Battling with the low-resource condition for snore sound recognition: introducing a meta-learning strategy

Jingtan Li, Mengkai Sun, Zhonghao Zhao, Xingcan Li, Gaigai Li, Chen Wu, Kun Qian, Bin Hu, Yoshiharu Yamamoto, Björn W. Schuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Snoring affects 57 % of men, 40 % of women, and 27 % of children in the USA. Besides, snoring is highly correlated with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is characterised by loud and frequent snoring. OSA is also closely associated with various life-threatening diseases such as sudden cardiac arrest and is regarded as a grave medical ailment. Preliminary studies have shown that in the USA, OSA affects over 34 % of men and 14 % of women. In recent years, polysomnography has increasingly been used to diagnose OSA. However, due to its drawbacks such as being time-consuming and costly, intelligent audio analysis of snoring has emerged as an alternative method. Considering the higher demand for identifying the excitation location of snoring in clinical practice, we utilised the Munich-Passau Snore Sound Corpus (MPSSC) snoring database which classifies the snoring excitation location into four categories. Nonetheless, the problem of small samples remains in the MPSSC database due to factors such as privacy concerns and difficulties in accurate labelling. In fact, accurately labelled medical data that can be used for machine learning is often scarce, especially for rare diseases. In view of this, Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning (MAML), a small sample method based on meta-learning, is used to classify snore signals with less resources in this work. The experimental results indicate that even when using only the ESC-50 dataset (non-snoring sound signals) as the data for meta-training, we are able to achieve an unweighted average recall of 60.2 % on the test dataset after fine-tuning on just 36 instances of snoring from the development part of the MPSSC dataset. While our results only exceed the baseline by 4.4 %, they still demonstrate that even with fine-tuning on a few instances of snoring, our model can outperform the baseline. This implies that the MAML algorithm can effectively tackle the low-resource problem even with limited data resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalEurasip Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer audition
  • Digital health
  • Low-resource
  • Meta-learning
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Snore sound classification


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