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    An investigation of the utility of monaural sound source separation via nonnegative matrix factorization applied to acoustic echo and reverberation mitigation for hands-free telephony

    Cahill, Niall M. (2012) An investigation of the utility of monaural sound source separation via nonnegative matrix factorization applied to acoustic echo and reverberation mitigation for hands-free telephony. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    In this thesis we investigate the applicability and utility of Monaural Sound Source Separation (MSSS) via Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (NMF) for various problems related to audio for hands-free telephony. We first investigate MSSS via NMF as an alternative acoustic echo reduction approach to existing approaches such as Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC). To this end, we present the single-channel acoustic echo problem as an MSSS problem, in which the objective is to extract the users signal from a mixture also containing acoustic echo and noise. To perform separation, NMF is used to decompose the near-end microphone signal onto the union of two nonnegative bases in the magnitude Short Time Fourier Transform domain. One of these bases is for the spectral energy of the acoustic echo signal, and is formed from the in- coming far-end user’s speech, while the other basis is for the spectral energy of the near-end speaker, and is trained with speech data a priori. In comparison to AEC, the speaker extraction approach obviates Double-Talk Detection (DTD), and is demonstrated to attain its maximal echo mitigation performance immediately upon initiation and to maintain that performance during and after room changes for similar computational requirements. Speaker extraction is also shown to introduce distortion of the near-end speech signal during double-talk, which is quantified by means of a speech distortion measure and compared to that of AEC. Subsequently, we address Double-Talk Detection (DTD) for block-based AEC algorithms. We propose a novel block-based DTD algorithm that uses the available signals and the estimate of the echo signal that is produced by NMF-based speaker extraction to compute a suitably normalized correlation-based decision variable, which is compared to a fixed threshold to decide on doubletalk. Using a standard evaluation technique, the proposed algorithm is shown to have comparable detection performance to an existing conventional block-based DTD algorithm. It is also demonstrated to inherit the room change insensitivity of speaker extraction, with the proposed DTD algorithm generating minimal false doubletalk indications upon initiation and in response to room changes in comparison to the existing conventional DTD. We also show that this property allows its paired AEC to converge at a rate close to the optimum. Another focus of this thesis is the problem of inverting a single measurement of a non- minimum phase Room Impulse Response (RIR). We describe the process by which percep- tually detrimental all-pass phase distortion arises in reverberant speech filtered by the inverse of the minimum phase component of the RIR; in short, such distortion arises from inverting the magnitude response of the high-Q maximum phase zeros of the RIR. We then propose two novel partial inversion schemes that precisely mitigate this distortion. One of these schemes employs NMF-based MSSS to separate the all-pass phase distortion from the target speech in the magnitude STFT domain, while the other approach modifies the inverse minimum phase filter such that the magnitude response of the maximum phase zeros of the RIR is not fully compensated. Subjective listening tests reveal that the proposed schemes generally produce better quality output speech than a comparable inversion technique.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: monaural sound source separation; nonnegative matrix factorization; acoustic echo; reverberation mitigation; hands-free telephony;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Electronic Engineering
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Callan Institute
    Item ID: 3988
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2012 15:21

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