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Vol. 36 No. 3, July 1999

Abstract - Multiresolutional modification of speech signals for listeners with hearing impairment

Osman Erogul, MSc, PhD and Irfan Karagöz, MSc, PhD

Biomedical and Clinical Engineering Center, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract--A new method, the multiresolutional modification algorithm (MMA), which modifies speech signals in frequency and time domains, is proposed for listeners with hearing impairment and early clinical results are reported. Unlike other methods, this algorithm modifies the wavelet coefficients of the speech signal in order to obtain a modified version of the original signal instead of modifying the speech waveform itself. The speech signal is first divided into subbands using an 11-level quadrature mirror filter (QMF) bank. These subbands are then modified using the modification algorithm. Finally, the inverse Wavelet transform is applied to these modified subband coefficients in order to reconstruct a modified version of the input signal. The efficacy of the MMA was evaluated using subjects with hearing impairment and subjects with no such impairment. Listening tests showed that the proposed algorithm increases the quality and intelligibility of the modified speech over the well-known modification algorithms.

Key words: hearing impairment, modification, QMF, speech, wavelet


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