Skip to Main Content
We present an efficient and effective nonlinear feature-domain noise suppression algorithm, motivated by the minimum-mean-square-error (MMSE) optimization criterion, for noise-robust speech recognition. Distinguishing from the log-MMSE spectral amplitude noise suppressor proposed by Ephraim and Malah (E&M), our new algorithm is aimed to minimize the error expressed explicitly for the Mel-frequency cepstra instead of discrete Fourier transform (DFT) spectra, and it operates on the Mel-frequency filter bank's output. As a consequence, the statistics used to estimate the suppression factor become vastly different from those used in the E&M log-MMSE suppressor. Our algorithm is significantly more efficient than the E&M's log-MMSE suppressor since the number of the channels in the Mel-frequency filter bank is much smaller (23 in our case) than the number of bins (256) in DFT. We have conducted extensive speech recognition experiments on the standard Aurora-3 task. The experimental results demonstrate a reduction of the recognition word error rate by 48% over the standard ICSLP02 baseline, 26% over the cepstral mean normalization baseline, and 13% over the popular E&M's log-MMSE noise suppressor. The experiments also show that our new algorithm performs slightly better than the ETSI advanced front end (AFE) on the well-matched and mid-mismatched settings, and has 8% and 10% fewer errors than our earlier SPLICE (stereo-based piecewise linear compensation for environments) system on these settings, respectively.