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Title: Spatial features of reverberant speech : estimation and application to recognition and diarization
Author: Peso, Pablo
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 2334
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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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 in speech recognition to provide robustness against reverberation. A method to exploit clarity index estimates in order to perform reverberant speech recognition is introduced. Finally, room acoustic parameters can also be used to diarize reverberant speech. A room acoustic parameter is proposed to be used as an additional source of information for single-channel diarization purposes in reverberant environments. In multi-channel environments, the time delay of arrival is a feature commonly used to diarize the input speech, however the computation of this feature is affected by reverberation. A method is presented to model the time delay of arrival in a robust manner so that speaker diarization is more accurately performed.
Supervisor: Naylor, Patrick A. ; Sharma, Dushayant Sponsor: European Union
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral