Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin D. Donohue


Vocal folds are the twin in-folding of the mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. They vibrate modulating the constant air flow initiated from the lungs. The pulsating pressure wave blowing through the glottis is thus the source for voiced speech production. Study of vocal fold dynamics during voicing are critical for the treatment of voice pathologies. Since the vocal folds move at 100 - 350 cycles per second, their visual inspection is currently done by strobosocopy which merges information from multiple cycles to present an apparent motion. High Speed Digital Laryngeal Imaging(HSDLI) with a temporal resolution of up to 10,000 frames per second has been established as better suited for assessing the vocal fold vibratory function through direct recording. But the widespread use of HSDLI is limited due to lack of consensus on the modalities like features to be examined. Development of the image processing techniques which circumvents the need for the tedious and time consuming effort of examining large volumes of recording has room for improvement. Fundamental questions like the required frame rate or resolution for the recordings is still not adequately answered. HSDLI cannot get the absolute physical measurement of the anatomical features and vocal fold displacement. This work addresses these challenges through improved signal processing. A vocal fold edge extraction technique with subpixel accuracy, suited even for hard to record pediatric population is developed first. The algorithm which is equally applicable for pediatric and adult subjects, is implemented to facilitate user inspection and intervention. Objective features describing the fold dynamics, which are extracted from the edge displacement waveform are proposed and analyzed on a diverse dataset of healthy males, females and children. The sampling and quantization noise present in the recordings are analyzed and methods to mitigate them are investigated. A customized Kalman smoothing and spline interpolation on the displacement waveform is found to improve the feature estimation stability. The relationship between frame rate, spatial resolution and vibration for efficient capturing of information is derived. Finally, to address the inability to measure physical measurement, a structured light projection calibrated with respect to the endoscope is prototyped.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)