Jan Van Balen

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I’m a machine learning researcher at Spotify, interested in machine learning on audio and graphs. In 2020, I spent some time at University of Antwerp, Belgium. Before that I worked at Apple in London. I have a PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands on data representations for the analysis of audio and music collections.

I have worked on recommender systems, content ID (audio fingerprinting, cover ID, sample ID), music corpus analysis, and other topics in information retrieval. While at Utrecht University, I helped develop the citizen science games Hooked! (NL) and #hookedonmusic (UK) for a research project on popular music and memory.

Selected publications

Jan Van Balen & Bart Goethals (2021). High-dimensional Sparse Embeddings for Collaborative Filtering. The Web Conference 2021.

Jan Van Balen & Mark Levy (2019). PQ-VAE: Efficient Recommendation Using Quantized Embeddings. Late-breaking Results, 13th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems.

Mark Levy, Matthias Mauch, Jan Van Balen, Bruno Di Giorgi & Dan Cartoon (2019). NPR: Neural Personalised Ranking for Song Selection. ICML Workshop on Machine Learning for Music Discovery.

Van Balen, J. (2016). Audio Description and Corpus Analysis of Popular Music. PhD thesis, Utrecht University. (See thesis page for a short description of each chapter.)

Van Balen, J., Burgoyne, J.A., Müllensiefen, D. & Veltkamp, R.C. (2015). Corpus Analysis Tools for Computational Hook discovery. 16th Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR).

Van Balen, J., Wiering, F. & Veltkamp, R.C. (2015). Audio Bigrams as a Unifying Model of Pitch-based Song Description. 11th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR).

Van Balen, J., Bountouridis, D., Wiering, F. & Veltkamp, R.C. (2014). Cognition-inspired Descriptors for Scalable Cover Song Retrieval. 15th Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR).

Van Balen, J., Burgoyne, J.A., Wiering, F. & Veltkamp, R.C. (2013). An Analysis of Chorus Features in Popular Song. 14th Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR).

Van Balen, J., Serra, J. & Haro, M. (2013). Sample Identification in Hip Hop Music. From Sounds to Music and Emotions (post-proceedings for CMMR 2012) (pp. 301-312). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.