Turning Enemies into Friends: Using Reflections to Improve Sound Source Localization

Flavio Ribeiro, Demba Ba, Cha Zhang, and Dinei Florencio

Abstract

Sound Source Localization (SSL) based on microphone arrays

has numerous applications, and has received significant

research attention. Common to all published research is the observation

that the accuracy of SSL degrades with reverberation.

Indeed, early (strong) reflections can have amplitudes similar

to the direct signal, and will often interfere with the estimation.

In this paper, we show that reverberation is not the enemy, and

can be used to improve estimation. More specifically, we are

able to use early reflections to significantly improve range and

elevation estimation. The process requires two steps: during

setup, a loudspeaker integrated with the array emits a probing

sound, which is used to obtain estimates of the ceiling height,

as well as the locations of the walls. In a second step (e.g.,

during a meeting), the device incorporates this knowledge into

a maximum likelihood SSL algorithm. Experimental results on

both real and synthetic data show huge improvements in range

estimation accuracy.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inICME
PublisherIEEE
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