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Speech separation with microphone arrays

Image Number 12 for United States Patent #8144896.

A system that facilitates blind source separation in a distributed microphone meeting environment for improved teleconferencing. Input sensor (e.g., microphone) signals are transformed to the frequency-domain and independent component analysis is applied to compute estimates of frequency-domain processing matrices. Modified permutations of the processing matrices are obtained based upon a maximum magnitude based de-permutation scheme. Estimates of the plurality of source signals are provided based upon the modified frequency-domain processing matrices and input sensor signals. Optionally, segments during which the set of active sources is a subset of the set of all sources can be exploited to compute more accurate estimates of frequency-domain mixing matrices. Source activity detection can be applied to determine which speaker(s), if any, are active. Thereafter, a least squares post-processing of the frequency-domain independent components analysis outputs can be employed to adjust the estimates of the source signals based on source inactivity.

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