Adaptive Beamforming with a Maximum Negentropy Criterion

begin{abstract} In this paper, we address an adaptive beamforming application in realistic acoustic conditions. After the position of a speaker is estimated by a speaker tracking system, we construct a subband-domain beamformer in generalized sidelobe canceller (GSC) configuration. In contrast to conventional practice, we then optimize the active weight vectors of the GSC so as to obtain an output signal with maximum negentropy (MN). This implies the beamformer output should be as non-Gaussian as possible. For calculating negentropy, we consider the $\Gamma$ and the generalized Gaussian (GG) pdfs. After MN beamforming, Zelinski post-filtering is performed to further enhance the speech by removing residual noise. Our beamforming algorithm can suppress noise and reverberation without the signal cancellation problems encountered in the conventional adaptive beamforming algorithms. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed technique through a series of far-field automatic speech recognition experiments on the Multi-Channel Wall Street Journal Audio Visual Corpus (MC-WSJ-AV). On the MC-WSJ-AV evaluation data, the delay-and-sum beamformer with post-filtering achieved a word error rate (WER) of 16.5%. MN beamforming with the $\Gamma$ pdf achieved a 15.8% WER, which was further reduced to 13.2% with the GG pdf, whereas the simple delay-and-sum beamformer provided a WER of 17.8%.

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