Comparative Assessment of Test Signals Used for Measuring Residual Echo Characteristics

Nobuhiko KITAWAKI  Takeshi YAMADA  Futoshi ASANO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E86-B   No.3   pp.1102-1108
Publication Date: 2003/03/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
quality assessment,  perceptual QoS,  artificial voice,  echo characteristics,  

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Appropriate test signals defined by formula or generated by algorithm are used for measuring objective QoS (Quality of Services) for voice operated telecommunication devices such as telephone and speech codec (coder-decoder). However, that for measuring residual echo characteristics in hands-free telecommunications equipped with acoustic echo canceller is under study in ITU-T Recommendation G.167. This paper describes comparative assessment of test signals for measurement of residual echo characteristics. In hands-free telecommunications, acoustical echo canceller has been developed to remove a room echo signal through the loudspeaker to the microphone in the receiving end. Performance of the echo canceller system is evaluated by residual echo characteristics expressed in echo return loss enhancement (ERLE). The ERLE can be conventionally measured by putting white noise into the echo canceller system. However, white noise is not adequate as the test signal for measuring the performance of the echo canceller, since the performance may depend on the characteristics of input test signal, and the characteristics of the white noise differ from those of real voice. Therefore, this paper discusses appropriate characteristics of real voice required for objective quality evaluation of echo canceller system. The test signals used for this verification tests were real voice (RV), white noise (WN), frequency weighted noise (FWN), artificial voice (AV), and composite source signal (CSS) depending on the approximation of real voice characteristics. As the comparative assessment results, the ERLE characteristics measured by artificial voice conforming to ITU-T Recommendation P.50 having average characteristics of real voices in time and frequency domains are almost equivalent to those of real voice and best among those test signals. It is concluded that artificial voice P.50 is satisfied with measurement of residual echo characteristics.