Benchmarking a new telecommunication standard (student job)

This project can be executed as an Experimentation project (7.5 or 15 ECTS), Small Project GMT, capita selecta or as a MSc-project. TNO offers a competitive trainee allowance in addition to the ECTS.

The current world wide accepted standard for the assessment of speech quality is ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standard P.863 POLQA (Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Assessment) as developed by TNOOPTICOM and SwissQual. This consortium has worked on a significant improvement of the standard to cope with speech quality degradations as found in modern full band (21 kHz audio bandwidth) communication systems such as SKYPE and VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) the latest packet based voice communication systems. With the likely acceptance of this new POLQA development by the ITU subjective evaluation data are needed to validate and possibly improve the latest developments.
TNO is looking for a student that can carry out a subjective speech quality study. The student will construct the following set of speech files that will allow for a full evaluation of the latest POLQA modelling improvements. The subjective test will use the following procedure:

  1. Calibrated diffuse field equalized headphones will be used in a low noise environment.
  2. Subjects are screened by playing a noise band between 15 and 20 kHz at levels between 50 and 80 dB SPL. If subjects do not hear the degradation they are rejected from the test.
  3. A limited set of fullband reference speech signals ( 21 kHz audio bandwidth) will be used and each speech file will be degraded by the same set of degradations, thus allowing subjects to detect small degradations.
  4. All reference files and a large part of the degraded files will be used in a training session.
  5. At least 20 subjects will be used and files will be played in at least 10 random orders.

TNO offers participating subjects a financial compensation. And, if needed, support in gathering subjects will be provided.

In case of interest, please contact me!

Egon L. van den Broek