Kurtosis as a diffuseness measure

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This study presents a kurtosis analysis of room impulse responses as a potential room
diffuseness measure. In the early part of an impulse response, sound pressure samples do not
constitute a Gaussian distribution due to the direct sound and strong reflections. Such
deterministic reflections are extreme events, which prevent the pressure samples from being
normally distributed, leading to a high kurtosis. As the reflections are sparser and stronger, the
sound field becomes less diffuse and the kurtosis systematically increases, indicating that it can
be used as a diffuseness measure. The kurtosis converges to zero, as the reflection overlap
becomes heavier, which is an important condition for a perfect diffuse field. Two rooms are
analyzed. A small rectangular room shows that a non-uniform surface absorption distribution
tends to increase the kurtosis significantly. A full scale reverberation chamber is also tested with
many different diffuser settings. Results show that the kurtosis from a broad band impulse
response has a good correlation with the equivalent absorption coefficient according to ISO 354.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 22nd International Congress on Acoustics
Number of pages10
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event22nd International Congress on Acoustics : Acoustics for the 21st century - Catholic University of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 5 Sep 20169 Sep 2016


Conference22nd International Congress on Acoustics
LocationCatholic University of Argentina
CityBuenos Aires
Internet address


  • Diffuse sound field
  • Diffuseness
  • Kurtosis
  • ISO 354


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