Deep Noise Suppression Challenge – INTERSPEECH 2020

About

The DNS Challenge at INTERSPEECH 2020 is intended to promote collaborative research in single-channel Speech Enhancement aimed to maximize the perceptual quality and intelligibility of the enhanced speech. The challenge will evaluate the speech quality using the online subjective evaluation framework ITU-T P.808. The challenge provides large datasets for training noise suppressors, but allows participants to use any datasets of their choice. Participants can also augment their datasets with the provided data. The challenge also provides a test set that is very extensive. The test set contains both synthetic noisy speech and also real recordings. The final evaluation will be conducted on a blind test set that is similar to the open sourced test set. We also provide model and inference scripts for a baseline noise suppressor that was recently published.

More details about the open sourced data, baseline noise suppressor, ITU-T P.808 and DNS challenge can be found here.

Submitted papers will fall under one of these two tracks based on the computational complexity.

  • Real-Time Track:
    This track focuses on low computational complexity. The algorithm must take less than T/2 (in ms) to process a frame of size T (in ms) on an Intel Core i5 quad core machine clocked at 2.4 GHz or equivalent processors. Frame length T should be less than or equal to 40ms.
  • Non-Real-Time Track:
    This track relaxes the constraints on computational time so that researchers can explore deeper models to attain exceptional speech quality.

In both the tracks, the Speech Enhancement method may have a maximum of 40ms look ahead. To infer the current frame T (in ms), the algorithm can access any number of past frames but only 40ms of future frames (T+40ms).

The blind test will be provided to the participating teams on March 18th, 2020. The enhanced clips must be sent back to the organizers by March 22nd, 2020. The organizers will conduct subjective evaluation using ITU-T P.808 framework to get the final ranking of the methods. Please visit Rules for more details.

Participants are forbidden from using the blind test set to retrain or tweak their models. They must not submit clips enhanced using any speech enhancement method that is not being submitted to INTERSPEECH 2020 by the authors. Failing to adhere to these rules will lead to disqualification from the challenge.

Registration

Please send an email to dns_challenge@microsoft.com stating that you are interested to participate in the challenge. Please include the following details in your email:

  • Names of the participants and name of the team captain
  • Institution/Company
  • Email

Prizes

Top three winning teams from each track will be awarded prizes as outlined in the description of the rules.

Please email us, if you have any questions or need clarification about any aspect of the challenge.

Rules

Official rules

SPONSOR

These Official Rules (“Rules”) govern the operation of the Microsoft M365 Core INTERSPEECH 2020 Deep Noise Suppression Event Contest (“Contest”). Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052, USA, is the Contest sponsor (“Sponsor”).

DEFINITIONS

In these Rules, “Microsoft”, “we”, “our”, and “us”, refer to Sponsor and “you” and “yourself” refers to a Contest participant, or the parent/legal guardian of any Contest entrant who has not reached the age of majority to contractually obligate themselves in their legal place of residence. “Event” refers to the INTERSPEECH 2020 Deep Noise Suppression (see details in the Overview) event held in Shanghai, China (the “Event”). By entering you (your parent/legal guardian if you are not the age of majority in your legal place of residence) agree to be bound by these Rules.

ENTRY PERIOD

The Contest will operate from January 20, 2020 to June 19, 2020 (“Entry Period”). The Entry Period is divided into several periods as described in Section 5 How to Enter.

ELIGIBILITY

Open to any registered Event attendee 18 years of age or older. If you are 18 years of age or older but have not reached the age of majority in your legal place of residence, then you must have consent of a parent/legal guardian. Employees and directors of Microsoft Corporation and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising agencies, and Contest Parties are not eligible, nor are persons involved in the execution or administration of this promotion, or the family members of each above (parents, children, siblings, spouse/domestic partners, or individuals residing in the same household). Void in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Region of Crimea, and where prohibited. For business/tradeshow events: If you are attending the Event in your capacity as an employee, it is your sole responsibility to comply with your employer’s gift policies. Microsoft will not be party to any disputes or actions related to this matter. PLEASE NOTE: If you are a public sector employee (government and education), all prize awards will be awarded directly to your public sector organization and subject to receipt of a gift letter signed by your agency/institution’s ethics officer, attorney, or designated executive/officer responsible for your organization’s gifts/ethics policy. Microsoft seeks to ensure that by offering items of value at no charge in promotional settings it does not create any violation of the letter or spirit of the entrant’s applicable gifts and ethics rules.

HOW TO ENTER

The Contest Objective is to promote collaborative research in real-time single-channel Speech Enhancement aimed to maximize the subjective (perceptual) quality of the enhanced speech. Prizes will be awarded based on the speech quality of deep noise suppression models using the online subjective evaluation framework ITU-T P.808. Only models described in accepted INTERSPEECH 2020 papers will be eligible for prizes. See https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2001/2001.08662.pdf for additional Contest details. You may participate as an individual or a team. If forming a team, you must designate a “Team Captain” who will submit all entry materials on behalf of the team and act as the recipient of any prizes that the team may win. Once you register as part of a Team, you cannot change Teams or alter your current team (either by adding or removing members) after the submission of your Entry. Limit one Entry per person and per team. You may not compete on multiple teams and you may not enter individually and on a team. We are not responsible for Entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for Entries that we receive but are not decipherable or not functional for any reason. Each Team is solely responsible for its own cooperation and teamwork. In no event will Microsoft officiate in any dispute regarding the conduct or cooperation of any Team or its members. The Contest will operate as follows:

Registration / Development Period: January 20 – March 22

To register, please send an email to dns_challenge@microsoft.com stating that you are interested to participate in the challenge. Please include the following details in your email:

  • Names of the participants and name of the team captain
  • Institution/Company
  • Email

Then i. develop a speech enhancement model that best meets the Contest Objective as described more fully at https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2001/2001.08662.pdf and ii. submit a paper to INTERSPEECH 2020 which reports the computational complexity of the model in terms of the number of parameters and the time it takes to infer a frame on a particular CPU (preferably Intel Core i5 quad core machine clocked at 2.4 GHz). To develop your model, use any publicly available dataset for training noise, including the Contest datasets provided for training and developing models. You may augment your datasets with the Contest dataset. You may mix clean speech and noise in any way that improves the performance of your model.

The final evaluation will be conducted on a blind test set that is similar to the open sourced test set. You may use scripts for a baseline noise suppressor that was recently published here.

Testing / Entry Period: March 18 – June 19, 2020. On March March 18th  the blind test dataset will be sent to the email provided during registration. You will have until 11:59 PM PT on March 22nd  to test your model against this dataset and create a set of enhanced clips to submit for judging (your “Entry”).

You may not use the blind test set to retrain or tweak your model. To submit your entry, share the processed audio signals of the blind test set with the organizers, dns_challenge@microsoft.com, via any publicly accessible file sharing tool such as OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. Each Entry will fall in one of two tracks based on the computational complexity as determined by the Judging Panel:

Both the tracks are focused on low computational complexity denoising. The algorithm must take less than T/2 (in ms) to process a frame of size T (in ms) on an Intel Core i5 quad core machine clocked at 2.4 GHz or equivalent processors. Frame length T should be less than or equal to 40ms. Interspeech 2020 Paper Paper Submission and Judging Period: March 22 – 11: 59 PM PT June 19, 2020. Your Entry must be described in a paper accepted by INTERSPEECH 2020. To submit a paper, visit http://www.interspeech2020.org/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=lists&catid=66 and follow instructions to submit a paper.

The entry limit is one per person during the Entry Period. Any attempt by any you to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different accounts, identities, registrations, logins, or any other methods will void your entries and you may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited.

We are not responsible for excess, lost, late, or incomplete entries. If disputed, entries will be deemed submitted by the “authorized account holder” of the email address, social media account, or other method used to enter. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned to an email address by an internet or online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses.

ELIGIBLE ENTRY

To be eligible, an entry must meet the following content/technical requirements:

  • Your Entry must be the method described in a paper accepted by INTERSPEECH 2020
  • Your entry must be your own original work; and
  • Your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • You must have obtained any and all consents, approvals, or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and

To the extent that entry requires the submission of user-generated content such as software, photos, videos, music, artwork, essays, etc., entrants warrant that their entry is their original work, has not been copied from others without permission or apparent rights, and does not violate the privacy, intellectual property rights, or other rights of any other person or entity. You may include Microsoft trademarks, logos, and designs, for which Microsoft grants you a limited license to use for the sole purposes of submitting an entry into this Contest; and

Your entry may NOT contain, as determined by us in our sole and absolute discretion, any content that is obscene or offensive, violent, defamatory, disparaging or illegal, or that promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco or a particular political agenda, or that communicates messages that may reflect negatively on the goodwill of Microsoft.

Your entry must NOT include enhanced clips using other noise suppression methods that you are not submitting to INTERSPEECH 2020.

USE OF ENTRIES

We are not claiming ownership rights to your Submission. However, by submitting an entry, you grant us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest and use your entry in any media whatsoever now known or later invented for any non-commercial or commercial purpose, including, but not limited to, the marketing, sale or promotion of Microsoft products or services, without further permission from you. You will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules.

By entering you acknowledge that the we may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your entry and you waive any claims resulting from any similarities to your entry. Further you understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry and you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law.

Your entry may be posted on a public website. We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this website. We are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry.

WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION

Pending confirmation of eligibility, potential prize winners will be selected by Microsoft or their Agent or a qualified judging panel from among all eligible entries received based on the following judging criteria: 99% – The subjective speech quality evaluated on the blind test set using ITU-T P.808 framework. We will use the submitted clips with no alteration to conduct ITU-T P.808 subjective evaluation and pick the winners based on the results. Among the submitted proposals differing by less than 0.1 MOS, the lower complexity model will be given higher ranking. See https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2001/2001.08662.pdf for additional Contest details. 1% – The Entry was described in an accepted INTERSPEECH 2020 paper Winners will be selected within 7 days following the event. Winners will be notified within 7 days following the Event with winner instructions, including a prize claim deadline.

In the event of a tie between any eligible entries, an additional judge will break the tie based on the judging criteria described above. The decisions of the judges are final and binding. If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than the number of Contest Prizes described below. If public vote determines winners, it is prohibited for any person to obtain votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including offering prizes or other inducements in exchange for votes, automated programs or fraudulent i.d’s. Microsoft will void any questionable votes.

Winners will be notified via the contact information provided during entry and may be required to complete a prize claim and tax form (“Forms”). If a selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim a prize or fails to return any Forms, the selected winner will forfeit their prize and an alternate winner will be selected time allowing. Only three alternate winners will be selected, after which unclaimed prizes will remain unawarded.

PRIZES

The following prizes will be awarded:

  • Two First Prizes: Each winner will receive: $1,000, paid in the form of a check from the sponsor or donation to the Individual Entrant or Team Captain’s Educational institution. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $1,000.00.
  • Two (2) Second Prizes: Each winner will receive: $500, paid in the form of a check from the sponsor or donation to the Individual Entrant or Team Captain’s Educational Institution Approximate Retail Value (ARV)
  • Two (2) Third Prizes: Each winner will receive: A(n) Cash. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $250.00.

All prizes are stated in US dollars.

The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes: $3,500.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a public sector employee (government and education), your prize will be awarded directly to your public sector organization as a donation, and subject to receipt of a gift letter signed by your agency/institution’s ethics officer, attorney, or designated executive/officer responsible for your organization’s gifts/ethics policy.

We will only award one prize per person. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded. No substitution, transfer, or assignment of prize permitted, except that Microsoft reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event the offered prize is unavailable. Prizes are awarded “AS IS” with no warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties or merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. Prize winners may be required to complete and return prize claim and / or tax forms (“Forms”) within the deadline stated in the winner notification. Taxes on the prize, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner, who is advised to seek independent counsel regarding the tax implications of accepting a prize. By accepting a prize, you agree that Microsoft may use your entry, name, image and hometown online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.

ODDS

The odds of winning are based on the number and quality of eligible entries received.

GENERAL CONDITIONS AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY

To the extent allowed by law, by entering you agree to release and hold harmless Microsoft and its respective parents, partners, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss, or damage of any kind arising in connection with this Contest or any prize won.

All local laws apply. The decisions of Microsoft are final and binding.

We reserve the right to cancel, change, or suspend this Contest for any reason, including cheating, technology failure, catastrophe, war, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that affects the integrity of this Contest, whether human or mechanical. If the integrity of the Contest cannot be restored, we may select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

If you attempt or we have strong reason to believe that you have compromised the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by cheating, hacking, creating a bot or other automated program, or by committing fraud in any way, we may seek damages from you to the full extent of the law and you may be banned from participation in future Microsoft promotions.

GOVERNING LAW

This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest.

WINNERS LIST

Send an email to dns_challenge@microsoft.com with the subject line “INTERSPEECH 2020 Deep Noise Suppression (see details in the Overview) winners” within 30 days of June 19, 2020 to receive a list of winners that received a prize worth $25.00 or more.

PRIVACY

At Microsoft, we are committed to protecting your privacy. Microsoft uses the information you provide on this form to notify you of important information about our products, upgrades and enhancements, and to send you information about other Microsoft products and services. Microsoft will not share the information you provide with third parties without your permission except where necessary to complete the services or transactions you have requested, or as required by law. Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Your personal information is never shared outside the company without your permission, except under conditions explained above.

If you believe that Microsoft has not adhered to this statement, please contact Microsoft by sending an email to privrc@microsoft.com or postal mail to Microsoft Privacy Response Center, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA

Timeline

Program timeline

  • January 20, 2020 | Release of the datasets and scripts for training and testing
  • March 30, 2020 | Complimentary P.808 Subjective evaluation
  • April 22, 2020 | Release of the blind test set
  • April 27, 2020 | Deadline for participants to submit their enhanced clips for P.808 evaluation on the blind test set
  • May 4, 2020 | Organizers will notify the participants about the results
  • May 8, 2020 | Regular paper submission deadline for INTERSPEECH 2020
  • July 24, 2020 | Paper acceptance/rejection notification
  • July 31, 2020 | Notification of the winners with winner instructions, including a prize claim deadline

Organizers

Organizers

  • Chandan K A Reddy, Microsoft, USA
  • Hari Dubey, Microsoft, USA
  • Ross Cutler, Microsoft, USA
  • Johannes Gehrke, Microsoft Research Redmond
  • Vishak Gopal, Microsoft, USA
  • Robert Aichner, Microsoft, USA

Results

Phase 1 Results
Organization Team # Complexity Synthetic MOS Synthetic dMOS Real Recordings MOS Real Recordings dMOS Synthetic Reverb MOS Synthetic Reverb dMOS Overall MOS Overall dMOS 95% CI
Amazon 9 NRT 4.07 0.74 3.52 0.55 3.33 0.55 3.61 0.60 0.02
Amazon 9 RT 3.92 0.59 3.51 0.53 3.16 0.38 3.52 0.51 0.02
North Western Polytechnical University, China 29 RT 4.01 0.69 3.48 0.51 3.10 0.32 3.52 0.51 0.02
Microsoft – 1 NRT 3.98 0.66 3.41 0.44 3.22 0.44 3.51 0.50 0.02
North Western Polytechnical University, China 29 NRT 3.98 0.66 3.40 0.43 3.15 0.37 3.48 0.47 0.02
TU Braunschweig and Goodix Technology 17 NRT 3.85 0.52 3.39 0.41 3.23 0.46 3.46 0.45 0.02
Sony and CMU 14 NRT 3.86 0.53 3.42 0.44 3.16 0.39 3.46 0.45 0.02
TU Braunschweig and Goodix Technology 17 RT 3.86 0.54 3.39 0.42 3.21 0.43 3.46 0.45 0.02
Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Science 30 NRT 3.81 0.48 3.33 0.36 3.02 0.24 3.37 0.36 0.02
Supertone/Seoul National University 20 NRT 3.75 0.43 3.28 0.31 3.12 0.34 3.36 0.35 0.02
Microsoft-2 RT 3.76 0.44 3.26 0.29 3.08 0.30 3.34 0.33 0.02
Westlake University, INRIA Grenoble Rhone-Alpes 37 RT 3.67 0.35 3.30 0.33 3.02 0.24 3.32 0.31 0.02
CASIA and John Hopkins 15 NRT 3.73 0.41 3.30 0.33 2.94 0.16 3.32 0.31 0.02
Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science 6 NRT 3.68 0.36 3.31 0.34 2.90 0.12 3.30 0.29 0.02
CASIA and John Hopkins 15 RT 3.63 0.31 3.25 0.27 2.94 0.16 3.27 0.25 0.02
Shandong University of Technology 18 RT 3.68 0.36 3.33 0.36 2.65 -0.12 3.25 0.24 0.02
Supertone/Seoul National University 20 RT 3.60 0.27 3.19 0.22 2.98 0.20 3.24 0.23 0.02
Carl Von Ossietzky University Oldenburg 22 RT 3.58 0.25 3.21 0.24 2.95 0.17 3.24 0.23 0.02
Sayint.ai 25 NRT 3.74 0.42 3.25 0.27 2.62 -0.16 3.21 0.20 0.02
Academia Sinica 5 NRT 3.63 0.30 3.18 0.21 2.83 0.06 3.21 0.19 0.02
Facebook AI, INRIA 41 NRT 3.67 0.34 3.19 0.21 2.78 0.00 3.20 0.19 0.02
Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg 40 RT 3.54 0.21 3.18 0.20 2.92 0.14 3.20 0.19 0.02
Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Science 30 RT 3.50 0.17 3.10 0.13 2.90 0.12 3.15 0.14 0.02
Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Science 30 RT 3.50 0.17 3.10 0.13 2.90 0.12 3.15 0.14 0.02
Facebook AI, INRIA 41 RT 3.61 0.28 3.08 0.10 2.70 -0.07 3.12 0.11 0.02
Citicbank credic card center 36 RT 3.46 0.14 3.04 0.07 2.70 -0.07 3.06 0.05 0.02
Baseline-NSNet RT 3.49 0.17 3.00 0.03 2.64 -0.14 3.03 0.02 0.02
Noisy Blind test set 3.32 0 2.97 0 2.78 0 3.01 0 0.02
Phase 2 Results
Organization Team # Complexity Synthetic MOS Synthetic dMOS Real Recordings MOS Real Recordings dMOS Synthetic Reverb MOS Synthetic Reverb dMOS Overall MOS Overall dMOS 95% CI
Amazon 9 NRT 4.07 0.94 3.40 0.57 3.19 0.54 3.52 0.67 0.01
North Western Polytechnical University, China 29 RT 4.00 0.87 3.37 0.54 2.94 0.30 3.42 0.57 0.01
Amazon 9 RT 3.87 0.74 3.38 0.55 2.97 0.32 3.39 0.54 0.01
TU Braunschweig and Goodix Technology 17 NRT 3.83 0.70 3.28 0.45 3.15 0.51 3.38 0.53 0.01
North Western Polytechnical University, China 29 NRT 3.90 0.77 3.34 0.52 2.96 0.31 3.38 0.53 0.01
TU Braunschweig and Goodix Technology 17 RT 3.83 0.69 3.27 0.44 3.11 0.47 3.36 0.52 0.01
Sony and CMU 14 NRT 3.76 0.63 3.32 0.49 2.98 0.33 3.34 0.49 0.01
Blind test set 3.13 0 2.83 0 2.64 0 2.85 0 0.01