Theoretical framework for the optimization of microphone array configuration for humanoid robot audition

Vladimir Tourbabin, Boaz Rafaely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


An important aspect of a humanoid robot is audition. Previous work has presented robot systems capable of sound localization and source segregation based on microphone arrays with various configurations. However, no theoretical framework for the design of these arrays has been presented. In the current paper, a design framework is proposed based on a novel array quality measure. The measure is based on the effective rank of a matrix composed of the generalized head related transfer functions (GHRTFs) that account for microphone positions other than the ears. The measure is shown to be theoretically related to standard array performance measures such as beamforming robustness and DOA estimation accuracy. Then, themeasure is applied to produce sample designs of microphone arrays. Their performance is investigated numerically, verifying the advantages of array design based on the proposed theoretical framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1803-1814
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Beamforming
  • DOA estimation
  • Generalized HRTF
  • Microphone array
  • Robot audition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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