Design and evaluation of digital signal processing algorithms for acoustic feedback and echo cancellation

This thesis deals with several open problems in acoustic echo cancellation and acoustic feedback control. Our main goal has been to develop solutions that provide a high performance and sound quality, and behave in a robust way in realistic conditions. This can be achieved by departing from the traditional ad-hoc methods, and instead deriving theoretically well-founded solutions, based on results from parameter estimation and system identification. In the development of these solutions, the computational efficiency has permanently been taken into account as a design constraint, in that the complexity increase compared to the state-of-the-art solutions should not exceed 50 % of the original complexity. In the context of acoustic echo cancellation, we have investigated the problems of double-talk robustness, acoustic echo path undermodeling, and poor excitation. The two former problems have been tackled by including adaptive decorrelation filters in the ...

van Waterschoot, Toon — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Digital signal processing algorithms for noise reduction, dynamic range compression, and feedback cancellation in hearing aids

Hearing loss can be caused by many factors, e.g., daily exposure to excessive noise in the work environment and listening to loud music. Another important reason can be age-related, i.e., the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. In general hearing impaired people suffer from a frequency-dependent hearing loss and from a reduced dynamic range between the hearing threshold and the uncomfortable level. This means that the uncomfortable level for normal hearing and hearing impaired people suffering from so called sensorineural hearing loss remains the same but the hearing threshold and the sensitivity to soft sounds are shifted as a result of the hearing loss. To compensate for this kind of hearing loss the hearing aid should include a frequency-dependent and a level-dependent gain. The corresponding digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm is referred to as dynamic range ...

Ngo, Kim — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Acoustic Feedback Cancellation Systems for Hearing Aids

Acoustic feedback problems occur when the output loudspeaker signal of an audio system is partly returned to the input microphone via an acoustic coupling through the air. This problem often causes significant performance degradations in applications such as public address systems and hearing aids. In the worst case, the audio system becomes unstable and howling occurs. In this work, first we analyze a general multiple microphone audio processing system, where a cancellation system using adaptive filters is used to cancel the effect of acoustic feedback. We introduce and derive an accurate approximation of a frequency domain measure—the power transfer function—and show how it can be used to predict system behaviors of the entire cancellation system across time and frequency without knowing the true acoustic feed-back paths. Furthermore, we consider the biased estimation problem, which is one of the most challenging ...

Guo, Meng — Aalborg University


Adaptive Algorithms for Intelligent Acoustic Interfaces

Modern speech communications are evolving towards a new direction which involves users in a more perceptive way. That is the immersive experience, which may be considered as the “last mile” problem of telecommunications. One of the main feature of immersive communications is the distant-talking, i.e. the hands-free (in the broad sense) speech communications without bodyworn or tethered microphones that takes place in a multisource environment where interfering signals may degrade the communication quality and the intelligibility of the desired speech source. In order to preserve speech quality intelligent acoustic interfaces may be used. An intelligent acoustic interface may comprise multiple microphones and loudspeakers and its peculiarity is to model the acoustic channel in order to adapt to user requirements and to environment conditions. This is the reason why intelligent acoustic interfaces are based on adaptive filtering algorithms. The acoustic path ...

Comminiello, Danilo — Sapienza University of Rome


Some Contributions to Adaptive Filtering for Acoustic Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output Systems in the Wave Domain

Recently emerging techniques like wave field synthesis (WFS) or Higher-Order Ambisonics (HOA) allow for high-quality spatial audio reproduction, which makes them candidates for the audio reproduction in future telepresence systems or interactive gaming environments with acoustic human-machine interfaces. In such scenarios, acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) will generally be necessary to remove the loudspeaker echoes in the recorded microphone signals before further processing. Moreover, the reproduction quality of WFS or HOA can be improved by adaptive pre-equalization of the loudspeaker signals, as facilitated by listening room equalization (LRE). However, AEC and LRE require adaptive filters, where the large number of reproduction channels of WFS and HOA imply major computational and algorithmic challenges for the implementation of adaptive filters. A technique called wave-domain adaptive filtering (WDAF) promises to master these challenges. However, known literature is still far away from providing sufficient insight ...

Schneider, Martin — Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg


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


Complex Baseband Modeling and Digital Predistortion for Wideband RF Power Amplifiers

Modern modulation methods as used in 3rd generation mobile communications (UMTS) generate strongly fluctuating transmission signal envelopes with high peak-to-average power ratios. These properties result in significant distortion due to the nonlinear behavior of the radio-frequency power amplifier (RF PA). We propose different nonlinear model structures for such amplifiers, based on memory polynomials and frequency-domain Volterra kernel expansion, where we can reduce the number of free parameters by 80% compared to traditional Volterra series approaches. Because these nonlinear models incorporate memory, we are able to model the nonlinear distortion of RF PAs with sufficient accuracy (e.g., −30 dB relative modeling error ), including the wideband case (bandwidth B = 20 MHz as needed for four-carrier WCDMA). Furthermore, we propose a method to construct RF PA models from frequency-dependent AM/AM and AM/PM conversions. For the compensation of the nonlinearities, we analyze ...

Singerl, Peter — Graz University of Technology


Multi-microphone noise reduction and dereverberation techniques for speech applications

In typical speech communication applications, such as hands-free mobile telephony, voice-controlled systems and hearing aids, the recorded microphone signals are corrupted by background noise, room reverberation and far-end echo signals. This signal degradation can lead to total unintelligibility of the speech signal and decreases the performance of automatic speech recognition systems. In this thesis several multi-microphone noise reduction and dereverberation techniques are developed. In Part I we present a Generalised Singular Value Decomposition (GSVD) based optimal filtering technique for enhancing multi-microphone speech signals which are degraded by additive coloured noise. Several techniques are presented for reducing the computational complexity and we show that the GSVD-based optimal filtering technique can be integrated into a `Generalised Sidelobe Canceller' type structure. Simulations show that the GSVD-based optimal filtering technique achieves a larger signal-to-noise ratio improvement than standard fixed and adaptive beamforming techniques and ...

Doclo, Simon — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Adaptive Digital Predistortion of Nonlinear Systems

Compensating or reducing the nonlinear distortion - usually resulting from a nonlinear system - is becoming an essential requirement in many areas. In this thesis adaptive digital predistortion techniques for a wide class of nonlinear systems are presented. For estimating the coefficients of the predistorter, different learning architectures are considered: the Direct Learning Architecture (DLA) and Indirect Learning Architecture (ILA). In the DLA approach, we propose a new adaptation algorithm - the Nonlinear Filtered-x Prediction Error Method (NFxPEM) algorithm, which has much faster convergence and much better performance compared to the conventional Nonlinear Filtered-x Least Mean Squares (NFxLMS) algorithm. All of these time domain adaptive algorithms require accurate system identification of the nonlinear system. In order to relax or avoid this strict requirement, the NFxLMS with Initial Subsystem Estimates (NFxLMS-ISE) and NFxPEM-ISE algorithms are proposed. Furthermore, we propose a frequency ...

Gan, Li — Graz University of Technology


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


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


Nonlinear Noise Cancellation

Noise or interference is often assumed to be a random process. Conventional linear filtering, control or prediction techniques are used to cancel or reduce the noise. However, some noise processes have been shown to be nonlinear and deterministic. These nonlinear deterministic noise processes appear to be random when analysed with second order statistics. As nonlinear processes are widespread in nature it may be beneficial to exploit the coherence of the nonlinear deterministic noise with nonlinear filtering techniques. The nonlinear deterministic noise processes used in this thesis are generated from nonlinear difference or differential equations which are derived from real world scenarios. Analysis tools from the theory of nonlinear dynamics are used to determine an appropriate sampling rate of the nonlinear deterministic noise processes and their embedding dimensions. Nonlinear models, such as the Volterra series filter and the radial basis function ...

Strauch, Paul E. — University Of Edinburgh


Subband and Frequency-Domain Adaptive Filtering Techniques for Speech Enhancement in Hands-free Communication

The telecommunications sector is characterized by an increasing demand for user-friendliness and interactivity. This explains the growing interest in hands-free communication systems. Signal quality in current hands-free systems is unsatisfactory. To overcome this, advanced signal processing techniques such as the subband and frequency-domain adaptive filter are employed to enhance the signal. These techniques are known to have computationally efficient solutions. Furthermore, thanks to the frequency-dependent processing and adaptivity, highly time-varying systems and signals with a continuously changing spectral content such as speech can be handled. This thesis deals with subband and frequency-domain adaptive filtering techniques for speech enhancement in hands-free communication. The text consists of four parts. In the first part design methods for perfect and nearly perfect reconstruction DFT modulated filter banks are discussed. Part II deals with subband and frequency-domain adaptive filtering. The subband adaptive filter and the ...

Eneman, Koen — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


On Ways to Improve Adaptive Filter Performance

Adaptive filtering techniques are used in a wide range of applications, including echo cancellation, adaptive equalization, adaptive noise cancellation, and adaptive beamforming. The performance of an adaptive filtering algorithm is evaluated based on its convergence rate, misadjustment, computational requirements, and numerical robustness. We attempt to improve the performance by developing new adaptation algorithms and by using "unconventional" structures for adaptive filters. Part I of this dissertation presents a new adaptation algorithm, which we have termed the Normalized LMS algorithm with Orthogonal Correction Factors (NLMS-OCF). The NLMS-OCF algorithm updates the adaptive filter coefficients (weights) on the basis of multiple input signal vectors, while NLMS updates the weights on the basis of a single input vector. The well-known Affine Projection Algorithm (APA) is a special case of our NLMS-OCF algorithm. We derive convergence and tracking properties of NLMS-OCF using a simple model ...

Sankaran, Sundar G. — Virginia Tech


Performance Improvement of Multichannel Audio by Graphics Processing Units

Multichannel acoustic signal processing has undergone major development in recent years due to the increased complexity of current audio processing applications. People want to collaborate through communication with the feeling of being together and sharing the same environment, what is considered as Immersive Audio Schemes. In this phenomenon, several acoustic effects are involved: 3D spatial sound, room compensation, crosstalk cancelation, sound source localization, among others. However, high computing capacity is required to achieve any of these effects in a real large-scale system, what represents a considerable limitation for real-time applications. The increase of the computational capacity has been historically linked to the number of transistors in a chip. However, nowadays the improvements in the computational capacity are mainly given by increasing the number of processing units, i.e expanding parallelism in computing. This is the case of the Graphics Processing Units ...

Belloch, Jose A. — Universitat Politècnica de València

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