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This paper presents a novel noise-robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) system that combines aspects of the noise modeling and source separation approaches to the problem. The combined approach has been motivated by the observation that the noise backgrounds encountered in everyday listening situations can be roughly characterized as a slowly varying noise floor in which there are embedded a mixture of energetic but unpredictable acoustic events. Our solution combines two complementary techniques. First, an adaptive noise floor model estimates the degree to which high-energy acoustic events are masked by the noise floor (represented by a soft missing data mask). Second, a fragment decoding system attempts to interpret the high-energy regions that are not accounted for by the noise floor model. This component uses models of the target speech to decide whether fragments should be included in the target speech stream or not. Our experiments on the CHiME corpus task show that the combined approach performs significantly better than systems using either the noise model or fragment decoding approach alone, and substantially outperforms multicondition training.
Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2012