Predicting and visualising city noise levels to support tinnitus sufferers

William Hurst, Graham Davis, Abdennour El Rhalibi*, David Tully, Zhigeng Pan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


On a daily basis, urban residents are unconsciously exposed to hazardous noise levels. This has a detrimental effect on the ear-drum, with symptoms often not apparent till later in life. The impact of harmful noises levels has a damaging impact on wellbeing. It is estimated that 10 million people suffer from damaged hearing in the UK alone, with 6.4 million of retirement age or above. With this number expected to increase significantly by 2031, the demand and cost for healthcare providers is expected to intensify. Tinnitus affects about 10 percent of the UK population, with the condition ranging from mild to severe. The effects can have psychological impact on the patient. Often communication becomes difficult, and the sufferer may also be unable to use a hearing aid due to buzzing, ringing or monotonous sounds in the ear. Action on Hearing Loss states that sufferers of hearing related illnesses are more likely to withdraw from social activities. Tinnitus sufferers are known to avoid noisy environments and busy urban areas, as exposure to excessive noise levels exacerbates the symptoms. In this paper, an approach for evaluating and predicting urban noise levels is put forward. The system performs a data classification process to identify and predict harmful noise areas at diverse periods. The goal is to provide Tinnitus sufferers with a real-time tool, which can be used as a guide to find quieter routes to work; identify harmful areas to avoid or predict when noise levels on certain roads will be dangerous to the ear-drum. Our system also performs a visualisation function, which overlays real-time noise levels onto an interactive 3D map.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImage and Graphics - 8th International Conference, ICIG 2015, Proceedings
EditorsYu-Jin Zhang
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319219684
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Conference on Image and Graphics, ICIG 2015 - Tianjin, China
Duration: 13 Aug 201516 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference8th International Conference on Image and Graphics, ICIG 2015


  • Data classification
  • Hazardous noise levels
  • Hearing loss
  • Prediction
  • Real-Time
  • Tinnitus
  • Visualisation


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