A Supervised Learning Framework for Joint Estimation of Angles-of-Arrival and Number of Sources
Journal article, 2022

Machine learning is a promising technique for angle-of-arrival (AOA) estimation of waves impinging a sensor array. However, the majority of the methods proposed so far only consider a known, fixed number of impinging waves, i.e., a fixed number of sources (NOS). This paper proposes a machine-learning-based estimator designed for the case when the NOS is variable and hence unknown a priori. The proposed estimator comprises a framework of single-label classifiers. Each classifier predicts if waves are present within certain randomly selected segments of the array's field of view (FOV), resulting from discretising the FOV with a certain (FOV) resolution. The classifiers' predictions are combined into a probabilistic angle spectrum, whereupon the NOS and the AOAs are estimated jointly by applying a probability threshold whose optimal level is learned from data. The estimator's performance is assessed using a new performance metric: the joint AOA estimation success rate. Numerical simulations show that for low SNR (-10 dB), a low FOV resolution (2°) yields a higher success rate than a high resolution (1°), whereas the opposite applies for mid (0 dB) and high (10 dB) SNRs. In nearly all simulations, except one at low SNR and a high FOV resolution, the proposed estimator outperforms the MUSIC algorithm if the maximum allowed AOA estimation error is approximately equal to (or larger than) the FOV resolution.

Angle-of-arrival estimation

supervised learning

feedforward neural network

number of sources detection


Noud Kanters

University of Twente

Andres Alayon Glazunov

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Communication, Antennas and Optical Networks

University of Twente

IEEE Access

2169-3536 (ISSN)

Vol. 10 112086-112099

Subject Categories

Probability Theory and Statistics

Control Engineering

Signal Processing



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