Volume E91.D (2008) Issue 12 Pages 2854-2861
A new online, unsupervised voice activity detection (VAD) method is proposed. The method is based on a feature derived from high-order statistics (HOS), enhanced by a second metric based on normalized autocorrelation peaks to improve its robustness to non-Gaussian noises. This feature is also oriented for discriminating between close-talk and far-field speech, thus providing a VAD method in the context of human-to-human interaction independent of the energy level. The classification is done by an online variation of the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm, to track and adapt to noise variations in the speech signal. Performance of the proposed method is evaluated on an in-house data and on CENSREC-1-C, a publicly available database used for VAD in the context of automatic speech recognition (ASR). On both test sets, the proposed method outperforms a simple energy-based algorithm and is shown to be more robust against the change in speech sparsity, SNR variability and the noise type.