Multichannel Blind Sound Source Separation using Spatial Covariance Model with Level and Time Differences and Non-Negative Matrix Factorization

Julio Jose Carabias Orti, Joonas Nikunen, Tuomas Virtanen, Pedro Vera-Candeas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper presents an algorithm for multichannel sound source separation using explicit modeling of level and time differences in source spatial covariance matrices (SCM). We propose a novel SCM model in which the spatial properties are modeled by the weighted sum of direction of arrival (DOA) kernels. DOA kernels are obtained as the combination of phase and level difference covariance matrices representing both time and level differences between microphones for a grid of predefined source directions. The proposed SCM model is combined with the NMF model for the magnitude spectrograms. Opposite to other SCM models in the literature, in this work, source localization is implicitly defined in the model and estimated during the signal factorization. Therefore, no localization pre-processing is required. Parameters are estimated using complex-valued non-negative matrix factorization (CNMF) with both Euclidean distance and Itakura Saito divergence. Separation performance of the proposed system is evaluated using the two-channel SiSEC development dataset and four channels signals recorded in a regular room with moderate reverberation. Finally, a comparison to other state-of-the-art methods is performed, showing better achieved separation performance in terms of SIR and perceptual measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1512-1527
    JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing
    Issue number9
    Early online date26 Apr 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Covariance matrices
    • direction of arrival estimation
    • Direction-of-arrival estimation
    • interaural level difference
    • interaural time difference
    • Kernel
    • Microphones
    • multichannel source separation
    • non-negative matrix factorization
    • Source separation
    • spatial covariance model
    • Spectrogram
    • Time-frequency analysis

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
    • Computational Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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