Open Access

Jitter Estimation Algorithms for Detection of Pathological Voices

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:567875

Received: 27 November 2008

Accepted: 30 June 2009

Published: 18 August 2009


This work is focused on the evaluation of different methods to estimate the amount of jitter present in speech signals. The jitter value is a measure of the irregularity of a quasiperiodic signal and is a good indicator of the presence of pathologies in the larynx such as vocal fold nodules or a vocal fold polyp. Given the irregular nature of the speech signal, each jitter estimation algorithm relies on its own model making a direct comparison of the results very difficult. For this reason, the evaluation of the different jitter estimation methods was target on their ability to detect pathological voices. Two databases were used for this evaluation: a subset of the MEEI database and a smaller database acquired in the scope of this work. The results showed that there were significant differences in the performance of the algorithms being evaluated. Surprisingly, in the largest database the best results were not achieved with the commonly used relative jitter, measured as a percentage of the glottal cycle, but with absolute jitter values measured in microseconds. Also, the new proposed measure for jitter, LocJitt, performed in general is equal to or better than the commonly used tools of MDVP and Praat.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon


© Dárcio G. Silva et al. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.