Kei Tanaka, Sunao Hara, Masanobu Abe, Masaaki Sato, Shogo Minagi, "Speaker Dependent Approach for Enhancing a Glossectomy Patient’s Speech via GMM-Based Voice Conversion," in Proceedings of Interspeech 2017, pp.3384-3388 (2017.8)
In this paper, using GMM-based voice conversion algorithm, we propose to generate speaker-dependent mapping functions to improve the intelligibility of speech uttered by patients with a wide glossectomy. The speaker-dependent approach enables to generate the mapping functions that reconstruct missing spectrum features of speech uttered by a patient without having influences of a speaker's factor. The proposed idea is simple, i.e., to collect speech uttered by a patient before and after the glossectomy, but in practice it is hard to ask patients to utter speech just for developing algorithms. To confirm the performance of the proposed approach, in this paper, in order to simulate glossectomy patients, we fabricated an intraoral appliance which covers lower dental arch and tongue surface to restrain tongue movements. In terms of the Mel-frequency cepstrum (MFC) distance, by applying the voice conversion, the distances were reduced by 25% and 42% for speaker dependent case and speaker-independent case, respectively. In terms of phoneme intelligibility, dictation tests revealed that speech reconstructed by speaker-dependent approach almost always showed better performance than the original speech uttered by simulated patients, while speaker-independent approach did not.