Traditional approaches to automatic emotion recognition from speech typically make use of utterance level prosodic features. Still, a great deal of useful information about expressivity and emotion can be gained from segmental spectral features, which provide a more detailed description of the speech signal, or from measurements from specific regions of the utterance, such as the stressed vowels. Here we introduce a novel set of spectral features for emotion recognition: statistics of Mel-Frequency Spectral Coefficients computed over three phoneme type classes of interest: stressed vowels, unstressed vowels and consonants in the utterance. We investigate performance of our features in the task of speaker-independent emotion recognition using two publicly available datasets. Our experimental results clearly indicate that indeed both the richer set of spectral features and the differentiation between phoneme type classes are beneficial for the task. Classification accuracies are consistently higher for our features compared to prosodic features or utterance-level spectral features. Combination of our phoneme class features with prosodic features leads to even further improvement.
Bibliographic reference. Bitouk, Dmitri / Nenkova, Ani / Verma, Ragini (2009): "Improving emotion recognition using class-level spectral features", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 2023-2026.