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This paper proposes to perform unsupervised detection of bioacous- tic events by pooling the magnitudes of spectrogram frames after per-channel energy normalization (PCEN). Although PCEN was originally developed for speech recognition, it also has beneficial effects in enhancing animal vocalizations, despite the presence of atmospheric absorption and intermittent noise. We prove that PCEN generalizes logarithm-based spectral flux, yet with a tunable time scale for background noise estimation. In comparison with point- wise logarithm, PCEN reduces false alarm rate by 50x in the near field and 5x in the far field, both on avian and marine bioacoustic datasets. Such improvements come at moderate computational cost and require no human intervention, thus heralding a promising future for PCEN in bioacoustics.
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Detection and Classification of Acoustic Scenes and Events 2019
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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