Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

S. Voran

Abstract: Part 1 of this paper describes a new approach to the objective estimation of perceived speech quality. This new approach uses a simple but effective perceptual transformation and a distance measure that consists of a hierarchy of measuring normalizing blocks. Each measuring normalizing block integrates two perceptually transformed signals over some time or frequency interval to determine the average difference across that interval. This difference is then normalized out of one signal, and is further processed to generate one or more measurements. In Part II the resulting estimates of perceived speech quality are correlated with the results of nine subjective listening tests. Together, these tests include 219 4-kHz bandwidth speech codecs, transmission systems, and reference conditions, with bit rates ranging from 2.4 to 64 kb/s. When compared with six other estimators, significant improvements are seen in many cases, particularly at lower bit rates, and when bit errors or frame erasures are present. These hierarchical structures of measuring normalizing blocks, or other structures of measuring normalizing blocks may also address open issues in perceived audio quality estimation, layered speech or audio coding, automatic speech or speaker recognition, audio signal enhancement, and other areas.

Keywords: distance measures; perceived speech quality; bit errors; objective estimation; audio signal; frame erasures; highly compressed digital speech; human hearing process; measuring normalizing block technique; objective estimators; perceptual


To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572
LSegre@ntia.gov

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Stephen D. Voran
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3839
svoran@ntia.doc.gov


Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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