Noise Robust Feature Scheme for Automatic Speech Recognition Based on Auditory Perceptual Mechanisms

Shang CAI  Yeming XIAO  Jielin PAN  Qingwei ZHAO  Yonghong YAN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E95-D   No.6   pp.1610-1618
Publication Date: 2012/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E95.D.1610
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Speech and Hearing
automatic speech recognition,  noise robustness,  critical bandwidth,  frequency masking,  temporal masking,  

Full Text: PDF(503.4KB)>>
Buy this Article

Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) are the most popular acoustic features used in automatic speech recognition (ASR), mainly because the coefficients capture the most useful information of the speech and fit well with the assumptions used in hidden Markov models. As is well known, MFCCs already employ several principles which have known counterparts in the peripheral properties of human hearing: decoupling across frequency, mel-warping of the frequency axis, log-compression of energy, etc. It is natural to introduce more mechanisms in the auditory periphery to improve the noise robustness of MFCC. In this paper, a k-nearest neighbors based frequency masking filter is proposed to reduce the audibility of spectra valleys which are sensitive to noise. Besides, Moore and Glasberg's critical band equivalent rectangular bandwidth (ERB) expression is utilized to determine the filter bandwidth. Furthermore, a new bandpass infinite impulse response (IIR) filter is proposed to imitate the temporal masking phenomenon of the human auditory system. These three auditory perceptual mechanisms are combined with the standard MFCC algorithm in order to investigate their effects on ASR performance, and a revised MFCC extraction scheme is presented. Recognition performances with the standard MFCC, RASTA perceptual linear prediction (RASTA-PLP) and the proposed feature extraction scheme are evaluated on a medium-vocabulary isolated-word recognition task and a more complex large vocabulary continuous speech recognition (LVCSR) task. Experimental results show that consistent robustness against background noise is achieved on these two tasks, and the proposed method outperforms both the standard MFCC and RASTA-PLP.