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Publications

Publications by CTM

2023

Discriminative segmental cues to vowel height and consonantal place and voicing in whispered speech

Authors
Jesus, LMT; Castilho, S; Ferreira, A; Costa, MC;

Publication
JOURNAL OF PHONETICS

Abstract
Purpose: The acoustic signal attributes of whispered speech potentially carry sufficiently distinct information to define vowel spaces and to disambiguate consonant place and voicing, but what these attributes are and the underlying production mechanisms are not fully known. The purpose of this study was to define segmental cues to place and voicing of vowels and sibilant fricatives and to develop an articulatory interpretation of acoustic data.Method: Seventeen speakers produced sustained sibilants and oral vowels, disyllabic words, sentences and read a phonetically balanced text. All the tasks were repeated in voiced and whispered speech, and the sound source and filter analysed using the following parameters: Fundamental frequency, spectral peak frequencies and levels, spectral slopes, sound pressure level and durations. Logistic linear mixed-effects models were developed to understand what acoustic signal attributes carry sufficiently distinct information to disambiguate /i, a/ and /s, ?/.Results: Vowels were produced with significantly different spectral slope, sound pressure level, first and second formant frequencies in voiced and whispered speech. The low frequencies spectral slope of voiced sibilants was significantly different between whispered and voiced speech. The odds of choosing /a/ instead of /i/ were esti-mated to be lower for whispered speech when compared to voiced speech. Fricatives' broad peak frequency was statistically significant when discriminating between /s/ and /?/.Conclusions: First formant frequency and relative duration of vowels are consistently used as height cues, and spectral slope and broad peak frequency are attributes associated with consonantal place of articulation. The rel-ative duration of same-place voiceless fricatives was higher than voiced fricatives both in voiced and whispered speech. The evidence presented in this paper can be used to restore voiced speech signals, and to inform reha-bilitation strategies that can safely explore the production mechanisms of whispering.CO 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

2023

One-Step Discrete Fourier Transform-Based Sinusoid Frequency Estimation under Full-Bandwidth Quasi-Harmonic Interference

Authors
Silva, JM; Oliveira, MA; Saraiva, AF; Ferreira, AJS;

Publication
ACOUSTICS

Abstract
The estimation of the frequency of sinusoids has been the object of intense research for more than 40 years. Its importance in classical fields such as telecommunications, instrumentation, and medicine has been extended to numerous specific signal processing applications involving, for example, speech, audio, and music processing. In many cases, these applications run in real-time and, thus, require accurate, fast, and low-complexity algorithms. Taking the normalized Cramer-Rao lower bound as a reference, this paper evaluates the relative performance of nine non-iterative discrete Fourier transform-based individual sinusoid frequency estimators when the target sinusoid is affected by full-bandwidth quasi-harmonic interference, in addition to stationary noise. Three levels of the quasi-harmonic interference severity are considered: no harmonic interference, mild harmonic interference, and strong harmonic interference. Moreover, the harmonic interference is amplitude-modulated and frequency-modulated reflecting real-world conditions, e.g., in singing and musical chords. Results are presented for when the Signal-to-Noise Ratio varies between -10 dB and 70 dB, and they reveal that the relative performance of different frequency estimators depends on the SNR and on the selectivity and leakage of the window that is used, but also changes drastically as a function of the severity of the quasi-harmonic interference. In particular, when this interference is strong, the performance curves of the majority of the tested frequency estimators collapse to a few trends around and above 0.4% of the DFT bin width.

2023

Identification of words in whispered speech: The role of cues to fricatives' place and voicing

Authors
Jesus, LMT; Ferreira, JFS; Ferreira, AJS;

Publication
JASA EXPRESS LETTERS

Abstract
The temporal distribution of acoustic cues in whispered speech was analyzed using the gating paradigm. Fifteen Portuguese participants listened to real disyllabic words produced by four Portuguese speakers. Lexical choices, confidence scores, isolation points (IPs), and recognition points (RPs) were analyzed. Mixed effects models predicted that the first syllable and 70% of the total duration of the second syllable were needed for lexical choices to be above chance level. Fricatives' place, not voicing, had a significant effect on the percentage of correctly identified words. IP and RP values of words with postalveolar voiced and voiceless fricatives were significantly different.

2023

Analysis and Re-Synthesis of Natural Cricket Sounds Assessing the Perceptual Relevance of Idiosyncratic Parameters

Authors
Oliveira, M; Almeida, V; Silva, J; Ferreira, A;

Publication
ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings

Abstract
Cricket sounds are usually regarded as pleasant and, thus, can be used as suitable test signals in psychoacoustic experiments assessing the human listening acuity to specific temporal and spectral features. In addition, the simple structure of cricket sounds makes them prone to reverse engineering such that they can be analyzed and re-synthesized with desired alterations in their defining parameters. This paper describes cricket sounds from a parametric point of view, characterizes their main temporal and spectral features, namely jitter, shimmer and frequency sweeps, and explains a re-synthesis process generating modified natural cricket sounds. These are subsequently used in listening tests helping to shed light on the sound identification and discrimination capabilities of humans that are important, for example, in voice recognition. © 2023 IEEE.

2023

Traffic-aware gateway placement and queue management in flying networks

Authors
Coelho, A; Campos, R; Ricardo, M;

Publication
AD HOC NETWORKS

Abstract
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as adequate platforms to carry communications nodes, including Wi-Fi Access Points and cellular Base Stations. This has led to the concept of flying networks composed of UAVs as a flexible and agile solution to provide on-demand wireless connectivity anytime, anywhere. However, state of the art works have been focused on optimizing the placement of the access network providing connectivity to ground users, overlooking the backhaul network design. In order to improve the overall Quality of Service (QoS) offered to ground users, the placement of Flying Gateways (FGWs) and the size of the queues configured in the UAVs need to be carefully defined to meet strict performance requirements. The main contribution of this article is a traffic-aware gateway placement and queue management (GPQM) algorithm for flying networks. GPQM takes advantage of knowing in advance the positions of the UAVs and their traffic demand to determine the FGW position and the queue size of the UAVs, in order to maximize the aggregate throughput and provide stochastic delay guarantees. GPQM is evaluated by means of ns-3 simulations, considering a realistic wireless channel model. The results demonstrate significant gains in the QoS offered when GPQM is used.

2023

Wireless technologies towards 6G

Authors
Campos, R; Ricardo, M; Pouttu, A; Correia, LM;

Publication
EURASIP JOURNAL ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORKING

Abstract
This Special Issue originates from the international conference 2021 Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit (Joint European Conference on Networks and Communications and 6G Summit), which was held in June 2021 in virtual format. The Technical Programme Chairs of the conference selected the best papers and invited authors to submit an extended version of their paper by at least one-third of their length. Only the top ranked papers were invited to this Special Issue, in order to fulfil its purpose. The main target was to collect and present quality research contributions in the most recent activities related to technologies, systems and networks beyond 5G. Through this Special Issue, the state-of-the-art is presented and the new challenges highlighted, regarding the latest advances on systems and network perspectives that are already being positioned beyond 5G, bridging as well with the evolution of 5G, including applications and trials. Therefore, the motivation for this Special Issue is to present the latest and finest results on the evolution of research of mobile and wireless communications, coming, but not exclusively (since Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit is a conference open to the whole research community), from projects co-financed by the European Commission within its R&D programmes.

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