Inference of Room Geometry from Acoustic Impulse Responses

Acoustic scene reconstruction is a process that aims to infer characteristics of the environment from acoustic measurements. We investigate the problem of locating planar reflectors in rooms, such as walls and furniture, from signals obtained using distributed microphones. Specifically, localization of multiple two-dimensional (2-D) reflectors is achieved by estimation of the time of arrival (TOA) of reflected signals by analysis of acoustic impulse responses (AIRs). The estimated TOAs are converted into elliptical constraints about the location of the line reflector, which is then localized by combining multiple constraints. When multiple walls are present in the acoustic scene, an ambiguity problem arises, which we show can be addressed using the Hough transform. Additionally, the Hough transform significantly improves the robustness of the estimation for noisy measurements. The proposed approach is evaluated using simulated rooms under a variety of different controlled conditions where the floor and ceiling are perfectly absorbing. Results using AIRs measured in a real environment are also given. Additionally, results showing the robustness to additive noise in the TOA information are presented, with particular reference to the improvement achieved through the use of the Hough transform.

In  IEEE Trans. Audio, Speech, Lang. Process.


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