Are Nearby Neighbors Relatives?: Testing Deep Music Embeddings

J. Kim, J. Urbano, C. Liem and A. Hanjalic
Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 2019.


Deep neural networks have frequently been used to directly learn representations useful for a given task from raw input data. In terms of overall performance metrics, machine learning solutions employing deep representations frequently have been reported to greatly outperform those using hand-crafted feature representations. At the same time, they may pick up on aspects that are predominant in the data, yet not actually meaningful or interpretable. In this paper, we therefore propose a systematic way to test the trustworthiness of deep music representations, considering musical semantics. The underlying assumption is that in case a deep representation is to be trusted, distance consistency between known related points should be maintained both in the input audio space and corresponding latent deep space. We generate known related points through semantically meaningful transformations, both considering imperceptible and graver transformations. Then, we examine within- and between-space distance consistencies, both considering audio space and latent embedded space, the latter either being a result of a conventional feature extractor or a deep encoder. We illustrate how our method, as a complement to task-specific performance, provides interpretable insight into what a network may have captured from training data signals.