Introduction to the Issue on Acoustic Source Localization and Tracking in Dynamic Real-Life Scenes

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Introduction to the Issue on Acoustic Source Localization and Tracking in Dynamic Real-Life Scenes

S. Gannot Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel ; M. Haardt ; W. Kellermann ; P. Willett

Acoustic source localization and tracking is a well-studied topic in signal processing, but most traditional methods incorporate simplifying assumptions such as a point source, free-field propagation of the sound wave, static acoustic sources, time-invariant sensor constellations, and simple noise fields.

However, these assumptions may be seriously violated in a range of emerging real-life applications. In these applications, the environment is extremely challenging, with spatially distributed sources, reverberation and reflections, complex noise fields, multiple concurrent speakers, interference signals, and time-varying positions of sources and/or sensors.

Aside from classic source localization scenarios, present-day application areas include audio recording with mobile devices (e.g. cell phones, action cameras, and robots), video conferencing on the go, and recording for 3D reproduction and virtual reality. Underwater acoustic localization is another application, which is characterized by intricate propagation patterns.

This special issue presents recent advances in the development of signal processing methods for localization and tracking of acoustic sources and the associated theory and applications. Addressing the challenges raised by real-life environments, novel methods are introduced representing advances in array processing, speech processing, and the use of data inference tools.

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