New article online: Improving biodiversity assessment via unsupervised separation of biological sounds from long-duration recordings

Our new article has been published on Scientific Reports! In this article, we introduce a novel machine learning tool, the periodicity coded nonnegative matrix factorization (PC-NMF). The PC-NMF can separate biological sounds from a noisy long-term spectrogram in an unsupervised approach, therefore, it is a great tool for evaluating the dynamics of soundscape and facilitating the soundscape-based biodiversity assessment.

You can download the MATLAB codes of PC-NMF and test data in the supplementary dataset of our article.

Improving biodiversity assessment via unsupervised separation of biological sounds from long-duration recordings

Scientific Reports 7, 4547 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-04790-7

Tzu-Hao Lin, Yu Tsao
Research Center for Information Technology Innovation, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Shih-Hua Fang
Department of Electrical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Investigating the dynamics of biodiversity via passive acoustic monitoring is a challenging task, owing to the difficulty of identifying different animal vocalizations. Several indices have been proposed to measure acoustic complexity and to predict biodiversity. Although these indices perform well under low-noise conditions, they may be biased when environmental and anthropogenic noises are involved. In this paper, we propose a periodicity coded non-negative matrix factorization (PC-NMF) for separating different sound sources from a spectrogram of long-term recordings. The PC-NMF first decomposes a spectrogram into two matrices: spectral basis matrix and encoding matrix. Next, on the basis of the periodicity of the encoding information, the spectral bases belonging to the same source are grouped together. Finally, distinct sources are reconstructed on the basis of the cluster of the basis matrix and the corresponding encoding information, and the noise components are then removed to facilitate more accurate monitoring of biological sounds. Our results show that the PC-NMF precisely enhances biological choruses, effectively suppressing environmental and anthropogenic noises in marine and terrestrial recordings without a need for training data. The results may improve behaviour assessment of calling animals and facilitate the investigation of the interactions between different sound sources within an ecosystem.