The pseudo-periodicity of voiced speech can be exploited in several speech processing applications. This requires however that the precise locations of the Glottal Closure Instants (GCIs) are available. The focus of this paper is the evaluation of automatic methods for the detection of GCIs directly from the speech waveform. Five state-of-the-art GCI detection algorithms are compared using six different databases with contemporaneous electroglottographic recordings as ground truth, and containing many hours of speech by multiple speakers. The five techniques compared are the Hilbert Envelope-based detection (HE), the Zero Frequency Resonator-based method (ZFR), the Dynamic Programming Phase Slope Algorithm (DYPSA), the Speech Event Detection using the Residual Excitation And a Meanbased Signal (SEDREAMS) and the Yet Another GCI Algorithm (YAGA). The efficacy of these methods is first evaluated on clean speech, both in terms of reliabililty and accuracy. Their robustness to additive noise and to reverberation is also assessed. A further contribution of the paper is the evaluation of their performance on a concrete application of speech processing: the causal-anticausal decomposition of speech. It is shown that for clean speech, SEDREAMS and YAGA are the best performing techniques, both in terms of identification rate and accuracy. ZFR and SEDREAMS also show a superior robustness to additive noise and reverberation.
Speech generated by parametric synthesizers generally suffers from a typical buzziness, similar to what was encountered in old LPC-like vocoders. In order to alleviate this problem, a more suited modeling of the excitation should be adopted. For this, we hereby propose an adaptation of the Deterministic plus Stochastic Model (DSM) for the residual. In this model, the excitation is divided into two distinct spectral bands delimited by the maximum voiced frequency. The deterministic part concerns the low-frequency contents and consists of a decomposition of pitch-synchronous residual frames on an orthonormal basis obtained by Principal Component Analysis. The stochastic component is a high-pass filtered noise whose time structure is modulated by an energy-envelope, similarly to what is done in the Harmonic plus Noise Model (HNM). The proposed residual model is integrated within a HMM-based speech synthesizer and is compared to the traditional excitation through a subjective test. Results show a significative improvement for both male and female voices. In addition the proposed model requires few computational load and memory, which is essential for its integration in commercial applications.
The great majority of current voice technology applications rely on acoustic features, such as the widely used MFCC or LP parameters, which characterize the vocal tract response. Nonetheless, the major source of excitation, namely the glottal flow, is expected to convey useful complementary information. The glottal flow is the airflow passing through the vocal folds at the glottis. Unfortunately, glottal flow analysis from speech recordings requires specific and complex processing operations, which explains why it has been generally avoided. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of techniques for glottal source processing. Starting from analysis tools for pitch tracking, detection of glottal closure instant, estimation and modeling of glottal flow, this paper discusses how these tools and techniques might be properly integrated in various voice technology applications.
Source-tract decomposition (or glottal flow estimation) is one of the basic problems of speech processing. For this, several techniques have been proposed in the literature. However, studies comparing different approaches are almost nonexistent. Besides, experiments have been systematically performed either on synthetic speech or on sustained vowels. In this study we compare three of the main representative state-of-the-art methods of glottal flow estimation: closed-phase inverse filtering, iterative and adaptive inverse filtering, and mixed-phase decomposition. These techniques are first submitted to an objective assessment test on synthetic speech signals. Their sensitivity to various factors affecting the estimation quality, as well as their robustness to noise are studied. In a second experiment, their ability to label voice quality (tensed, modal, soft) is studied on a large corpus of real connected speech. It is shown that changes of voice quality are reflected by significant modifications in glottal feature distributions. Techniques based on the mixed-phase decomposition and on a closed-phase inverse filtering process turn out to give the best results on both clean synthetic and real speech signals. On the other hand, iterative and adaptive inverse filtering is recommended in noisy environments for its high robustness.
Abstract-The development of a system for the automatic, objective and reliable detection of cough events is a need underlined by the medical literature for years. The benefit of such a tool is clear as it would allow the assessment of pathology severity in chronic cough diseases. Even though some approaches have recently reported solutions achieving this task with a relative success, there is still no standardization about the method to adopt or the sensors to use. The goal of this paper is to study objectively the performance of several sensors for cough detection: ECG, thermistor, chest belt, accelerometer, contact and audio microphones. Experiments are carried out on a database of 32 healthy subjects producing, in a confined room and in three situations, voluntary cough at various volumes as well as other event categories which can possibly lead to some detection errors: background noise, forced expiration, throat clearing, speech and laugh. The relevance of each sensor is evaluated at three stages: mutual information conveyed by the features, ability to discriminate at the frame level cough from these latter other sources of ambiguity, and ability to detect cough events. In this latter experiment, with both an averaged sensitivity and specificity of about 94.5%, the proposed approach is shown to clearly outperform the commercial Karmelsonix system which achieved a specificity of 95.3% and a sensitivity of 64.9%.
Voice Activity Detection (VAD) refers to the problem of distinguishing speech segments from background noise. Numerous approaches have been proposed for this purpose. Some are based on features derived from the power spectral density, others exploit the periodicity of the signal. The goal of this paper is to investigate the joint use of source and filter-based features. Interestingly, a mutual information-based assessment shows superior discrimination power for the source-related features, especially the proposed ones. The features are further the input of an artificial neural network-based classifier trained on a multi-condition database. Two strategies are proposed to merge source and filter information: feature and decision fusion. Our experiments indicate an absolute reduction of 3% of the equal error rate when using decision fusion. The final proposed system is compared to four state-of-the-art methods on 150 minutes of data recorded in real environments. Thanks to the robustness of its source-related features, its multi-condition training and its efficient information fusion, the proposed system yields over the best state-of-the-art VAD a substantial increase of accuracy across all conditions (24% absolute on average).
The problem of pitch tracking has been extensively studied in the speech research community. The goal of this paper is to investigate how these techniques should be adapted to singing voice analysis, and to provide a comparative evaluation of the most representative state-of-the-art approaches. This study is carried out on a large database of annotated singing sounds with aligned EGG recordings, comprising a variety of singer categories and singing exercises. The algorithmic performance is assessed according to the ability to detect voicing boundaries and to accurately estimate pitch contour. First, we evaluate the usefulness of adapting existing methods to singing voice analysis. Then we compare the accuracy of several pitchextraction algorithms, depending on singer category and laryngeal mechanism. Finally, we analyze their robustness to reverberation.
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