The estimation of the direction-of-arrival (DOA) of one or more acoustic sources is an area that has generated much interest in recent years, with applications like automatic video camera steering and multiparty stereophonic teleconferencing entering the market. DOA estimation algorithms are hindered by the effects of background noise and reverberation. Methods based on the time-differences-of-arrival (TDOA) are commonly used to determine the azimuth angle of arrival of an acoustic source. TDOA-based methods compute each relative delay using only two microphones, even though additional microphones are usually available. This paper deals with DOA estimation based on spatial spectral estimation, and establishes the parameterized spatial correlation matrix as the framework for this class of DOA estimators. This matrix jointly takes into account all pairs of microphones, and is at the heart of several broadband spatial spectral estimators, including steered-response power (SRP) algorithms. This paper reviews and evaluates these broadband spatial spectral estimators, comparing their performance to TDOA-based locators. In addition, an eigenanalysis of the parameterized spatial correlation matrix is performed and reveals that such analysis allows one to estimate the channel attenuation from factors such as uncalibrated microphones. This estimate generalizes the broadband minimum variance spatial spectral estimator to more general signal models. A DOA estimator based on the multichannel cross correlation coefficient (MCCC) is also proposed. The performance of all proposed algorithms is included in the evaluation. It is shown that adding extra microphones helps combat the effects of background noise and reverberation. Furthermore, the link between accurate spatial spectral estimation and corresponding DOA estimation is investigated. The application of the minimum variance and MCCC methods to the spatial spectral estimation problem leads to better resolution than that of the commonly used fixed-weighted SRP spectrum. However, this increased spatial spectral resolution does not always translate to more accurate DOA estimation
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