Proceedings of the 42nd International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP2017), New Orleans, LA, March 5-9, 2017

A Multiple Bandwidth Objective Speech Intelligibility Estimator Based on Articulation Index Band Correlations and Attention

Stephen D. Voran

Abstract: We present ABC-MRT16—a new algorithm for objective estimation of speech intelligibility following the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT) paradigm. ABC-MRT16 is simple, effective and robust. When compared to subjective MRT data from 367 diverse conditions that include coding, noise, frame erasures, and much more, ABC-MRT16 (containing just one optimized parameter) yields a very high Pearson correlation (above 0.95) and a remarkably low RMS estimation error (below 7% of full scale.) We attribute these successes to concise modeling of core human processes in audition and forced-choice word selection. On each trial, ABC-MRT16 gathers word selection evidence in the form of articulation index band correlations and then uses a simple attention model to perform word selection using the best available evidence. Attending to best evidence allows ABC-MRT16 to work well for narrowband, wideband, superwideband, and fullband speech and noise without any bandwidth detection algorithm or side information.

Keywords: modified rhyme test (MRT); speech intelligibility; ABC-MRT; articulation index; objective estimator; ABC-MRT16

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Stephen D. Voran
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3839

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

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