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Trainable articulatory control models for visual speech synthesis
KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech, Music and Hearing.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1399-6604
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Speech Technology, ISSN 1381-2416, E-ISSN 1572-8110, Vol. 7, no 4, 335-349 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with the problem of modelling the dynamics of articulation for a parameterised talkinghead based on phonetic input. Four different models are implemented and trained to reproduce the articulatorypatterns of a real speaker, based on a corpus of optical measurements. Two of the models, (“Cohen-Massaro”and “O¨ hman”) are based on coarticulation models from speech production theory and two are based on artificialneural networks, one of which is specially intended for streaming real-time applications. The different models areevaluated through comparison between predicted and measured trajectories, which shows that the Cohen-Massaromodel produces trajectories that best matches the measurements. A perceptual intelligibility experiment is alsocarried out, where the four data-driven models are compared against a rule-based model as well as an audio-alonecondition. Results show that all models give significantly increased speech intelligibility over the audio-alone case,with the rule-based model yielding highest intelligibility score.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers , 2004. Vol. 7, no 4, 335-349 p.
Keyword [en]
speech synthesis, facial animation, coarticulation, artificial neural networks, perceptual evaluation
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12803ScopusID: 2-s2.0-4143072802OAI: diva2:318898
QC 20100511Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2010-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Talking Heads - Models and Applications for Multimodal Speech Synthesis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Talking Heads - Models and Applications for Multimodal Speech Synthesis
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents work in the area of computer-animatedtalking heads. A system for multimodal speech synthesis hasbeen developed, capable of generating audiovisual speechanimations from arbitrary text, using parametrically controlled3D models of the face and head. A speech-specific directparameterisation of the movement of the visible articulators(lips, tongue and jaw) is suggested, along with a flexiblescheme for parameterising facial surface deformations based onwell-defined articulatory targets.

To improve the realism and validity of facial and intra-oralspeech movements, measurements from real speakers have beenincorporated from several types of static and dynamic datasources. These include ultrasound measurements of tonguesurface shape, dynamic optical motion tracking of face pointsin 3D, as well as electromagnetic articulography (EMA)providing dynamic tongue movement data in 2D. Ultrasound dataare used to estimate target configurations for a complex tonguemodel for a number of sustained articulations. Simultaneousoptical and electromagnetic measurements are performed and thedata are used to resynthesise facial and intra-oralarticulation in the model. A robust resynthesis procedure,capable of animating facial geometries that differ in shapefrom the measured subject, is described.

To drive articulation from symbolic (phonetic) input, forexample in the context of a text-to-speech system, bothrule-based and data-driven articulatory control models havebeen developed. The rule-based model effectively handlesforward and backward coarticulation by targetunder-specification, while the data-driven model uses ANNs toestimate articulatory parameter trajectories, trained ontrajectories resynthesised from optical measurements. Thearticulatory control models are evaluated and compared againstother data-driven models trained on the same data. Experimentswith ANNs for driving the articulation of a talking headdirectly from acoustic speech input are also reported.

A flexible strategy for generation of non-verbal facialgestures is presented. It is based on a gesture libraryorganised by communicative function, where each function hasmultiple alternative realisations. The gestures can be used tosignal e.g. turn-taking, back-channelling and prominence whenthe talking head is employed as output channel in a spokendialogue system. A device independent XML-based formalism fornon-verbal and verbal output in multimodal dialogue systems isproposed, and it is described how the output specification isinterpreted in the context of a talking head and converted intofacial animation using the gesture library.

Through a series of audiovisual perceptual experiments withnoise-degraded audio, it is demonstrated that the animatedtalking head provides significantly increased intelligibilityover the audio-only case, in some cases not significantly belowthat provided by a natural face.

Finally, several projects and applications are presented,where the described talking head technology has beensuccessfully employed. Four different multimodal spokendialogue systems are outlined, and the role of the talkingheads in each of the systems is discussed. A telecommunicationapplication where the talking head functions as an aid forhearing-impaired users is also described, as well as a speechtraining application where talking heads and languagetechnology are used with the purpose of improving speechproduction in profoundly deaf children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för talöverföring och musikakustik, 2003. viii, 63 p.
Trita-TMH, 2003:7
Talking heads, facial animation, speech synthesis, coarticulation, intelligibility, embodied conversational agents
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3561 (URN)91-7283-536-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-06-11, 00:00 (English)
QC 20100506Available from: 2003-06-26 Created: 2003-06-26 Last updated: 2010-05-11Bibliographically approved

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