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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Joint Time-Frequency and Matrix Decomposition Feature Extraction Methodology for Pathological Voice Classification

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:928974

  • Received: 1 November 2008
  • Accepted: 21 July 2009
  • Published:


The number of people affected by speech problems is increasing as the modern world places increasing demands on the human voice via mobile telephones, voice recognition software, and interpersonal verbal communications. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology for automatic pattern classification of pathological voices. The main contribution of this paper is extraction of meaningful and unique features using Adaptive time-frequency distribution (TFD) and nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF). We construct Adaptive TFD as an effective signal analysis domain to dynamically track the nonstationarity in the speech and utilize NMF as a matrix decomposition (MD) technique to quantify the constructed TFD. The proposed method extracts meaningful and unique features from the joint TFD of the speech, and automatically identifies and measures the abnormality of the signal. Depending on the abnormality measure of each signal, we classify the signal into normal or pathological. The proposed method is applied on the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) voice disorders database which consists of 161 pathological and 51 normal speakers, and an overall classification accuracy of 98.6% was achieved.


  • Nonnegative Matrix Factorization
  • Mobile Telephone
  • Voice Recognition
  • Voice Disorder
  • Human Voice

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Authors’ Affiliations

Signal Analysis Research Lab, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada


© B. Ghoraani and S. Krishnan. 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.