information processing mechanisms so that the cognitive resources remain free for another ’primary task’. Our system allows to generate a prototypical process in realtime, and we present it by two novel sonification approaches. It encompasses software components to log user performance on the monitoring task, and to engage the user in a primary task. We discuss our sonification designs and first experiences with test users, and outlook on studies that are planned to be conducted using our system.

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Additional Information

Best Paper Award

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  • Hildebrandt, Tobias
  • Hermann, Thomas
  • Rinderle-Ma, Stefanie
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Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Full Paper in Proceedings)
Event Title
5th IEEE Conference on Cognitive Infocommunications
Workflow Systems and Technology
Event Location
Event Type
Event Dates
Series Name
Cognitive Infocommunications (CogInfoCom), 2014 5th IEEE Conference on
Page Range
pp. 191-196
November 2014
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