Volume 110, Issue 6, December 2001
Index of content:
- SPEECH PROCESSING AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS 
A two-microphone dual delay-line approach for extraction of a speech sound in the presence of multiple interferers110(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1419090View Description Hide Description
This paper describes algorithms for signal extraction for use as a front-end of telecommunication devices, speech recognition systems, as well as hearing aids that operate in noisy environments. The development was based on some independent, hypothesized theories of the computational mechanics of biological systems in which directional hearing is enabled mainly by binaural processing of interaural directional cues. Our system uses two microphones as input devices and a signal processing method based on the two input channels. The signal processing procedure comprises two major stages: (i) source localization, and (ii) cancellation of noise sources based on knowledge of the locations of all sound sources. The source localization, detailed in our previous paper [Liu et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1888 (2000)], was based on a well-recognized biological architecture comprising a dual delay-line and a coincidence detection mechanism. This paper focuses on description of the noise cancellation stage. We designed a simple subtraction method which, when strategically employed over the dual delay-line structure in the broadband manner, can effectively cancel multiple interfering sound sources and consequently enhance the desired signal. We obtained an 8–10 dB enhancement for the desired speech in the situations of four talkers in the anechoic acoustic test (or 7–10 dB enhancement in the situations of six talkers in the computer simulation) when all the sounds were equally intense and temporally aligned.
Improvements in intelligibility of noisy reverberant speech using a binaural subband adaptive noise-cancellation processing scheme110(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1413750View Description Hide Description
This article reports on the performance of an adaptive subband noise cancellation scheme, which performs binaural preprocessing of speech signals for a hearing-aid application. The multi-microphone subband adaptive (MMSBA) signal processing scheme uses the least mean squares (LMS) algorithm in frequency-limited subbands. The use of subbands enables a diverse processing mechanism to be employed, splitting the two-channel wide-band signal into smaller frequency-limited subbands, which can be processed according to their individual signal characteristics. The frequency delimiting used a linear- or cochlear-spaced subband distribution. The effect of the processing scheme on speech intelligibility was assessed in a trial involving 15 hearing-impaired volunteers with moderate sensorineural hearing loss. The acoustic material consisted of speech and speech-shaped noise signals, generated using simulated and real-room acoustic environments, at signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in the range −6 to +3 dB. The results show that the MMSBA scheme delivered average speech intelligibility improvements of 11.5%, with a maximum of 37.25%, in noisy reverberant conditions. There was no significant reduction in mean speech intelligibility due to processing, in any of the test conditions.