Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin D. Donohue

Abstract

Systems designed to enhance intelligibility of speech in noise are difficult to evaluate quantitatively because intelligibility is subjective and often requires feedback from large populations for consistent evaluations. Attempts to quantify the evaluation have included related measures such as the Speech Intelligibility Index. These require separating speech and noise signals, which precludes its use on experimental recordings. This thesis develops a procedure using an Intelligibility Ruler (IR) for efficiently quantifying intelligibility. A calibrated Mean Opinion Score (MOS) method is also implemented in order to compare repeatability over a population of 24 subjective listeners. Results showed that subjects using the IR consistently estimated SII values of the test samples with an average standard deviation of 0.0867 between subjects on a scale from zero to one and R2=0.9421. After a calibration procedure from a subset of subjects, the MOS method yielded similar results with an average standard deviation of 0.07620 and R2=0.9181.While results suggest good repeatability of the IR method over a broad range of subjects, the calibrated MOS method is capable of producing results more closely related to actual SII values and is a simpler procedure for human subjects.

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