Arai Lab. Newsletter 2010

1. Conferences

1.1 IEEE

I joined the SLTC (Speech and Language Technical Committee) of the IEEE Signal Processing Society from 2010, and a member of the review committee of the international conference, ICASSP, from 2009.


INTERSPEECH, an international conference on speech communication, took place in Japan (Makuhari) in 2010, and I participated as an organizing committee (chair of finance) as well as a presenter. I stayed at a hotel near the conference venue to work as the chair of finance. The work was great experience. Three research papers were presented from Arai Laboratory [2010_062010_072010_08]. Two of those were presented by myself at special sessions, “Fact and Replica of Speech Production” and “Speech Intelligibility Enhancement for All Ages, Health Conditions and Environments.” Each name of the committee members were called out at the closing ceremony, and received gifts from the conference chair Professor Keikichi Hirose.

Entrance of INTERSPEECH 2010 venue, Makuhari Messe International Conference Hall

1.3 Beginners’ Seminar at ASJ

The Summer Seminar has been held as a part of the Beginners’ Seminar since 2008. I had been participating in the event as an organizing committee member and lecturer, but unfortunately could not participate this year.

A special session on education in acoustics hosted by the Research Committee on Education in Acoustics was held at the ASJ Fall Meeting 2010.

1.4 Editorial Committee of ASJ

I have been engaged in the Editorial Committee of the Journal of the ASJ and Acoustical Science and Technology (AST) since 2005.

1.4.1 Special Issue on Beginners’ Seminar in the Journal of the ASJ

As I am the chair of the Research Committee on Education in Acoustics, the special issue “Beginners’ Seminar on paper” appeared on the Journal of the ASJ, Volume 66, Number 9. I co-wrote the rough copy [2010_05] as the editorial committee member.

1.4.2 Serial column “Exhibits and Demonstrations on Acoustics in Science Museums” in the Journal of the ASJ

The serial column “Exhibits and Demonstrations on Acoustics in Science Museums” marked its fourth year since its start in December 2006, and the series have come to an end. I have written many articles as the editorial committee member. Three articles were written in 2010 [2010_282010_292010_30].

Homepage of the serial column “Exhibits and Demonstrations on Acoustics in Science Museums” of the Journal of the ASJ:

1.5 Research Committee on Education in Acoustics of the ASJ

I had been a member of the Research Committee on Education in Acoustics of the ASJ since 2003, and its chair since 2005. I continue to make effort in approaching various challenges as the chair.

1.5.1 Meeting on Education in Acoustics

The Meeting on Education in Acoustics,” sponsored by the Committee, was held in June 2010 at Kyushu University as a joint meeting with the Committee of Speech.

1.5.2 Collaboration with Museums

Science Workshop on Sound: Wonderful World of Sounds; Let’s Create Our Voice” had been held at the National Museum of Nature and Science from 2006 to 2009. The workshop is co-hosted by ASJ, and receives generous support from the volunteers of the Research Committee on Education in Acoustics, but had a year off in 2010.

Continuing from 2007, Research Committee on Education in Acoustics booth “Let’s get to know sound and vibration” was exhibited at Science Square in August 2010. Please refer to Newsletter 2007 for details of the contents, as they are similar to those conducted in 2007 – 2009.

1.5.3 Serial Column “Exhibits and Demonstrations on Acoustics in Science Museums” in the Journal of the ASJ

The serial column has come to an end in 2010 (See Section 1.4.2).

1.5.4 2010 ASJ Spring Meeting

The session on Education in Acoustics has been incorporated in the main program since the Fall Meeting of the ASJ 2008, and the session delivered 4 talks at the Spring Meeting of the ASJ 2010 (Please refer to [2010_142010_15] for presentations from Arai Laboratory) and I served as the chair of the session.

1.5.5 2010 ASJ Fall Meeting

The general session on Education in Acoustics delivered 4 talks (Please refer to [2010_24] for the presentation from Arai Laboratory), and I served as the session chair. After that, the special session “Simple review article: Lecture from a journal article” was held, co-hosted by the Beginners’ Seminar Executive Committee, and delivered 4 invited talks.

1.6 Research Committee on Acoustic Barrier-Free, ASJ

Research Committee on Acoustic Barrier-Free was established in 2006, and I have been serving as a committee member representing the research field of speech.

1.6.1 2010 ASJ Fall Meeting

The members of the Research Committee on Acoustic Barrier-Free and I gave a presentation on the Evaluation Method of Personal Speech Recognition Performance [2010_25].

1.7 International Public Relations Committee of the ASJ

I have been serving as a committee member since 2005.

1.8 Phonetic Society of Japan (PSJ)

I was renominated, and continued to serve as a councilor. I retired my position as the member of the Planning Committee in 2009, however I was nominated as an executive board member as well as the chair of the International Exchange Committee. My position as a co-chair of the Public Relations Committee since 2007 continued with the new name chair substitute. The Phonetics Diffusion Committee began from 2010, and I served as a committee member.

2. Education in Acoustics, Vocal-Tract Models

2.1 Continuously evolving vocal-tract models

In 2010, I gave presentations on the sliding vocal-tract model with tongue at INTERSPEECH, as well as on the computer-controlled Umeda-Teranishi Vocal-Tract Models [2010_06] (See Section 1.2)

2.2 Hitachi Civic Center Science Museum

The Science Museum in the Hitachi Civic Center, located in Hitachi City in Ibaraki prefecture, reopened in 2010, and I served as the supervisor of the newly constructed vocal-tract model booth. I paid a visit to the Center soon after their renewal, and observed the visitors’ reactions to the exhibits. The article about the Center appeared in the serial column “Exhibits and Demonstrations on Acoustics in Science Museums” in the Journal of the ASJ [2010_29].

Exhibition of the vocal-tract model at Hitachi Civic Center Science Museum

2.3 TV appearance of the vocal-tract model

I collaborated with the TV program “Tokorosan no mega ten” on NTV to explain the mechanism of voice in the week they broadcasted about karaoke.

“Tokorosan no mega ten” on NTV

2.4 Vocal-Tract Model Demonstrations

I had many opportunities of delivering demonstrations of the vocal-tract models in 2010:

    I gave a presentation in the special session. (See Sections 1.2 and 2.1).
  • Open Campus at Sophia University
    The laboratory was open to the public with the demonstration of vocal-tract models.
  • Tokyo Medical and Dental University
    I conducted a lecture titled “Understanding speech science with your eyes, hands, and ears” as a special lecture of the graduate school which included the demonstration of the vocal-tract models.

2.5 Textbook for Elementary School Students

The photograph of the lung models that we built has again been featured in the teaching materials of the SAPIX preparatory school since 2005.

3. International and Domestic Collaborations

3.1 University of Arizona

A joint research with Dr. Natasha Warner of Department of Linguistics was published as journal paper [2010_02].

3.2 Ishikawa National College of Technology

The joint research on the VAD Project with Professor Noboru Kanedera is in progress (See Section 4.1). Please refer to [2010_16] for the results.

3.3 Musashi Institute of Technology

Professor Kunio Yoshino and I worked on a new book.

3.4 National Center Hospital of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP)

Joint research with speech pathologist, Mayumi Hirozane, has been in progress since 2008, and an official contract was exchanged in 2010. The project members from Arai Laboratory are Keiichi Yasu, Takahiko Shinoda, and Shino Ito.

4. Industry-University Cooperation

4.1 Fujiyama, Inc.

Joint research with Fujiyama, Inc. (president: Junko Yoshii) has been in progress since 2004. An official contract has been exchanged since 2009. The project members from Arai Laboratory are Kyoko Matsuura, Pek Kimhuoch, Ken Kamijo, Sayaka Kano, and Keita Ono. Please refer to [2010_16] for details on the achievements in 2010.

Fujiyama, Inc. website:

4.2 TOA Co.

We continue to carry out a joint research project with TOA Corporation on the improvement of the intelligibility of speech for public address systems. We are especially indebted to Kiyohiro Kurisu for his support in this project. An official contract has been exchanged since 2006. The project members from Arai Laboratory are Nao Hodoshima, Wataru Yoshida, Ayako Chiba, Yohei Matsukaze, Misaki Tsuji, Susumu Nakamura, and Yusuke Kawashima, as well as Yushi Yamabe and Masaya Takeda on real-time processing. Please refer to [2010_092010_222010_26] for details on the achievements in 2010.

TOA Corporation website:

4.3 Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd.

A joint research concerning simulation of reverberant speech has launched in 2009. The project member from Arai Laboratory is Toshimasa Suzuki. Please refer to [2010_102010_232010_27] for details on the achievements in 2010.

4.4 Animo Ltd.

In relation to the joint research with speech pathologist, Mayumi Hirozane, NCNP, an official contract was exchanged in 2010.

4.5 Texas Instruments Japan Inc.

Sophia University has been indebted since the beginning of the University Program, and Yushi Yamabe from Arai Laboratory gave a presentation at the DSPS Educator’s Conference [2010_26].

Texas Instruments Japan Inc. Website:

5. Other Research Fundings

5.1 Grants-in-Aid for Scientific ResearchC, 21500841

The two-year project “Improving of vocal-tract models for intuitive understanding of the mechanisms of human speech production and applications for education in acoustics” launched in 2009 with myself as the principal investigator. Please refer to [2010_062010_142010_152010_24] for details on the achievements in 2010.

5.2 Open Research Center (ORC) Project

Human Information Science Research Project” launched in the academic year of 2007 with Professor Mamoru Tanaka, Department of Information and Communication Sciences as the principal investigator, and reached its fourth year in 2010. I have been serving as the group leader of “Human Communication Group,” one of the three research groups. Our group has a framework of integrating research in humanities and sciences, and the group members include researchers from the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Sophia University, as well as Professor Mariko Kondo of Waseda University. This project has been renamed to “Human Informatics Research Center” as a part of the Project Research Division from 2010. Please refer to [2010_012010_032010_042010_052010_062010_072010_082010_102010_112010_122010_132010_142010_152010_162010_172010_182010_192010_202010_212010_232010_25] for details on the achievements in 2010.

The ORC project held three workshops in the 2010 academic year:

[1st ORC Workshop]
Speaker: B. Yegnanarayana (IIIT Hyderabad, India)
Title: Acoustic Correlates of Perceived Loudness of Speech Produced Indifferent Contexts

[2nd ORC Workshop]
Speaker 1: Roy D. Patterson (University of Cambridge, UK)
Title: The Role of F0 in the Perception of Musical Instrument Register

Speaker 2: Hideki Kawahara (Wakayama University, Japan)
Title: Recent Advances in Speech Representation and Manipulations Based on VOCODER Architecture

5.3 Other Research Fundings

5.3.1 Grants-in-Aid for Scientific ResearchGrand-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), 21700203

The project of “Research on intelligible live/recorded speech announcements in reverberant environments for older adults and non-native listeners” with Nao Hodoshima as the principal investigator has been in progress (Academic years 2009 – 2011).

6. Integration of Humanities with Science and Technology at Sophia University / Intramural Joint Research

6.1 Department of Linguistics

The ORC project previously mentioned is carried out with Professor Akira Ishikawa, Professor Kensaku Yoshida, Professor Shigeko Shinohara, and professors at the Research Center for Speech and Hearing (See Section 5.2).

Joint research with Professor Mitsuko Shindo and Professor Keiko Hara of the Research Center for Speech and Hearing as well as their students has been in progress. Please refer to [2010_132010_202010_21] for a part of the research achievements.

Professor Yoshida was one of the committee members of Arai Laboratory’s Hinako Masuda’s doctoral thesis in 2010. For Master’s theses, Professor Shindo was on Takahiko Shinoda’s committee, and Professor Tsutomu Sugawara was on Shunsuke Ido’s committee.

6.2 Cognitive Psychology Lab., Department of Psychology

ORC project with Professor Chikashi Michimata as well as the members of Cognitive Psychology Laboratory has been in progress (See Section 5.2).

7. Contributions to the Society, Books, etc.

7.1 National Museum of Nature and Science

See Section 1.5.2.

7.2 Hitachi Civic Center Science Museum

See Section 2.2.

8. Arai Lab. News

8.1 Journal Papers

A paper on the improvement of intelligibility by elderly listeners in reverberant listening environment appeared on IEEE Trans. on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing [2010_01]. A paper based on a joint research with Dr. Natasha Warner at University of Arizona appeared on Language and Speech [2010_02] (See Section 3.1). Hinako Masuda’s paper appeared on Acoustical Science and Technology [2010_03].

8.2 Defense of Doctoral Theses

Hinako Masuda’s defense for the doctorate’s degree took place in January 2010. Professor Yoshida from the Department of Linguistics was one of the committee members (See Section 6.1). Off-campus committee member was Doctor Hirokazu Sato, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. She was the fifth to complete the Doctor’s program under Arai’s supervision.

8.3 PD/RA

Nao Hodoshima who had been working as a PD at Arai Laboratory until March 2010 began her position as a lecturer at Tokai University from April 2010. Kanae Amino, who had also been working as a PD at Arai Laboratory since October 2009, began her position as a JSPS research fellow at National Research Institute of Police Science from April 2010.

Keiichi Yasu, Hinako Masuda, and Pek Kimhuoch continued the position of Research Assistant since April 2010. Takako Igeta also gained the position of Research Assistant.

8.4 Collaborative Researchers of the Faulty of Science and Technology

Junko Yoshii (Fujiyama, Inc..), Kiyohiro Kurisu (TOA Co.), Kei Kobayashi (Oakland University, New Zealand), and Yoko Saikachi (RIKEN) continued the position as collaborative researchers at the Faulty of Science and Technology.

8.5 Visiting Professor

Dr. Kenji Kurakata of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has been a visiting professor since October 2007 under the agreement on education and research cooperation between Sophia University and AIST.

8.6 Fastl Reading Group

The monthly Fastl Reading Group with the researchers of Rion Co., AIST, and Sophia University (especially Arai Lab. members) continue since 2007. The members are currently reading Fastl & Zwicker’s “Psychoacoustics”.

9. Titles of theses

9.1 Doctoral Thesis

Hinako Masuda
Effect of L1 influence and L2 proficiency on the perception and production of foreign sounds

9.2. Master’s Theses

Takahiko Shinoda
System development for recording speech and sound pressure level measurement and its application to listeners with normal speakers

Yushi Yamabe
Algorithm for real-time processing of speech steady-state suppression

Yudai Nakajima
Speech masker for real-time processing of sound masking system

Ken Kamijo
Proposal for detecting caption display timing algorithm in videos with captions

Toshimasa Suzuki
Simulation of sound source directivity using acoustic simulation and its application to sound source orientation estimation

Shunsuke Ido
Comparison of English speech perception in noise by Japanese monolinguals and Japanese-English bilinguals

Ayako Chiba
Evaluating listening difficulty of processed sounds in reverberation: Effect of steady-state suppression