Goal: Numerous studies had successfully differentiated normal and abnormal voice samples. Nevertheless, further classification had rarely been attempted. This study proposes a novel approach, using continuous Mandarin speech instead of a single vowel, to classify four common voice disorders (i.e. functional dysphonia, neoplasm, phonotrauma, and vocal palsy).
Methods: In the proposed framework, acoustic signals are transformed into mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, and a bi-directional long-short term memory network (BiLSTM) is adopted to model the sequential features. The experiments were conducted on a large-scale database, wherein 1,045 continuous speech were collected by the speech clinic of a hospital from 2012 to 2019.
Results: Experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework yields significant accuracy and unweighted average recall improvements of 78.12–89.27% and 50.92–80.68%, respectively, compared with systems that use a single vowel.
Conclusions: The results are consistent with other machine learning algorithms, including gated recurrent units, random forest, deep neural networks, and LSTM.The sensitivities for each disorder were also analyzed, and the model capabilities were visualized via principal component analysis. An alternative experiment based on a balanced dataset again confirms the advantages of using continuous speech for learning voice disorders.