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Automated analysis of song structure in complex birdsongs

Große Ruse, Mareile LU ; Hasselquist, Dennis LU ; Hansson, Bengt LU ; Tarka, Maja LU and Sandsten, Maria LU (2016) In Animal Behaviour 112. p.39-51
Abstract

Understanding communication and signalling has long been strived for in studies of animal behaviour. Many songbirds have a variable and complex song, closely connected to territory defence and reproductive success. However, the quantification of such variable song is challenging. In this paper, we present a novel, automated method for detection and classification of syllables in birdsong. The method provides a tool for pairwise comparison of syllables with the aim of grouping them in terms of their similarity. This allows analyses such as (1) determining repertoire size within an individual, (2) comparing song similarity between individuals within as well as between populations of a species and (3) comparing songs of different species... (More)

Understanding communication and signalling has long been strived for in studies of animal behaviour. Many songbirds have a variable and complex song, closely connected to territory defence and reproductive success. However, the quantification of such variable song is challenging. In this paper, we present a novel, automated method for detection and classification of syllables in birdsong. The method provides a tool for pairwise comparison of syllables with the aim of grouping them in terms of their similarity. This allows analyses such as (1) determining repertoire size within an individual, (2) comparing song similarity between individuals within as well as between populations of a species and (3) comparing songs of different species (e.g. for species recognition). Our method is based on a particular feature representation of song units (syllables) which ensures invariance to shifts in time, frequency and amplitude. Using a single song from a great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, recorded in the wild, the proposed algorithm is evaluated by means of comparison to manual auditory and visual (spectrogram) song investigation by a human expert and to standard song analysis methods. Our birdsong analysis approach conforms well to manual classification and, moreover, outperforms the hitherto widely used methods based on mel-frequency cepstral coefficients and spectrogram cross-correlation. Thus, our algorithm is a methodological step forward for analyses of song (syllable) repertoires of birds singing with high complexity.

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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ambiguity spectrum, Automated song recognition, Birdsong, Clustering, Great reed warbler, Multitaper, Song analysis, Syllable detection
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
112
pages
13 pages
publisher
Elsevier Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84951175781
ISSN
0003-3472
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9a49623b-0da2-4502-b072-0e31079b1b74
date added to LUP
2018-05-21 16:19:17
date last changed
2020-10-07 05:53:18
@misc{9a49623b-0da2-4502-b072-0e31079b1b74,
  abstract     = {<p>Understanding communication and signalling has long been strived for in studies of animal behaviour. Many songbirds have a variable and complex song, closely connected to territory defence and reproductive success. However, the quantification of such variable song is challenging. In this paper, we present a novel, automated method for detection and classification of syllables in birdsong. The method provides a tool for pairwise comparison of syllables with the aim of grouping them in terms of their similarity. This allows analyses such as (1) determining repertoire size within an individual, (2) comparing song similarity between individuals within as well as between populations of a species and (3) comparing songs of different species (e.g. for species recognition). Our method is based on a particular feature representation of song units (syllables) which ensures invariance to shifts in time, frequency and amplitude. Using a single song from a great reed warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, recorded in the wild, the proposed algorithm is evaluated by means of comparison to manual auditory and visual (spectrogram) song investigation by a human expert and to standard song analysis methods. Our birdsong analysis approach conforms well to manual classification and, moreover, outperforms the hitherto widely used methods based on mel-frequency cepstral coefficients and spectrogram cross-correlation. Thus, our algorithm is a methodological step forward for analyses of song (syllable) repertoires of birds singing with high complexity.</p>},
  author       = {Große Ruse, Mareile and Hasselquist, Dennis and Hansson, Bengt and Tarka, Maja and Sandsten, Maria},
  issn         = {0003-3472},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {39--51},
  publisher    = {Elsevier Ltd},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Automated analysis of song structure in complex birdsongs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.013},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.013},
  volume       = {112},
  year         = {2016},
}