On the Speech Properties and Feature Extraction Methods in Speech Emotion Recognition

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Mar 8;21(5):1888. doi: 10.3390/s21051888.


Many speech emotion recognition systems have been designed using different features and classification methods. Still, there is a lack of knowledge and reasoning regarding the underlying speech characteristics and processing, i.e., how basic characteristics, methods, and settings affect the accuracy, to what extent, etc. This study is to extend physical perspective on speech emotion recognition by analyzing basic speech characteristics and modeling methods, e.g., time characteristics (segmentation, window types, and classification regions-lengths and overlaps), frequency ranges, frequency scales, processing of whole speech (spectrograms), vocal tract (filter banks, linear prediction coefficient (LPC) modeling), and excitation (inverse LPC filtering) signals, magnitude and phase manipulations, cepstral features, etc. In the evaluation phase the state-of-the-art classification method and rigorous statistical tests were applied, namely N-fold cross validation, paired t-test, rank, and Pearson correlations. The results revealed several settings in a 75% accuracy range (seven emotions). The most successful methods were based on vocal tract features using psychoacoustic filter banks covering the 0-8 kHz frequency range. Well scoring are also spectrograms carrying vocal tract and excitation information. It was found that even basic processing like pre-emphasis, segmentation, magnitude modifications, etc., can dramatically affect the results. Most findings are robust by exhibiting strong correlations across tested databases.

Keywords: LPC; cepstral features; classification; frequency scales; phases; psychoacoustic filter banks; spectrograms; speech emotions; windows.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Emotions*
  • Perception
  • Speech*