Comparison of beaked whale detection algorithms

Tina M. Yack, Jay Barlow, Marie A. Roch, Holger Klinck, Steve Martin, David K. Mellinger, Douglas Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Due to recent advances in passive acoustic monitoring techniques, beaked whales are now more effectively detected acoustically than visually during vessel-based (e.g. line-transect) surveys. Beaked whales signals can be discriminated from those of other cetaceans by the unique characteristics of their echolocation clicks (e.g. duration >175 μs, center frequencies between 30 and 40kHz, inter-click intervals between 0.2 and 0.4 s and frequency upsweeps). Furthermore, these same characteristics make these signals ideal candidates for testing automated detection and classification algorithms. There are several different beaked whale automated detectors currently available for use. However, no comparative analysis of detectors exists. Therefore, comparison between studies and datasets is difficult. The purpose of this study was to test, validate, and compare algorithms for detection of beaked whales in acoustic line-transect survey data. Six different detection algorithms (XBAT, Ishmael, PAMGUARD, ERMA, GMM and FMCD) were evaluated and compared. Detection trials were run on three sample days of towed-hydrophone array recordings collected by NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) during which were confirmed visual sightings of beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon peruvianus). Detections also were compared to human verified acoustic detections for a subset of these data. In order to measure the probabilities of false detection, each detector was also run on three sample recordings containing clicks from another species: Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). Qualitative and quantitative comparisons and the detection performance of the different algorithms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1049
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Acoustics
Volume71
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Beaked whale
  • Classification
  • Detection
  • Echolocationl
  • Passive acoustic monitoring
  • Towed-array

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