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Using Subject-Based Testing to Evaluate the Accuracy of an Audible Simulation System

Audible simulation systems will allow sound system designers and their clients to judge the quality of a sound system before installation based only on the sound of a computerized model. However, if developers of audible simulation systems do not determine the accuracy of their simulators before they are used to design real sound systems, then some users may be badly misled. Without knowing the accuracy of the simulations, users simply will not know if the sound of the simulated system will have any useful similarity to the sound of the system actually installed. This paper addresses the major issues relating to the problem of determining simulator accuracy. A new term for this field-authentication-is used to describe the scientific process of quantifying to what extent people hear the same thing in the simulated environment as they hear in the real environment. At the core of authentication experiments are subject-based listening tests, where listeners' responses to the simulations are compared to their responses when they listen to the actual sound system in its environment. The output of an authentication experiment is three quantities related to the accuracy of the simulations. With this information about simulator accuracy to guide them, sound system designers and their clients will be able to confidently use an audible simulation system to listen to a proposed design.

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