Two-Dimensional Convolutional Recurrent Neural Networks for Speech Activity Detection

Anastasios Vafeiadis, Eleftherios Fanioudakis, Ilyas Potamitis, Konstantinos Votis, Dimitrios Giakoumis, Dimitrios Tzovaras, Liming Chen, Raouf Hamzaoui

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Speech Activity Detection (SAD) plays an important role in mobile communications and automatic speech recognition (ASR). Developing efficient SAD systems for real-world applications is a challenging task due to the presence of noise. We propose a new approach to SAD where we treat it as a two-dimensional multilabel image classification problem. To classify the audio segments, we compute their Short-time Fourier Transform spectrograms and classify them with a Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network (CRNN), traditionally used in image recognition. Our CRNN uses a sigmoid activation function, max-pooling in the frequency domain, and a convolutional operation as a moving average filter to remove misclassified spikes. On the development set of Task 1 of the 2019 Fearless Steps Challenge, our system achieved a decision cost function (DCF) of 2.89%, a 66.4% improvement over the baseline. Moreover, it achieved a DCF score of 3.318% on the evaluation dataset of the challenge, ranking first among all submissions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Sept 2019


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