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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2017 Jul;64(7):1568-1578. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2016.2613960. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

A Deep Denoising Autoencoder Approach to Improving the Intelligibility of Vocoded Speech in Cochlear Implant Simulation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In a cochlear implant (CI) speech processor, noise reduction (NR) is a critical component for enabling CI users to attain improved speech perception under noisy conditions. Identifying an effective NR approach has long been a key topic in CI research.

METHOD:

Recently, a deep denoising autoencoder (DDAE) based NR approach was proposed and shown to be effective in restoring clean speech from noisy observations. It was also shown that DDAE could provide better performance than several existing NR methods in standardized objective evaluations. Following this success with normal speech, this paper further investigated the performance of DDAE-based NR to improve the intelligibility of envelope-based vocoded speech, which simulates speech signal processing in existing CI devices.

RESULTS:

We compared the performance of speech intelligibility between DDAE-based NR and conventional single-microphone NR approaches using the noise vocoder simulation. The results of both objective evaluations and listening test showed that, under the conditions of nonstationary noise distortion, DDAE-based NR yielded higher intelligibility scores than conventional NR approaches.

CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE:

This study confirmed that DDAE-based NR could potentially be integrated into a CI processor to provide more benefits to CI users under noisy conditions.

PMID:
28113304
DOI:
10.1109/TBME.2016.2613960
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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