Blind Adaptive Dereverberation of Speech Signals Using a Microphone Array

Tariq Saad Bakir

In this thesis, we present a blind adaptive speech dereverberation method based on the use of a reduced mutually referenced equalizers (RMRE) criterion. The method is based on the idea of the inversion of single-input multiple-output FIR linear systems, and as such requires the use of multiple microphones. However, unlike many traditional microphone array methods, there is no need for a specific array configuration or geometry. The RMRE method finds a subset of equalizers for a given delay in a single step, without the need for the typical channel estimation step. This makes the method practical in terms of implementation and avoids the pitfalls of the more complicated two step dereverberation approach, typical in many inversion methods. Additionally, only the second-order statistics of the signals recorded by the microphones are used, without the need for utilizing higher-order statistics information typically needed when the channsls have a nonminimum phase response, as is the case with room impulse responses. We present simulations and experimental results that demonstrate the applicability of the method when the input is speech, and show that in the noiseless case, perfect dereverberation can be achieved. We also evaluate its performance in the presence of noise, and we present a possible way to modify the proposed RMRE to work for very low SNR values. We also explore the problems when model-order mismatches are present, and demonstrate that the under-modeling of the channel impulse responses order can be combated by increasing the number of microphones. For order over-estimation, we will show that RMRE can handle such errors with no modification.