[MARMAM] New publication on automated categorization of cetacean vocalizations

Volker Deecke deecke at zoology.ubc.ca
Sun Jan 8 01:23:29 PST 2006

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to the following paper, published in 
the January edition of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America:

Deecke, V.B. and Janik, V.M. 2006. Automated categorization of 
bioacoustic signals: Avoiding perceptual pitfalls. Journal of the 
Acoustical Society of America 119 (1): 645-653

Dividing the acoustic repertoires of animals into biologically relevant 
categories presents a widespread problem in the study of animal sound 
communication, essential to any comparison of repertoires between 
contexts, individuals, populations, or species. Automated procedures 
allow rapid, repeatable, and objective categorization, but often perform 
poorly at detecting biologically meaningful sound classes. Arguably this 
is because many automated methods fail to address the nonlinearities of 
animal sound perception. We present a new method of categorization that 
incorporates dynamic time-warping and an adaptive resonance theory (ART) 
neural network. This method was tested on 104 randomly chosen whistle 
contours from four captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), as 
well as 50 frequency contours extracted from calls of transient killer 
whales (Orcinus orca). The dolphin data included known biologically 
meaningful categories in the form of 42 stereotyped whistles produced 
when each individual was isolated from its group. The automated 
procedure correctly grouped all but two stereotyped whistles into 
separate categories, thus performing as well as human observers. The 
categorization of killer whale calls largely corresponded to visual and 
aural categorizations by other researchers. These results suggest that 
this methodology provides a repeatable and objective means of dividing 
bioacoustic signals into biologically meaningful categories.

Automated categorization, automated classification, killer whale, 
bottlenose dolphin, signature whistle, neural network, call recognition, 
repertoire size, dynamic time-warping

Best regards

Volker Deecke

Volker Deecke, Ph.D.

Marine Mammal Research Unit   Cetacean Research Lab
University of BC              Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
AERL Bldg., 2202 Main Mall    P.O. Box 3232
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4        Vancouver, BC V6B 3X8
Canada                        Canada 

Phone:  +1.604.822.9150       +1.604.659.3429/3430
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