- Open Access
Joint DOA and multi-pitch estimation based on subspace techniques
© Zhang et al; licensee Springer. 2012
Received: 26 March 2011
Accepted: 2 January 2012
Published: 2 January 2012
In this article, we present a novel method for high-resolution joint direction-of-arrivals (DOA) and multi-pitch estimation based on subspaces decomposed from a spatio-temporal data model. The resulting estimator is termed multi-channel harmonic MUSIC (MC-HMUSIC). It is capable of resolving sources under adverse conditions, unlike traditional methods, for example when multiple sources are impinging on the array from approximately the same angle or similar pitches. The effectiveness of the method is demonstrated on a simulated an-echoic array recordings with source signals from real recorded speech and clarinet. Furthermore, statistical evaluation with synthetic signals shows the increased robustness in DOA and fundamental frequency estimation, as compared with to a state-of-the-art reference method.
The problem of estimating the fundamental frequency, or pitch, of a period waveform has been of interest to the signal processing community for many years. Fundamental frequency estimators are important for many practical applications such as automatic note transcription in music, audio and speech coding, classification of music, and speech analysis. Numerous algorithms have been proposed for both the single- and multi-pitch scenarios [1–5]. The problem for single-pitch scenarios is considered as well-posed. However, in real-world signals, the multi-pitch scenario occurs quite frequently [2, 6]. The multi-pitch estimation algorithms are often based on, i.e., various modification of the auto-correlation function [1, 7], maximum likelihood, optimal filtering, and subspace techniques [2, 3, 8]. In real-life recordings, problems such as frequency overlap of sources, reverberation, and colored noise will strongly limit the performance of multi-pitch estimator and estimator designed for single channel recordings often use simplified signal models. One widely used signal simplification in multi-pitch estimators, for example, is the sparseness of the signal, where the frequency spectrum of sources are assumed to not overlap . This assumption may be appropriate when sources consist of mixture of several speech signals having different pitches . However, for audio signals it is less likely to be true. This is especially so in western music, where instruments are most often played in accord, something that causes the harmonics to overlap or even coincide. With only single-channel recording it is, therefore, hard, or perhaps even impossible, to estimate pitches with overlapping harmonics, unless additional information, such as a temporal or spectral model, is included.
Recently, multi-channel approaches have attracted considerable attention both in single- and multi-pitch scenarios. By exploring the spatial information of the sources, more robust pitch estimators have been proposed [10–14]. Most of those multi-channel methods are still mainly based on auto-correlation function-related approaches, however, although a few exceptions can be found in [15–18]. In direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimators, audio and speech signals are often modeled as broadband signal, and standard subspace methods such as MUSIC and ESPRIT are only defined for narrow-band signal model, which then fail to directly operate on broadband signals . One often used concept is band-pass filtering of broadband signals into subbands, where narrow-band estimators can be applied to each subband . In the narrow-band case, a delay in the signal is equivalent to a phase shifts according to the frequencies of complex exponentials. An alternative method is, however, as follows: since harmonic signals consist of sinusoidal components, we can model each source as multiple narrow-band signal with distinct frequencies arriving at the same DOA.
In this article, we propose a parametric method for solving the problem of joint fundamental frequency and DOA estimation based on subspace techniques where the quantities of interest are jointly estimated using a MUSIC-like approach. We term the proposed estimator Multi-channel multi-pitch Harmonic MUSIC (MC-HMUSIC). The spatio-temporal data model used in MC-HMUSIC is based on the JAFE data model [21, 22]. Originally, the JAFE data model was used for estimating joint unconstrained frequencies and DOAs estimates of complex exponential using ESPRIT, which is referred as joint angle-frequency estimation (JAFE) algorithm. Other-related work with joint frequency-DOA methods includes [23–25]. In this article, we have parametrized the harmonic structure of periodic signals in the signal model to model the fundamental frequency and the DOA of individual sources. An estimator is constructed for jointly estimating the parameters of interest. Incorporating the DOA parameter in finding the fundamental frequency may give better robustness against a signal with overlapping harmonics. Similarly, it can be expected that the DOA can be found more accurately when the nature of the signal of interest is taken into account.
The remainder of this article is comprised four sections: Section 2, in which we will introduce some notation, the spatio-temporal signal model, for which we also derive the associated Cramér-Rao lower bound, along with the JAFE data mode; Section 3, where we then present the proposed method; Section 4, in which we present the experimental results obtained using the proposed method; and, finally, Section 5, where we conclude on our work.
2.1. Spatio-temporal signal model
for sample index n = 0,..., N - 1, where subscript k denotes the k th source and l the l th harmonic. Moreover, A l,k is the real-valued positive amplitude of the complex exponential, L k is the number of harmonics, K is number of sources, γ l,k is the phase of the individual harmonics, ϕ k is the phase shift caused by the DOA, and e i (n) is complex symmetric white Gaussian noise. The phase shift between array elements is given as , where d is the spacing between the elements measured in wavelengths, c is the speed of propagation in unit [m/s], θ k is the DOA defined for θ k ∈ [-90°, 90°], f s is the signal sampling frequency. The problem of interest is to estimate ω k and θ k . We in the following assume that the number of sources K is known and the number of harmonics L k of individual sources is known or found in some other, possibly joint, way. We note that a number of ways of doing this has been proposed in the past [26–28, 2].
2.2. Cramér-Rao lower bound
2.3. The JAFE data model
where E ∈ ℂ M×N is a matrix containing N sample of the noise vector e(n).
In speech and audio signal processing, it is common to model each source as a set of multiple harmonics with model order L k > 1. Due to the narrow-band approximation of the steering vector, the multiple complex components with distinct frequencies impinge on the array with identical DOA will result in a non-unique spatial frequencies which cause a harmonic structure in the spatial frequencies ϕ k l ∀l as well. The multiple sources impinge on the array with different DOAs consisting of various frequency components may, for certain frequency combinations, give the same array steering vector, which cause the matrix A to be rank deficient. Normally, this ambiguous mapping of the steering vector is mitigated by band-pass filtering the signal into its subbands, where the DOA of the signal is uniquely modeled by the narrow-band steering vector [20, Chap. 9].
where Ā t = [A AΦ ... AΦ t -1] T and B t = [b Φb ... Φ N-t b]. The temporally smoothed data matrix X t can maximally resole up to complex exponentials, where Ā t is linearly independent for any distinct θ and ω .
where I t ∈ ℝ t×t and are the identity matrices, ⊗ is the Kroneker product as defined in .
It is interesting to note that the noise term E t,s is no longer white due to the spatio-temporal smoothing procedure, as correlation between the different rows of (23) is obtained. A pre-whitening step can be implemented in (23) to mitigate this. We note, however, that according to results reported in , pre-whitening step is only interesting for signals with low SNR where minor estimation improvement can be achieved. In this article, the main interest is to propose a multi-channel joint DOA and multi-pitch estimator, for which reason the whitening process is left without further description, but we refer the interested reader to . We also note that aside from spatial smoothing, forward-backward averaging could also be implemented to reduce the influence of the correlated sources [22, 31, 19].
3. The proposed method
3.1. Coarse estimates
3.2. Refined estimates
with Re (·) denoting the real value. The gradient can be used for finding refined estimate using standard methods.
The method is initialized for i = 0 using the coarse estimates obtained from (32).
4. Experimental results
4.1. Signal examples
4.2. Statistical evaluation
Next, we use Monte Carlo simulations evaluated on synthetic signals embedded in noise in assessing the statistical properties of the proposed method and compare it with the exact CRLB. As a reference method for pitch and DOA estimation, we use the JAFE algorithm proposed in  for jointly estimating unconstrained frequencies and DOAs. Next, the unconstrained frequencies are grouped according to their corresponding DOAs where closely related directions are grouped together. A fundamental frequency is formed from these grouped frequencies in a weighted way as proposed in . We refer this as the WLS estimator. In order to remove the errors due to the erroneous estimate of amplitudes, we assume WLS having the exact signal amplitude given. The WLS estimator is a computationally efficient pitch estimation method with good statistical properties. The reference DOA estimate is easily obtained in a similar way from the mean value of these grouped DOAs according to .
In this article, we have generalized the single-channel multi-pitch problem into a multi-channel multi-pitch estimation problem. To solve this new problem, we propose an estimator for joint estimation of fundamental frequencies and DOAs of multiple sources. The proposed estimator is based on subspace analysis using a time-space data model. The method is shown to have potential in applications to real signals with simulated anechoic array recording, and a statistical evaluation demonstrates its robustness in DOA and fundamental frequency estimation as compared to a state-of-the-art reference method. Furthermore, the proposed method is shown to have good statistical performance under adverse conditions, for example for sources with similar DOA or fundamental frequency.
The study of Zhang was supported by the Marie Curie EST-SIGNAL Fellowship, Contract No. MEST-CT-2005-021175.
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