Method and system for inhibiting noise produced by one or more

Method and system for inhibiting noise produced by one or more
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US 20040066940A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. N0.: US 2004/0066940 A1
Amir
(54)
(43) Pub. Date:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR INHIBITING
(52)
NOISE PRODUCED BY ONE OR MORE
SOURCES OF UNDESIRED SOUND FROM
PICKUP BY A SPEECH RECOGNITION UNIT
(57)
Apr. 8, 2004
US. Cl. .......................................................... .. 381/942
ABSTRACT
(75) Inventor: Nehemia Amir, Rishon LeZion (IL)
A method and system for inhibiting noise produced by one
Correspondence Address:
or more sources of undesired sound from pickup by a speech
OLIFF & BERRIDGE, PLC
P'O' BOX 19928
recognition unit, Where a respective transducer is located
proximate each source of undesired sound for converting
ALEXANDRIA’ VA 22320 (Us)
each source of undesired sound to a corresponding electrical
signal, and a noise reduction system is coupled to each of the
(73) Asslgnee: SILENTIUM LTD" Rehovot (IL)
.
(21) Appl. No..
10/262,838
(22)
()CL 3, 2002
Filed;
transducers for converting each electrical signal to an
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Publication Classi?cation
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upon picking up the undesired sound from the respective
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Apr. 8, 2004
US 2004/0066940 A1
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR INHIBITING NOISE
PRODUCED BY ONE OR MORE SOURCES OF
UNDESIRED SOUND FROM PICKUP BY A
SPEECH RECOGNITION UNIT
to increase the microphone sensitivity in the direction of the
speaker. The limitation of such systems is that they cannot
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
using algorithms that are based on the speech statistics
parameters. The limitation of this method is that its effec
tiveness is dramatically reduced in the presence of back
[0001]
This invention relates to noise reduction systems.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002] It is known to use noise reduction systems in
vehicles in order to reduce acoustic interference When using
mobile telephones. JP 8248963 to Mazda Motor Corporation
of Japan published Sep. 27, 1996 and entitled “Noise
Reduction Device For Vehicle” describes a commonly used
approach Where the noise reduction device is provided With
a microphone and a speaker, and is constituted so as to
hear the passenger near the driver, and cannot reduce the
noise coming from the car audio system.
[0007] Other systems increase the speech recognition,
ground noise.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0008] It is an object of the invention to provide an
alternative method and system for inhibiting the effect of
unWanted noise from being picked up by a speech operated
system.
[0009] The invention ?nds particular application When the
reduce a noise by generating a sound of a phase opposite to
speech operated system is an automatic system that is used
the noise in the vehicle collected by the microphone from the
speaker. LikeWise, JP 10254457 to IsuZu Motors Ltd. of
to understand and execute voice instructions, for eXample, a
vocally operated mobile telephone that is adapted to obey
Japan published Sep. 25, 1998 and entitled “Reducing
vocal instructions. Within the conteXt of the folloWing
description and claims, such a system Will be referred to as
Method of Noise Within Vehicle Compartment and Device
Therefor” is directed to noise reduction over a Wide fre
a speech recognition unit. HoWever, the system also
quency band by forming a canceling sound producing signal
improves telephone communications in noisy environments
based on measured actual noise, producing a canceling
such as vehicles, even though humans do understand even in
sound from a speaker by using the canceling sound produc
ing signal and interfering it With a noise.
to discriminate genuine acoustic signals from background
[0003] To this end, a microphone for detecting noise and
a speaker for emitting a canceling sound producing means
are arranged Within a vehicle compartment. The microphone
measures sound generated Within the vehicle compartment,
the phase and acoustic pressure are detected in tWo and more
resonant frequency bands of cavity resonance and a con
troller produces a canceling sound producing signal. The
speaker emits a canceling sound for interfering With the
noise thereby reducing the noise.
[0004] US. Pat. No. 5,485,523 (Tamamura et al.) pub
lished Jan. 16, 1996 and entitled “Active noise reduction
system for automobile compartment” discloses an automo
bile compartment noise reduction system, Where an ignition
pulse signal is processed to obtain a vibration noise source
signal With a frequency spectrum composed of 0.5 n (inte
gers) order components of the engine r.p.m. as the primary
source signal. The signal is applied to an adaptive ?lter and
a noisy environment. Machines do not have the intelligence
noise, so While the present invention is bene?cial for tele
phone pick up, its principal utility is for speech recognition
systems.
[0010] To this end there is provided in accordance With a
?rst aspect of the invention a method for inhibiting noise
produced by one or more sources of undesired sound from
pickup by a speech recognition unit, the method comprising:
[0011] obtaining separate electrical source signals
each relating to a respective source of undesired
sound,
[0012] producing a plurality of anti-phase electrical
signals each corresponding to a respective one of the
electrical source signals and of equal amplitude
thereto, and
[0013] injecting into the speech recognition unit a
signal corresponding to each of the anti-phase elec
an LMS calculating circuit via a speaker-microphone trans
trical signals so that it cancels or reduces a corre
mission characteristic correcting circuit. The primary source
signal is synthesiZed by the ?lter into a cancel signal and
then outputted through a speaker as canceling sound. The
canceling sound is received by at least one error microphone
sponding electrical signal produced by the speech
recognition unit upon picking up the undesired
sound from the respective source.
at a noise receiving point as an error signal. The error signal
[0014] A system in accordance With invention for inhib
is applied to the LMS calculating circuit. The LMS circuit
updates the ?lter coefficients of the adaptive ?lter on the
basis of the primary source signal and the error signal so that
iting noise produced by one or more sources of undesired
the error signal can be minimiZed.
sound from pickup by a speech recognition unit, comprises:
[0015]
an electrical circuit responsive to correspond
vehicle compartment, it is very dif?cult for speech recog
ing electrical source signals each relating to a respec
tive source of undesired sound for producing in
respect of each of said electrical source signals an
nition systems to be effective. Noise sources include Wind,
equivalent anti-phase electrical signal of equal
road, air conditioning system, sound system.
[0006] Currently available systems for reducing the back
amplitude fed to an output of the circuit;
[0005] OWing to the high background noise inside the
[0016]
the output of the circuit or a signal corre
nication devices of the type described above use a direc
sponding thereto being fed to the telephone mouth
piece so that each of the anti-phase electrical signals
tional microphone or several microphone elements, in order
cancels or reduces a corresponding electrical signal
ground noise in speech recognition systems or in commu
Apr. 8, 2004
US 2004/0066940 A1
produced by the speech recognition unit upon pick
unit 11 having a microphone 12. Anoise source 13 is located
ing up the undesired sound from the respective
Within suf?cient proximity to the speech recognition unit 11
that sound produced by the noise source 13 is capable of
source.
[0017] Preferably, the system is disposed Within a vehicle
for reducing extraneous background noise from being
being picked up by the microphone 12 and interfering With
its operation. A sensing microphone 14 is set up proximate
picked up by a mobile telephone pickup. Such a system is a
source-orientated system that electrically or acoustically
reduces the noise originating from dedicated noise sources
the noise source 13 and is connected to a noise reduction
Within the vehicle, at the microphone point of speech
recognition systems or communication devices such as
cellular phones. Thus, according to one embodiment, an
electrical output of the circuit is directly summed With the
microphone electrical signal Within the telephone pickup so
system shoWn generally as 15 that includes an electronic
circuit that is responsive to a noise signal fed thereto for
estimating in real time a transfer function, Which creates an
active electrical signal representing an inverse of the noise
signal. The output of the noise reduction system is multi
plied by —1 (i.e. inverted) and converted to an equivalent
analog signal by a D/A converter 16, Whose output is added
to cancel or reduce a corresponding electrical signal pro
directly to the microphone output 12 by an adder 17.
duced thereby upon picking up the undesired sound from the
respective source. Alternatively, the anti-phase electrical
[0027] The noise reduction system 15 includes a digital
?lter such as ?nite impulse response (FIR) ?lter 18 having
an input that is coupled to the output of the sensing micro
phone 14 and Which is used to estimate the transfer function.
output may be converted back to an acoustic signal that is
fed to the telephone pickup via a loudspeaker placed proxi
mate thereto.
[0018] In either case, a principal bene?t of such a system
is that the signal to noise ratio is increased at the pickup.
The FIR ?lter 18 is controlled by a real time convergence
system 19 Whose input is likeWise coupled to the output of
the sensing microphone 14. The output of the FIR ?lter 18
This improves the performance of speech recognition sys
is inverted by an inverter 20. The real time convergence
tems and other devices that utiliZe microphones Within a
vehicle, While alloWing the use of an omni-directional
system 19 receives a feedback signal from the analog input
signal fed to the speech recognition unit and Which is
microphone Within the telephone pickup. This is preferable
digitiZed by an A/D converter 21. The real time convergence
system 19 converges to the transfer function and may be
based on any of several Well-knoWn convergence algorithms
to use of a uni-directional microphone, Which is not only
more expensive but less suitable than an omni-directional
microphone in a vehicle environment Where a motorist must
be free to move his head relative to the telephone pickup.
[0019]
The system may operate by its oWn or as additional
improvements to other technologies for signal to noise
improvement.
[0020] The system handles dedicated noise sources Within
a vehicle: air conditioning system, audio system, motor
noise, vibrations at the microphone point etc. The advantage
of the system is that there is a large reduction of the
disturbing sources, While the microphone remains omni
directional.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0021] In order to understand the invention and to see hoW
it may be carried out in practice, a preferred embodiment
Will noW be described, by Way of non-limiting example only,
With reference to the accompanying draWings, in Which:
[0022]
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a system
such as LMS (least mean square), RLS and so on.
[0028] FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a ?rst
implementation of a system 30 according to the invention
for reducing multiple noise sources. Identical reference
numerals are used to refer to components that are common
to the system 30 and the system 10 described above With
reference to FIG. 1 of the draWings. Thus, the system 30
includes a speech recognition unit 11 having a microphone
12, Which is to be isolated from acoustic noise generated by
multiple noise sources designated as 13a . . . 1311. A
respective sensing microphone 14a . . . 1411 is placed near
each of the n noise sources, each microphone being con
nected to a respective noise reduction system 15a . . . 1511
whose respective analog outputs are summed together With
the analog signal fed to the equipment microphone 12 by an
adder 17. An analog output of the adder 17 is converted to
an equivalent digital signal by an A/D converter 21, and fed
back to each of the noise reduction systems 15a . . . 1511.
[0029]
The noise reduction systems 15a . . . 1511 may be
according to the invention;
identical to that described above With reference to FIG. 1 or
[0023] FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a ?rst
implementation of a system according to the invention for
reducing multiple noise sources;
it may be a multi-channel unit having n-inputs for receiving
the n noise signals, an input for receiving the feedback signal
and an output for producing a composite output signal. In the
[0024] FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of an alterna
tive implementation of a system according to the invention
case that discrete noise reduction systems are used, as shoWn
in FIG. 2, it is also possible to use a separate A/D converter
for each noise reduction system.
for reducing multiple noise sources;
[0025] FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of another
implementation of a system according to the invention for
reducing multiple noise sources.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
[0026]
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a system 10
according to the invention comprising a speech recognition
[0030] FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of a second
implementation of a system 40 according to the invention
for reducing multiple noise sources, Wherein noise reaching
the microphone 12 of the speech recognition unit 11 is
reduced Without actually connecting to the microphone 12.
Again, identical reference numerals are used to refer to
components that are common to the systems 10 and 30
described above With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the
draWings.
Apr. 8, 2004
US 2004/0066940 A1
[0031] All of the digital outputs of the noise reduction
It is also possible to dispense With any of the microphones
systems 15a . . . 1511 are summed together by a summation
or other transducers in any of the systems if direct access is
possible to an electrical source signal relating to a respective
unit 41 producing a composite summed output signal that is
converted to an equivalent analog signal by a D/A converter
source of undesired sound.
16. It is also possible to use separate D/A converters for each
of the noise reduction systems 15a . . . 1511 as explained
above With reference to FIG. 2. The output of the D/A
converter 16 is ampli?ed by an ampli?er 42 and vocaliZed
by a loudspeaker 43 located proximate the microphone 12
for generating counter noise that cancels the acoustic noise
picked up by the microphone 12. A feedback microphone 44
1. Amethod for inhibiting noise produced by one or more
sources of undesired sound from pickup by a speech recog
nition unit, the method comprising:
obtaining separate electrical source signals each relating
to a respective source of undesired sound,
is likeWise located near the loudspeaker 43 for generating
the analog feedback signal, Which is digitiZed by the A/D
producing a plurality of anti-phase electrical signals each
converter 21 and fed to the noise reduction systems 15a . .
corresponding to a respective one of the electrical
. 1511. The sensing microphones 14a . . . 1411 are preferably
source signals and of equal amplitude thereto, and
uni-directional microphones that are located proximate the
microphone 12 of the speech recognition unit 11. By such
means, each sensing microphone 14a . . . 14n senses the
actual noise that reaches the speech recognition unit 11 so
that the counter-noise output by the loudspeaker 43 exactly
nulli?es the effect of the respective noise component reach
ing the speech recognition unit 11.
injecting into the speech recognition unit a signal corre
sponding to each of the anti-phase electrical signals so
that it cancels or reduces a corresponding electrical
signal produced by the speech recognition unit upon
picking up the undesired sound from the respective
source.
2. The method according to claim 1, including using a
respective transducer located proximate each source of
[0032] FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a third
implementation of a system 50 according to the invention
undesired sound to convert each source of undesired sound
for reducing multiple noise sources, Wherein noise reaching
the microphone 12 of the speech recognition unit 11 is
reduced Without actually connecting to the microphone 12.
to the corresponding electrical signal.
3. The method according to claim 1, Wherein the signal
injected into the speech recognition unit is an analog elec
HoWever, the system 50 is adapted for use With a digital
trical signal.
speech recognition unit Where the input signal is digital
rather than analog. Again, identical reference numerals are
4. The method according to claim 1, Wherein the signal
injected into the speech recognition unit is an acoustic
used to refer to components that are common to the systems
signal.
10, 30 and 40 described above With reference to FIGS. 1, 2
and 3 of the draWings.
injected into the speech recognition unit is a digital signal.
[0033] All of the digital outputs of the noise reduction
systems 15a . . . 1511 are fed to a tWo-Way digital commu
nication port 51. In a single channel system, the digital
communication port 51 conveys the digital inverse signal
directly to the speech recognition unit 11. In a multi-channel
system, the digital communication port 51 is coupled to the
output of an adder 52 that serves as a summing unit for
summing the digital inverse signals digitally. In either case,
since the speech recognition unit 11 is digital, there is no
need for A/D and D/A conversion. The digital output of the
digital communication port 51 is fed directly as an electrical
digital signal to the speech recognition unit 11. The digital
communication port 51 outputs a composite error digital
signal that is fed back to all of the noise reduction systems
5. The method according to claim 1, Wherein the signal
6. A system for inhibiting noise produced by one or more
sources of undesired sound from pickup by a speech recog
nition unit, the system comprising:
an electrical circuit responsive to corresponding electrical
source signals each relating to a respective source of
undesired sound for producing in respect of each of
said electrical source signals an equivalent anti-phase
electrical signal of equal amplitude fed to an output of
the circuit;
the output of the circuit or a signal corresponding thereto
being fed to the speech recognition unit so that each of
the anti-phase electrical signals cancels or reduces a
corresponding electrical signal produced by the speech
15a . . . 1511 in a similar manner to What is done in the analog
recognition unit upon picking up the undesired sound
system 40 shoWn in FIG. 3. Clearly, in a single channel
system only a single feedback signal is produced and fed to
from the respective source.
the single noise reduction system.
[0034]
In any of the systems 10, 30, 40 or 50 one or more
sensing microphone 14 may be replaced by a transducer for
producing an analog signal representative of a physical
property that manifests itself as acoustic noise. For example,
one or more sensing microphones 14 might be replaced by
an accelerometer for sensing acoustic noise derived from
vibrations that must be reduced at the microphone 12 of the
speech recognition unit 11. Alternatively, one or more of the
sensing microphones 14 might be replaced by direct con
nection to a loudspeaker in a sound system. It Will be
appreciated that the noise reduction system 15 may also
include different kinds of input transducers at the same time.
7. The system according to claim 6, including a respective
transducer located proximate each source of undesired
sound for converting each source of undesired sound to the
corresponding electrical source signal.
8. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the signal
injected into the speech recognition unit is an analog elec
trical signal.
9. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the signal
injected into the speech recognition unit is an acoustic
signal.
10. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the signal
injected into the speech recognition unit is a digital signal.
11. The system according to claim 6, Wherein at least one
transducer is a microphone.
Apr. 8, 2004
US 2004/0066940 A1
12. The system according to claim 6, wherein at least one
transducer produces an analog signal representative of a
physical property that manifests itself as acoustic noise.
13. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the elec
trical circuit comprises:
a digital ?lter having an input that is coupled to the output
of a respective one of the transducers and Which is
controlled by a real time convergence system having an
input coupled to the output of said transducer,
an inverter coupled to an output of the digital ?lter for
inverting a ?ltered output signal produced by the digital
?lter, and
an A/D converter for receiving at an input thereof an
analog signal fed to the speech recognition unit and for
producing at an output thereof an equivalent digital
signal;
the real time convergence system being coupled to the
output of the A/D converter for receiving a feedback
signal therefrom.
14. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the elec
trical circuit is a multi-channel unit having n-inputs for
receiving n noise signals, a single input for receiving the
feedback signal in respect of all said channels and a single
output for producing a composite output signal in respect of
all of said channels.
15. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the elec
trical circuit is a plurality of n noise reduction systems each
having an input for a respective one of the noise signals, an
input for receiving the feedback signal and an output for
producing a respective output signal.
16. The system according to claim 15, further including:
a summation unit for summing together the respective
outputs of each of the noise reduction systems and
producing a composite summed output signal,
a D/A converter coupled to an output of the summation
unit for converting the composite summed output sig
nal to an equivalent analog signal,
an ampli?er coupled to an output of the D/A converter,
a loudspeaker coupled to the ampli?er and located proXi
mate the microphone of the speech recognition unit for
generating counter noise that cancels the acoustic noise
picked up by said microphone, and
a feedback microphone located near the loudspeaker for
generating an analog feedback signal, Which is digi
tiZed by the A/D converter and fed back to the noise
reduction systems.
17. The system according to claim 15, further including:
a respective D/A converter coupled to each of the noise
reduction systems for producing a corresponding ana
log signal,
a summation unit for summing together the respective
analog signals and producing a composite summed
analog output signal,
an ampli?er coupled to an output of the summation unit,
a loudspeaker coupled to the ampli?er and located proXi
mate the microphone of the speech recognition unit for
generating counter noise that cancels the acoustic noise
picked up by said microphone, and
a feedback microphone located near the loudspeaker for
generating an analog feedback signal, Which is digi
tiZed by the A/D converter and fed back to the noise
reduction systems.
18. The system according to claim 6, Wherein the speech
recognition unit is a digital device and the electrical circuit
comprises:
a digital ?lter having an input that is coupled to the output
of a respective one of the transducers and Which is
controlled by a real time convergence system having an
input coupled to the output of said transducer,
an inverter coupled to an output of the digital ?lter for
inverting a ?ltered output signal produced by the digital
?lter thereby producing a digital inverse signal, and
a tWo-Way digital communication port for conveying the
digital inverse signal to the speech recognition unit and
for conveying a feedback signal to the real time con
vergence system.
19. The system according to claim 18, Wherein the elec
trical circuit is a multi-channel unit having n-inputs for
receiving n noise signals, a single input for receiving the
feedback signal in respect of all said channels and a single
output for producing a composite digital output signal in
respect of all of said channels.
20. The system according to claim 19, Wherein the tWo
Way digital communication port is coupled to a summation
unit for summing together the respective digital inverse
signals and producing a composite summed digital output
signal.
21. The system according to claim 18, Wherein the elec
trical circuit is a plurality of n noise reduction systems each
having an input for a respective one of the noise signals, an
input for receiving the feedback signal and an output for
producing a respective output signal.
22. The system according to claim 21, Wherein the tWo
Way digital communication port is coupled to a summation
unit for summing together the respective digital inverse
signals and producing a composite summed digital output
signal.
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