Audio Music Similarity and Retrieval: Evaluation Power and Stability

J. Urbano, D. Martín, M. Marrero and J. Morato
International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, pp. 609-614, 2011.


In this paper we analyze the reliability of the results in the evaluation of Audio Music Similarity and Retrieval systems. We focus on the power and stability of the evaluation, that is, how often a significant difference is found between systems and how often these significant differences are incorrect. We study the effect of using different effectiveness measures with different sets of relevance judgments, for varying number of queries and alternative statistical procedures. Different measures are shown to behave similarly overall, though some are much more sensitive and stable than others. The use of different statistical procedures does improve the reliability of the results, and it allows using as little as half the number of queries currently used in MIREX evaluations while still offering very similar reliability levels. We also conclude that experimenters can be very confident that if a significant difference is found between two systems, the difference is indeed real.