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Open Access

An Auditory-Masking-Threshold-Based Noise Suppression Algorithm GMMSE-AMT[ERB] for Listeners with Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • Ajay Natarajan1Email author,
  • John H.L. Hansen2,
  • Kathryn Hoberg Arehart3 and
  • Jessica Rossi-Katz3
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:678405

Received: 6 May 2004

Published: 10 November 2005


This study describes a new noise suppression scheme for hearing aid applications based on the auditory masking threshold (AMT) in conjunction with a modified generalized minimum mean square error estimator (GMMSE) for individual subjects with hearing loss. The representation of cochlear frequency resolution is achieved in terms of auditory filter equivalent rectangular bandwidths (ERBs). Estimation of AMT and spreading functions for masking are implemented in two ways: with normal auditory thresholds and normal auditory filter bandwidths (GMMSE-AMT[ERB]-NH) and with elevated thresholds and broader auditory filters characteristic of cochlear hearing loss (GMMSE-AMT[ERB]-HI). Evaluation is performed using speech corpora with objective quality measures (segmental SNR, Itakura-Saito), along with formal listener evaluations of speech quality rating and intelligibility. While no measurable changes in intelligibility occurred, evaluations showed quality improvement with both algorithm implementations. However, the customized formulation based on individual hearing losses was similar in performance to the formulation based on the normal auditory system.

Keywords and phrases

normal hearinghearing impairedauditory masking thresholdequivalent rectangular bandwidthgeneralized minimum mean square estimation

Authors’ Affiliations

Robust Speech Processing Group, Center for Spoken Language Research, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA
Center for Robust Speech Systems, Department of Electrical Engineering, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science, and Callier Center (Speech and Hearing), School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, USA
Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA


© Natarajan et al. 2005