An extensible computational cochlear modelling framework

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Cochlear models are used by many people for many purposes. Each purpose has different accuracy and complexity requirements, so no single model will be suitable for every purpose. A wide range of cochlear models has already been proposed, and the diversity in the field is only increasing. The proposed framework allows a large subset of models to be implemented and compared, facilitating modelling efforts. It uses the finite element method and state space techniques in an object orientated library, and is suitable for time domain cochlear models. In the face of the diversity noted, the physiology of the cochlea itself limits the scope of the possible models to consider. A general modelling framework is described in broad strokes, narrowing to provide full details of its implementation and use for a smaller set of models. Various published models were accurately replicated in the framework, and it was used to verify a silicon cochlea model. Studies into the mathematics behind fluid-structure interaction in the cochlea show that the set of models considered is characteristic of cochlear models in general, ensuring the desired extensibility of the modelling framework. These studies also have various implications for the cochlear modelling community at large.

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