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A Novel Listening Test-Based Measure of Intelligibility Enhancement

One of the main tasks of speech signal processing aims at increasing the intelligibility of speech. Furthermore, in environments with low ambient noise the listening effort can be supported by appropriate algorithms. Instrumental and listening test-based measures are available to evaluate these algorithms' performance. However, most of these measures are not specifically designed to evaluate the performance of speech enhancement approaches in terms of intelligibility improvement. This paper proposes a novel listening test-based measure, which makes use of a speech intelligibility test, the Oldenburg Sentence Test (German: Oldenburger Satztest, OLSA). Recent research results indicate a correlation between listening effort and speech intelligibility. Therefore, we propose to use our measure for both intelligibility enhancement for algorithms being operated at low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and listening effort improvement at high SNRs. We compare the novel measure to results obtained from listening test-based as well as instrumental evaluation procedures. Plausible results and low measurement variance illustrate the potential of the proposed method.

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