The paper investigates the interdependence between the perceptual identification of the vocalic quality of six isolated Polish vowels traditionally defined by the spectral envelope and the fundamental frequency F0. The stimuli used in the listening experiments were natural female and male voices, which were modified by changing the F0 values in the ±1 octave range. The results were then compared with the outcome of the experiments on fully synthetic voices. Despite the differences in the generation of the investigated stimuli and their technical quality, consistent results were obtained. They confirmed the findings that in the perceptual identification of vowels of key importance is not only the position of the formants on the F1 × F2 plane but also their relationship to F0, the connection between the formants and the harmonics and other factors. The paper presents, in quantitative terms, all possible kinds of perceptual shifts of Polish vowels from one phonetic category to another in the function of voice pitch. An additional perceptual experiment was also conducted to check a broader range of F0 changes and their impact on the identification of vowels in CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) structures. A mismatch between the formants and the glottal tone value can lead to a change in phonetic category.
A novel VC (voice conversion) method based on hybrid SVR (support vector regression) and GMM (Gaussian mixture model) is presented in the paper, the mapping abilities of SVR and GMM are exploited to map the spectral features of the source speaker to those of target ones. A new strategy of F0 transformation is also presented, the F0s are modeled with spectral features in a joint GMM and predicted from the converted spectral features using the SVR method. Subjective and objective tests are carried out to evaluate the VC performance; experimental results show that the converted speech using the proposed method can obtain a better quality than that using the state-of-the-art GMM method. Meanwhile, a VC method based on non-parallel data is also proposed, the speaker-specific information is investigated using the SVR method and preliminary subjective experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is feasible when a parallel corpus is not available.
The effect of the initial porosity on the material response under multi-axial stress state for S235JR steel using the Gurson-Tvergaard-Needleman (GTN) material model was examined. Three levels of initial porosity, defined by the void volume fraction f₀, were considered: zero porosity for fully dense material without pores, average and maximum porosity according to the metallurgical requirements for S235JR steel. The effect of the initial porosity on the material response was noticed for tensile elements under multi-axial stress state defined by high stress triaxiality σₘ/σe = 1.345. This effect was especially noticeable at the range of the material failure. In terms of the load-bearing capacity of the elements, the conservative results were obtained when maximum value of f₀ = 0.0024 was used for S235JR steel under multi-axial stress state, and this value is recommended to use in the calculations in order to preserve the highest safety level of the structure. In usual engineering calculations, the average porosity defined by f₀ = 0.001 may be applied for S235JR.