Robust Speech Recognition on Intelligent Mobile Devices with Dual-Microphone

Despite the outstanding progress made on automatic speech recognition (ASR) throughout the last decades, noise-robust ASR still poses a challenge. Tackling with acoustic noise in ASR systems is more important than ever before for a twofold reason: 1) ASR technology has begun to be extensively integrated in intelligent mobile devices (IMDs) such as smartphones to easily accomplish different tasks (e.g. search-by-voice), and 2) IMDs can be used anywhere at any time, that is, under many different acoustic (noisy) conditions. On the other hand, with the aim of enhancing noisy speech, IMDs have begun to embed small microphone arrays, i.e. microphone arrays comprised of a few sensors close each other. These multi-sensor IMDs often embed one microphone (usually at their rear) intended to capture the acoustic environment more than the speaker’s voice. This is the so-called secondary microphone. While classical microphone ...

López-Espejo, Iván — University of Granada


A multimicrophone approach to speech processing in a smart-room environment

Recent advances in computer technology and speech and language processing have made possible that some new ways of person-machine communication and computer assistance to human activities start to appear feasible. Concretely, the interest on the development of new challenging applications in indoor environments equipped with multiple multimodal sensors, also known as smart-rooms, has considerably grown. In general, it is well-known that the quality of speech signals captured by microphones that can be located several meters away from the speakers is severely distorted by acoustic noise and room reverberation. In the context of the development of hands-free speech applications in smart-room environments, the use of obtrusive sensors like close-talking microphones is usually not allowed, and consequently, speech technologies must operate on the basis of distant-talking recordings. In such conditions, speech technologies that usually perform reasonably well in free of noise and ...

Abad, Alberto — Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya


Spatial features of reverberant speech: estimation and application to recognition and diarization

Distant talking scenarios, such as hands-free calling or teleconference meetings, are essential for natural and comfortable human-machine interaction and they are being increasingly used in multiple contexts. The acquired speech signal in such scenarios is reverberant and affected by additive noise. This signal distortion degrades the performance of speech recognition and diarization systems creating troublesome human-machine interactions.This thesis proposes a method to non-intrusively estimate room acoustic parameters, paying special attention to a room acoustic parameter highly correlated with speech recognition degradation: clarity index. In addition, a method to provide information regarding the estimation accuracy is proposed. An analysis of the phoneme recognition performance for multiple reverberant environments is presented, from which a confusability metric for each phoneme is derived. This confusability metric is then employed to improve reverberant speech recognition performance. Additionally, room acoustic parameters can as well be used ...

Peso Parada, Pablo — Imperial College London


Spherical Microphone Array Processing for Acoustic Parameter Estimation and Signal Enhancement

In many distant speech acquisition scenarios, such as hands-free telephony or teleconferencing, the desired speech signal is corrupted by noise and reverberation. This degrades both the speech quality and intelligibility, making communication difficult or even impossible. Speech enhancement techniques seek to mitigate these effects and extract the desired speech signal. This objective is commonly achieved through the use of microphone arrays, which take advantage of the spatial properties of the sound field in order to reduce noise and reverberation. Spherical microphone arrays, where the microphones are arranged in a spherical configuration, usually mounted on a rigid baffle, are able to analyze the sound field in three dimensions; the captured sound field can then be efficiently described in the spherical harmonic domain (SHD). In this thesis, a number of novel spherical array processing algorithms are proposed, based in the SHD. In ...

Jarrett, Daniel P. — Imperial College London


Deep learning for semantic description of visual human traits

The recent progress in artificial neural networks (rebranded as “deep learning”) has significantly boosted the state-of-the-art in numerous domains of computer vision offering an opportunity to approach the problems which were hardly solvable with conventional machine learning. Thus, in the frame of this PhD study, we explore how deep learning techniques can help in the analysis of one the most basic and essential semantic traits revealed by a human face, namely, gender and age. In particular, two complementary problem settings are considered: (1) gender/age prediction from given face images, and (2) synthesis and editing of human faces with the required gender/age attributes. Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) has currently become a standard model for image-based object recognition in general, and therefore, is a natural choice for addressing the first of these two problems. However, our preliminary studies have shown that the ...

Antipov, Grigory — Télécom ParisTech (Eurecom)


Integrating monaural and binaural cues for sound localization and segregation in reverberant environments

The problem of segregating a sound source of interest from an acoustic background has been extensively studied due to applications in hearing prostheses, robust speech/speaker recognition and audio information retrieval. Computational auditory scene analysis (CASA) approaches the segregation problem by utilizing grouping cues involved in the perceptual organization of sound by human listeners. Binaural processing, where input signals resemble those that enter the two ears, is of particular interest in the CASA field. The dominant approach to binaural segregation has been to derive spatially selective filters in order to enhance the signal in a direction of interest. As such, the problems of sound localization and sound segregation are closely tied. While spatial filtering has been widely utilized, substantial performance degradation is incurred in reverberant environments and more fundamentally, segregation cannot be performed without sufficient spatial separation between sources. This dissertation ...

Woodruff, John — The Ohio State University


Robust Speech Recognition: Analysis and Equalization of Lombard Effect in Czech Corpora

When exposed to noise, speakers will modify the way they speak in an effort to maintain intelligible communication. This process, which is referred to as Lombard effect (LE), involves a combination of both conscious and subconscious articulatory adjustment. Speech production variations due to LE can cause considerable degradation in automatic speech recognition (ASR) since they introduce a mismatch between parameters of the speech to be recognized and the ASR system’s acoustic models, which are usually trained on neutral speech. The main objective of this thesis is to analyze the impact of LE on speech production and to propose methods that increase ASR system performance in LE. All presented experiments were conducted on the Czech spoken language, yet, the proposed concepts are assumed applicable to other languages. The first part of the thesis focuses on the design and acquisition of a ...

Boril, Hynek — Czech Technical University in Prague


Discrete-time speech processing with application to emotion recognition

The subject of this PhD thesis is the efficient and robust processing and analysis of the audio recordings that are derived from a call center. The thesis is comprised of two parts. The first part is dedicated to dialogue/non-dialogue detection and to speaker segmentation. The systems that are developed are prerequisite for detecting (i) the audio segments that actually contain a dialogue between the system and the call center customer and (ii) the change points between the system and the customer. This way the volume of the audio recordings that need to be processed is significantly reduced, while the system is automated. To detect the presence of a dialogue several systems are developed. This is the first effort found in the international literature that the audio channel is exclusively exploited. Also, it is the first time that the speaker utterance ...

Kotti, Margarita — Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Multispectral Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Techniques for Quality Inspection of Apple Fruits

Machine vision applies computer vision to industry and manufacturing in order to control or analyze a process or activity. Typical application of machine vision is the inspection of produced goods like electronic devices, automobiles, food and pharmaceuticals. Machine vision systems form their judgement based on specially designed image processing softwares. Therefore, image processing is very crucial for their accuracy. Food industry is among the industries that largely use image processing for inspection of produce. Fruits and vegetables have extremely varying physical appearance. Numerous defect types present for apples as well as high natural variability of their skin color brings apple fruits into the center of our interest. Traditional inspection of apple fruits is performed by human experts. But, automation of this process is necessary to reduce error, variation, fatigue and cost due to human experts as well as to increase ...

Unay, Devrim — Universite de Mons


Multi-microphone noise reduction and dereverberation techniques for speech applications

In typical speech communication applications, such as hands-free mobile telephony, voice-controlled systems and hearing aids, the recorded microphone signals are corrupted by background noise, room reverberation and far-end echo signals. This signal degradation can lead to total unintelligibility of the speech signal and decreases the performance of automatic speech recognition systems. In this thesis several multi-microphone noise reduction and dereverberation techniques are developed. In Part I we present a Generalised Singular Value Decomposition (GSVD) based optimal filtering technique for enhancing multi-microphone speech signals which are degraded by additive coloured noise. Several techniques are presented for reducing the computational complexity and we show that the GSVD-based optimal filtering technique can be integrated into a `Generalised Sidelobe Canceller' type structure. Simulations show that the GSVD-based optimal filtering technique achieves a larger signal-to-noise ratio improvement than standard fixed and adaptive beamforming techniques and ...

Doclo, Simon — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Deep neural networks for source separation and noise-robust speech recognition

This thesis addresses the problem of multichannel audio source separation by exploiting deep neural networks (DNNs). We build upon the classical expectation-maximization (EM) based source separation framework employing a multichannel Gaussian model, in which the sources are characterized by their power spectral densities and their source spatial covariance matrices. We explore and optimize the use of DNNs for estimating these spectral and spatial parameters. Employing the estimated source parameters, we then derive a time-varying multichannel Wiener filter for the separation of each source. We extensively study the impact of various design choices for the spectral and spatial DNNs. We consider different cost functions, time-frequency representations, architectures, and training data sizes. Those cost functions notably include a newly proposed task-oriented signal-to-distortion ratio cost function for spectral DNNs. Furthermore, we present a weighted spatial parameter estimation formula, which generalizes the corresponding exact ...

Nugraha, Aditya Arie — Université de Lorraine


Informed spatial filters for speech enhancement

In modern devices which provide hands-free speech capturing functionality, such as hands-free communication kits and voice-controlled devices, the received speech signal at the microphones is corrupted by background noise, interfering speech signals, and room reverberation. In many practical situations, the microphones are not necessarily located near the desired source, and hence, the ratio of the desired speech power to the power of the background noise, the interfering speech, and the reverberation at the microphones can be very low, often around or even below 0 dB. In such situations, the comfort of human-to-human communication, as well as the accuracy of automatic speech recognisers for voice-controlled applications can be signi cantly degraded. Therefore, e ffective speech enhancement algorithms are required to process the microphone signals before transmitting them to the far-end side for communication, or before feeding them into a speech recognition ...

Taseska, Maja — Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Adaptive Algorithms for Intelligent Acoustic Interfaces

Modern speech communications are evolving towards a new direction which involves users in a more perceptive way. That is the immersive experience, which may be considered as the “last mile” problem of telecommunications. One of the main feature of immersive communications is the distant-talking, i.e. the hands-free (in the broad sense) speech communications without bodyworn or tethered microphones that takes place in a multisource environment where interfering signals may degrade the communication quality and the intelligibility of the desired speech source. In order to preserve speech quality intelligent acoustic interfaces may be used. An intelligent acoustic interface may comprise multiple microphones and loudspeakers and its peculiarity is to model the acoustic channel in order to adapt to user requirements and to environment conditions. This is the reason why intelligent acoustic interfaces are based on adaptive filtering algorithms. The acoustic path ...

Comminiello, Danilo — Sapienza University of Rome


Modeling of Magnetic Fields and Extended Objects for Localization Applications

The level of automation in our society is ever increasing. Technologies like self-driving cars, virtual reality, and fully autonomous robots, which all were unimaginable a few decades ago, are realizable today, and will become standard consumer products in the future. These technologies depend upon autonomous localization and situation awareness where careful processing of sensory data is required. To increase efficiency, robustness and reliability, appropriate models for these data are needed. In this thesis, such models are analyzed within three different application areas, namely (1) magnetic localization, (2) extended target tracking, and (3) autonomous learning from raw pixel information. Magnetic localization is based on one or more magnetometers measuring the induced magnetic field from magnetic objects. In this thesis we present a model for determining the position and the orientation of small magnets with an accuracy of a few millimeters. This ...

Wahlström, Niklas — Linköping University


Sparse Multi-Channel Linear Prediction for Blind Speech Dereverberation

In many speech communication applications, such as hands-free telephony and hearing aids, the microphones are located at a distance from the speaker. Therefore, in addition to the desired speech signal, the microphone signals typically contain undesired reverberation and noise, caused by acoustic reflections and undesired sound sources. Since these disturbances tend to degrade the quality of speech communication, decrease speech intelligibility and negatively affect speech recognition, efficient dereverberation and denoising methods are required. This thesis deals with blind dereverberation methods, not requiring any knowledge about the room impulse responses between the speaker and the microphones. More specifically, we propose a general framework for blind speech dereverberation based on multi-channel linear prediction (MCLP) and exploiting sparsity of the speech signal in the time-frequency domain.

Jukić, Ante — University of Oldenburg

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