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In this paper, an automatic voice pathology detection (VPD) system based on voice production theory is developed. More specifically, features are extracted from vocal tract area, which is connected to the glottis. Voice pathology is related to a vocal fold problem, and hence the vocal tract area which is connected to vocal folds or glottis should exhibit irregular patterns over frames in case of a sustained vowel for a pathological voice. This irregular pattern is quantified in the form of different moments across the frames to distinguish between normal and pathological voices. The proposed VPD system is evaluated on the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) database and Saarbrucken Voice Database (SVD) with sustained vowel samples. Vocal tract irregularity features and support vector machine classifier are used in the proposed system. The proposed system achieves 99.22% ± 0.01 accuracy on the MEEI database and 94.7% ± 0.21 accuracy on the SVD. The results indicate that vocal tract irregularity measures can be used effectively in automatic voice pathology detection.
Automatic detection of voice pathologies enables non-invasive, low cost and objective assessments of the presence of disorders, as well as accelerating and improving the process of diagnosis and clinical treatment given to patients. In this work, a vector made up of 28 acoustic parameters is evaluated using principal component analysis (PCA), kernel principal component analysis (kPCA) and an auto-associative neural network (NLPCA) in four kinds of pathology detection (hyperfunctional dysphonia, functional dysphonia, laryngitis, vocal cord paralysis) using the a, i and u vowels, spoken at a high, low and normal pitch. The results indicate that the kPCA and NLPCA methods can be considered a step towards pathology detection of the vocal folds. The results show that such an approach provides acceptable results for this purpose, with the best efficiency levels of around 100%. The study brings the most commonly used approaches to speech signal processing together and leads to a comparison of the machine learning methods determining the health status of the patient.
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