Speech signals are often produced or received in the presence of noise, which is known to degrade the performance of a speech recognition system. In this paper, a perception-and PDE-based nonlinear transformation was developed to process spoken words in noisy environment. Our goal is to distinguish essential speech features and suppress noise so that the processed words are better recognized by a computer software. The nonlinear transformation was made on the spectrogram (short-term Fourier spectra) of speech signals, which reveals the signal energy distribution in time and frequency. The transformation reduces noise through time adaptation (reducing temporally slowly varying portions of spectra) and enhances spectral peaks (formants) by evolving a focusing quadratic fourth-order PDE. Short-term spectra of speech signals were initially divided into three (low, mid and high) frequency bands based
A model based sound amplification method is proposed and studied to enhance the ability of the hearing impaired. The model consists of mechanical equations on basilar membrane and outer hair cell (OHC). The OHC is described by a nonlinear nonlocal feedforward model. In addition, a perceptive correction is defined to account for the lumped effect of higher level auditory processing, motivated by the intelligibility function of the hearing impaired. The gain functions are computed by matching the impaired model output to the perceptively weighted normal output, and qualitative agreement is achieved with NAL-NL1 prescription on clean signals. For noisy signals, an adaptive gain strategy is proposed based on the signal to noise ratios (SNR) computed by the model. The adaptive gain functions provide less gain as SNRs decrease so that the intelligibility can be higher with the adaptivity.
A nonlocally weighted soft-constrained natural gradient iterative method is introduced for robust blind separation in reverberant environment. The nonlocal weighting of the iterations promotes stability and convergence of the algorithm for long demixing filters. The scaling degree of freedom is controlled by soft-constraints built into the auxiliary difference equations. The small divisor problem of iterations in silence durations of speech is resolved. Computations on synthetic speech mixtures based on measured binaural room impulse responses show that the algorithm achieves higher signal-to-inteference ratio improvement than existing method (natural gradient time domain algorithm) in an office size room with reverberation time over 0.5 second.
Given a set of mixtures, blind source separation attempts to retrieve the source signals without or with very little information of the mixing process. We present a geometric approach for blind separation of nonnegative linear mixtures termed <i>facet component analysis</i>. The approach is based on facet identification of the underlying cone structure of the data. Earlier works focus on recovering the cone by locating its vertices (vertex component analysis) based on a mutual sparsity condition which requires each source signal to possess a stand-alone peak in its spectrum. We formulate alternative conditions so that enough data points fall on the facets of a cone instead of accumulating around the vertices. To find a regime of unique solvability, we make use of both geometric and density properties of the data points and develop an efficient facet identification method by combining data classification and linear
Motivated by the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of biofluids (urine and blood serum), we present a recursive blind source separation (rBSS) method for nonnegative and correlated data. BSS problem arises when one attempts to recover a set of source signals from a set of mixture signals without knowing the mixing process. Various approaches have been developed to solve BSS problems relying on the assumption of statistical independence of the source signals. However, signal independence is not guaranteed in many real-world data like the NMR spectra of chemical compounds. The rBSS method introduced in this paper deals with the nonnegative and correlated signals arising in NMR spectroscopy of biofluids. The statistical independence requirement is replaced by a constraint which requires dominant interval(s) from each source signal over some of the other source signals in a