Davide Berghi


DAVIDE BERGHI, ADRIAN DOUGLAS MARK HILTON, PHILIP J B JACKSON (2021)Visually Supervised Speaker Detection and Localization via Microphone Array

—Active speaker detection (ASD) is a multi-modal task that aims to identify who, if anyone, is speaking from a set of candidates. Current audiovisual approaches for ASD typically rely on visually pre-extracted face tracks (sequences of consecutive face crops) and the respective monaural audio. However, their recall rate is often low as only the visible faces are included in the set of candidates. Monaural audio may successfully detect the presence of speech activity but fails in localizing the speaker due to the lack of spatial cues. Our solution extends the audio front-end using a microphone array. We train an audio convolutional neural network (CNN) in combination with beamforming techniques to regress the speaker's horizontal position directly in the video frames. We propose to generate weak labels using a pre-trained active speaker detector on pre-extracted face tracks. Our pipeline embraces the " student-teacher " paradigm, where a trained " teacher " network is used to produce pseudo-labels visually. The " student " network is an audio network trained to generate the same results. At inference, the student network can independently localize the speaker in the visual frames directly from the audio input. Experimental results on newly collected data prove that our approach significantly outperforms a variety of other baselines as well as the teacher network itself. It results in an excellent speech activity detector too.

As audio-visual systems increasingly bring immersive and interactive capabilities into our work and leisure activities, so the need for naturalistic test material grows. New volumetric datasets have captured high-quality 3D video, but accompanying audio is often neglected, making it hard to test an integrated bimodal experience. Designed to cover diverse sound types and features, the presented volumetric dataset was constructed from audio and video studio recordings of scenes to yield forty short action sequences. Potential uses in technical and scientific tests are discussed.

Davide Berghi, Hanne Stenzel, Marco Volino, Adrian Hilton, Philip Jackson (2020)Audio-Visual Spatial Alignment Requirements of Central and Peripheral Object Events, In: IEEE VR 2020 IEEE

Immersive audio-visual perception relies on the spatial integration of both auditory and visual information which are heterogeneous sensing modalities with different fields of reception and spatial resolution. This study investigates the perceived coherence of audiovisual object events presented either centrally or peripherally with horizontally aligned/misaligned sound. Various object events were selected to represent three acoustic feature classes. Subjective test results in a simulated virtual environment from 18 participants indicate a wider capture region in the periphery, with an outward bias favoring more lateral sounds. Centered stimulus results support previous findings for simpler scenes.