Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Information entropy of humpback whale songs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

R Suzuki, J R Buck, P L Tyack

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The structure of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) songs was examined using information theory techniques. The song is an ordered sequence of individual sound elements separated by gaps of silence. Song samples were converted into sequences of discrete symbols by both human and automated classifiers. This paper analyzes the song structure in these symbol sequences using information entropy estimators and autocorrelation estimators. Both parametric and nonparametric entropy estimators are applied to the symbol sequences representing the songs. The results provide quantitative evidence consistent with the hierarchical structure proposed for these songs by Payne and McVay [Science 173, 587-597 (1971)]. Specifically, this analysis demonstrates that: (1) There is a strong structural constraint, or syntax, in the generation of the songs, and (2) the structural constraints exhibit periodicities with periods of 6-8 and 180-400 units. This implies that no empirical Markov model is capable of representing the songs' structure. The results are robust to the choice of either human or automated song-to-syrnbol classifiers. In addition, the entropy estimates indicate that the maximum amount of information that could be communicated by the sequence of sounds made is less than I bit per second. (c) 2006 Acoustical Society of America.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1866
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume119
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A taxonomy for vocal learning

    Tyack, P. L., Jan 2020, In : Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 375, 1789, p. 1-10 10 p., 20180406.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Why whales are big but not bigger: physiological drivers and ecological limits in the age of ocean giants

    Goldbogen, J. A., Cade, D. E., Wisniewska, D. M., Potvin, J., Segre, P. S., Savoca, M. S., Hazen, E. L., Czapanskiy, M. F., Kahane-Rapport, S. R., DeRuiter, S. L., Gero, S., Tønnesen, P., Gough, W. T., Hanson, M. B., Holt, M. M., Jensen, F. H., Simon, M., Stimpert, A. K., Arranz, P., Johnston, D. W. & 7 others, Nowacek, D. P., Parks, S. E., Visser, F., Friedlaender, A. S., Tyack, P. L., Madsen, P. T. & Pyenson, N. D., 13 Dec 2019, In : Science. 366, 6471, p. 1367-1372 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Signal-specific amplitude adjustment to noise in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Kragh, I. M., McHugh, K., Wells, R. S., Sayigh, L. S., Janik, V. M., Tyack, P. L. & Jensen, F. H., 3 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Biology. 222, 23, 11 p., jeb216606.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Corrigendum: A response to scientific and societal needs for marine biological observations (Frontiers in Marine Science, (2019), 6, 10.3389/fmars.2019.00395)

    Bax, N. J., Miloslavich, P., Muller-Karger, F. E., Allain, V., Appeltans, W., Batten, S. D., Benedetti-Cecchi, L., Buttigieg, P. L., Chiba, S., Costa, D. P., Duffy, J. E., Dunn, D. C., Johnson, C. R., Kudela, R. M., Obura, D., Rebelo, L-M., Shin, Y-J., Simmons, S. E. & Tyack, P. L., 18 Oct 2019, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 6, 1 p., 643.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Related by journal

  1. Predicting acoustic dose associated with marine mammal behavioural responses to sound as detected with fixed acoustic recorders and satellite tags

    von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Wensveen, P. J., Prior, M., Ainslie, M. A., Hansen, R. R., Isojunno, S., Lam, F. P. A., Kvadsheim, P. H. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 145, 3, p. 1401-1416 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Fin whale density and distribution estimation using acoustic bearings derived from sparse arrays

    Harris, D. V., Miksis-Olds, J. L., Vernon, J. A. & Thomas, L., May 2018, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 143, 5, p. 2980-2993 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 20035481

Top