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J Acoust Soc Am. 2014 Apr;135(4):2113-25. doi: 10.1121/1.4868378.

Automated aural classification used for inter-species discrimination of cetaceans.

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Defence R&D Canada Atlantic Research Centre, Box 1012, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B2Y 3Z7, Canada.


Passive acoustic methods are in widespread use to detect and classify cetacean species; however, passive acoustic systems often suffer from large false detection rates resulting from numerous transient sources. To reduce the acoustic analyst workload, automatic recognition methods may be implemented in a two-stage process. First, a general automatic detector is implemented that produces many detections to ensure cetacean presence is noted. Then an automatic classifier is used to significantly reduce the number of false detections and classify the cetacean species. This process requires development of a robust classifier capable of performing inter-species classification. Because human analysts can aurally discriminate species, an automated aural classifier that uses perceptual signal features was tested on a cetacean data set. The classifier successfully discriminated between four species of cetaceans-bowhead, humpback, North Atlantic right, and sperm whales-with 85% accuracy. It also performed well (100% accuracy) for discriminating sperm whale clicks from right whale gunshots. An accuracy of 92% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.97 were obtained for the relatively challenging bowhead and humpback recognition case. These results demonstrated that the perceptual features employed by the aural classifier provided powerful discrimination cues for inter-species classification of cetaceans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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