VOICE BIOMETRICS UNDER MISMATCHED NOISE CONDITIONS
Pillay, Surosh Govindasamy
This thesis describes research into effective voice biometrics (speaker recognition) under mismatched noise conditions. Over the last two decades, this class of biometrics has been the subject of considerable research due to its various applications in such areas as telephone banking, remote access control and surveillance. One of the main challenges associated with the deployment of voice biometrics in practice is that of undesired variations in speech characteristics caused by environmental noise. Such variations can in turn lead to a mismatch between the corresponding test and reference material from the same speaker. This is found to adversely affect the performance of speaker recognition in terms of accuracy. To address the above problem, a novel approach is introduced and investigated. The proposed method is based on minimising the noise mismatch between reference speaker models and the given test utterance, and involves a new form of Test-Normalisation (T-Norm) for further enhancing matching scores under the aforementioned adverse operating conditions. Through experimental investigations, based on the two main classes of speaker recognition (i.e. verification/ open-set identification), it is shown that the proposed approach can significantly improve the performance accuracy under mismatched noise conditions. In order to further improve the recognition accuracy in severe mismatch conditions, an approach to enhancing the above stated method is proposed. This, which involves providing a closer adjustment of the reference speaker models to the noise condition in the test utterance, is shown to considerably increase the accuracy in extreme cases of noisy test data. Moreover, to tackle the computational burden associated with the use of the enhanced approach with open-set identification, an efficient algorithm for its realisation in this context is introduced and evaluated. The thesis presents a detailed description of the research undertaken, describes the experimental investigations and provides a thorough analysis of the outcomes.