(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 4, July 2010
what information below the masking threshold that isperceptually inaudible and should be removed. Thepsychoacoustic model is based on many studies of humanperception. These studies have shown that the average humandoesn’t hear all frequencies the same. Effects due to differentsounds in the environment and limitations of the humansensory system lead to facts that can be used to cut outunnecessary data in an audio signal. The two main propertiesof the human auditory system that make up the psychoacousticmodel are the absolute threshold of hearing   and theauditory masking . Each one provides a way of determiningwhich portions of a signal are inaudible and indiscernible tothe average human, and can thus be removed from a signal.
The Absolute Threshold of Hearing
. To determine the effect of frequency on hearing ability,scientists played a sinusoidal tone at a very low power. Thepower was slowly raised until the subject could hear the tone.This level was the threshold at which the tone could be heard.The process was repeated for many frequencies in the humanauditory range and with many subjects. As a result, thefollowing plot was obtained. This experimental data can bemodeled by the following equation, where f is frequency inHertz :
= − +
0 5000100001500020000-20-100102030405060Frequency (Hz)
S o u n d P r e s s u r e L e v e l ( d B )
Figure 4. The absolute thershold of hearing
The Bark Frequency Scale
After many studies, scientists found that the frequencyrange from 20 Hz to 20000 Hz   can be broken up intocritical bandwidths , which are non-uniform, non-linear,and dependent on the heard sound. Signals within one criticalbandwidth are hard to separate for a human observer .
Amore uniform measure of frequency based on criticalbandwidths is the Bark. From the earlier discussedobservations, one would expect a Bark bandwidth to besmaller at low frequencies (in Hz) and larger at high ones.Indeed, this is the case. The Bark frequency scale can beapproximated by the following equation :
F r e q u e n c y ( B a r k )
Figure 5. Relationship between Hertz and Bark Frequencies
Tone and Noise Masker Identification
Masking curces of tonal and noise maskers  have differentshapes  therefore it is necessary to separate them.. To findtonal components it is necessary to find local maximas andthen compare them with their neighbourhood components.This action hints Eq. 3  :
− ±∆ ≥
= +2 for
= +2 , +3 for
= +2…+6 for
= +2 …+12 for
(7)According to ISO/IEC MPEG1, Psychocacoustic AnalysisModel1 of MPEG1 audio standard [ 1] sound pressure level of the tonal masker is computed by Eq.8 as a summation of thespectral density of the masker and its neighbours:
[dB] (8)Sound Pressure level of the noise maskers is computedaccording to Eq. 9 as a summation of the sound pressure levelof all spectral components in corresponding critical band.
Si NM j
(9)where b represents the critical band, i index spectralcomponents that lies in the corresponding critical band. Noisemaskers are placed in the middle of the corresponding criticalband.