Filter bank

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In signal processing, a filter bank is an array of band-pass filters that separates the input signal into multiple components, each one carrying a single frequency sub-band of the original signal. One application of a filter bank is a graphic equalizer, which can attenuate the components differently and recombine them into a modified version of the original signal. The process of decomposition performed by the filter bank is called analysis (meaning analysis of the signal in terms of its components in each sub-band); the output of analysis is referred to as a subband signal with as many subbands as there are filters in the filter bank. The reconstruction process is called synthesis, meaning reconstitution of a complete signal resulting from the filtering process.

In digital signal processing, the term filter bank is also commonly applied to a bank of receivers. The difference is that receivers also down-convert the subbands to a low center frequency that can be re-sampled at a reduced rate. The same result can sometimes be achieved by undersampling the bandpass subbands.

Another application of filter banks is signal compression, when some frequencies are more important than others. After decomposition, the important frequencies can be coded with a fine resolution. Small differences at these frequencies are significant and a coding scheme that preserves these differences must be used. On the other hand, less important frequencies do not have to be exact. A coarser coding scheme can be used, even though some of the finer (but less important) details will be lost in the coding.

The vocoder uses a filter bank to determine the amplitude information of the subbands of a modulator signal (such as a voice) and uses them to control the amplitude of the subbands of a carrier signal (such as the output of a guitar or synthesizer), thus imposing the dynamic characteristics of the modulator on the carrier.

FFT filter banks[edit]

A bank of receivers can be created by performing a sequence of FFTs on overlapping segments of the input data stream. A weighting function (aka window function) is applied to each segment to control the shape of the frequency responses of the filters. The wider the shape, the more often the FFTs have to be done to satisfy the Nyquist sampling criteria.[note 1] For a fixed segment length, the amount of overlap determines how often the FFTs are done (and vice versa). Also, the wider the shape of the filters, the fewer filters that are needed to span the input bandwidth. Eliminating unnecessary filters (i.e. decimation in frequency) is efficiently done by treating each weighted segment as a sequence of smaller blocks, and the FFT is performed on only the sum of the blocks. This has been referred to as multi-block windowing and weighted pre-sum FFT (see Sampling the DTFT).

A special case occurs when, by design, the length of the blocks is an integer multiple of the interval between FFTs. Then the FFT filter bank can be described in terms of one or more polyphase filter structures where the phases are recombined by an FFT instead of a simple summation. The number of blocks per segment is the impulse response length (or depth) of each filter. The computational efficiencies of the FFT and polyphase structures, on a general purpose processor, are identical.

Synthesis (i.e. recombining the outputs of multiple receivers) is basically a matter of upsampling each one at a rate commensurate with the total bandwidth to be created, translating each channel to its new center frequency, and summing the streams of samples. In that context, the interpolation filter associated with upsampling is called synthesis filter. The net frequency response of each channel is the product of the synthesis filter with the frequency response of the filter bank (analysis filter). Ideally, the frequency responses of adjacent channels sum to a constant value at every frequency between the channel centers. That condition is known as perfect reconstruction.

Filter banks as time-frequency distributions[edit]

In time-frequency signal processing, a filter bank is a special quadratic time-frequency distribution (TFD) that represents the signal in a joint time-frequency domain. It is related to the Wigner-Ville distribution by a two-dimensional filtering that defines the class of quadratic (or bilinear) time-frequency distributions.[1] The filter bank and the spectrogram are the two simplest ways of producing a quadratic TFD; they are in essence similar as one (the spectrogram) is obtained by dividing the time-domain in slices and then taking a fourier transform, while the other (the filter bank) is obtained by dividing the frequency domain in slices forming bandpass filters that are excited by the signal under analysis.

Multidimensional Filter Bank Design[edit]

1-D filter banks have been well developed until today. However, many signals, such as image, video, 3D sound, radar, sonar, are multidimensional, and require the design of multidimensional filter banks.

With the fast development of communication technology, signal processing system needs more room to store data during the processing, transmission and reception. In order to reduce the data to be processed, save storage and lower the complexity, multirate sampling techniques were introduced to achieve these goals. Filter banks can be used in various areas, such as image coding, voice coding, radar and so on.

Many 1D filter issues were well studied and researchers proposed many 1D filter bank design approaches. But there are still many multidimensional filter bank design problems that need to be solved.[2] Some methods may not well reconstruct the signal, some methods are complex and hard to implement.

1D Filter Bank

Compared to a 1D filter bank, an MD filter bank depends highly on sampling patterns. Generally, we cannot get a multidimensional filter bank just from the extension of the 1D case since when the number of variables change, the nature of the problem will change a lot.

2D Filter Bank

A filter bank consists of an analysis stage and a synthesis stage. Each stage consists of a set of filters in parallel. The filter bank design is the design of the filters in the analysis and synthesis stages. The analysis filters divide the signal into overlapping or non-overlapping subbands depending on the application requirements. The synthesis filters should be designed to reconstruct the input signal back from the subbands when the outputs of these filters are combined together. Processing is typically performed after the analysis stage. These filter banks can be designed as Infinite impulse response (IIR) or Finite impulse response (FIR). In order to reduce the data rate, downsampling and upsampling are performed in the analysis and synthesis stages, respectively.

Existing Approaches[edit]

Below are several approaches on the design of multidimensional filter banks. For more details, please check the ORIGINAL references.

(1)2-Channel Multidimensional perfect reconstruction (PR) filter banks:[3]

In real life, we always want to reconstruct the divided signal back to the original one, which makes PR filter banks very important. Let H(z) be the transfer function of a filter. The size of the filter is defined as the order of corresponding polynomial in every dimension. The symmetry or anti-symmetry of a polynomial determines the linear phase property of the corresponding filter and is related to its size. Like the 1D case, the aliasing term A(z) and transfer function T(z) for a 2 channel filter bank are:

A(z)=1/2(H0(-z) F0 (z)+H1 (-z) F1 (z)); T(z)=1/2(H0 (z) F0 (z)+H1 (z) F1 (z)), where H0 and H1 are decomposition filters, and F0 and F1 are reconstruction filters.

The input signal can be perfectly reconstructed if the alias term is cancelled and T(z) equal to a monomial. So the necessary condition is that T'(z) is generally symmetric and of an odd-by-odd size. Linear phase PR filters are very useful for image processing. This 2-Channel filter bank is relatively easy to implement. But 2 channels sometimes are not enough for use. 2-channel filter banks can be cascaded to generate multi-channel filter banks.

Multidimensional Analysis Filter Banks

(2)Multidimensional Directional Filter Banks and Surfacelets:[4]

M-dimensional directional filter banks (MDFB) are a family of filter banks that can achieve the directional decomposition of arbitrary M-dimensional signals with a simple and efficient tree-structured construction. It has many distinctive properties like: directional decomposition, efficient tree construction, angular resolution and perfect reconstruction. In the general M-dimensional case, the ideal frequency supports of the MDFB are hypercube-based hyperpyramids. The first level of decomposition for MDFB is achieved by an N-channel undecimated filter bank, whose component filters are M-D “hourglass”-shaped filter aligned with the w1,…,wM respectively axes. After that, the input signal is further decomposed by a series of 2-D iteratively resampled checkerboard filter banks IRCli(Li)(i=2,3,...,M), where IRCli(Li)operates on 2-D slices of the input signal represented by the dimension pair (n1,ni) and superscript (Li) means the levels of decomposition for the ith level filter bank. Note that, starting from the second level, we attach an IRC filter bank to each output channel from the previous level, and hence the entire filter has a total of 2(L1+...+LN) output channels.

(3)Multidimensional Oversampled Filter Banks:[5]

Multidimensional Synthesis Filter Banks

Oversampled filter banks are multirate filter banks where the number of output samples at the analysis stage is larger than the number of input samples. It is proposed for robust applications. One particular class of oversampled filter banks is nonsubsampled filter banks without downsampling or upsampling. The perfect reconstruction condition for an oversampled filter bank can be stated as a matrix inverse problem in the polyphase domain.

For IIR oversampled filter bank, perfect reconstruction have been studied in Wolovich[6] and Kailath.[7] in the context of control theory. While for FIR oversampled filter bank we have to use different strategy for 1-D and M-D. FIR filter are more popular since it is easier to implement. For 1-D oversampled FIR filter banks, the Euclidean algorithm plays a key role in the matrix inverse problem.[8] However, the Euclidean algorithm fails for multidimensional (MD) filters. For MD filter, we can convert the FIR representation into a polynomial representation.[9] And then use Algebraic geometry and Gröbner bases to get the framework and the reconstruction condition of the multidimensional oversampled filter banks.[5]

(4)Using Gröbner Basis:[9]

Multidimensional M_channel Filter Banks

As multidimensional filter banks can be represented by multivariate rational matrices, this method is a very effective tool that can be used to deal with the multidimensional filter banks.

In Charo,[9] a multivariate polynomial matrix-factorization algorithm is introduced and discussed. The most common problem is the multidimensional filter banks for perfect reconstruction. This paper talks about the method to achieve this goal that satisfies the constrained condition of linear phase.

According to the description of the paper, some new results in factorization are discussed and being applied to issues of multidimensional linear phase perfect reconstruction finite-impulse response filter banks. The basic concept of Gröbner Bases is given in Adams.[10]

This approach based on multivariate matrix factorization can be used in different areas. The algorithmic theory of polynomial ideals and modules can be modified to address problems in processing, compression, transmission, and decoding of multidimensional signals.

(5)Direct Frequency-Domain Optimization:[11]

Many of the existing methods for designing 2-channel filter banks are based on transformation of variable technique. For example, McClellan transform can be used to design 1-D 2-channel filter banks. Though the 2-D filter banks have many similar properties with the 1-D prototype, but it is difficult to extend to more than 2-channel cases.

In Nguyen,[11] the authors talk about the design of multidimensional filter banks by direct optimization in the frequency domain. The method proposed here is mainly focused on the M-channel 2D filter banks design. The method is flexible towards frequency support configurations. 2D filter banks designed by optimization in the frequency domain has been used in Wei[12] and Lu.[13] In Nguyen's paper,[11] the proposed method is not limited to two-channel 2D filter banks design; the approach is generalized to M-channel filter banks with any critical subsampling matrix. According to the implementation in the paper, it can be used to achieve up to 8-channel 2D filter banks design.

(6)Reverse Jacket Matrix[14]

In Lee's 1999 paper,[14] the authors talk about the multidimensional filter bank design using Reverse Jacket matrix. According to Wiki article, let H be a Hadamard matrix of order n, the transpose of H is closely related to its inverse. The correct formula is: HH^T=I_n, where In is the n×n identity matrix and HT is the transpose of H. In the 1999 paper,[14] the authors generalize the Reverse Jacket matrix [RJ]N using Hadamard matrices and Weighted Hadamard matrices.[15][16]

In this paper, the authors proposed that the FIR filter with 128 tap is used as a basic filter and decimation factor is computed for RJ matrices. They did simulations based on different parameters and achieve a good quality performances in low decimation factor.


  1. ^ The term filter implies that it preserves the information within its passband, and suppresses the information (or noise) outside the passband. When the FFT rate is not sufficient for that, the design is typically called spectrum analyzer. And in that case, it is not necessary for the segments to overlap.


  1. ^ B. Boashash, editor, “Time-Frequency Signal Analysis and Processing – A Comprehensive Reference”, Elsevier Science, Oxford, 2003; ISBN 0-08-044335-4
  2. ^ Chen, Tsuhan, and P. P. Vaidyanathan. "Considerations in multidimensional filter bank design" IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, pp. 643–646., May, 1993.
  3. ^ Zhang, Lei, and Anamitra Makur. "Multidimensional perfect reconstruction filter banks: an approach of algebraic geometry." Multidimensional Systems and Signal Processing. Volume 20 Issue 1, pp. 3–24. Mar. 2009
  4. ^ Lu, Yue M., and Minh N. Do. "Multidimensional directional filter banks and surfacelets", IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. Volume 16 Issue 4, pp. 918–931. April, 2007
  5. ^ a b J. Zhou and M. N. Do, “Multidimensional oversampled filter banks” in Proc. SPIE Conf. Wavelet Applications Signal Image Processing XI, San Diego, CA, pp. 591424–1-591424-12, July 2005
  6. ^ Wolovich, William A. Linear multivariable systems. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1974.
  7. ^ Kailath, Thomas. Linear systems. Vol. 1. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.
  8. ^ Cvetkovic, Zoran, and Martin Vetterli. "Oversampled filter banks" IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Vol.46 Issue 5, pp. 1245–1255. May, 1998.
  9. ^ a b c Charoenlarpnopparut, Chalie, and N. K. Bose. "Multidimensional FIR filter bank design using Grobner bases" IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Analog and Digital Signal Processing, Volume 46 Issue 12, pp. 1475–1486, Dec, 1999
  10. ^ Adams, William W., and Philippe Loustaunau. "An introduction to Gröbner bases, volume 3 of Graduate Studies in Mathematics" American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI 24(47), 1994.
  11. ^ a b c Nguyen, Truong T., and Soontorn Oraintara. "Multidimensional filter banks design by direct optimization" IEEE International Symposium onCircuits and Systems, pp. 1090–1093. May, 2005.
  12. ^ D. Wei and S. Guo, "A new approach to the design of multidimensional nonseparable two-channel orthonormal filterbanks and wavelets", IEEE Signal Processing Letters, vol. 7, no. 11, pp. 327–330, Nov 2000.
  13. ^ W.-S. Lu, A. Antoniou, and H. Xu, "A direct method for the design of 2-D nonseparable diamond-shaped filter banks", IEEE Transaction on Circuits and Systems II, vol. 45, no. 8, pp. 1146–1150, Aug 1998.
  14. ^ a b c Lee, Moon Ho, and Ju Yong Park. "The design of multidimensional filter bank using Reverse Jacket matrix", TENCON 99. Proceedings of the IEEE Region 10 Conference. Vol.1 pp. 637–641, Conference in 1999.
  15. ^ Lee, Seung-Rae, and Moon Ho Lee. "On the Reverse Jacket matrix for weighted Hadamard transform." IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Analog and Digital Signal Processing, Vol. 45 Issue 3, pp. 436–441. Mar, 1998.
  16. ^ Moon Ho Lee, “A New Reverse Jacket Matrix and Its Fast Algorithm”, Accepted IEEE Trans. on CAS-II, pp. 39–47, Jan,2000.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harris, Fredric J. (2004). Multirate signal processing for communication systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR. ISBN 0-13-146511-2.