13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

On the Effect of the Acoustic Environment on the Accuracy of Perception of Speaker Orientation From Auditory Cues Alone

Jens Edlund (1), Mattias Heldner (2), Joakim Gustafson (1)

(1) KTH Speech, Music and Hearing, Stockholm, Sweden
(2) Linguistics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

The ability of people, and of machines, to determine the position of a sound source in a room is well studied. The related ability to determine the orientation of a directed sound source, on the other hand, is not, but the few studies there are show people to be surprisingly skilled at it. This has bearing for studies of face-to-face interaction and of embodied spoken dialogue systems, as sound source orientation of a speaker is connected to the head pose of the speaker, which is meaningful in a number of ways. The feature most often implicated for detection of sound source orientation is the inter-aural level difference - a feature which it is assumed is more easily exploited in anechoic chambers than in everyday surroundings. We expand here on our previous studies and compare detection of speaker orientation within and outside of the anechoic chamber. Our results show that listeners find the task easier, rather than harder, in everyday surroundings, which suggests that interaural level differences is not the only feature at play.

Index Terms: turn-taking, head pose, gaze, acoustic directionality

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Edlund, Jens / Heldner, Mattias / Gustafson, Joakim (2012): "On the effect of the acoustic environment on the accuracy of perception of speaker orientation from auditory cues alone", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1484-1487.