Coded Speech Quality Measurement by a Non-Intrusive PESQ-DNN

by   Ziyi Xu, et al.

Wideband codecs such as AMR-WB or EVS are widely used in (mobile) speech communication. Evaluation of coded speech quality is often performed subjectively by an absolute category rating (ACR) listening test. However, the ACR test is impractical for online monitoring of speech communication networks. Perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) is one of the widely used metrics instrumentally predicting the results of an ACR test. However, the PESQ algorithm requires an original reference signal, which is usually unavailable in network monitoring, thus limiting its applicability. NISQA is a new non-intrusive neural-network-based speech quality measure, focusing on super-wideband speech signals. In this work, however, we aim at predicting the well-known PESQ metric using a non-intrusive PESQ-DNN model. We illustrate the potential of this model by predicting the PESQ scores of wideband-coded speech obtained from AMR-WB or EVS codecs operating at different bitrates in noisy, tandeming, and error-prone transmission conditions. We compare our methods with the state-of-the-art network topologies of QualityNet, WaweNet, and DNSMOS – all applied to PESQ prediction – by measuring the mean absolute error (MAE) and the linear correlation coefficient (LCC). The proposed PESQ-DNN offers the best total MAE and LCC of 0.11 and 0.92, respectively, in conditions without frame loss, and still is best when including frame loss. Note that our model could be similarly used to non-intrusively predict POLQA or other (intrusive) metrics. Upon article acceptance, code will be provided at GitHub.


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