Published: 18 July 2018

Student wins best paper award at signal processing conference

PhD student Lucas Rencker has won the ‘best student paper’ award for his research on an algorithm which could restore low quality audio recordings.

Lucas Rencker with his best student paper award

Lucas won the award at the 14th International Conference on Latent Variable Analysis and Signal Separation (LVA/ICA) which was hosted at Surrey from 2 to 6 July.

During the conference Lucas, who is in the third year of his PhD within the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), supervised by Dr Wenwu Wang, and co-supervised by Professor Mark Plumbley, presented his research in ‘de-clipping’. Clipping is a common distortion process which causes a recorded signal to sound bad – for example when loud music is recorded at a concert using a smartphone.

The goal of Lucas’s research, which is a collaboration with INRIA in France, is to develop a mathematical framework and computer program which are capable of automatically restoring the distorted signal. This could potentially be used to automatically restore old recordings, or take low quality audio and turn it into a high quality signal.

Lucas said: “I am honoured to have received this award, which shows that there is a strong interest in the type of algorithm that I helped develop. In the future I hope to extend this work to other, more complicated types of distortions commonly found in practice.”

Dr Wang, Reader in Signal Processing, commented: “I am very proud of Lucas’s outstanding achievement. The new mathematical framework that we developed has a great potential to be used for signal reconstruction from a variety of nonlinear measurements including clipped and quantised measurements. The problem is commonly experienced in a number of applications, for example transmission data loss in telecommunications, damaged media data in digital archive, missing data in online customer rating, and quantisation in signal compression. The method developed is likely to transform the view on how the distorted data in these applications can be better restored and in a more convenient way.”

The LVA/ICA conference, which was organised by CVSSP and the Institute of Sound Recording brought together researchers in signal processing, applied statistics and machine learning working across a wide range of fields from audio and telecommunications to biomedical engineering.

Read Lucas Rencker’s paper, ‘Consistent Dictionary Learning for Signal Declipping’.


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