A multipurpose user-friendly tool for voice analysis: Application to pathological adult voices

Claudia Manfredi, Leonardo Bocchi, Giovanna Cantarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Assessing voice quality objectively is of great relevance to clinicians, both for quantifying surgical or pharmacological effectiveness and for detecting and classifying voice pathology. A large number of objective indexes have been proposed in literature and implemented in commercially available software tools. However, clinicians commonly resort to a small subset of these indexes since they may be difficult to set up or understand. This paper presents a new user-friendly voice analysis tool named BioVoice. At present, BioVoice allows for the evaluation of few but important indexes, devoting great effort to their robust and automatic evaluation, although extensions are foreseeable. Specifically, fundamental frequency, along with irregularity (jitter, relative average perturbation), noise, and formant frequencies, is tracked on voiced parts of the signal only. Mean and standard deviation values are also calculated and displayed. This high-resolution estimation procedure is further strengthened by an adaptive estimation of the optimal length of signal frames for analysis, linked to varying signal characteristics. Moreover, BioVoice allows automatic analysis of any kind of voice signal as far as F0 range and sampling frequency are concerned, with no manual setting required. This new tool is thus feasible for use by non-experts from different scientific fields, thanks to its simple interface. Here, the proposed approach is applied to patients who underwent micro-laryngoscopic direct exeresis to remove cysts and polyps. Pre- and post-surgical indexes were estimated using BioVoice and then compared with the output of one of the most common commercial software tools to both assess voice quality recovery and to evaluate the new method's capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedical Signal Processing and Control
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Voice analysis tools
  • Voice pathology classification
  • Voice quality analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Health Informatics

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