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 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


Robust feedback cancellation algorithms for single- and multi-microphone hearing aids

When providing the necessary amplification in hearing aids, the risk of acoustic feedback is increased due to the coupling between the hearing aid loudspeaker and the hearing aid microphone(s). This acoustic feedback is often perceived as an annoying whistling or howling. Thus, to reduce the occurrence of acoustic feedback, robust and fast-acting feedback suppression algorithms are required. The main objective of this thesis is to develop and evaluate algorithms for robust and fast-acting feedback suppression in hearing aids. Specifically, we focus on enhancing the performance of adaptive filtering algorithms that estimate the feedback component in the hearing aid microphone by reducing the number of required adaptive filter coefficients and by improving the trade-off between fast convergence and good steady-state performance. Additionally, we develop fixed spatial filter design methods that can be applied in a multi-microphone earpiece.

Schepker, Henning — University of Oldenburg


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


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


Efficient parametric modeling, identification and equalization of room acoustics

Room acoustic signal enhancement (RASE) applications, such as digital equalization, acoustic echo and feedback cancellation, which are commonly found in communication devices and audio equipment, aim at processing the acoustic signals with the final goal of improving the perceived sound quality in rooms. In order to do so, signal processing algorithms require the acoustic response of the room to be represented by means of parametric models and to be identified from the input and output signals of the room acoustic system. In particular, a good model should be both accurate, thus capturing those features of room acoustics that are physically and perceptually most relevant, and efficient, so that it can be implemented as a digital filter and used in practical signal processing tasks. This thesis addresses the fundamental question in room acoustic signal processing concerning the appropriateness of different parametric ...

Vairetti, Giacomo — KU Leuven


Informed spatial filters for speech enhancement

In modern devices which provide hands-free speech capturing functionality, such as hands-free communication kits and voice-controlled devices, the received speech signal at the microphones is corrupted by background noise, interfering speech signals, and room reverberation. In many practical situations, the microphones are not necessarily located near the desired source, and hence, the ratio of the desired speech power to the power of the background noise, the interfering speech, and the reverberation at the microphones can be very low, often around or even below 0 dB. In such situations, the comfort of human-to-human communication, as well as the accuracy of automatic speech recognisers for voice-controlled applications can be signi cantly degraded. Therefore, e ffective speech enhancement algorithms are required to process the microphone signals before transmitting them to the far-end side for communication, or before feeding them into a speech recognition ...

Taseska, Maja — Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Broadband adaptive beamforming with low complexity and frequency invariant response

This thesis proposes different methods to reduce the computational complexity as well as increasing the adaptation rate of adaptive broadband beamformers. This is performed exemplarily for the generalised sidelobe canceller (GSC) structure. The GSC is an alternative implementation of the linearly constrained minimum variance beamformer, which can utilise well-known adaptive filtering algorithms, such as the least mean square (LMS) or the recursive least squares (RLS) to perform unconstrained adaptive optimisation. A direct DFT implementation, by which broadband signals are decomposed into frequency bins and processed by independent narrowband beamforming algorithms, is thought to be computationally optimum. However, this setup fail to converge to the time domain minimum mean square error (MMSE) if signal components are not aligned to frequency bins, resulting in a large worst case error. To mitigate this problem of the so-called independent frequency bin (IFB) processor, overlap-save ...

Koh, Choo Leng — University of Southampton


On Adaptive Filtering in Oversampled Subbands

For a number of applications like acoustic echo cancellation, adaptive filters are required to identify very long impulse responses. To reduce the computational cost in implementations, adaptive filtering in subband is known to be beneficial. Based on a review of popular fullband adaptive filtering algorithms and various subband approaches, this thesis investigates the implementation, design, and limitations of oversampled subband adaptive filter systems based on modulated complex and real valued filter banks. The main aim is to achieve a computationally efficient implementation for adaptive filter systems, for which fast methods of performing both the subband decomposition and the subband processing are researched. Therefore, a highly efficient polyphase implementation of a complex valued modulated generalized DFT (GDFT) lter bank with a judicious selection of properties for non-integer oversampling ratios is introduced. By modification, a real valued single sideband modulated lter bank ...

Weiss, Stephan — University of Strathclyde


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


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


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


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


Solving inverse problems in room acoustics using physical models, sparse regularization and numerical optimization

Reverberation consists of a complex acoustic phenomenon that occurs inside rooms. Many audio signal processing methods, addressing source localization, signal enhancement and other tasks, often assume absence of reverberation. Consequently, reverberant environments are considered challenging as state-ofthe-art methods can perform poorly. The acoustics of a room can be described using a variety of mathematical models, among which, physical models are the most complete and accurate. The use of physical models in audio signal processing methods is often non-trivial since it can lead to ill-posed inverse problems. These inverse problems require proper regularization to achieve meaningful results and involve the solution of computationally intensive large-scale optimization problems. Recently, however, sparse regularization has been applied successfully to inverse problems arising in different scientific areas. The increased computational power of modern computers and the development of new efficient optimization algorithms makes it possible ...

Antonello, Niccolò — 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

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