SBIR Phase I: Novel Spatial Speech Separation Techniques to Improve Speaker Identification and Speech Recognition

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0810012
Agency Tracking Number: 0810012
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: EO
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-586
Small Business Information
13619 Valley Oak Circle, Rockville, MD, 20850
DUNS: 620282256
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Chiman Kwan
 (301) 315-2322
Business Contact
 Chiman Kwan
Title: PhD
Phone: (301) 315-2322
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project focuses on a novel approach that uses multiple microphones to spatially separate speech and hence enhance speaker identification and speech recognition accuracy. The first component of the project will apply feature-driven adaptive beam forming to improve speech recognition accuracy in noisy and reverberant environments. Unlike conventional beam forming methods, this proposed method performs weight adaptation based on feedback from the feature extraction and recognition modules. The arrays can eliminate directional interferences and reduce reverberant effects. For the second component of the proposed project, a new continuously-variable mask estimation method will be used to estimate which parts of the separated speech contain speech with good signal-to noise ratio (SNR), applying speech reconstruction to repair these regions. The repaired speech will then be fed into the speech recognition/speaker identification engine. Thirdly, the project will apply ideas motivated by human binaural perception. The potential market for robust speaker identification and speech recognition is projected to be large, ranging from voice dictation in noisy offices, voiceprint verification for financial transactions, biometrics, speech recognition in automated voice response systems, voice-based search for mobile devices, and several others. Additionally there are many military applications in military command, control, and communications segments, where it is important to convey the correct commands to the other recipients.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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