Some Parametric Methods of Speech Processing

Parametric modelling of speech signals finds its use in various speech processing applications. Recently, publications concerning sinusoidal speech modelling have been increasingly appeared in scientific literature. The thesis is mainly devoted to the sinusoidal model with harmonically related component sine waves, i.e. the harmonic model. The main objective is to find new approaches to synthetic speech quality improvement. A novel method for speech spectrum envelope determination is introduced. This method uses a staircase envelope considering the spectral behaviour in voiced as well as unvoiced speech frames. The staircase envelope is smoothed by weighted moving average. The determined envelope is parametrized using autoregressive (AR) model or cepstral coefficients. It has been shown that the new method is of most importance in high-pitch speakers. Besides, new methods or modifications of known methods can be found in pitch synchronization, AR model order selection ...

Pribilova, Anna — Slovak University of Technology


Sparse Modeling Heuristics for Parameter Estimation - Applications in Statistical Signal Processing

This thesis examines sparse statistical modeling on a range of applications in audio modeling, audio localizations, DNA sequencing, and spectroscopy. In the examined cases, the resulting estimation problems are computationally cumbersome, both as one often suffers from a lack of model order knowledge for this form of problems, but also due to the high dimensionality of the parameter spaces, which typically also yield optimization problems with numerous local minima. In this thesis, these problems are treated using sparse modeling heuristics, with the resulting criteria being solved using convex relaxations, inspired from disciplined convex programming ideas, to maintain tractability. The contributions to audio modeling and estimation focus on the estimation of the fundamental frequency of harmonically related sinusoidal signals, which is commonly used model for, e.g., voiced speech or tonal audio. We examine both the problems of estimating multiple audio sources ...

Adalbjörnsson, Stefan Ingi — Lund University


Enhancement of Speech Signals - with a Focus on Voiced Speech Models

The topic of this thesis is speech enhancement with a focus on models of voiced speech. Speech is divided into two subcategories dependent on the characteristics of the signal. One part is the voiced speech, the other is the unvoiced. In this thesis, we primarily focus on the voiced speech parts and utilise the structure of the signal in relation to speech enhancement. The basis for the models is the harmonic model which is a very often used model for voiced speech because it describes periodic signals perfectly. First, we consider the problem of non-stationarity in the speech signal. The speech signal changes its characteristics continuously over time whereas most speech analysis and enhancement methods assume stationarity within 20-30 ms. We propose to change the model to allow the fundamental frequency to vary linearly over time by introducing a chirp ...

Nørholm, Sidsel Marie — Aalborg University


Fundamental Frequency and Direction-of-Arrival Estimation for Multichannel Speech Enhancement

Audio systems receive the speech signals of interest usually in the presence of noise. The noise has profound impacts on the quality and intelligibility of the speech signals, and it is therefore clear that the noisy signals must be cleaned up before being played back, stored, or analyzed. We can estimate the speech signal of interest from the noisy signals using a priori knowledge about it. A human speech signal is broadband and consists of both voiced and unvoiced parts. The voiced part is quasi-periodic with a time-varying fundamental frequency (or pitch as it is commonly referred to). We consider the periodic signals basically as the sum of harmonics. Therefore, we can pass the noisy signals through bandpass filters centered at the frequencies of the harmonics to enhance the signal. In addition, although the frequencies of the harmonics are the ...

Karimian-Azari, Sam — Aalborg Univeristy


Robust Estimation and Model Order Selection for Signal Processing

In this thesis, advanced robust estimation methodologies for signal processing are developed and analyzed. The developed methodologies solve problems concerning multi-sensor data, robust model selection as well as robustness for dependent data. The work has been applied to solve practical signal processing problems in different areas of biomedical and array signal processing. In particular, for univariate independent data, a robust criterion is presented to select the model order with an application to corneal-height data modeling. The proposed criterion overcomes some limitations of existing robust criteria. For real-world data, it selects the radial model order of the Zernike polynomial of the corneal topography map in accordance with clinical expectations, even if the measurement conditions for the videokeratoscopy, which is the state-of-the-art method to collect corneal-height data, are poor. For multi-sensor data, robust model order selection selection criteria are proposed and applied ...

Muma, Michael — Technische Universität Darmstadt


Accelerating Monte Carlo methods for Bayesian inference in dynamical models

Making decisions and predictions from noisy observations are two important and challenging problems in many areas of society. Some examples of applications are recommendation systems for online shopping and streaming services, connecting genes with certain diseases and modelling climate change. In this thesis, we make use of Bayesian statistics to construct probabilistic models given prior information and historical data, which can be used for decision support and predictions. The main obstacle with this approach is that it often results in mathematical problems lacking analytical solutions. To cope with this, we make use of statistical simulation algorithms known as Monte Carlo methods to approximate the intractable solution. These methods enjoy well-understood statistical properties but are often computational prohibitive to employ. The main contribution of this thesis is the exploration of different strategies for accelerating inference methods based on sequential Monte Carlo ...

Dahlin, Johan — Linköping University


Wavelet Analysis For Robust Speech Processing and Applications

In this work, we study the application of wavelet analysis for robust speech processing. Reliable time-scale features (TS) which characterize the relevant phonetic classes such as voiced (V), unvoiced (UV), silence (S), mixed-excitation, and stop sounds are extracted. By training neural and Bayesian networks, the classification rates provided by only 7 TS features are mostly similar to the ones obtained by 13 MFCC features. The TS features are further enhanced to design a reliable and low-complexity V/UV/S classifier. Quantile filtering and slope tracking are used for deriving adaptive thresholds. A robust voice activity detector is then built and used as a pre-processing stage to improve the performance of a speaker verification system. Based on wavelet shrinkage, a statistical wavelet filtering (SWF) method is designed for speech enhancement. Non-stationary and colored noise is handled by employing quantile filtering and time-frequency adaptive ...

Pham, Van Tuan — Graz University of Technology


Probabilistic Model-Based Multiple Pitch Tracking of Speech

Multiple pitch tracking of speech is an important task for the segregation of multiple speakers in a single-channel recording. In this thesis, a probabilistic model-based approach for estimation and tracking of multiple pitch trajectories is proposed. A probabilistic model that captures pitch-dependent characteristics of the single-speaker short-time spectrum is obtained a priori from clean speech data. The resulting speaker model, which is based on Gaussian mixture models, can be trained either in a speaker independent (SI) or a speaker dependent (SD) fashion. Speaker models are then combined using an interaction model to obtain a probabilistic description of the observed speech mixture. A factorial hidden Markov model is applied for tracking the pitch trajectories of multiple speakers over time. The probabilistic model-based approach is capable to explicitly incorporate timbral information and all associated uncertainties of spectral structure into the model. While ...

Wohlmayr, Michael — Graz University of Technology


Advances in Glottal Analysis and its Applications

From artificial voices in GPS to automatic systems of dictation, from voice-based identity verification to voice pathology detection, speech processing applications are nowadays omnipresent in our daily life. By offering solutions to companies seeking for efficiency enhancement with simultaneous cost saving, the market of speech technology is forecast to be especially promising in the next years. The present thesis deals with advances in glottal analysis in order to incorporate new techniques within speech processing applications. While current systems are usually based on information related to the vocal tract configuration, the airflow passing through the vocal folds, and called glottal flow, is expected to exhibit a relevant complementarity. Unfortunately, glottal analysis from speech recordings requires specific complex processing operations, which explains why it has been generally avoided. The main goal of this thesis is to provide new advances in glottal analysis ...

Drugman, Thomas — Universite de Mons


Some Contributions to Music Signal Processing and to Mono-Microphone Blind Audio Source Separation

For humans, the sound is valuable mostly for its meaning. The voice is spoken language, music, artistic intent. Its physiological functioning is highly developed, as well as our understanding of the underlying process. It is a challenge to replicate this analysis using a computer: in many aspects, its capabilities do not match those of human beings when it comes to speech or instruments music recognition from the sound, to name a few. In this thesis, two problems are investigated: the source separation and the musical processing. The first part investigates the source separation using only one Microphone. The problem of sources separation arises when several audio sources are present at the same moment, mixed together and acquired by some sensors (one in our case). In this kind of situation it is natural for a human to separate and to recognize ...

Schutz, Antony — Eurecome/Mobile


Parallel Dictionary Learning Algorithms for Sparse Representations

Sparse representations are intensively used in signal processing applications, like image coding, denoising, echo channels modeling, compression, classification and many others. Recent research has shown encouraging results when the sparse signals are created through the use of a learned dictionary. The current study focuses on finding new methods and algorithms, that have a parallel form where possible, for obtaining sparse representations of signals with improved dictionaries that lead to better performance in both representation error and execution time. We attack the general dictionary learning problem by first investigating and proposing new solutions for sparse representation stage and then moving on to the dictionary update stage where we propose a new parallel update strategy. Lastly, we study the effect of the representation algorithms on the dictionary update method. We also researched dictionary learning solutions where the dictionary has a specific form. ...

Irofti, Paul — Politehnica University of Bucharest


Auditory Inspired Methods for Multiple Speaker Localization and Tracking Using a Circular Microphone Array

This thesis presents a new approach to the problem of localizing and tracking multiple acoustic sources using a microphone array. The use of microphone arrays offers enhancements of speech signals recorded in meeting rooms and office spaces. A common solution for speech enhancement in realistic environments with ambient noise and multi-path propagation is the application of so-called beamforming techniques, that enhance signals at the desired angle, using constructive interference, while attenuating signals coming from other directions, by destructive interference. Such beamforming algorithms require as prior knowledge the source location. Therefore, source localization and tracking algorithms are an integral part of such a system. However, conventional localization algorithms deteriorate in realistic scenarios with multiple concurrent speakers. In contrast to conventional localization algorithms, the localization algorithm presented in this thesis makes use of fundamental frequency or pitch information of speech signals in ...

Habib, Tania — Signal Processing and Speech Communication Laboratory, Graz University of Technology, Austria


Group-Sparse Regression - With Applications in Spectral Analysis and Audio Signal Processing

This doctorate thesis focuses on sparse regression, a statistical modeling tool for selecting valuable predictors in underdetermined linear models. By imposing different constraints on the structure of the variable vector in the regression problem, one obtains estimates which have sparse supports, i.e., where only a few of the elements in the response variable have non-zero values. The thesis collects six papers which, to a varying extent, deals with the applications, implementations, modifications, translations, and other analysis of such problems. Sparse regression is often used to approximate additive models with intricate, non-linear, non-smooth or otherwise problematic functions, by creating an underdetermined model consisting of candidate values for these functions, and linear response variables which selects among the candidates. Sparse regression is therefore a widely used tool in applications such as, e.g., image processing, audio processing, seismological and biomedical modeling, but is ...

Kronvall, Ted — Lund University


Sparse approximation and dictionary learning with applications to audio signals

Over-complete transforms have recently become the focus of a wide wealth of research in signal processing, machine learning, statistics and related fields. Their great modelling flexibility allows to find sparse representations and approximations of data that in turn prove to be very efficient in a wide range of applications. Sparse models express signals as linear combinations of a few basis functions called atoms taken from a so-called dictionary. Finding the optimal dictionary from a set of training signals of a given class is the objective of dictionary learning and the main focus of this thesis. The experimental evidence presented here focuses on the processing of audio signals, and the role of sparse algorithms in audio applications is accordingly highlighted. The first main contribution of this thesis is the development of a pitch-synchronous transform where the frame-by-frame analysis of audio data ...

Barchiesi, Daniele — Queen Mary University of London


Speech Enhancement for Disordered and Substitution Voices

This thesis presents methods to enhance the speech of patients with voice disorders or with substitution voices. The first method enhances speech of patients with laryngeal neoplasm. The enhancement enables a reduction of pitch and a strengthening of the harmonics of voiced segments as well as decreasing the perceived speaking effort. The need for reliable pitch mark determination on disordered and substitution voices led to the implementation of a state-space based algorithm. Its performance is comparable to a state-of-the art pitch detection algorithm but does not require post processing. A subsequent part of the thesis deals with alaryngeal speech, with a focus on Electro-Larynx (EL) speech. After investigating an EL speech production model, which takes into account the common source of the speech signal and the directly radiated EL (DREL) sound, a solution to suppress the direct sound is based ...

Hagmuller, Martin — Graz University of Technology

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