Nonlinear acoustic echo cancellation

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Shi, Kun
Zhou, G. Tong
Ma, Xiaoli
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The objective of this research is to presents new acoustic echo cancellation design methods that can effectively work in the nonlinear environment. Acoustic echo is an annoying issue for voice communication systems. Because of room acoustics and delay in the transmission path, echoes affect the sound quality and may hamper communications. Acoustic echo cancellers (AECs) are employed to remove the acoustic echo while keeping full-duplex communications. AEC designs face a variety of challenges, including long room impulse response, acoustic path nonlinearity, ambient noise, and double-talk situation. We investigate two parts of echo canceller design: echo cancellation algorithm design and control logic algorithm design. In the first part, our work focuses on the nonlinear adaptive and fast-convergence algorithms. We investigate three different structures: predistortion linearization, cascade structure, and nonlinear residual echo suppressor. Specifically, we are interested in the coherence function, since it provides a means for quantifying linear association between two stationary random processes. By using the coherence as a criterion to design the nonlinear echo canceller in the system, our method guarantees the algorithm stability and leads to a faster convergence rate. In the second part, our work focuses on the robustness of AECs in the presence of interference. With regard to the near-end speech, we investigate the double-talk detector (DTD) design in conjunction with nonlinear AECs. Specifically, we propose to design a DTD based on the mutual information (MI). We show that the advantage of the MI-based method, when compared with the existing methods, is that it is applicable to both the linear and nonlinear scenarios. With respect to the background noise, we propose a variable step-size and variable tap-length least mean square (LMS) algorithm. Based on the fact that the room impulse response usually exhibits an exponential decay power profile in acoustic echo cancellation applications, the proposed method finds optimal step size and tap length at each iteration. Thus, it achieves faster convergence rate and better steady-state performance. We show a number of experimental results to illustrate the performance of the proposed algorithms.
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