Ahmed Ben Hamida


4 Formant Tracking Linear Prediction Model using HMMs for Noisy Speech Processing

Authors: Zaineb Ben Messaoud, Dorra Gargouri, Saida Zribi, Ahmed Ben Hamida


This paper presents a formant-tracking linear prediction (FTLP) model for speech processing in noise. The main focus of this work is the detection of formant trajectory based on Hidden Markov Models (HMM), for improved formant estimation in noise. The approach proposed in this paper provides a systematic framework for modelling and utilization of a time- sequence of peaks which satisfies continuity constraints on parameter; the within peaks are modelled by the LP parameters. The formant tracking LP model estimation is composed of three stages: (1) a pre-cleaning multi-band spectral subtraction stage to reduce the effect of residue noise on formants (2) estimation stage where an initial estimate of the LP model of speech for each frame is obtained (3) a formant classification using probability models of formants and Viterbi-decoders. The evaluation results for the estimation of the formant tracking LP model tested in Gaussian white noise background, demonstrate that the proposed combination of the initial noise reduction stage with formant tracking and LPC variable order analysis, results in a significant reduction in errors and distortions. The performance was evaluated with noisy natual vowels extracted from international french and English vocabulary speech signals at SNR value of 10dB. In each case, the estimated formants are compared to reference formants.

Keywords: HMM, Formants Estimation, Multi Band Spectral Subtraction, Variable order LPC coding, White Gauusien Noise

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3 Unit Selection Algorithm Using Bi-grams Model For Corpus-Based Speech Synthesis

Authors: Mohamed Ali KAMMOUN, Ahmed Ben HAMIDA


In this paper, we present a novel statistical approach to corpus-based speech synthesis. Classically, phonetic information is defined and considered as acoustic reference to be respected. In this way, many studies were elaborated for acoustical unit classification. This type of classification allows separating units according to their symbolic characteristics. Indeed, target cost and concatenation cost were classically defined for unit selection. In Corpus-Based Speech Synthesis System, when using large text corpora, cost functions were limited to a juxtaposition of symbolic criteria and the acoustic information of units is not exploited in the definition of the target cost. In this manuscript, we token in our consideration the unit phonetic information corresponding to acoustic information. This would be realized by defining a probabilistic linguistic Bi-grams model basically used for unit selection. The selected units would be extracted from the English TIMIT corpora.

Keywords: unit selection, Corpus-based Speech Synthesis, Bigram model

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2 An Optimal Unsupervised Satellite image Segmentation Approach Based on Pearson System and k-Means Clustering Algorithm Initialization

Authors: Ahmed Rekik, Mourad Zribi, Ahmed Ben Hamida, Mohamed Benjelloun


This paper presents an optimal and unsupervised satellite image segmentation approach based on Pearson system and k-Means Clustering Algorithm Initialization. Such method could be considered as original by the fact that it utilised K-Means clustering algorithm for an optimal initialisation of image class number on one hand and it exploited Pearson system for an optimal statistical distributions- affectation of each considered class on the other hand. Satellite image exploitation requires the use of different approaches, especially those founded on the unsupervised statistical segmentation principle. Such approaches necessitate definition of several parameters like image class number, class variables- estimation and generalised mixture distributions. Use of statistical images- attributes assured convincing and promoting results under the condition of having an optimal initialisation step with appropriated statistical distributions- affectation. Pearson system associated with a k-means clustering algorithm and Stochastic Expectation-Maximization 'SEM' algorithm could be adapted to such problem. For each image-s class, Pearson system attributes one distribution type according to different parameters and especially the Skewness 'β1' and the kurtosis 'β2'. The different adapted algorithms, K-Means clustering algorithm, SEM algorithm and Pearson system algorithm, are then applied to satellite image segmentation problem. Efficiency of those combined algorithms was firstly validated with the Mean Quadratic Error 'MQE' evaluation, and secondly with visual inspection along several comparisons of these unsupervised images- segmentation.

Keywords: Segmentation, satellite image, Unsupervised Classification, Pearson system

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1 On the EM Algorithm and Bootstrap Approach Combination for Improving Satellite Image Fusion

Authors: Tijani Delleji, Mourad Zribi, Ahmed Ben Hamida


This paper discusses EM algorithm and Bootstrap approach combination applied for the improvement of the satellite image fusion process. This novel satellite image fusion method based on estimation theory EM algorithm and reinforced by Bootstrap approach was successfully implemented and tested. The sensor images are firstly split by a Bayesian segmentation method to determine a joint region map for the fused image. Then, we use the EM algorithm in conjunction with the Bootstrap approach to develop the bootstrap EM fusion algorithm, hence producing the fused targeted image. We proposed in this research to estimate the statistical parameters from some iterative equations of the EM algorithm relying on a reference of representative Bootstrap samples of images. Sizes of those samples are determined from a new criterion called 'hybrid criterion'. Consequently, the obtained results of our work show that using the Bootstrap EM (BEM) in image fusion improve performances of estimated parameters which involve amelioration of the fused image quality; and reduce the computing time during the fusion process.

Keywords: EM algorithm, Satellite image fusion, Bayesian segmentation, Bootstrap approach

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2 Reduction of Speckle Noise in Echocardiographic Images: A Survey

Authors: Fathi Kallel, Saida Khachira, Mohamed Ben Slima, Ahmed Ben Hamida


Speckle noise is a main characteristic of cardiac ultrasound images, it corresponding to grainy appearance that degrades the image quality. For this reason, the ultrasound images are difficult to use automatically in clinical use, then treatments are required for this type of images. Then a filtering procedure of these images is necessary to eliminate the speckle noise and to improve the quality of ultrasound images which will be then segmented to extract the necessary forms that exist. In this paper, we present the importance of the pre-treatment step for segmentation. This work is applied to cardiac ultrasound images. In a first step, a comparative study of speckle filtering method will be presented and then we use a segmentation algorithm to locate and extract cardiac structures.

Keywords: Medical Image Processing, Segmentation, Snakes, Image Enhancement, speckle noise, ultrasound images, speckle filtering

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1 Dual-Channel Multi-Band Spectral Subtraction Algorithm Dedicated to a Bilateral Cochlear Implant

Authors: Fathi Kallel, Ahmed Ben Hamida, Christian Berger-Vachon


In this paper, a Speech Enhancement Algorithm based on Multi-Band Spectral Subtraction (MBSS) principle is evaluated for Bilateral Cochlear Implant (BCI) users. Specifically, dual-channel noise power spectral estimation algorithm using Power Spectral Densities (PSD) and Cross Power Spectral Densities (CPSD) of the observed signals is studied. The enhanced speech signal is obtained using Dual-Channel Multi-Band Spectral Subtraction ‘DC-MBSS’ algorithm. For performance evaluation, objective speech assessment test relying on Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality (PESQ) score is performed to fix the optimal number of frequency bands needed in DC-MBSS algorithm. In order to evaluate the speech intelligibility, subjective listening tests are assessed with 3 deafened BCI patients. Experimental results obtained using French Lafon database corrupted by an additive babble noise at different Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR) showed that DC-MBSS algorithm improves speech understanding for single and multiple interfering noise sources.

Keywords: noise estimation, speech enhancement, spectral substracion, cochlear impalnt

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