A Meta-Analysis of Mapping Strategies for the Sonification of Physical Quantities
In this seminar, I will present a meta-analysis of 179 scientific publications related to the sonification of physical quantities. Using a bottom-up approach, we set up a list of conceptual dimensions belonging to both physical and auditory domain. Mappings from the physical to the auditory domain used in the reviewed works were identified, forming a database of 495 entries. Frequency of use, indicating the most popular mappings, was analyzed using these conceptual dimensions and by grouping them into higher-level categories. Results confirm two hypotheses formulated in a preliminary study: pitch is by far the most used auditory dimension in sonification applications, and spatial auditory dimensions are almost exclusively used to sonify kinematic quantities. The fact that the most popular mappings not involving pitch follow the logic of ecological perception constituted a third hypothesis, supported by the results of the present study, but requiring further investigation to identify the polarity of these mappings. In order to detect successful as well as unsuccessful sonification strategies, assessment of mapping efficiency conducted in the reviewed works was also considered.
Finally, a mapping-based approach for characterizing sonification will be presented.