Researchers Prove They Can Isolate Voices In A Crowd - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
News
8/24/2006
06:15 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Faster, More Effective Response With Threat Intelligence & Orchestration Playboo
Aug 31, 2017
Finding ways to increase speed, accuracy, and efficiency when responding to threats should be the ...Read More>>

Researchers Prove They Can Isolate Voices In A Crowd

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia say they have found a mathematical solution to the "cocktail party" problem, separating one sound from a recording of a noisy environment.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia are hoping computer programmers can help them with a solution to a decades-old "cocktail party" problem.

The researchers have found a mathematical solution that allows them to separate one sound from a recording of a noisy environment -- like a single voice from the din of conversation at a cocktail party. Mathematics professors Dan Casazza and Dan Edidin and Radu Balan, of Siemens Corporate Research, solved the problem and demonstrated that it is possible to isolate distinct voices and reconstruct spoken words.

"Our solution is called 'signal reconstruction without noisy phase,'" Edidin said. "In speech recognition technology, a 'signal' could be a recording of 25 people in a room talking at the same time. Our solution shows that we can pull out each voice individually, not just with the words, but with the voice characteristics of each individual. We showed that this 'cocktail party problem' is mathematically solvable."

The National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency funded part of the research, which could have crime fighting, homeland security and other intelligence applications.

In the past, researchers were able to separate voices but not reproduce the characteristics of the voice itself, according to a statement from the university. Casazza said existing programs that can separate and reconstruct voices are not completely reliable because they have difficulty separating voices with similar pitch characteristics. The researchers claim that a program using their solution would be more exact.

"Theoretically, our solution says you should be able to pick up voices on a squeaky old microphone and then separate them all out so that you can hear what each person is saying in his or her own voice," Casazza said. "This is a very old problem, and we have the first mathematical solution to it."

However, they were not able to create an algorithm that will produce consistent results.

"The computer we use is doing the work without an algorithmic program. It uses a system called a neural net, which is designed for the computer to teach itself. Basically, it works on trial and error," Casazza said. "This isn't consistent and cannot be duplicated easily. We need to find a way to design an implementable algorithm that could do this consistently and quickly."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll