Tree-based recursive expectation-maximization algorithm for localization of acoustic sources

Yuval Dorfan, Sharon Gannot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The problem of distributed localization for ad hoc wireless acoustic sensor networks (WASNs) is addressed in this paper. WASNs are characterized by low computational resources in each node and by limited connectivity between the nodes. Novel bi-directional tree-based distributed estimation-maximization (DEM) algorithms are proposed to circumvent these inherent limitations. We show that the proposed algorithms are capable of localizing static acoustic sources in reverberant enclosures without a priori information on the number of sources. Unlike serial estimation procedures (like ring-based algorithms), the new algorithms enable simultaneous computations in the nodes and exhibit greater robustness to communication failures. Specifically, the recursive distributed EM (RDEM) variant is better suited to online applications due to its recursive nature. Furthermore, the RDEM outperforms the other proposed variants in terms of convergence speed and simplicity. Performance is demonstrated by an extensive experimental study consisting of both simulated and actual environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7122277
Pages (from-to)1692-1703
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.


  • Bi-directional tree topologies
  • distributed signal processing
  • recursive expectation-maximization (REM)
  • speaker localization
  • wireless acoustic sensor networks (WASNs)


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