IEEE Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing vol:15 issue:6 pages:1777-1790
In this paper, solutions for combined feedback and noise suppression in hearing aids are developed. The techniques presented are based on the generalized sidelobe canceller (GSC) and adaptive feedback canceller (AFC), with a prediction error method (PEM) adaptation to avoid speech distortion. Two possible cascades of GSC-based noise reduction and AFC, namely an "AFC first" and a "GSC first," as well as a truly integrated solution that jointly suppresses feedback and noise are discussed. The integrated solution (called PEM-GFIC) achieves optimum synergies between noise and feedback suppression at the lowest computational cost. In addition, it cancels more feedback than the generalized echo and interference canceller, a joint solution for echo and noise suppression. In the cascaded solutions; the feedback and noise suppression filters are not always optimally exploited. For high input SNRs, "AFC firsf' scheme generally may achieve better feedback cancellation because of its larger number of degrees of freedom. However, noise reduction by the GSC-stage seriously affects the feedback cancellation performance. At low SNRs, "GSC first" generally achieves more feedback cancellation than PEM-GFIC at the expense of worse noise reduction. At high hearing aid gains and/or large SNRs, the noise reduction stage however negatively affects the performance of the feedback cancellation filter, resulting in a worse feedback and noise suppression compared to PEM-GFIC.