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Audio Engineering Society
Convention Paper 5856
Presented at the 115th Convention 2003 October 1013 New York, New York
This convention paper has been reproduced from the author's advance manuscript, without editing, corrections, or consideration by the Review Board. The AES takes no responsibility for the contents. Additional papers may be obtained by sending request and remittance to Audio Engineering Society, 60 East 42nd Street, New York, New York 10165-2520, USA; also see www.aes.org. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this paper, or any portion thereof, is not permitted without direct permission from the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.
COMPUTER GAMES AND MULTICHANNEL AUDIO QUALITY PART 2 EVALUATION OF TIME-VARIANT AUDIO DEGRADATIONS UNDER DIVIDED AND UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
RAFAEL KASSIER, SAWOMIR K. ZIELISKI , and FRANCIS RUMSEY Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK
The effect of division of attention between the evaluation of multichannel audio quality degradations and involvement in a visual task (playing a computer game) was investigated. Time-variant impairments (drop-outs) were used to provide degradations in audio quality. It was observed that involvement in a visual task may significantly change the results obtained during the evaluation of audio impairments for some experimental conditions. small and therefore can be neglected in the design of subjective tests . The drawback of all previously quoted studies is that the division of attention between visual and auditory tasks was not controlled and therefore experimental conditions can be characterised as passive in relation to watching visual content. Therefore, these conditions were different from a domestic scenario in which listeners are involved in the story line of a movie, atmosphere of a concert, etc. Massaro and Warner undertook an experiment in which they successfully managed to control the division of
1. INTRODUCTION The rapid development of audio-visual systems in telecommunications and the entertainment industry gives rise to the question in what way should the quality of these systems be evaluated? According to some studies undertaken in this area, quality of audio and quality of video should not be evaluated in isolation due to the possibility of a cross-modal interaction  which requires complex, time consuming and thus expensive subjective tests. On the contrary, some other studies show that in some cases the effect of audio-visual interaction is very
Kassier et al.
attention between auditory and visual tasks, however their studies were limited only to the aspect of stimulus recognition they have not investigated the issue of audio quality perception under selective or divided attention . In a previous paper  we showed that involvement in a visual task (playing a computer game) may significantly change the grades obtained during evaluation of audio quality (up to 15 %) for some subjects and for some levels of audio quality. This result is in line with the results of the study undertaken by Massaro et al . It was also found that this effect is subject-specific and the global effect observed after averaging the results across all listeners is very small. The results obtained confirm the existence of significant interactions between auditory and visual modalities. However, the observed interactions are subject-dependent and their magnitude is small after averaging the results across all the subjects. Therefore it could be concluded that the effect of audio-visual interaction is very small and can be neglected in subjective evaluation of the audio quality of audio-visual systems, at least in the case of trained listeners, such as those used in the experiment.
Computer Games 2
However, the nature of the audio impairments employed in the previous experiment can be characterised as static (stationary) and therefore easily noticed during prolonged exposure. It was expected that time-variant degradations (such as drop-outs) would be much more difficult to notice under the condition of divided attention (when the subject is actively involved in a visual task). This supposition was to some extent confirmed by the results of a pilot study undertaken at the Institute of Sound Recording . According to the obtained results (shown in Figure 1) it is clear that for one experimental condition (Drop-out No. 4), involvement in a visual task made subjects less reliable at detecting drop-outs. For the remaining experimental conditions it is possible to note the trend that subjects are less reliable in detecting dropouts whilst involved in the game, however the differences were statistically insignificant. In this paper, we discuss the results of a new experiment using dynamically changing multichannel audio impairments, to verify the hypothesis that it is more difficult to notice dynamically changing audio degradations than stationary degradations whilst involved in a visual task.
Condition Drop-Out 4 showed a statistically significant difference during the GAME and NO GAME conditions
Figure 1: Pilot Experiment Results (after )
AES 115TH CONVENTION, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 2003 OCTOBER 10-13
2. SELECTION OF A COMPUTER GAME
The main criteria for selection of the computer game in  were: Constant involvement of a subject in the game (it was a requirement that the degree of the involvement should be the same throughout the whole period for which a subject plays the game in order to avoid any short-term situations where the subject pays no attention to the game and is entirely concentrated on audio evaluation) Short period of required training Gender independency Consistent audio characteristics It was found that a majority of the popular computer games did not meet these criteria (e.g. action and sport games). For most of the examined games the level of the involvement in a game was highly variable and depended on the current game conditions. Moreover, a games audio content and its characteristics were also variable and depended on the game events and conditions. Consequently, it was difficult to use a typical action or a sport game in the experiment in which repeatability and consistency of conditions were of high importance. Moreover, the state-of-the-art games require a long period of training, which may prolong the experiment and thus make it more expensive. Additionally, some games are particularly violent which may appeal only to a limited group of subjects. Taking into account all these considerations, it was decided to use a mind/skill type game providing a relatively constant involvement in the task and requiring relatively little training. The game chosen was a variant of the popular Tetris style game for Windows PC  (See Figure 2).
The goal of Tetris is to manipulate a series of falling blocks by rotating and moving them, such that they form a tight wall of blocks with no gaps. Once a complete horizontal line of blocks or parts of blocks has been assembled it disappears, allowing additional lines to build up in their place. The game itself is simple in operation, but demands concentration and can be increasingly stressful at times, as the pieces build up and the rate at which pieces fall increases. Useful features of this game are: It is widely known therefore little training is required (no subjects needed the basic rules explained to them) The subjects were able to play at their own pace, so it was possible for the players to involve themselves to a similar level, regardless of relative skill levels The particular version used had the ability to display a summary screen that included useful information about the subjects activity during the task The drawback of this particular game was that the accompanying audio material was recorded in a twochannel stereo format and therefore was not suitable for the purposes of the experiment, since it was intended to use a game with surround audio. Therefore it was decided to mute the native background music in the games software mixer and to use a high quality surround 5.1 recording instead, played back by a separate computer (SGI) equipped with software for running subjective tests (see Appendix B). After the informal pilot tests, it was also decided to mute the games sound effects since, in the authors opinion, they were annoying in the long term and also caused occasional beating effects when mixed with the external recording. The games voice messages, which were kept intact in the previous experiment , were also muted during this experiment, as they might coincide with one of the intended time-variant degradations. Subjects played the game within approximately 2minute trials. In the previous experiment  the subjects were instructed to attain the highest game score possible. This was measured in terms of difficulty levels attained during the task as a whole a rather vague measure at best. For the new experiment it was decided that more data should be collected of the subjects involvement in the game.
Figure 2: Tetris in action 
Table 1: Scoring for Tetris Description Clearing a single line of blocks Clearing two lines of blocks simultaneously Clearing three lines of blocks simultaneously Clearing four lines of blocks simultaneously Achieving Back to Back Tetris clearances Rotating a T block into a tight position.
Tetris task Single Double Triple Tetris B2B Tetris T Spin
Score 5 10
Because the game itself had no internal scoring system other than the concept of difficulty levels attained by the subject, it was decided to introduce a different scoring system for the subjects to work against. This would allow for a more intuitive scoring system to rate one subjects performance against another within the trials short duration, and to help to involve the subjects more in the task of playing the game. The scoring system is shown in Table 1. The rationale for the scoring system was that a Double should be worth more than two Singles, a Triple worth more than three Singles, a Tetris worth more than two Doubles or a Triple plus a Single etc. The points given for B2B Tetris and T-Spin were bonus points awarded for rare or more complicated tasks. At the end of each 2-minute game session, it was possible to view a summary page which contained information about how many of the above events happened during the session. In addition to the scoring events, pieces used and piece movements are also shown. These are totals of how many falling pieces were slotted into place during the two minutes and how many times the falling blocks were rotated or moved left and right and down. The importance of these last two totals is that they give a measure of the subjects activity during the task that should be more accurate than the game score (it is possible to move the same number of pieces the same amount of times and generate completely different game scores!). See Figure 3, for an example of the game summary screen. Summary screens for each 2-minute game item in the tests were captured whilst the subject was evaluating the audio. This data was later entered manually into the statistical analysis package.
Figure 3: Game Activity Summary Screen  3. SELECTION OF AUDIO MATERIAL The same source material was used in this experiment as in the previous experiment : an instrumental jazz music recording (without vocals). The instruments (acoustic guitar, piano, bass guitar, synthesizers, drums and percussion) were mixed across all 3/2 channels. The duration of the excerpt was 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The music itself was of a similar nature to other computer game background music tracks. 4. PROCESSING OF AUDIO MATERIAL In the previous experiment  the degradations in audio were obtained using a static low pass filter at specific cut-off frequencies. For this experiment, time-varying degradations were used in order to see if dynamically changing degradations were perceived differently under divided and undivided attention. The pilot study  had shown that the introduction of drop-outs is a satisfactory way of adding time-variant degradations to multichannel audio. However the exact nature of these drop-outs (length, depth, frequency and channel) needed to be decided upon.
Degradation 3 4
Table 2: Main degradations chosen Drop Out Nature Frequency Length Channels Once 1 Second L+C+R Three Times 1 Second L or R (randomised) Three Times 1 Second L+LS or R+RS (randomised) Three Times 1 Second C+LS+RS
During pilot tests it was clear that an impairment scale as described in  would be more appropriate than the Basic Audio Quality scale used in the previous experiment . This was because it was found to be difficult to average the effect of drop-outs across the entire excerpt o give an overall Basic Audio Quality grade to the items, but it was easier to find a descriptive term from the impairment scale to describe adequately the effect of the degradations in terms of their perceptibility and level of annoyance caused. To finalise the degradations to be used in the experiment, a single subject (who was not used subsequently in testing), was exposed to a range of drop-out impairments with varying lengths, frequencies, as well as number and placement of channels, and asked to evaluate them using a multiple stimulus test. Because of time constraints and because it was considered unlikely that all subjects would rate the stimuli in a similar way, final degradation patterns were chosen that had been graded at around the midpoint of the impairment scale. This was in order to allow for subjects to be more critical, or less critical than the pilot subject. Because of experimental time constraints, there was space for 6 items (with 6 iterations each), which would include a reference and a nominal anchor, which would be the most severely degraded item. The anchor was created during one of the pilot tests, and featured eight 1-second drop-outs every 10 seconds (apart from the first and last 30 seconds of the item), one in each of the following channels: L, R, LS, LS+RS, L+C+R, L+LS, R+RS (where: L = left front channel, R = right front channel, C = centre channel, LS = left surround channel and RS = right surround channel). The position of the drop-outs was randomised in each 10 second slot. There was
one version of the anchor, iterated six times in each of the main experimental conditions. There was therefore space for 4 additional items. The chosen degradations are shown in Table 2. In order to minimise the chance that specific degradation types would be detected by the subjects, and to average the influence of particularly noticeable or indeed undetectable drop-outs, six different patterns of drop outs were created for each of the four main degradation patterns. It was decided that audio degradations would be introduced into the period of time during which the subjects involvement in the game was the highest. It was hypothesised that subjects would need some time (about 30 sec.) in order to get fully involved in the game. It is also possible that a subjects attention may drift to the audio evaluation task towards the end of the game. Therefore the original recording was processed in such a way that drop-outs occurred only during the period in which the highest involvement in the game was predicted to occur. The original recording was 2 min. 10 sec. long, which left a 1 min. 10 sec. period for the impairments to take place. For the main degradations (1-4), either one or three drop-outs were randomly placed into the appropriate channels. In the case of the degradations containing three drop-outs, these were placed one each into three approximately equal sections of the 1min 10 second period, with randomised placement within each of the three sections. Drop-outs were created using the same custom envelope within an audio editing software program, containing a short fade out (approx 0.1 sec in length) to digital silence and fade back (approx 0.1 sec in length) to unity. The total envelope length was one second.
Two types of listening sessions
- Watching a static picture - Evaluation of audio impairments
- Playing a computer game - Evaluation of audio impairments
Figure 5: Two types of listening sessions.
7. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN There were two types of listening session in the experiment (Figure 5), corresponding to the two main experimental conditions. The first type of session involved simultaneously playing the computer game and evaluating the audio quality during these sessions subjects attention was divided between the evaluation of the audio impairments and playing the game. In the second type of session listeners were asked to evaluate the audio impairments and to watch a static picture of a typical screenshot from the game during these types of session the listeners attention could be focussed mainly on the evaluation of the audio impairments (no involvement in the game). Originally in the previous experiment  it was planned to use a moving picture containing a demonstration of the game, however, during informal tests at that time, it was found that this drew too much attention towards the visual task, making this condition similar to that of an active involvement in the game. Seven experienced listeners took part in the experiment. Each listener was given a one-hour familiarisation period. During this, they were exposed to the Reference audio followed by the most degraded item (the so-called anchor). Both items were then repeated. During both iterations of the anchor, the subjects were asked to assign a grade to the item from the grading scale and to record this on a grading form (see Appendix C). The main reason for this was to allow the subjects to hear the nature and degree of degradations that would be presented in the main test, and to begin thinking about how
to assign grades to the items on the impairment scale. The subjects were then given the remainder of the hour (about 45 minutes each) to practice playing the game. No game scores were recorded during the familiarisation phase. Because involvement in playing the game might decrease each subjects consistency in the grading of audio quality it was decided to repeat each experimental condition six times. The main tests consisted of 6 half-hour sessions, each containing 12 items (2 iterations each of the Reference and Anchor, and 2 different patterns of the 4 other degradations). The main reason for including the Reference and Anchor was to make the listeners more consistent in using the full range of the scale by exposing them both to the original and severely impaired recordings in each session (a form of listener calibration). There were 3 sessions with game, and 3 sessions without game. Both types of session used a single stimulus paradigm (one stimulus was evaluated at a time). There were 12 items consecutively evaluated within each session (Figure 6). Each item was approximately 2 min. and 10 sec in length. A short pause after each item was scheduled for evaluation purposes. Both the order of sessions and the order of presentation of stimuli were randomised to minimise the carry-over effect. During game sessions, subjects were instructed that the accurate evaluation of audio quality and achieving the highest possible game score were of the same importance.
In addition to the trial items, each subject performed two benchmark game items, one at the beginning of the first game session, and one after the last game session. During these benchmark items, the subjects were exposed to the reference audio track, informed of this, and instructed not to grade the audio, but to concentrate on achieving the highest possible game score which would count with the other game scores to determine the ultimate winner of the game. For purposes of the analysis, this provided a useful performance benchmark, against which the activity of the subjects during the game condition trials could be measured. This data would allow verification that subjects attention to the visual task was not dipping to allow them to concentrate on audio evaluation. Subjects were asked to assign grades to each item using the form shown in Appendix C. The form is divided into 20 minor ticks, with a major tick every 5 minor ticks. When entering the data from the grading sheets, this 20 point scale was converted to a 100 point quality scale, shown in Table 3. 8. DATA ANALYSIS
The obtained results were analysed using the following ANOVA model: Rating = GM + GAME + DEGRAD + SUB + All interactions + residuals where: GM GAME DEGRAD SUB General mean Main experimental variable having two levels (game / no game), Degradation type (either one of the 4 main degradations, the anchor or reference) Subject number (listener number), 1-7
All factors used in the ANOVA model were fixed. Residuals were attributed to inconsistencies in grades between the different time frames of degradations 1-4, and between the grading of repetitions of the hidden reference and the hidden anchor.
Figure 6: Structure of test sessions Item min. 10 sec. Ev. Item min. 10 sec. Ev. Item min. 10 sec. Approx 30 mins Ev. Evaluation phase (approximately 10 seconds) Ev.
Item min. 10 sec.
Table 3: Grading scale used in the experiment Description Grades after conversion Imperceptible 100 Perceptible, but not annoying 75 Slightly annoying 50 Annoying 25 Very annoying 0
Table 4: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects
Dependent Variable: Quality
Source Corrected Model Intercept GAME DEGRAD SUB GAME * DEGRAD GAME * SUB DEGRAD * SUB GAME * DEGRAD * SUB Error Total Corrected Total Type III Sum of Squares 347159.468 (a) 1474636.198 1213.341 252628.492 50320.663 7488.492 5929.909 23512.480 6066.091 102228.333 1924024.000 449387.802 df (a) R Squared =.773 (Adjusted R Squared =.728) Mean Square 4182.644 1474636.198 1213.341 50525.698 8386.777 1497.698 988.318 783.749 202.203 243.401 F 17.184 6058.469 4.985 207.582 34.457 6.153 4.060 3.220.831 p (Significance).000.000.026.000.000.000.001.000.725 Partial Eta Squared (Magnitude of effect).773.935.012.712.330.068.055.187.056
According to the ANOVA test (table 4), all investigated factors and second-order interactions were significant at p<0.05 level. This means that, unlike in the previous experiment , there was a global effect of the GAME factor on the results of the evaluation of audio. As in the previous experiment  the GAME factor was significant in interactions with other experimental factors. This means that playing a game affected the results of audio quality evaluation of the time-variant audio degradations used in this experiment for some experimental conditions (for some degradations, and for some subjects), and that playing the game had an overall effect when averaged across all subjects and degradations. The magnitude of each effect is shown by the partial eta squared value in table 4. This shows that DEGRAD had the largest effect (2 = 0.712), whereas GAME had the least effect (2 = 0.012), although it was statistically significant. The third order interaction between degradation nature, the main experimental condition (game / no game) and subjects DEGRAD * GAME * SUB was not significant at p<0.05 level. This
means that each subjects grading of the different degradations with and without game need not be studied individually. 8.1 Testing of ANOVA Assumptions ANOVA makes three assumptions about the data, which need to be checked. 8.1.1 ANOVA Assumption 1: Independence of grading Dependence was minimised through randomisation of experimental factors. 8.1.2 ANOVA Assumption 2: Normal distribution of scores for each group Checking normal distribution of scores for each group is equivalent to checking for normal distribution of residuals. This was initially checked graphically (see Figure 7). Graphical examination shows that the distribution is close to normal distribution, but to analyse how this distribution deviates from normal, a formal Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was conducted (see table 5).
0 -50.00 -25.00 0.00 25.00 50.00
Residual for Quality
Figure 7: Histogram of Residuals for Quality (with normal distribution curve superimposed) Table 5: One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test
N Normal Parameters(a,b) Most Extreme Differences Mean Std. Deviation Absolute Positive Negative Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) (a) Test distribution is Normal. (b) Calculated from data.
Residual for Quality 504.0000 14.25613.099.093 -.099 2.230.000
The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shows a significant departure from normality, but it is known that the ANOVA test is robust to the violation of the normality assumption provided that the sample size is large (minimum 15 cases per group ). The minimum number of analysed cases per group was 6 (for GAME * DEGRAD * SUBJECT), but was 12 or higher for the other groups, so the ANOVA assumption was roughly fulfilled. Checking for this assumption does however expose the weakest point in the analysis, and larger numbers of cases should be included in future experiments.
8.1.3 ANOVA Assumption 3: Homogeneity of variance between cases. The third assumption for the ANOVA test is that there is homogeneity of variance between groups. According to a formal Levenes test, the homogeneity of variance between groups was not equal. However the ANOVA test is known to give reliable results even when the variances are not equal across different groups, provided that the number of cases in each group is the same , which was the case in the current experiment.
Error Bars show 95.0% Cl of Mean
Audio quality graded higher during game condition
Audio quality graded lower during game condition
Degradations: Main Degradations Anchor Reference
Figure 8: Audio quality diff grades for different degradations 9. RESULTS 9.1 Global GAME effect Figure 8 shows that audio quality for degradations 3 and 5 were being rated significantly higher during the GAME condition due to involvement of listeners in the game. Other degradations show insignificant diff grades, except degradation 6 (the Reference), which was being graded significantly lower during the GAME condition. Errors in the detection of the reference result in changes to quality grading in a negative direction only (due to the ceiling effect), and one of the possible interpretations as to why there is a statistically significant decrease in audio quality for the reference during the GAME condition is that more errors were made detecting the hidden reference while playing the game than while not playing the game. The magnitudes of the upward shifts in diffgrades of degradations 3 and 5 are approximately +14% and +12% respectively (the overall effect of the game on diff grades was just +3%), and the effect of the GAME * DEGRAD interaction itself is relatively small (2 = 0.068). It is difficult to explain entirely the tendencies observed in Fig. 8. For example, it is not clear why degradations 3 and 5 being graded especially high, and how do they differ from the other degradations?
In contrast to the previous experiment , the GAME factor in this experiment had a significant effect on the grading of audio quality. The magnitude of this effect was small (about +3%), but was significant at p<0.05 level and thus showed that involvement in the game produced an upward shift in audio quality grading. This means that even though the degradations were relatively easy to detect, playing the game significantly increased audio quality grades. However, due to significant interactions with other factors, the effect of the GAME condition is seen to vary between degradations and between subjects. 9.2 GAME Interactions and
9.2.1 Interaction between Game Degradation (GAME * DEGRAD)
In order to study interactions between the game condition and different audio degradations, diff grades were calculated by subtracting the NO GAME condition quality grades from those from the GAME condition, for each item. These diffgrades were then plotted by degradation, shown in Figure 8.
A B No Game Game
B A B A
Audio Quality Ratings: Imperceptible Perceptible, but not annoying Slightly Annoying Annoying Very Annoying Degradations: Main Degradations Anchor Reference
Figure 9: Audio quality for GAME and NO GAME conditions for different Degradations To investigate this in more detail, a graph of the absolute values of the GAME and NO GAME audio quality grades was plotted by degradation (see Figure 9). This representation of the data shows that the difference between degradations 3 and 5 was that they were, on average, graded with lower audio quality than the others during the NO GAME condition. According to Figure 9, involvement in the game is seen to improve the quality of the items that were graded as being severely impaired by the subjects during the non-game condition. It is difficult to interpret why this happened, especially since the results of the previous experiment  showed that involvement in the game affected the audio quality of only slightly impaired items. Further research would be needed to investigate a wider range of degraded items in order to work out where the onsets of these effects lie in static and in time-varying degradations.
9.2.2 Interaction between Game and Subject (GAME * SUB) To investigate the interaction between GAME and SUBJECT, diff-grades were again used to create a graph showing the difference in audio quality ratings between the NO GAME and GAME conditions for all degradations averaged, displayed by subject (Figure 10).
Figure 10: Audio quality diff grades for different subjects
] ] ] ]
Figure 11: Audio quality diff grades for different subjects (excluding grades for the Reference item)
Figure 10 shows that subjects 5 and 6 graded audio quality higher during the game condition than when they graded the same item during the non-game condition. Subject 7, on the other hand seemed to grade audio quality lower while involved in the game. For the remaining subjects no statistically significant interaction was found. To test whether this downward effect in subject 7 was due to the ceiling effect of the reference, the graph was plotted again, this time excluding grades for the reference (Figure 11). Figure 11 provides graphical evidence that the significant downward shift in diff grades for subject 7 was due to grading errors and the ceiling effect on the reference item dominating the results for that subject. Investigating the GAME * SUBJECT interaction has shown that the effect of playing the game on the evaluation of audio quality is subjectspecific, and may cause significant increases in audio quality grades for some subjects.
showed a similar or increased level of activity between the controlled benchmark items where no audio evaluation was undertaken, and the experimental game trials. 9.5 9.5.1 Learning Effects Audio Quality Grading Learning Issues
It was decided to check for bias due to carry-over, learning effect, or the effect of boredom or fatigue (due to the requirement to listen to 78 iterations of the same source material in various degraded forms). In order to check this, a graph of averaged audio quality grades was plotted by session (each session contained 2 iterations of each degradation type, game and no game conditions were randomised for subjects, so can be assumed to be evenly distributed across sessions). As Figure 16 shows, the 95% confidence intervals for the grades of each session overlap, therefore there were no significant changes in audio quality grades over time due to carry-over, fatigue, boredom or learning effects. Because there were no significant time-dependant changes in audio quality grades, the previously presented ANOVA table (table 4) does not require the inclusion of any time-dependant variables (such as session or individual trial number) as co-variants.
Error Bars show 95.0% Cl of Mean Dot/Lines show Means
Figure 16: Audio Quality Grades by Session
9.5.2 Game Performance Learning Issues
Mean Game Score
It clear that there are no significant changes in audio quality due to ongoing experimental time, however, there could be time-dependant changes in game performance which could be examined. To this end, the game trial variable, which sequentially numbered individual game trials was used to plot how game performance variables changed over time. Figure 17 shows an overall increase in game scores across subjects over time. According to regression analysis, the increase in game scores over time is statistically significant, and can be described using the following equation: Game score = 21.22 + (0.41 * item order). This means that subjects increased their game score by 0.41 points per trial on average. As previously mentioned, game score is not a very accurate measure of subjects activity, therefore we should analyse the other performance data (pieces used and piece movements). Figure 18 shows a graph of mean pieces used against time, and Figure 19 shows mean piece movements against time. Both appear to show evidence of learning, which is confirmed by regression analysis: Pieces used = 43.20 + (0.23 * game trial) ie: subjects use 0.23 more pieces with each trial. Piece movements = 267.96 + (0.93 * game trial) ie: subjects perform 0.93 more piece movements per trial. In summary, game performance was seen to increase on average over time (through the duration of the experiment). This is further evidence to support the claim that the subjects had been successfully involved in the visual task, as they tended to improve upon previous activity rates and game scores.
Table 7 shows that both factors are significant, but the magnitude of the PIECES USED factor is small (partial eta squared = 0.031) In this case all ANOVA assumptions were fulfilled, and the ANOVA confirms that number of pieces used affected diff grades in a very small, but statistically significant way. 10. DISCUSSION The current experiment has shown that certain timevariant degradations are tolerated to a greater extent by subjects under conditions of divided attention. This also indicates that the results of the previous experiment  cannot be generalised. Results of the current experiment show significant changes to the audio quality of more severely degraded items due to active involvement in the visual task. It is difficult to interpret why this happened, especially since the results of the previous experiment  showed that involvement in the game affected the perceived audio quality of only slightly impaired items. Further research would be needed to investigate a wider range of degraded items in order to work out where the onset of these effects lies for both static and in time-varying degradations. Partial violation of the second ANOVA assumption indicates the need to test larger groups of subjects in future experiments, in order to take full advantage of parametric statistical analysis. 11. CONCLUSIONS The effect of changes in evaluation of multichannel audio quality under conditions of divided and undivided attention was investigated. A computer
game was successfully used as a means of dividing subjects attention. Time-variant degradations (dropouts) were used to provide audio quality impairments. Involvement in the computer game had a significant but very small overall effect (+3%) in the grading of audio quality. This effect was also seen to be subject-specific and most obvious for the more severely degraded items. Also, as hypothesised, active involvement in a visual task decreased the consistency of audio quality grading. In comparison with the results obtained in the previous experiments, the maximum magnitude of the effect associated with the involvement in a visual task is similar (about +15%) for both static and the time-variant degradations. However, these conclusions cannot be generalised at this stage of research, since the audio degradations did not span the quality scale for each subject, and the results were obtained using a small group of highly trained listeners. Further research in this area is needed. 12. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project was carried out with the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK. The authors are grateful to Russell Mason (Institute of Sound Recording) for his help in the selection of the computer game, and Ben Supper for proofreading the paper.  REFERENCES  J.G. Beerends, F.E. De Caluwe, The Influence of Video Quality on Perceived Audio Quality and Vice Versa, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 47, pp. 355-362 (1999 May). A.N. Rimell, M.P. Volcker: The Influence of Cross-Modal Interaction on Audio-Visual Speech Quality Perception presented at the AES 105th convention, San Francisco, California. Preprint No. 4791, 1998 Sept. 26-29. R.L. Storms, Audio-Visual Cross-Modal Perceptual Phenomena, Ph.D. Dissertation, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California (1998). 
S.K. Zielinski, F. Rumsey, S. Bech, Effects of bandwidth limitation on audio quality in consumer multichannel audio-visual delivery systems, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 51 (6), pp. 475501, (2003). D.W. Massaro, D.S. Warner Dividing Attention Between Auditory and Visual Perception, Perception & Psychophysics, Vol. 21 (6), pp. 569-574, (1977). S. K. Zielinski, F. Rumsey, S. Bech, B. de Bruyn, R. Kassier, Computer Games And Multichannel Audio Quality The Effect Of Division Of Attention Between Auditory And Visual Modalities, presented at the AES 24th International Conference on Multichannel Audio, Banff 2003 26-28 June. A. Lister, An Investigation into the Effect of a Visual Task on Auditory Task Performance, Final Year Technical Project. Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey (2003 - Not published). Tetris Worlds PC-CD ROM, (THQ Inc., 2001). ITU-R Recommendation BS. 1116, Methods for Subjective Assessment of Small Impairments in Audio Systems Including Multichannel Sound Systems, International Telecommunications Union (1994). ITU-R Recommendation BS. 775-1, Multichannel Stereophonic Sound System With or Without Accompanying Picture International Telecommunications Union (1992-1994). EBU Recommendation Tech 2376-E, Listening Conditions for the Assessment of Sound Programme Material. Supplement 1: Multichannel Sound, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva (1999). S.B. Green, N.J. Salkind, and T.M Akey, Using SPSS for Windows (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2000) D.C. Howell, Statistical Methods for Psychology (Duxbury, New York, 1997)
APPENDIX A IMPAIRMENT PATTERNS FOR MAIN DEGRADATIONS
Degradation 1 (One, 1 sec. drop out in L+C+R) Pattern A B C D E F Start Point (in seconds from beginning of item) 50 89
Degradation 2 (Three, 1 sec. drop outs in L or R) Pattern A B C D E F Start Point (in seconds from beginning of item) and L/R 30 R, 68 R, 77 L 34 R, 72 L, 90 L 42 R, 71 L, 98 R 52 L, 75 L, 81 R 31 R, 63 R, 97 L 42 L, 58 R, 79 R
Degradation 3 (Three, 1 sec. drop outs in L+LS or R+RS) Pattern A B C D E F Start Point (in seconds from beginning of item) and L/R 47 R, 54 R, 91 L 46 L, 56 R, 97 R 32 R, 57 L, 93 R 30 R, 74 R, 83 L 40 L, 67 R, 82 L 45 L, 74 L, 99 R
Degradation 4 (Three, 1 sec. drop outs in C+LS+RS) Pattern A B C D E F Start Point (in seconds from beginning of item) 48, 56, 78 42, 76, 82 44, 67, 85 40, 57, 91 31, 61, 95 51, 60, 93
L = Left Channel R = Right Channel C = Centre Channel LS = Left Surround Channel RS = Right Surround Channel
Kassier et al. APPENDIX B: Experimental set-up
Control Monitor PC Monitor Video Splitter Laptop running Powerpoint
SGI Computer providing multichannel Audio
Game PC Keyboard
Video Splitter Control Room
Yamaha O2R Mixer
Plasma Screen Listening Room Game Controller Keyboard Analogue Audio
Genelec 5.1 Speaker System
Kassier et al. APPENDIX C: GRADING FORM
Rate the annoyance of the impairments Please put an X in the appropriate box (Grade non-impaired items as 5)
Perceptible, but not annoying
E-2006 CR-1000 PSP-3003 EP720I QV-8000SX C54APT Iii-MAP A300D 5370C PDP-435XDE R-350 450A Fujifilm S304 Alias 2010 Drive Es100 WFT11C65EF Empath WJS1382 FOR Ps3 Band-IN-A-BOX CF900 KG290 FX2490HD PM260 Coronado PST NC8000 TK-2202 NV-VP33 DB245 C3100 HP-300 Turbo 400 DCR-TRV460 TD4112 29PT9008 SCP-2400 European Wars VP-W75 M-950 SGH-T429 RM2310 UE-37C6700 ENB3660S Ground DPF-2030 DL-32 NP-N140-ja01ES WIN1200 FW-M567-22 Explorer Plus C9070 PRO 32LG50D H6365 Mb986 LE40C530 ZWF1210 Powershot S95 Dual II 350 A1 CQ-C3303N Classico Samsung 172N Dslr-A700 Hobbymatic 800 3M X62W UE-22C4000 MHC-RV60 8270XL 18 DMC-FZ5 K8N-VMI CRX320E M3888 CDX-656 Aspire 5680 NV-DS25EN KDC-PS9080R EPS-16 Plus Scph-39004 Review Blackberry 6220 Anti-virus 2011 Speedtouch 546 CQ-C7703N AND Milk CTK-451 Optio S Atomixmp3 Motolivn D702 Wl-357 32LF2500 Start Lifestyle 48 Photosmart 3210 VCT-670RM KX-TG8200G LN40C530f1H Montana 2003 CT-S709 SS-F7000 35CDI GC Progress MP6
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