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J Acoust Soc Am. 1998 Apr;103(4):2185-96.

Automated recognition of bird song elements from continuous recordings using dynamic time warping and hidden Markov models: a comparative study.

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  • 1Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

Abstract

The performance of two techniques is compared for automated recognition of bird song units from continuous recordings. The advantages and limitations of dynamic time warping (DTW) and hidden Markov models (HMMs) are evaluated on a large database of male songs of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea), which have different types of vocalizations and have been recorded under different laboratory conditions. Depending on the quality of recordings and complexity of song, the DTW-based technique gives excellent to satisfactory performance. Under challenging conditions such as noisy recordings or presence of confusing short-duration calls, good performance of the DTW-based technique requires careful selection of templates that may demand expert knowledge. Because HMMs are trained, equivalent or even better performance of HMMs can be achieved based only on segmentation and labeling of constituent vocalizations, albeit with many more training examples than DTW templates. One weakness in HMM performance is the misclassification of short-duration vocalizations or song units with more variable structure (e.g., some calls, and syllables of plastic songs). To address these and other limitations, new approaches for analyzing bird vocalizations are discussed.

PMID:
9566338
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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