Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) are generally large datasets, which can be an important constraint for embedded real-time applications. A method is proposed here to reduce redundancy and compress the datasets. In this method, HRTFs are first compressed by conversion into autoregressive-moving-average (ARMA) filters whose coefficients are calculated using Prony's method. Such filters are specified by a few coefficients which can generate the full head-related impulse responses (HRIRs). Next, Legendre polynomials (LPs) are used to compress the ARMA filter coefficients. LPs are derived on the sphere and form an orthonormal basis set for spherical functions. Higher-order LPs capture increasingly fine spatial details. The number of LPs needed to represent an HRTF, therefore, is indicative of its spatial complexity. The results indicate that compression ratios can exceed 98% while maintaining a spectral error of less than 4 dB in the recovered HRTFs.
Acoustical Society of America. Journal, 2013, Vol 134, Issue 5, p. 3686-3696