13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Audio and Contact Microphones for Cough Detection

Thomas Drugman (1), Jerome Urbain (1), Nathalie Bauwens (2), Ricardo Chessini (1), Anne-Sophie Aubriot (2), Patrick Lebecque (2), Thierry Dutoit (1)

(1) TCTS Lab - University of Mons, Belgium
(2) Pediatric Pulmonology & Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Cliniques St Luc, University of Louvain, Belgium

In the framework of assessing the pathology severity in chronic cough diseases, medical literature underlines the lack of tools for allowing the automatic, objective and reliable detection of cough events. This paper describes a system based on two microphones which we developed for this purpose. The proposed approach relies on a large variety of audio descriptors, an efficient algorithm of feature selection based on their mutual information and the use of artificial neural networks. First, the possible use of a contact microphone (placed on the patient's thorax or trachea) in complement to the audio signal is investigated. This study underlines that this contact microphone suffers from reliability issues, and conveys little new relevant information compared to the audio modality. Secondly, the proposed audio-only approach is compared to a commercially available system using four sensors on a database with different sound categories often misdetected as coughs, and produced in various conditions. With average sensitivity and specificity of 94.7% and 95% respectively, the proposed method achieves better cough detection performance than the commercial system.

Index Terms: Audio Processing, Audio Event Detection, Cough Detection, Cystic Fibrosis

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Drugman, Thomas / Urbain, Jerome / Bauwens, Nathalie / Chessini, Ricardo / Aubriot, Anne-Sophie / Lebecque, Patrick / Dutoit, Thierry (2012): "Audio and contact microphones for cough detection", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1303-1306.