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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/156

Title: DSP Techniques for Performance Enhancement of Digital Hearing Aid
Authors: Udayashankara, V
Advisors: Shivaprasad, A P
Submitted Date: Dec-1995
Publisher: Indian Institute of Science
Abstract: Hearing impairment is the number one chronic disability affecting people in the world. Many people have great difficulty in understanding speech with background noise. This is especially true for a large number of elderly people and the sensorineural impaired persons. Several investigations on speech intelligibility have demonstrated that subjects with sensorineural loss may need a 5-15 dB higher signal-to-noise ratio than the normal hearing subjects. While most defects in transmission chain up to cochlea can nowadays be successfully rehabilitated by means of surgery, the great majority of the remaining inoperable cases are sensorineural hearing impaired, Recent statistics of the hearing impaired patients applying for a hearing aid reveal that 20% of the cases are due to conductive losses, more than 50% are due to sensorineural losses, and the rest 30% of the cases are of mixed origin. Presenting speech to the hearing impaired in an intelligible form remains a major challenge in hearing-aid research today. Even-though various methods have been suggested in the literature for the minimization of noise from the contaminated speech signals, they fail to give good SNR improvement and intelligibility improvement for moderate to-severe sensorineural loss subjects. So far, the power and capability of Newton's method, Nonlinear adaptive filtering methods and the feedback type artificial neural networks have not been exploited for this purpose. Hence we resort to the application of all these methods for improving SNR and intelligibility for the sensorineural loss subjects. Digital hearing aids frequently employ the concept of filter banks. One of the major drawbacks of this techniques is the complexity of computation requiring more number of multiplications. This increases the power consumption. Therefore this Thesis presents the new approach to speech enhancement for the hearing impaired and also the construction of filter bank in Digital hearing aid with minimum number of multiplications. The following are covered in this thesis. One of the most important application of adaptive systems is in noise cancellation using adaptive filters. The ANC setup requires two input signals (viz., primary and reference). The primary input consists of the sum of the desired signal and noise which is uncorrelated. The reference input consists of mother noise which is correlated in Some unknown way with noise of primary input. The primary signal is obtained by placing the omnidirectional microphone just above one ear on the head of the KEMAR mannikan and the reference signal is obtained by placing the hypercardioid microphone at the center of the vertebral column on the back. Conventional speech enhancement techniques use linear schemes for enhancing speech signals. So far Nonlinear adaptive filtering techniques are not used in hearing aid applications. The motivation behind the use of nonlinear model is that it gives better noise suppression as compared to linear model. This is because the medium through which signals reach the microphone may be highly nonlinear. Hence the use of linear schemes, though motivated by computational simplicity and mathematical tractability, may be suboptimal. Hence, we propose the use of nonlinear models to enhance the speech signals for the hearing impaired: We propose both Linear LMS and Nonlinear second order Volterra LMS schemes to enhance speech signals. Studies conducted for different environmental noise including babble, cafeteria and low frequency noise show that the second-order Volterra LMS performs better compared to linear LMS algorithm. We use measures such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), time plots, and intelligibility tests for performance comparison. We also propose an ANC scheme which uses Newton's method to enhance speech signals. The main problem associated with LMS based ANC is that their convergence is slow and hence their performance becomes poor for hearing aid applications. The reason for choosing Newton's method is that they have high performance adaptive-filtering methods that often converge and track faster than LMS method. We propose two models to enhance speech signals: one is conventional linear model and the other is a nonlinear model using a second order Volterra function. Development of Newton's type algorithm for linear mdel results in familiar Recursive least square (RLS) algorithm. The performance of both linear and non-linear Newton's algorithm is evaluated for babble, cafeteria and frequency noise. SNR, timeplots and intelligibility tests are used for performance comparison. The results show that Newton's method using Volterra nonlinearity performs better than RLS method. ln addition to the ANC based schemes, we also develop speech enhancement for the hearing impaired by using the feedback type neural network (FBNN). The main reason is that here we have parallel algorithm which can be implemented directly in hardware. We translate the speech enhancement problem into a neural network (NN) framework by forming an appropriate energy function. We propose both linear and nonlinear FBNN for enhancing the speech signals. Simulated studies on different environmental noise reveal that the FBNN using the Volterra nonlinearity is superior to linear FBNN in enhancing speech signals. We use SNR, time plots, and intelligibility tests for performance comparison. The design of an effective hearing aid is a challenging problem for sensorineural hearing impaired people. For persons with sensorineural losses it is necessary that the frequency response should be optimally fitted into their residual auditory area. Digital filter enhances the performance of the hearing aids which are either difficult or impossible to realize using analog techniques. The major problem in digital hearing aid is that of reducing power consumption. Multiplication is one of the most power consuming operation in digital filtering. Hence a serious effort has been made to design filter bank with minimum number of multiplications, there by minimizing the power consumption. It is achieved by using Interpolated and complementary FIR filters. This method gives significant savings in the number of arithmetic operations. The Thesis is concluded by summarizing the results of analysis, and suggesting scope for further investigation
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/156
Appears in Collections:Electrical Communication Engineering (ece)

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