The DREAMS Initial Training Network (ITN) was an FP7-PEOPLE Marie Curie ITN, aiming to investigate the problem of modeling, controlling, removing, and synthesizing acoustic reverberation with the aim of enhancing the quality and intelligibility of audio, music, and speech signals.
The core activities of the DREAMS ITN are research and training, and have been carried out by a consortium of 4 academic and 8 industrial partners located in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the UK. The ITN has been hosting 12 early stage researchers and 4 experienced researchers, each performing an individual research project around one of four themes that reflect the most challenging open problems in the area of (de-)reverberation. The ITN has been implemented such as to maximize the international and intersectoral experience of the research fellows, by defining relevant secondments in academia and industry, both in the host country and abroad.
The research training program of the DREAMS ITN revolves around four scientific disciplines that are equally important in understanding and tackling the (de-)reverberation problem:
The DREAMS ITN has taken a significant step forward and made fundamental scientific contributions in each of those four disciplines.
With the aim of equipping the DREAMS ITN research fellows with the best possible skills to carry out their research projects and develop their careers, a high-quality training program has been implemented, with local as well as network-wide training modules.
The network-wide training events include four DREAMS Seasonal Schools, during which relevant technical topics are addressed in guest lectures by internationally leading experts, e.g. Reverberation Perception (by Barry Blesser), Electroacoustics (by Peter Swarte), Room Acoustics (by Diemer de Vries), Spatiotemporal Acoustic Signal Processing (by Walter Kellermann), Adaptive Filters, Semi-Supervised Learning and Cognitive Systems (by Simon Haykin), Binaural Hearing and Communication Acoustics (by Jens Blauert), Machine Learning (by Sergios Theodoridis), Compressive Sensing (by Wei Dai), and Deep Neural Networks (by Kate Knill). In addition, these Seasonal School feature hands-on application sessions as well as non-technical courses on Team Building, Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Management, Reproducible Research, Project Proposal Writing, Negotiation Skills, Career Development, Productivity Enhancement, and Leadership Skills.
Apart from the DREAMS Seasonal Schools, a network-wide Workshop on The Impact of Reverberation and Noise on Speech Intelligibility and Speech Recognition has been held (with keynote lectures by Gaston Hilkhuysen, Stefan Goetze, and Jan Rennies) and a PhD School on Advanced Psychoacoustics: Theory, Practice, and Modeling (with guest lectures by Dorte Hammershøi, Steven van De Par, Jasper van Dorp Schuitman, Jan Larsen, Wolfgang Ellermeier, Nick Zacharov, Søren Bech, Alexander Raake, Alexander Lindau, and Tapio Lokki) has been organized jointly with the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP).
The DREAMS ITN has organized the Audio Engineering Society (AES) 60th International Conference on Dereverberation and Reverberation of Audio, Music, and Speech, in Leuven, Belgium, Feb. 3-5, 2016. The aim of this international conference was to bring together and provide a forum for researchers working on different aspects and applications of reverberation and dereverberation. In addition, the DREAMS ITN has organized special sessions at several international conferences, and a recently published special issue of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.
Finally, the DREAMS ITN has been committed to communicate its research progress not only to the scientific community but also to the public-at-large. To this end, a broad range of outreach activities has been organized, such as presenting hands-on demonstrations and fellows’ testimonies in local science communication events, the promotion of the DREAMS ITN research topics on social media, and the organization of live events related to reverberation and music. The largest outreach activity took place in July 2015, with the participation of the DREAMS ITN in the Summer Science Exhibition in London, a prestigious science communication event organized by the Royal Society that attracted over 13000 visitors.