TorchDIVA: An extensible computational model of speech production built on an open-source machine learning library

Sean P. Kinahan, Julie M. Liss, Visar Berisha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The DIVA model is a computational model of speech motor control that combines a simulation of the brain regions responsible for speech production with a model of the human vocal tract. The model is currently implemented in Matlab Simulink; however, this is less than ideal as most of the development in speech technology research is done in Python. This means there is a wealth of machine learning tools which are freely available in the Python ecosystem that cannot be easily integrated with DIVA. We present TorchDIVA, a full rebuild of DIVA in Python using PyTorch tensors. DIVA source code was directly translated from Matlab to Python, and built-in Simulink signal blocks were implemented from scratch. After implementation, the accuracy of each module was evaluated via systematic block-by-block validation. The TorchDIVA model is shown to produce outputs that closely match those of the original DIVA model, with a negligible difference between the two. We additionally present an example of the extensibility of TorchDIVA as a research platform. Speech quality enhancement in TorchDIVA is achieved through an integration with an existing PyTorch generative vocoder called DiffWave. A modified DiffWave mel-spectrum upsampler was trained on human speech waveforms and conditioned on the TorchDIVA speech production. The results indicate improved speech quality metrics in the DiffWave-enhanced output as compared to the baseline. This enhancement would have been difficult or impossible to accomplish in the original Matlab implementation. This proof-of-concept demonstrates the value TorchDIVA can bring to the research community. Researchers can download the new implementation at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0281306
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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