Estimating directional statistics using wavefield modeling and mixtures of von-Mises distributions

Mário Costa, Visa Koivunen, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This letter considers the problem of estimating the directional probability distribution of wavefields observed by sensor arrays. In particular, the angular distributions of wavefields are assumed to be mixtures of von-Mises distributions. Mixture models facilitate estimating multimodal and skewed angular distributions. The von-Mises distribution is fully defined with two parameters, namely the mean direction (circular mean) and the concentration parameter. The widely-employed Gaussian distribution is not appropriate in directional statistics since its support is the entire real-line instead of the [- π,π) angular domain. A covariance-matching based estimator is proposed for the parameters of a mixture of von-Mises distributions and the corresponding Cramér-Rao lower bound is derived. A closed-form expression for the covariance matrix of the array response due to scattering is also derived based on the wavefield modeling principle. These results remain valid even for real-world conformal arrays with nonidealities including mutual coupling, mounting platform reflections, and array elements with individual directional beampatterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6867309
Pages (from-to)1496-1500
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Directional statistics
  • manifold separation technique
  • von-Mises distribution
  • wavefield modeling


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