Audiovisual Speech Processing
Speech is inherently bimodal, relying on cues from the acoustic and visual speech modalities for perception. The McGurk effect demonstrates that when humans are presented with conflicting acoustic and visual stimuli, the perceived sound may not exist in either modality. This effect has formed the basis for modelling the complementary nature of acoustic and visual speech by encapsulating them into the relatively new research field of audio-visual speech processing (AVSP). Traditional acoustic
... itional acoustic based speech processing systems have attained a high level of performance in recent years, but the performance of these systems is heavily dependent on a match between training and testing conditions. In the presence of mismatched conditions (eg. acoustic noise) the performance of acoustic speech processing applications can degrade markedly. AVSP aims to increase the robustness and performance of conventional speech processing applications through the integration of the acoustic and visual modalities of speech, in particular the tasks of isolated word speech and text-dependent speaker recognition. Two major problems in AVSP are addressed in this thesis, the first of which concerns the extraction of pertinent visual features for effective speech reading and visual speaker recognition. Appropriate representations of the mouth are explored for improved classification performance for speech and speaker recognition. Secondly, there is the question of how to effectively integrate the acoustic and visual speech modalities for robust and improved performance. This question is explored in-depth using hidden Markov model (HMM) classifiers. The develop-ii ment and investigation of integration strategies for AVSP required research into a new branch of pattern recognition known as classifier combination theory. In this thesis a novel framework is presented for optimally combining classifiers so their combined performance is greater than any of those classifiers individually.