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Biomimetic direction of arrival estimation for resolving front-back confusions in hearing aids

Archer-Boyd, Alan W. and Whitmer, William M. and Brimijoin, W. Owen and Soraghan, John J. (2015) Biomimetic direction of arrival estimation for resolving front-back confusions in hearing aids. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137 (5). EL360-EL366. ISSN 0001-4966

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Abstract

Sound sources at the same angle in front or behind a two-microphone array (e.g., bilateral hearing aids) produce the same time delay and two estimates for the direction of arrival: A front-back confusion. The auditory system can resolve this issue using head movements. To resolve front-back confusion for hearing-aid algorithms, head movement was measured using an inertial sensor. Successive time-delay estimates between the microphones are shifted clockwise and counterclockwise by the head movement between estimates and aggregated in two histograms. The histogram with the largest peak after multiple estimates predicted the correct hemifield for the source, eliminating the front-back confusions.