Publication Type:Thesis
Year of Publication:2018
Academic Department:School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University:Queensland University of Technology
Thesis Type:Phd
Keywords:acoustic indices, Anthropophony, bioacoustics, biophony, Cicadas, Clustering, Data reduction, Diel plots; Dot-matrix plots, ecoacoustics, Ecological Monitoring, Geophony, Long-duration false-colour spectrograms, Microphone malfunction, Principal Components Analysis, Soundscape ecology, Very-long-duration audio recording, Visualisation

Advances in technology and reduction in data storage costs enable the autonomous collection of large quantities of continuous audio recordings. While the collection of very long environmental recordings has become easier, the analysis of these recordings remains challenging. A very-long-duration audio recording is defined as one with a minimum length of one day, but may have durations of weeks, months, or years. This thesis provides methods for data reduction and visualisation that enable the ecological interpretation and navigation of very-long-duration audio recordings.
The major theme of data reduction commenced after the establishment of protocols and the collection of two thirteen-month continuous audio recordings from two separate Southeast Queensland forest ecosystems. The acoustic indices calculated on one-minute audio segments were used to develop two new techniques to visualise the contents of very- long-duration recordings. An acoustic index is a mathematical expression used to measure a particular aspect of the energy distribution in audio recordings. Microphone failure in one channel was noticed shortly after the recording commenced. A method was established to detect microphone problems in long recordings.
A novel error measure was developed to detect seasonal and site differences and enable optimisation of the clustering based on seasonal and site differences in the data. Cluster interpretation on very-long-duration audio recordings is problematic because listening to large amounts of audio is time-consuming and therefore impractical. To overcome this, a series of five methods were developed to build on the interpretations made through listening. These methods enabled the allocation of an acoustic label to each cluster, resulting in a labelled acoustic sequence. This acoustic sequence was used to develop three additional visualisation techniques.
The culmination of the methods developed in this thesis was the six case studies. These extended the ecological interpretation of the acoustic sequence beyond those that were made through the visualisations. The case studies demonstrated that clustering can facilitate ecological interpretation of very-long-duration audio recordings.

BioAcoustica ID: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith