PROTAX-Sound: A probabilistic framework for automated animal sound identification
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionPLoS ONE. 2017, 12 (9). 10.1371/journal.pone.0184048
Autonomous audio recording is stimulating new field in bioacoustics, with a great promise for conducting cost-effective species surveys. One major current challenge is the lack of reliable classifiers capable of multi-species identification. We present PROTAX-Sound, a statistical framework to perform probabilistic classification of animal sounds. PROTAX-Sound is based on a multinomial regression model, and it can utilize as predictors any kind of sound features or classifications produced by other existing algorithms. PROTAX-Sound combines audio and image processing techniques to scan environmental audio files. It identifies regions of interest (a segment of the audio file that contains a vocalization to be classified), extracts acoustic features from them and compares with samples in a reference database. The output of PROTAX-Sound is the probabilistic classification of each vocalization, including the possibility that it represents species not present in the reference database. We demonstrate the performance of PROTAX-Sound by classifying audio from a species-rich case study of tropical birds. The best performing classifier achieved 68% classification accuracy for 200 bird species. PROTAX-Sound improves the classification power of current techniques by combining information from multiple classifiers in a manner that yields calibrated classification probabilities.