Raw Waveform-based Speech Enhancement by Fully Convolutional Networks
This study proposes a fully convolutional network (FCN) model for raw waveform-based speech enhancement. The proposed system performs speech enhancement in an end-to-end (i.e., waveform-in and waveform-out) manner, which differs from most existing denoising methods that process the magnitude spectrum (e.g., log power spectrum (LPS)) only. Because the fully connected layers, which are involved in deep neural networks (DNN) and convolutional neural networks (CNN), may not accurately characterize the local information of speech signals, particularly with high frequency components, we employed fully convolutional layers to model the waveform. More specifically, FCN consists of only convo-lutional layers and thus the local temporal structures of speech signals can be efficiently and effectively preserved with relatively few weights. Experimental results show that DNN-and CNN-based models have limited capability to restore high frequency components of waveforms, thus leading to decreased intelligibility of enhanced speech. By contrast, the proposed FCN model can not only effectively recover the waveforms but also outperform the LPS-based DNN baseline in terms of short-time objective intelligibility (STOI) and perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ). In addition, the number of model parameters in FCN is approximately only 0.2% compared with that in both DNN and CNN.