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Compressive Sensing for Missing Data Imputation in Noise Robust Speech Recognition

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4 Author(s)
Jort Florent Gemmeke ; Centre for Language and Speech Technology, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands ; Hugo Van Hamme ; Bert Cranen ; Lou Boves

An effective way to increase the noise robustness of automatic speech recognition is to label noisy speech features as either reliable or unreliable (missing), and to replace (impute) the missing ones by clean speech estimates. Conventional imputation techniques employ parametric models and impute the missing features on a frame-by-frame basis. At low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), these techniques fail, because too many time frames may contain few, if any, reliable features. In this paper, we introduce a novel non-parametric, exemplar-based method for reconstructing clean speech from noisy observations, based on techniques from the field of Compressive Sensing. The method, dubbed sparse imputation, can impute missing features using larger time windows such as entire words. Using an overcomplete dictionary of clean speech exemplars, the method finds the sparsest combination of exemplars that jointly approximate the reliable features of a noisy utterance. That linear combination of clean speech exemplars is used to replace the missing features. Recognition experiments on noisy isolated digits show that sparse imputation outperforms conventional imputation techniques at SNR = -5 dB when using an ideal `oracle' mask. With error-prone estimated masks sparse imputation performs slightly worse than the best conventional technique.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )