Conference paper

An Integrated Framework for Multi-Channel Multi-Source Localization and Voice Activity Detection

Two of the major challenges in microphone array based adaptive beamforming, speech enhancement and distant speech recognition, are robust and accurate source localization and voice activity detection. This paper introduces a spatial gradient steered response power using the phase transform (SRP-PHAT) method which is capable of localization of competing speakers in overlapping conditions. We further investigate the behaviour of the SRP function and characterize theoretically a fixed point in its search space for the diffuse noise field. We call this fixed point the null position in the SRP search space. Building on this evidence, we propose a technique for multi- channel voice activity detection (MVAD) based on detection of a maximum power corresponding to the null position. The gradient SRP-PHAT in tandem with the MVAD form an integrated framework of multi-source localization and voice activity detection. The experiments carried out on real data recordings show that this framework is very effective in practical applications of hands-free communication.

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