Final Thesis

Implementation and evaluation of models for the simulation of cochlear hearing loss

Key Info

Basic Information

Research Area:
Hearing Technology in Biomedical Engineering
Type of Thesis:


Master Thesis of Hillert, Sebastian

Sensorineural hearing loss is a common problem and causes a decreasing quality of life for the people affected. For several reasons, the realistic simulation of these impairments may be considered desirable. These include raising awareness for the problem in the general public, extending the capabilities of hearing models used to predict psychoacoustic parameters, and designing listening experiments in which the hearing abilities of normal hearing participants are deliberately impaired. In a first step, existing implementations in various programming languages of models for the simulation of hearing loss are gathered. These simulators are subsequently evaluated, compared and optimized, focusing on the implementation of filters and compressive behavior. The code of the simulators is extended to improve performance, and to achieve better comparability by implementing a common set of basic features, where necessary. These features include the possibility to input a predefined audiometric curve, which is considered by the model during the signal processing accordingly. Real-time capability is not defined as a necessary feature, as the context comprises listening experiments using preprocessed stimuli. The simulators are validated through measurements with an ear simulator. In this process, measurement results are compared to the audiometric input data reference. As a first step of the perceptive evaluation, a pilot test is conducted, and further recommendations for subjective testing are provided. Implications of the results for the applicability of the models in the context of listening experiments are discussed.