Distributed Expectation-Maximization Algorithm for Speaker Localization in Reverberant Environments

Yuval Dorfan, Axel Plinge, Gershon Hazan, Sharon Gannot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Localization of acoustic sources has attracted a considerable amount of research attention in recent years. A major obstacle to achieving high localization accuracy is the presence of reverberation, the influence of which obviously increases with the number of active speakers in the room. Human hearing is capable of localizing acoustic sources even in extreme conditions. In this study, we propose to combine a method based on human hearing mechanisms and a modified incremental distributed expectation-maximization (IDEM) algorithm. Rather than using phase difference measurements that are modeled by a mixture of complex-valued Gaussians, as proposed in the original IDEM framework, we propose to use time difference of arrival measurements in multiple subbands and model them by a mixture of real-valued truncated Gaussians. Moreover, we propose to first filter the measurements in order to reduce the effect of the multipath conditions. The proposed method is evaluated using both simulated data and real-life recordings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8241767
Pages (from-to)682-695
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received July 12, 2017; revised November 17, 2017; accepted December 18, 2017. Date of publication December 29, 2017; date of current version January 25, 2018. The work of A. Plinge was supported by a fellowship within the FITweltweit Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Prof. Mads Græsbøll Christensen. (Corresponding author: Sharon Gannot.) Y. Dorfan, G. Hazan, and S. Gannot are with the Faculty of Engineering, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel (e-mail: dorfany@gmail.com; hazanshl@gmail.com; Sharon.Gannot@biu.ac.il).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.


  • Precedence effect
  • auditory scene analysis
  • distributed expectation-maximization
  • incremental expectation-maximization
  • multi-path
  • onset dominance
  • sound source localization
  • spectral masking
  • time difference of arrival
  • truncated Gaussian


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