Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-050405-192800

Document Typethesis
Author NameGeoffroy, Nancy Anne
TitleMeasuring Speech Intelligibility in Voice Alarm Communication Systems
DepartmentFire Protection Engineering
  • Dr. John Woycheese, Advisor
  • Dr. Kathy Notarianni, Department Head
  • Robert Schifiliti, Reader
  • Keywords
  • speech intelligibility
  • voice alarm communication system
  • common intelligibility scale (CIS)
  • speech transmission index (STI)
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2005-04-28
    Availability unrestricted


    Speech intelligibility of voice alarm communication systems is extremely important for proper notification and direction of building occupants. Currently, there is no minimum standard to which all voice alarm communication systems must be held. Tests were conducted to determine how system and room characteristics, and the addition of occupants, affect the intelligibility of a voice signal. This research outlines a methodology for measuring the speech intelligibility of a room and describes the impact of numerous variables on these measurements.

    Eight variables were considered for this study: speaker quantity and location, speaker power tap, sound pressure level (SPL), number and location of occupants, presence of furniture, location of intelligibility measurements, data collection method, and floor covering. All room characteristics had some affect on the room intelligibility; the sound pressure level of the signal and the number and location of occupants had the greatest overall impact on the intelligibility of the room. It is recommended, based on the results of this study, that further investigation be conducted in the following areas: floor finishes, speaker directivity, various population densities, furniture packages and room sizes.

  • ngeoffroy.pdf

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