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A Probabilistic Model for Binaural Sound Localization

Volker Willert, Julian Eggert, Jürgen Adamy, Raphael Stahl, Edgar Körner, "A Probabilistic Model for Binaural Sound Localization", IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Part B, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 982-994, 2006.


In this paper, we propose a biologically inspired and technically realized sound localization system to robustly estimate the position of a sound source in the frontal azimuthal half-plane. For localization, binaural cues are extracted using cochleagrams generated by a cochlear model that serve as input to the system. The basic idea of the model is to separately measure interaural time differences and interaural level differences for a number of frequencies and process these measurements as a whole. This leads to two-dimensional frequency vs. time-delay representations of binaural cues, so called activity maps. A probabilistic evaluation is presented to estimate the position of a sound source over time based on these activity maps. Learnt reference maps for different azimuthal positions are integrated into the computation to gain time-dependent discrete conditional probabilities. At every timestep these probabilities are combined over frequencies and binaural cues to estimate the sound source position. In addition, they are propagated over time to improve position estimation. This leads to a system that is able to localize audible signals, like for example human speech signals, even in reverberating environments.

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