Intuitive Mapping of Wallpaper Symmetry Groups to Music Synthesis

Open Access
Luo, Andy
Area of Honors:
Electrical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Yanxi Liu, Thesis Supervisor
  • Julio Urbina, Honors Advisor
  • wallpaper
  • symmetry
  • group
  • music synthesis
  • pattern
  • perception
Symmetry exists all around us in our natural world and embeds a wealth of valuable informa- tion to be interpreted. Human brains are hardwired to seek out and catalog symmetries in order to distill the massive quantity of visual signals constantly being received. Group theory and com- puter vision have already been used in conjunction to detect and interpret various visual symmetries found naturally and synthetically, bringing machine perception closer to human perception. This work examines the possibility of intuitive mapping of symmetry groups from visual to auditory domain, specifically to music. Secondary visual characteristics such as color, shapeliness, and frequency, among others, are also mapped to music generation parameters. The effectiveness of mapping 2D visual images, especially its symmetry structure and texture, to sound was demon- strated. Various types of audio mappings were devised and tested, with the goal of maximizing discernment among different symmetry groups and also secondary characteristics within symmetry groups. These mappings were implemented in real-time using a synthetic image set. Specifically, a melody motif-based mapping was developed and achieved better discernibility through listening tests than baseline mappings. This experimental method suggests some degree of linkage between visual and auditory symmetry pattern perception in the brain that can be explored through future work.