Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Gowdy, John N

Committee Member

Hoover , Adam W

Committee Member

Groff , Richard E

Abstract

Speech enhancement is one of the most important and challenging issues in the speech communication and signal processing field. It aims to minimize the effect of additive noise on the quality and intelligibility of the speech signal. Speech quality is the measure of noise remaining after the processing on the speech signal and of how pleasant the resulting speech sounds, while intelligibility refers to the accuracy of understanding speech. Speech enhancement algorithms are designed to remove the additive noise with minimum speech distortion.The task of speech enhancement is challenging due to lack of knowledge about the corrupting noise. Hence, the most challenging task is to estimate the noise which degrades the speech. Several approaches has been adopted for noise estimation which mainly fall under two categories: single channel algorithms and multiple channel algorithms. Due to this, the speech enhancement algorithms are also broadly classified as single and multiple channel enhancement algorithms.In this thesis, speech enhancement is studied in acoustic and modulation domains along with both amplitude and phase enhancement. We propose a noise estimation technique based on the spectral sparsity, detected by using the harmonic property of voiced segment of the speech. We estimate the frame to frame phase difference for the clean speech from available corrupted speech. This estimated frame-to-frame phase difference is used as a means of detecting the noise-only frequency bins even in voiced frames. This gives better noise estimation for the highly non-stationary noises like babble, restaurant and subway noise. This noise estimation along with the phase difference as an additional prior is used to extend the standard spectral subtraction algorithm. We also verify the effectiveness of this noise estimation technique when used with the Minimum Mean Squared Error Short Time Spectral Amplitude Estimator (MMSE STSA) speech enhancement algorithm. The combination of MMSE STSA and spectral subtraction results in further improvement of speech quality.

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