Hyperbolic Audio Source Separation


We introduce a framework for audio source separation using em- beddings on a hyperbolic manifold that compactly represent the hi- erarchical relationship between sound sources and time-frequency features. Inspired by recent successes modeling hierarchical rela- tionships in text and images with hyperbolic embeddings, our algo- rithm obtains a hyperbolic embedding for each time-frequency bin of a mixture signal and estimates masks using hyperbolic softmax layers. On a synthetic dataset containing mixtures of multiple peo- ple talking and musical instruments playing, our hyperbolic model performed comparably to a Euclidean baseline in terms of source to distortion ratio, with stronger performance at low embedding dimen- sions. Furthermore, we find that time-frequency regions containing multiple overlapping sources are embedded towards the center (i.e., the most uncertain region) of the hyperbolic space, and we can use this certainty estimate to efficiently trade-off between artifact intro- duction and interference reduction when isolating individual sounds.


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    •  AWARD    MERL Intern and Researchers Win ICASSP 2023 Best Student Paper Award
      Date: June 9, 2023
      Awarded to: Darius Petermann, Gordon Wichern, Aswin Subramanian, Jonathan Le Roux
      MERL Contacts: Jonathan Le Roux; Gordon Wichern
      Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Speech & Audio
      • Former MERL intern Darius Petermann (Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University) has received a Best Student Paper Award at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2023) for the paper "Hyperbolic Audio Source Separation", co-authored with MERL researchers Gordon Wichern and Jonathan Le Roux, and former MERL researcher Aswin Subramanian. The paper presents work performed during Darius's internship at MERL in the summer 2022. The paper introduces a framework for audio source separation using embeddings on a hyperbolic manifold that compactly represent the hierarchical relationship between sound sources and time-frequency features. Additionally, the code associated with the paper is publicly available at

        ICASSP is the flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS). ICASSP 2023 was held in the Greek island of Rhodes from June 04 to June 10, 2023, and it was the largest ICASSP in history, with more than 4000 participants, over 6128 submitted papers and 2709 accepted papers. Darius’s paper was first recognized as one of the Top 3% of all papers accepted at the conference, before receiving one of only 5 Best Student Paper Awards during the closing ceremony.
    •  EVENT    MERL Contributes to ICASSP 2023
      Date: Sunday, June 4, 2023 - Saturday, June 10, 2023
      Location: Rhodes Island, Greece
      MERL Contacts: Petros T. Boufounos; François Germain; Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Jonathan Le Roux; Dehong Liu; Suhas Lohit; Yanting Ma; Hassan Mansour; Joshua Rapp; Anthony Vetro; Pu (Perry) Wang; Gordon Wichern
      Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Computational Sensing, Machine Learning, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio
      • MERL has made numerous contributions to both the organization and technical program of ICASSP 2023, which is being held in Rhodes Island, Greece from June 4-10, 2023.


        Petros Boufounos is serving as General Co-Chair of the conference this year, where he has been involved in all aspects of conference planning and execution.

        Perry Wang is the organizer of a special session on Radar-Assisted Perception (RAP), which will be held on Wednesday, June 7. The session will feature talks on signal processing and deep learning for radar perception, pose estimation, and mutual interference mitigation with speakers from both academia (Carnegie Mellon University, Virginia Tech, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and industry (Mitsubishi Electric, Bosch, Waveye).

        Anthony Vetro is the co-organizer of the Workshop on Signal Processing for Autonomous Systems (SPAS), which will be held on Monday, June 5, and feature invited talks from leaders in both academia and industry on timely topics related to autonomous systems.


        MERL is proud to be a Silver Patron of the conference and will participate in the student job fair on Thursday, June 8. Please join this session to learn more about employment opportunities at MERL, including openings for research scientists, post-docs, and interns.

        MERL is pleased to be the sponsor of two IEEE Awards that will be presented at the conference. We congratulate Prof. Rabab Ward, the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Fourier Award for Signal Processing, and Prof. Alexander Waibel, the recipient of the 2023 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

        Technical Program

        MERL is presenting 13 papers in the main conference on a wide range of topics including source separation and speech enhancement, radar imaging, depth estimation, motor fault detection, time series recovery, and point clouds. One workshop paper has also been accepted for presentation on self-supervised music source separation.

        Perry Wang has been invited to give a keynote talk on Wi-Fi sensing and related standards activities at the Workshop on Integrated Sensing and Communications (ISAC), which will be held on Sunday, June 4.

        Additionally, Anthony Vetro will present a Perspective Talk on Physics-Grounded Machine Learning, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 8.

        About ICASSP

        ICASSP is the flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and the world's largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on the research advances and latest technological development in signal and information processing. The event attracts more than 2000 participants each year.
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  •  Petermann, D., Wichern, G., Subramanian, A.S., Le Roux, J., "Hyperbolic Audio Source Separation", arXiv, December 2022.
    BibTeX arXiv Data
    • @article{Petermann2022dec,
    • author = {Petermann, Darius and Wichern, Gordon and Subramanian, Aswin Shanmugam and Le Roux, Jonathan},
    • title = {Hyperbolic Audio Source Separation},
    • journal = {arXiv},
    • year = 2022,
    • month = dec,
    • url = {}
    • }