The expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm is well established as a computationally efficient method for separable signal parameter estimation. Here, a new geometric derivation and interpretation of the EM algorithm is given that facilitates the understanding of EM convergence properties. Geometric considerations lead to an alternative separable signal parameter estimator based on successive cancellation. The new generalized successive interference cancellation (GSIC) algorithm is then applied to multiuser delay and channel estimation for code-division multiple access (CDMA) radiolocation and communication. The radiolocation application uses a handshaking protocol in which multiple reference nodes transmit acknowledge (ACK) CDMA packets to a master node, which then computes round-trip travel times (RTTs). Simulation results comparing EM and GSIC are presented for the CDMA channel-estimation problem.