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Title: Speech assessment and characterization for law enforcement applications
Author: Sharma, Dushyant
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 2501
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Speech signals acquired, transmitted or stored in non-ideal conditions are often degraded by one or more effects including, for example, additive noise. These degradations alter the signal properties in a manner that deteriorates the intelligibility or quality of the speech signal. In the law enforcement context such degradations are commonplace due to the limitations in the audio collection methodology, which is often required to be covert. In severe degradation conditions, the acquired signal may become unintelligible, losing its value in an investigation and in less severe conditions, a loss in signal quality may be encountered, which can lead to higher transcription time and cost. This thesis proposes a non-intrusive speech assessment framework from which algorithms for speech quality and intelligibility assessment are derived, to guide the collection and transcription of law enforcement audio. These methods are trained on a large database labelled using intrusive techniques (whose performance is verified with subjective scores) and shown to perform favorably when compared with existing non-intrusive techniques. Additionally, a non-intrusive CODEC identification and verification algorithm is developed which can identify a CODEC with an accuracy of 96.8 % and detect the presence of a CODEC with an accuracy higher than 97 % in the presence of additive noise. Finally, the speech description taxonomy framework is developed, with the aim of characterizing various aspects of a degraded speech signal, including the mechanism that results in a signal with particular characteristics, the vocabulary that can be used to describe those degradations and the measurable signal properties that can characterize the degradations. The taxonomy is implemented as a relational database that facilitates the modeling of the relationships between various attributes of a signal and promises to be a useful tool for training and guiding audio analysts.
Supervisor: Naylor, Patrick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral