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An important application of sparse representation is underdetermined blind source separation (BSS), where the number of sources is greater than the number of observations. Within the stochastic framework, this paper discusses recoverability of underdetermined BSS based on a two-stage sparse representation approach. The two-stage approach is effective when the source matrix is sufficiently sparse. The first stage of the two-stage approach is to estimate the mixing matrix, and the second is to estimate the source matrix by minimizing the 1-norms of the source vectors subject to some constraints. After estimating the mixing matrix and fixing the number of nonzero entries of a source vector, we estimate the recoverability probability (i.e., the probability that the source vector can be recovered). A general case is then considered where the number of nonzero entries of the source vector is fixed and the mixing matrix is drawn from a specific probability distribution. The corresponding probability estimate on recoverability is also obtained. Based on this result, we further estimate the recoverability probability when the sources are also drawn from a distribution (e.g., Laplacian distribution). These probability estimates not only reflect the relationship between the recoverability and sparseness of sources, but also indicate the overall performance and confidence of the two-stage sparse representation approach for solving BSS problems. Several simulation results have demonstrated the validity of the probability estimation approach.
Date of Publication: July 2006