Nonlinear blind source separation using higher order statistics and a genetic algorithm

Ying Tan, Jun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Demixing independent source signals from their nonlinear mixtures is a very important issue in many scenarios. This paper presents a novel method for blindly separating unobservable independent source signals from their nonlinear mixtures. The demixing system is modeled using a parameterized neural network whose parameters can be determined under the criterion of independence of its outputs. Two cost functions based on higher order statistics are established to measure the statistical dependence of the outputs of the demixing system. The proposed method utilizes a genetic algorithm (GA) to minimize the highly nonlinear and nonconvex cost functions. The GA-based global optimization technique is able to obtain superior separation solutions to the nonlinear blind separation problem from any random initial values. Compared to conventional gradient-based approaches, the GA-based approach for blind source separation is characterized by high accuracy, robustness, and convergence rate. In particular, it is very suitable for the case of limited available data. Simulation results are discussed to demonstrate that the proposed GA-based approach is capable of separating independent sources from their nonlinear mixtures generated by a parametric separation model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-612
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Blind source separation
  • Feedforward neural networks
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Higher order statistics
  • Nonlinear mixture
  • Statistical independence


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