Signal-processing algorithms that are meant to evoke a certain subjective effect often have to be perceptually equalized so that any unwanted artifacts are, as far as possible, eliminated. They can then be said to exhibit “unidimensionality of perceived variation.” Aiming to design a method that allows unidimensionality of perceived variation to be verified, established sensory evaluation approaches are examined in terms of their suitability for detailed, undistorted profiling and hence reliable validation of an algorithm’s subjective effects. It is found that a procedure combining multidimensional scaling with supplementary verbal elicitation constitutes the most appropriate approach. In the context of validating a signal-processing method intended to produce a specific spatial effect, this procedure is evaluated and some shortcomings are identified. However, following refinements, it is concluded that these can be overcome through additional data collection and analysis, resulting in a multistage hybrid validation technique.
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