Tuning the performance of automatic speaker recognition in different conditions

effects of language and simulated voice disguise

Authors

  • Radek Skarnitzl Charles University
  • Maral Asiaee Alzahra University
  • Mandana Nourbakhsh Alzahra University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.39778

Keywords:

automatic speaker recognition, forensic phonetics, voice disguise

Abstract

Automatic speaker recognition applications have often been described as a ‘black box’. This study explores the benefit of tuning procedures (condition adaptation and reference normalisation) implemented in an i-vector PLDA framework ASR system, VOCALISE. These procedures enable users to open the black box to a certain degree. Subsets of two 100-speaker databases, one of Czech and the other of Persian male speakers, are used for the baseline condition and for the tuning procedures. The effect of tuning with cross-language material, as well as the effect of simulated voice disguise, achieved by raising the fundamental frequency by four semitones and resonance characteristics by 8%, are also examined. The results show superior recognition performance (EER) for Persian than Czech in the baseline condition, but an opposite result in the simulated disguise condition; possible reasons for this are discussed. Overall, the study suggests that both condition adaptation and reference normalisation are beneficial to recognition performance.

Author Biographies

Radek Skarnitzl, Charles University

Radek Skarnitzl is an Associate Professor at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, and director of the Institute of Phonetics. His research focuses on issues related to speaker identification, especially the effects of disguise. He is also interested in the impact of various pronunciation features on the socio-psychological evaluation of a speaker in both native and foreign languages, as well as in the teaching of pronunciation of a foreign language.

Maral Asiaee, Alzahra University

Maral Asiaee is a PhD candidate in General Linguistics at Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran. She holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Shiraz University and an MA in General Linguistics from Alzahra University. Her research interest lies in the fields of forensic phonetics, acoustic phonetics, sociophonetics and psychoacoustics.

Mandana Nourbakhsh, Alzahra University

Mandana Nourbakhsh has a PhD in General Linguistics from the University of Tehran and she is currently an assistant professor teaching phonetics, phonology and psycholinguistics at the Linguistics department of Alzahra University, Iran. Her area of research interest includes laboratory phonetics and phonology, as well as psycholinguistics and psychoacoustics.

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Published

2020-03-02

How to Cite

Skarnitzl, R., Asiaee, M., & Nourbakhsh, M. (2020). Tuning the performance of automatic speaker recognition in different conditions: effects of language and simulated voice disguise. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 26(2), 209–229. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.39778

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Section

Articles