Source separation evaluation is typically a top-down process, starting with perceptual measures which capture fitness-for-purpose and followed by attempts to find physical (objective) measures that are predictive of the perceptual measures. In this paper, we take a contrasting bottom-up approach. We begin with the physical measures provided by the Blind Source Separation Evaluation Toolkit (BSS Eval) and we then look for corresponding perceptual correlates. This approach is known as psychophysics and has the distinct advantage of leading to interpretable, psychophysical models. We obtained perceptual similarity judgments from listeners in two experiments featuring vocal sources within musical mixtures. In the first experiment, listeners compared the overall quality of vocal signals estimated from musical mixtures using a range of competing source separation methods. In a loudness experiment, listeners compared the loudness balance of the competing musical accompaniment and vocal. Our preliminary results provide provisional validation of the psychophysical approach.


  author = {Simpson, A. J. R. and Roma, G. and Grais, Emad M. and Mason, R. D. and Hummersone, C. and Plumbley, M. D.},
  editor = {Tichavsk{\'y}, Petr and Babaie-Zadeh, Massoud and Michel, Olivier J.J. and Thirion-Moreau, Nad{\`e}ge},
  title = {Psychophysical Evaluation of Audio Source Separation Methods},
  booktitle = {Latent Variable Analysis and Signal Separation: 13th International Conference, LVA/ICA 2017, Grenoble, France, February 21-23, 2017, Proceedings},
  year = {2017},
  publisher = {Springer International Publishing},
  address = {Cham},
  pages = {211--221},
  isbn = {978-3-319-53547-0},
  doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-53547-0_21},
  openaccess = {http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/813113/},
  keywords = {"maruss"}