Send to

Choose Destination
J Acoust Soc Am. 2000 Aug;108(2):836-45.

Foliage echoes: a probe into the ecological acoustics of bat echolocation.

Author information

Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 065420-8284, USA.


The research reported here aims at understanding the biosonar system of bats based on the properties of its natural inputs (ecological acoustics). Echoes from foliages are studied as examples of ubiquitous, natural targets. The echo properties and their qualitative relationship to plant architecture are described. The echoes were found to be profoundly stochastic and in general neither Gaussian nor stationary. Consequently, features useful for discrimination of such target classes will be confined to estimated random process parameters. Several such statistical signal features which are sufficiently invariant to allow a classification of the used example plants were identified: the characteristic exponent and the dispersion of an alpha-stable model for the amplitude distribution, a crest factor defined as the ratio of maximum squared amplitude and signal energy, the dispersion of the first threshold passage distribution, the structure of the correlation matrix, and a nonstationarity in sound channel gain. Discrimination error probability could be reduced by combining features pairwise. The best combination was the crest factor and the correlation coefficient of a log-linear model of the time-variant sound channel gain; it yielded an estimated Bayes risk of 6.9% for data pooled from different views.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Institute of Physics
Loading ...
Support Center