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A Comparative Study of Impedance and Acoustic Vowel Phonation Signals for Intelligent Voice Quality Assessment of Patients Recovering from Radiotherapy for Cancer of the Larynx

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Assessment of a patient's voice quality following radiotherapy for cancer of the larynx has traditionally been very subjective and heavily dependent on the experience of the individual Speech and Language Therapist (SALT). In an earlier study, which used electrolaryngograph electrical impedance (EGG) signals recorded while patients phonated the vowel /i/ as steadily as possible, it was shown that an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) could give classifications which were in-line with the SALT's assessment of voice quality. The SALT's assessment involved listening to the patient's stylised speech, and then ranking the quality of the voice on a local seven-point scale. The ANN was trained on a combination of short-term and long-term parameters derived by modelling the frequency normalised spectrum (FHN) as a mixture of Gaussians (GMM). This approach has now been applied to acoustic signals recorded at the same time as the impedance signals, and the results compare very well, suggesting that this approach to voice quality assessment is insensitive to the choice of signal. It was observed that for both the impedance and the acoustic signals, the ANNs were able to classify the very good (recovered) and the very poor (abnormal) voices well, but performed quite badly with the mid-ranking voices.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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