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article on N. Pacific right whale call detection

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Subject: article on N. Pacific right whale call detection
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 11:19:16 -0700
Munger, L., D.K. Mellinger, S.M. Wiggins, S.E. Moore, and J.A. Hildebrand.  
2005.  Performance of spectrogram correlation in detecting right whale calls in 
long-term recordings from the Bering Sea.  Canadian Acoustics 33(2): 25-34.

We investigated the performance of spectrogram cross-correlation for 
automatically detecting North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) calls in 
long-term acoustic recordings from the southeastern Bering Sea. Data were 
sampled by autonomous, bottom-mounted hydrophones deployed in the southeastern 
Bering Sea from October 2000 through August 2002. A human analyst detected 
right whale calls within the first month (October 2000) of recorded data by 
visually examining spectrograms and by listening to recorded data; these manual 
detections were then compared to results of automated detection trials. 
Automated detection by spectrogram cross-correlation was implemented using a 
synthetic kernel based on the most common right whale call type. To optimize 
automated detection parameters, the analyst performed multiple trials on 
minutes-long and hour-long recordings and manually adjusted detection 
parameters between trials. A single set of optimized detection parameters was 
used to process a week-long recording from October 2000. The automated detector 
trials resulted in increasing proportions of false and missed detections with 
increasing data set duration, due to the higher proportion of acoustic noise 
and lower overall call rates in longer recordings. However, the automated 
detector missed only one calling ?bout? (2 or more calls within a 10-minute 
span) of the 18 bouts present in the week-long recording. Despite the high 
number of false detections and missed individual calls, spectrogram 
cross-correlation was useful to guide a human analyst to sections of data with 
potential right whale calling bouts. Upon reviewing automatic detection events, 
the analyst could quickly dismiss false detections and search recordings before 
and after correct detections to find missed calls, thus improving the 
efficiency of searching for a small number of calls in long-term (months- to 
years-long) recordings.

*       *       *       *       *

Please address any inquiries to 

Lisa Munger
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0205

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