Proposal: Talk about the Human Communications Science Virtual Lab

The HCS vLab is one of the Australian Government funded NeCTAR eResearch projects.

Human Communication Science (HCS) is a broad-reaching interdisciplinary mix of research that spans speech, language, sonics and music; and HCS research encompasses areas such as speech science, computer science, behavioural science, linguistics, music cognition and musicology, and sonics and acoustics.

The virtual lab:

  • Brings together diverse data sets for the first time into one discovery/repository system, including text, audio and video resources with rich metadata.
  • Links the data to tools – both inside and outside the lab, from simple bread-and-butter linguistic tools like concordance (keyword-in-context) searching and word frequency analysis to processing data using programming languages such as Python and R.
  • Has a workflow system we borrow from the the bioinformatics community – Galaxy, where users will be able to chain-together complex processing pipelines on data.

Who might be interested? Anyone interested in text, audio, video processing of any kind will eventually have access to the vLab or be able to run their own version of it.

We’re proposing to give a demo and talk about how it might be useful to all kinds of digital humanities researchers, and seek suggestions about tools you might like to use in the future Forensic Literary analysis? OCR on pictures of graffiti? Tell us!

See more, including video demos at

OR – we could link up with other NeCTAR tools/labs at THAT Camp and do a joint session comparing our approaches.

Peter Sefton, Dominique Estival and Denis Burnham – University of Western Sydney

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