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Speech Commun. 2016 Mar;77:28-52.

Cry-based infant pathology classification using GMMs.

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MMS Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, Université du Québec, 1100 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada, H3C 1K3.


Traditional studies of infant cry signals focus more on non-pathology-based classification of infants. In this paper, we introduce a noninvasive health care system that performs acoustic analysis of unclean noisy infant cry signals to extract and measure certain cry characteristics quantitatively and classify healthy and sick newborn infants according to only their cries. In the conduct of this newborn cry-based diagnostic system, the dynamic MFCC features along with static Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs) are selected and extracted for both expiratory and inspiratory cry vocalizations to produce a discriminative and informative feature vector. Next, we create a unique cry pattern for each cry vocalization type and pathological condition by introducing a novel idea using the Boosting Mixture Learning (BML) method to derive either healthy or pathology subclass models separately from the Gaussian Mixture Model-Universal Background Model (GMM-UBM). Our newborn cry-based diagnostic system (NCDS) has a hierarchical scheme that is a treelike combination of individual classifiers. Moreover, a score-level fusion of the proposed expiratory and inspiratory cry-based subsystems is performed to make a more reliable decision. The experimental results indicate that the adapted BML method has lower error rates than the Bayesian approach or the maximum a posteriori probability (MAP) adaptation approach when considered as a reference method.


Expiratory and inspiratory cry; Gaussian mixture model; Likelihood ratio scores; Mel-frequency Cepstral Coefficient; Newborn infant cries; Universal background model

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