Microphone array signal processing: beyond the beamformer

Array signal processing is a well-established area of research, spanning from phased array antennas in the middle of the last century to hands-free audio in recent years. As devices incorporating microphone arrays begin to appear in the home, new practical challenges are presented to well-known signal processing problems such as source localization and beamforming. In this talk, we consider some new algorithms that use multichannel observations outside the common beamforming paradigm. These include dereverberation using spatiotemporal averaging, acoustic channel shortening and the acoustic Rake receiver, with relevant audio examples. We also investigate the problem of localizing reflecting boundaries in an acoustic space by considering the time of arrival of 1st-order reflections. Such algorithms are expected not to replace but to compliment beamforming in new and robust future applications.

Speaker Details

Mark Thomas received the MEng. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College, London, U.K. in 2006 and completed a PhD degree in 2010 at the same institution. His research interests include glottal-synchronous speech processing and multichannel acoustic signal processing, including dereverberation, blind channel identification, channel equalisation and geometric inference. He has industrial experience in audio, video and RF in the field of broadcast engineering. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Communications and Signal Processing Group at Imperial College London.

Mark Thomas
EEE Dept.