Open Access

Blind Source Separation Combining Independent Component Analysis and Beamforming

  • Hiroshi Saruwatari1Email author,
  • Satoshi Kurita2,
  • Kazuya Takeda2,
  • Fumitada Itakura3,
  • Tsuyoki Nishikawa1 and
  • Kiyohiro Shikano1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20032003:569270

Received: 26 November 2002

Published: 5 October 2003


We describe a new method of blind source separation (BSS) on a microphone array combining subband independent component analysis (ICA) and beamforming. The proposed array system consists of the following three sections: (1) subband ICA-based BSS section with estimation of the direction of arrival (DOA) of the sound source, (2) null beamforming section based on the estimated DOA, and (3) integration of (1) and (2) based on the algorithm diversity. Using this technique, we can resolve the low-convergence problem through optimization in ICA. To evaluate its effectiveness, signal-separation and speech-recognition experiments are performed under various reverberant conditions. The results of the signal-separation experiments reveal that the noise reduction rate (NRR) of about 18 dB is obtained under the nonreverberant condition, and NRRs of 8 dB and 6 dB are obtained in the case that the reverberation times are 150 milliseconds and 300 milliseconds. These performances are superior to those of both simple ICA-based BSS and simple beamforming method. Also, from the speech-recognition experiments, it is evident that the performance of the proposed method in terms of the word recognition rates is superior to those of the conventional ICA-based BSS method under all reverberant conditions.


blind source separationmicrophone arrayindependent component analysisbeamforming

Authors’ Affiliations

Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara, Japan
Center for Integrated Acoustic Information Research (CIAIR), Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Center for Integrated Acoustic Information Research (CIAIR), Nagoya University/CIAIR, Nagoya, Japan


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