End-to-End Waveform Utterance Enhancement for Direct Evaluation Metrics Optimization by Fully Convolutional Neural Networks

09/12/2017 ∙ by Szu-Wei Fu, et al. ∙ 0

Speech enhancement model is used to map a noisy speech to a clean speech. In the training stage, an objective function is often adopted to optimize the model parameters. However, in most studies, there is an inconsistency between the model optimization criterion and the evaluation criterion on the enhanced speech. For example, in measuring speech intelligibility, most of the evaluation metric is based on a short-time objective intelligibility (STOI) measure, while the frame based minimum mean square error (MMSE) between estimated and clean speech is widely used in optimizing the model. Due to the inconsistency, there is no guarantee that the trained model can provide optimal performance in applications. In this study, we propose an end-to-end utterance-based speech enhancement framework using fully convolutional neural networks (FCN) to reduce the gap between the model optimization and evaluation criterion (true targets). Because of the utterance-based optimization, temporal correlation information of long speech segments, or even at the entire utterance level, can be considered when perception-based objective functions are used for the direct optimization. As an example, we implement the proposed FCN enhancement framework to optimize the STOI measure. Experimental results show that the STOI of test speech is better than conventional MMSE-optimized speech due to the consistency between the training and evaluation target. Moreover, by integrating the STOI in model optimization, the performance of the automatic speech recognition (ASR) system on the enhanced speech is also substantially improved compared to those generated by the MMSE criterion.

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