Dereverberation and noise reduction techniques based on acoustic multi-channel equalization

In many hands-free speech communication applications such as teleconferencing or voice-controlled applications, the recorded microphone signals do not only contain the desired speech signal, but also attenuated and delayed copies of the desired speech signal due to reverberation as well as additive background noise. Reverberation and background noise cause a signal degradation which can impair speech intelligibility and decrease the performance for many signal processing techniques. Acoustic multi-channel equalization techniques, which aim at inverting or reshaping the measured or estimated room impulse responses between the speech source and the microphone array, comprise an attractive approach to speech dereverberation since in theory perfect dereverberation can be achieved. However in practice, such techniques suffer from several drawbacks, such as uncontrolled perceptual effects, sensitivity to perturbations in the measured or estimated room impulse responses, and background noise amplification. The aim of this thesis ...

Kodrasi, Ina — University of Oldenburg


A multimicrophone approach to speech processing in a smart-room environment

Recent advances in computer technology and speech and language processing have made possible that some new ways of person-machine communication and computer assistance to human activities start to appear feasible. Concretely, the interest on the development of new challenging applications in indoor environments equipped with multiple multimodal sensors, also known as smart-rooms, has considerably grown. In general, it is well-known that the quality of speech signals captured by microphones that can be located several meters away from the speakers is severely distorted by acoustic noise and room reverberation. In the context of the development of hands-free speech applications in smart-room environments, the use of obtrusive sensors like close-talking microphones is usually not allowed, and consequently, speech technologies must operate on the basis of distant-talking recordings. In such conditions, speech technologies that usually perform reasonably well in free of noise and ...

Abad, Alberto — Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya


Spherical Microphone Array Processing for Acoustic Parameter Estimation and Signal Enhancement

In many distant speech acquisition scenarios, such as hands-free telephony or teleconferencing, the desired speech signal is corrupted by noise and reverberation. This degrades both the speech quality and intelligibility, making communication difficult or even impossible. Speech enhancement techniques seek to mitigate these effects and extract the desired speech signal. This objective is commonly achieved through the use of microphone arrays, which take advantage of the spatial properties of the sound field in order to reduce noise and reverberation. Spherical microphone arrays, where the microphones are arranged in a spherical configuration, usually mounted on a rigid baffle, are able to analyze the sound field in three dimensions; the captured sound field can then be efficiently described in the spherical harmonic domain (SHD). In this thesis, a number of novel spherical array processing algorithms are proposed, based in the SHD. In ...

Jarrett, Daniel P. — Imperial College London


Flexible Multi-Microphone Acquisition and Processing of Spatial Sound Using Parametric Sound Field Representations

This thesis deals with the efficient and flexible acquisition and processing of spatial sound using multiple microphones. In spatial sound acquisition and processing, we use multiple microphones to capture the sound of multiple sources being simultaneously active at a rever- berant recording side and process the sound depending on the application at the application side. Typical applications include source extraction, immersive spatial sound reproduction, or speech enhancement. A flexible sound acquisition and processing means that we can capture the sound with almost arbitrary microphone configurations without constraining the application at the ap- plication side. This means that we can realize and adjust the different applications indepen- dently of the microphone configuration used at the recording side. For example in spatial sound reproduction, where we aim at reproducing the sound such that the listener perceives the same impression as if he ...

Thiergart, Oliver — Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg


Adaptive filtering techniques for noise reduction and acoustic feedback cancellation in hearing aids

Understanding speech in noise and the occurrence of acoustic feedback belong to the major problems of current hearing aid users. Hence, an urgent demand exists for efficient and well-working digital signal processing algorithms that offer a solution to these issues. In this thesis we develop adaptive filtering techniques for noise reduction and acoustic feedback cancellation. Thanks to the availability of low power digital signal processors, these algorithms can be integrated in a hearing aid. Because of the ongoing miniaturization in the hearing aid industry and the growing tendency towards multi-microphone hearing aids, robustness against imperfections such as microphone mismatch, has become a major issue in the design of a noise reduction algorithm. In this thesis we propose multimicrophone noise reduction techniques that are based on multi-channel Wiener filtering (MWF). Theoretical and experimental analysis demonstrate that these MWF-based techniques are less ...

Spriet, Ann — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Design and evaluation of noise reduction techniques for binaural hearing aids

One of the main complaints of hearing aid users is their degraded speech understanding in noisy environments. Modern hearing aids therefore include noise reduction techniques. These techniques are typically designed for a monaural application, i.e. in a single device. However, the majority of hearing aid users currently have hearing aids at both ears in a so-called bilateral fitting, as it is widely accepted that this leads to a better speech understanding and user satisfaction. Unfortunately, the independent signal processing (in particular the noise reduction) in a bilateral fitting can destroy the so-called binaural cues, namely the interaural time and level differences (ITDs and ILDs) which are used to localize sound sources in the horizontal plane. A recent technological advance are so-called binaural hearing aids, where a wireless link allows for the exchange of data (or even microphone signals) between the ...

Cornelis, Bram — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Direction Finding In The Presence of Array Imperfections, Model Mismatches and Multipath

In direction finding (DF) applications, there are several factors affecting the estimation accuracy of the direction-of-arrivals (DOA) of unknown source locations. The major distortions in the estimation process are due to the array imperfections, model mismatches and multipath. The array imperfections usually exist in practical applications due to the nonidealities in the antenna array such as mutual coupling (MC) and gain/phase uncertainties. The model mismatches usually occur when the model of the received signal differs from the signal model used in the processing stage of the DF system. Another distortion is due to multipath signals. In the multipath scenario, the antenna array receives the transmitted signal from more than one path with different directions and the array covariance matrix is rank-deficient. In this thesis, three new methods are proposed for the problems in DF applications in the presence of array ...

Elbir, Ahmet M. — Middle East Technical Univresity


Adaptive filtering algorithms for acoustic echo and noise cancellation

In this thesis, we develop a number of algorithms for acoustic echo and noise cancellation. We derive a fast exact implementation for the affine projection algorithm (APA), and we also show that when using strong regularization the existing (approximating) fast techniques exhibit problems. We develop a number of algorithms for noise cancellation based on optimal filtering techniques for multi-microphone systems. By using QR-decomposition based techniques, a complexity reduction of a factor 50 to 100 is achieved compared to existing implementations. Finally, we show that instead of using a cascade of a noise-cancellation system and an echo-cancellation system, it is better to solve the combined problem as a global optimization problem. The aforementioned noise reduction techniques can be used to solve this optimization problem.

Rombouts, Geert — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Adaptive filtering algorithms for acoustic echo cancellation and acoustic feedback control in speech communication applications

Multimedia consumer electronics are nowadays everywhere from teleconferencing, hands-free communications, in-car communications to smart TV applications and more. We are living in a world of telecommunication where ideal scenarios for implementing these applications are hard to find. Instead, practical implementations typically bring many problems associated to each real-life scenario. This thesis mainly focuses on two of these problems, namely, acoustic echo and acoustic feedback. On the one hand, acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) is widely used in mobile and hands-free telephony where the existence of echoes degrades the intelligibility and listening comfort. On the other hand, acoustic feedback limits the maximum amplification that can be applied in, e.g., in-car communications or in conferencing systems, before howling due to instability, appears. Even though AEC and acoustic feedback cancellation (AFC) are functional in many applications, there are still open issues. This means that ...

Gil-Cacho, Jose Manuel — KU Leuven


Embedded Optimization Algorithms for Perceptual Enhancement of Audio Signals

This thesis investigates the design and evaluation of an embedded optimization framework for the perceptual enhancement of audio signals which are degraded by linear and/or nonlinear distortion. In general, audio signal enhancement has the goal to improve the perceived audio quality, speech intelligibility, or another desired perceptual attribute of the distorted audio signal by applying a real-time digital signal processing algorithm. In the designed embedded optimization framework, the audio signal enhancement problem under consideration is formulated and solved as a per-frame numerical optimization problem, allowing to compute the enhanced audio signal frame that is optimal according to a desired perceptual attribute. The first stage of the embedded optimization framework consists in the formulation of the per-frame optimization problem aimed at maximally enhancing the desired perceptual attribute, by explicitly incorporating a suitable model of human sound perception. The second stage of ...

Defraene, Bruno — KU Leuven


Auditory Inspired Methods for Multiple Speaker Localization and Tracking Using a Circular Microphone Array

This thesis presents a new approach to the problem of localizing and tracking multiple acoustic sources using a microphone array. The use of microphone arrays offers enhancements of speech signals recorded in meeting rooms and office spaces. A common solution for speech enhancement in realistic environments with ambient noise and multi-path propagation is the application of so-called beamforming techniques, that enhance signals at the desired angle, using constructive interference, while attenuating signals coming from other directions, by destructive interference. Such beamforming algorithms require as prior knowledge the source location. Therefore, source localization and tracking algorithms are an integral part of such a system. However, conventional localization algorithms deteriorate in realistic scenarios with multiple concurrent speakers. In contrast to conventional localization algorithms, the localization algorithm presented in this thesis makes use of fundamental frequency or pitch information of speech signals in ...

Habib, Tania — Signal Processing and Speech Communication Laboratory, Graz University of Technology, Austria


Sparse Modeling Heuristics for Parameter Estimation - Applications in Statistical Signal Processing

This thesis examines sparse statistical modeling on a range of applications in audio modeling, audio localizations, DNA sequencing, and spectroscopy. In the examined cases, the resulting estimation problems are computationally cumbersome, both as one often suffers from a lack of model order knowledge for this form of problems, but also due to the high dimensionality of the parameter spaces, which typically also yield optimization problems with numerous local minima. In this thesis, these problems are treated using sparse modeling heuristics, with the resulting criteria being solved using convex relaxations, inspired from disciplined convex programming ideas, to maintain tractability. The contributions to audio modeling and estimation focus on the estimation of the fundamental frequency of harmonically related sinusoidal signals, which is commonly used model for, e.g., voiced speech or tonal audio. We examine both the problems of estimating multiple audio sources ...

Adalbjörnsson, Stefan Ingi — Lund University


Speech Enhancement Algorithms for Audiological Applications

The improvement of speech intelligibility is a traditional problem which still remains open and unsolved. The recent boom of applications such as hands-free communi- cations or automatic speech recognition systems and the ever-increasing demands of the hearing-impaired community have given a definitive impulse to the research in this area. This PhD thesis is focused on speech enhancement for audiological applications. Most of the research conducted in this thesis has been focused on the improvement of speech intelligibility in hearing aids, considering the variety of restrictions and limitations imposed by this type of devices. The combination of source separation techniques and spatial filtering with machine learning and evolutionary computation has originated novel and interesting algorithms which are included in this thesis. The thesis is divided in two main parts. The first one contains a preliminary study of the problem and a ...

Ayllón, David — Universidad de Alcalá


Auditory Inspired Methods for Multiple Speaker Localization and Tracking Using a Circular Microphone Array

This thesis presents a new approach to the problem of localizing and tracking multiple acoustic sources using a microphone array. The use of microphone arrays offers enhancements of speech signals recorded in meeting rooms and office spaces. A common solution for speech enhancement in realistic environments with ambient noise and multi-path propagation is the application of so-called beamforming techniques, that enhance signals at the desired angle, using constructive interference, while attenuating signals coming from other directions, by destructive interference. Such beamforming algorithms require as prior knowledge the source location. Therefore, source localization and tracking algorithms are an integral part of such a system. However, conventional localization algorithms deteriorate in realistic scenarios with multiple concurrent speakers. In contrast to conventional localization algorithms, the localization algorithm presented in this thesis makes use of fundamental frequency or pitch information of speech signals in ...

Tania Habib — Graz University of Technology


Post-Filter Optimization for Multichannel Automotive Speech Enhancement

In an automotive environment, quality of speech communication using a hands-free equipment is often deteriorated by interfering car noise. In order to preserve the speech signal without car noise, a multichannel speech enhancement system including a beamformer and a post-filter can be applied. Since employing a beamformer alone is insufficient to substantially reducing the level of car noise, a post-filter has to be applied to provide further noise reduction, especially at low frequencies. In this thesis, two novel post-filter designs along with their optimization for different driving conditions are presented. The first post-filter design utilizes an adaptive smoothing factor for the power spectral density estimation as well as a hybrid noise coherence function. The hybrid noise coherence function is a mixture of the diffuse and the measured noise coherence functions for a specific driving condition. The second post-filter design applies ...

Yu, Huajun — Technische Universität Braunschweig

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