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Feasibility of Virtual Auditory Display Customization through Principal Component Modeling

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Prior research has investigated development of virtual auditory displays (VADs) using low-dimensional models of head related transfer functions (HRTFs) as a function of a finite number of principal components (PCs) and associated weights (PCWs). This paper investigates the effect of PCWs on horizontal plane HRTFs derived from a database of HRIRs through analytical optimization experiments. Analytical results provide insight on the effect of tuning PCWs on spectral features of the HRTF. Subject testing is performed to determine the sensitivity of auditory perception to variations in the PCWs comparable to those required for analytical optimization. Reduced order modeling is used to compactly represent each HRTF. Preliminary results show that a human can conduct the tuning procedure and reduce localization errors.

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