Data mining in large audio collections of dolphin signals
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The study of dolphin cognition involves intensive research of animal vocal- izations recorded in the field. In this dissertation I address the automated analysis of audible dolphin communication. I propose a system called the signal imager that automatically discovers patterns in dolphin signals. These patterns are invariant to frequency shifts and time warping transformations. The discovery algorithm is based on feature learning and unsupervised time series segmentation using hidden Markov models. Researchers can inspect the patterns visually and interactively run com- parative statistics between the distribution of dolphin signals in different behavioral contexts. The required statistics for the comparison describe dolphin communication as a combination of the following models: a bag-of-words model, an n-gram model and an algorithm to learn a set of regular expressions. Furthermore, the system can use the patterns to automatically tag dolphin signals with behavior annotations. My results indicate that the signal imager provides meaningful patterns to the marine biologist and that the comparative statistics are aligned with the biologists’ domain knowledge.