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paper on acoustic detection of right whales

Subject: paper on acoustic detection of right whales
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 2004 13:22:10 -0700
 Mellinger, D.K. 2004. A comparison of methods for detecting right
 whale calls. Canad. Acoust. 32:55-65.
 North Atlantic, North Pacific, and southern right whales all produce
 the 'up' call, a frequency-modulated upsweep in the 50-200 Hz
 range. This call is one of the most common sounds, and frequently the
 most common sound, received from right whales, and as such is a useful
 indicator of the presence of right whales for acoustic surveys. A data
 set was prepared of 1857 calls and 6359 non-call sounds recorded from
 North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) near Georgia and
 Massachusetts. Two methods for the detection of the calls were
 compared: spectrogram correlation and a neural network. Spectrogram
 correlation parameters were chosen two ways, by manual choice using a
 sample of 20 calls, and by an optimization procedure that used all
 available calls. Neural network weights were trained via
 backpropagation on 9/10 of the test data set. Performance was measured
 separately for calls of different signal-to-noise ratio, as SNR
 heavily influences the performance of any detector. Results showed
 that the neural network performed best at this task, achieving an
 error rate of less than 6%, and is thus the preferred detection method
 here. Spectrogram correlation may be useful in situations in which a
 large set of training data is not available, as manual training on a
 small set of examples achieved an error rate (26%) that may be
 acceptable for many applications.

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