IEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences

Simultaneous adaptation of echo cancellation and spectral subtraction for in-car speech recognition

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Recently, automatic speech recognition in a car has practical uses for applications like car-navigation and hands-free telephone dialers. For noise robustness, the current successes are based on the assumption that there is only a stationary cruising noise. Therefore, the recognition rate is greatly reduced when there is music or news coming from a radio or a CD player in the car. Since reference signals are available from such in-vehicle units, there is great hope that echo cancellers can eliminate the echo component in the observed noisy signals. However, previous research reported that the performance of an echo canceller is degraded in very noisy conditions. This implies it is desirable to combine the processes of echo cancellation and noise reduction. In this paper, we propose a system that uses echo cancellation and spectral subtraction simultaneously. A stationary noise component for spectral subtraction is estimated through the adaptation of an echo canceller. In our experiments, this system significantly reduced the errors in automatic speech recognition compared with the conventional combination of echo cancellation and spectral subtraction. Copyright © 2005 The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.