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Measuring inter-pulse intervals in sperm whale clicks: consistency of automatic estimation methods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Abstract

Sperm whale clicks are characterized by a multi-pulsed structure. The time lag between consecutive pulses, i.e., the inter-pulse interval (IPI), is related to the size of the sound production organ such that its measurement provides a means to acoustically estimate the size of individual whales. Due to off-axis effects the identification of pulses is, however, not always straightforward, and automatic measurement methods provide not only more objective estimation, but may also facilitate IPI estimation in cases where single click measurements are ambiguous. In particular, averaging measurements over a time series of clicks from the same whale could enhance the discrimination of time invariant pulses. The authors developed two automatic methods of automatic IPI measurement based on waveform and autocorrelation averaging and compared their accuracy and consistency with other previously used methods. Manual measurement by an experienced operator provided the most self-consistent estimates. The autocorrelation averaging technique had the best overall performance of the automated methods achieving a very similar performance to manual measurement. On some recordings cepstrum averaging methods converged when autocorrelation did not. Therefore, applying both of these automated methods and choosing the best of the two are recommended.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3239-3247
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume127
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    Research areas

  • Physeter-catodon, Sound production, VOCALIZATIONS, Length, Nose

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