Locate and Beamform: Two-dimensional Locating All-neural Beamformer for Multi-channel Speech Separation

Recently, stunning improvements on multi-channel speech separation have been achieved by neural beamformers when direction information is available. However, most of them neglect to utilize speaker's 2-dimensional (2D) location cues contained in mixture signal, which limits the performance when two sources come from close directions. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end beamforming network for 2D location guided speech separation merely given mixture signal. It first estimates discriminable direction and 2D location cues, which imply directions the sources come from in multi views of microphones and their 2D coordinates. These cues are then integrated into location-aware neural beamformer, thus allowing accurate reconstruction of two sources' speech signals. Experiments show that our proposed model not only achieves a comprehensive decent improvement compared to baseline systems, but avoids inferior performance on spatial overlapping cases.

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