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We propose a new blind spatial subtraction array (BSSA) consisting of a noise estimator based on independent component analysis (ICA) for efficient speech enhancement. In this paper, first, we theoretically and experimentally point out that ICA is proficient in noise estimation under a non-point-source noise condition rather than in speech estimation. Therefore, we propose BSSA that utilizes ICA as a noise estimator. In BSSA, speech extraction is achieved by subtracting the power spectrum of noise signals estimated using ICA from the power spectrum of the partly enhanced target speech signal with a delay-and-sum beamformer. This ldquopower-spectrum-domain subtractionrdquo procedure enables better noise reduction than the conventional ICA with estimation-error robustness. Another benefit of BSSA architecture is ldquopermutation robustness". Although the ICA part in BSSA suffers from a source permutation problem, the BSSA architecture can reduce the negative affection when permutation arises. The results of various speech enhancement test reveal that the noise reduction and speech recognition performance of the proposed BSSA are superior to those of conventional methods.
Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:17 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: May 2009