Automatic detection of estuarine dolphin whistles in spectrogram images

09/10/2019
by   O. M. Serra, et al.
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An algorithm for detecting tonal vocalizations from estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) specimens without interference of a human operator is developed. The raw audio data collected from a passive monitoring sensor in the Cananéia underwater soundscape is converted to spectrogram images, containing the desired acoustic event (whistle) as a linear pattern in the images. Detection is a four-step method: first, ridge maps are obtained from the spectrogram images; second, a probabilistic Hough transform algorithm is applied to detect roughly linear ridges, which are adjusted to the true corresponding shape of the whistles via an active contour algorithm; third, feature vectors are built from the geometry of each detected curve; and fourth, the detections are fed to a random forest classifier to parse out false positives. We develop a system capable of reliably classifying roughly 97 the characteristic patterns detected as Sotalia guianensis whistles or random empty detections.

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