Analysis of speech-based Speech Transmission Index methods with implications for nonlinear operations

J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Dec;116(6):3679-89. doi: 10.1121/1.1804628.


The Speech Transmission Index (STI) is a physical metric that is well correlated with the intelligibility of speech degraded by additive noise and reverberation. The traditional STI uses modulated noise as a probe signal and is valid for assessing degradations that result from linear operations on the speech signal. Researchers have attempted to extend the STI to predict the intelligibility of nonlinearly processed speech by proposing variations that use speech as a probe signal. This work considers four previously proposed speech-based STI methods and four novel methods, studied under conditions of additive noise, reverberation, and two nonlinear operations (envelope thresholding and spectral subtraction). Analyzing intermediate metrics in the STI calculation reveals why some methods fail for nonlinear operations. Results indicate that none of the previously proposed methods is adequate for all of the conditions considered, while four proposed methods produce qualitatively reasonable results and warrant further study. The discussion considers the relevance of this work to predicting the intelligibility of cochlear-implant processed speech.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Threshold
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Humans
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Noise*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Sound Spectrography*
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Speech Perception*
  • Statistics as Topic