Static and dynamic variance compensation for recognition of reverberant speech with dereverberation preprocessing

Marc Delcroix*, Tomohiro Nakatani, Shinji Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of automatic speech recognition is severely degraded in the presence of noise or reverberation. Much research has been undertaken on noise robustness. In contrast, the problem of the recognition of reverberant speech has received far less attention and remains very challenging. In this paper, we use a dereverberation method to reduce reverberation prior to recognition. Such a preprocessor may remove most reverberation effects. However, it often introduces distortion, causing a dynamic mismatch between speech features and the acoustic model used for recognition. Model adaptation could be used to reduce this mismatch. However, conventional model adaptation techniques assume a static mismatch and may therefore not cope well with a dynamic mismatch arising from dereverberation. This paper proposes a novel adaptation scheme that is capable of managing both static and dynamic mismatches. We introduce a parametric model for variance adaptation that includes static and dynamic components in order to realize an appropriate interconnection between dereverberation and a speech recognizer. The model parameters are optimized using adaptive training implemented with the Expectation Maximization algorithm. An experiment using the proposed method with reverberant speech for a reverberation time of 0.5 s revealed that it was possible to achieve an 80% reduction in the relative error rate compared with the recognition of dereverberated speech (word error rate of 31%), and the final error rate was 5.4%, which was obtained by combining the proposed variance compensation and MLLR adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-334
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Dereverberation
  • Model adaptation
  • Robust automatic speech recognition (ASR)
  • Variance compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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