28.07.2017

Ten years of MIRtoolbox, time to look forward

Announcing the MiningSuite 0.9
 

The first public version of MIRtoolbox (0.8) was released on the 1st of August 2007, hence 10 years ago. It has evolved quite significantly this last decade, downloaded tens of thousand of times, and cited in around one thousand scientific papers. It has been maintained regularly, although with a few breaks during the recent years.

Throughout these years, I realized that the further development of MIRtoolbox would require addressing a certain number of major issues. In particular, the internal architecture of MIRtoolbox is quite intricate, and actually not efficient at all. When running computations, Matlab actually spends a lot of time on conversions of MIRtoolbox types that should be avoided altogether. Another issue  is that the code of each operator is not really easy to understand to users, so the toolbox is a collection of black boxes. The next step was therefore to completely rewrite the architecture of MIRtoolbox, and make sure that the code is transparent to the users, so that anybody could contribute to the further development of the project in a truly open source framework. Those were the motivations to develop a brand new version 2.0 of MIRtoolbox.
 
Besides, the same philosophy underlying MIRtoolbox could be used outside of the purely audio MIR context. The same design principles ruling MIRtoolbox could be applied to process symbolic representations, be it MIDI (as in MIDItoolbox) or scores more generally. And in fact, this could be used for any kind of signal processing applications outside music and even outside audio, as well as any kind of sequence analysis. Back to music, this could also open the way to better articulations between audio and symbolic representations. For those reasons, instead of conceiving something called MIRtoolbox 2.0, I imagined a broader project called “the MiningSuite”.
 
I am pleased to announce that a new alpha version of MiningSuite has been released, in which most of MIRtoolbox operators have been incorporated (albeit partially, for some of them). With this version 0.9, it is now possible to have a comprehensive experience of the future of MIRtoolbox. Please note however that for the moment you cannot trust the results given by the toolbox, as they have not been extensively validated. Beside the code itself, the GItHub website of the project has just been significantly expanded, with documentation of all operators and tutorials. The MiningSuite is aimed to be fully open-source, in the sense that anyone can contribute to its further development.
 
Welcome to the future of MIRtoolbox, to which you can actively contribute!
 
Olivier Lartillot