Toward an Understanding of the History and Impact of User Studies in Music Information Retrieval
Lee, Jin Ha
Cunningham, Sally Jo
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Most Music Information Retrieval (MIR) researchers will agree that understanding users' needs and behaviors is critical for developing a good MIR system. The number of user studies in the MIR domain has been gradually increasing since the early 2000s, reflecting this growing appreciation of the need for empirical studies of users. However, despite the growing number of user studies and the wide recognition of their importance, it is unclear how great their impact has been in the field: on how systems are developed, how evaluation tasks are created, and how MIR system developers in particular understand critical concepts such as music similarity or music mood. In this paper, we present our analysis on the growth, publication and citation patterns, topics, and design of 198 user studies. This is followed by a discussion of a number of issues/challenges in conducting MIR user studies and distributing the research results. We conclude by making recommendations to increase the visibility and impact of user studies in the field.
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