Thomas Hermann: Sonification techniques beyond parameter-mapping for auditory data science

A lecture by Thomas Hermann (Bielefeld) on sonification, including sound design, interface implementation and perceptual analysis.

Thomas Hermann (Bielefeld)

Thomas Hermann (Bielefeld)


Sonification is the systematic and reproducible auditory display of data, enabling users to understand patterns in data by listening. The lecture will give an introduction and overview of the research field of auditory display and sonification and demonstrate the available sonification techniques with many sound examples. Selected applications including sonification of EEG and ECG will be shown and demonstrate how sound can help to explore, diagnose or monitor data, and how sound can support users in coordinated motor tasks. Most sonifications today are a 'mapping' of data to perceptual qualities (e.g. pitch, level, pulse rate, etc.).  This technique – known as Parameter Mapping sonification – comes with a number of design problems. We will discuss Model-based Sonification and Wave-Space Sonification as alternative approaches beyond mapping, since they open up new perspectives for auditory data science.


Thomas Hermann studied physics (Dipl.-Phys.) and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2002 from Bielefeld University. He is currently head of the Ambient Intelligence Group within CITEC, the Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology at Bielefeld University. Thomas Hermann initiated and co-organised all triannual European Interactive Sonification Workshops since 2004. He was vice-chair and German delegate of the EU COST Action IC0601 on Sonic Interaction Design from 2008-2011. He is Guest Editor of four Special Issues on Interactive Sonification (IEEE Multimedia and Springer Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces) and editor of The Sonification Handbook (2011). Publications and sound examples are available at <>. His research focus is on sonification, data mining, human-computer interaction and ambient intelligence.


  1. Hermann, T. (2011). Model-based sonification. In Hermann, T., Hunt, A., Neuhoff, J. G., editors, The Sonification Handbook, chapter 16, pages 399–427. Logos Publishing House, Berlin, Germany. online / media examples
  2. Hermann, T. (2018). Wave Space Sonification. In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2018). Michigan, US: ICAD. online / PDF / Supplementary material
Published Jan. 18, 2019 9:02 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2019 11:32 PM