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July 2018

Understanding ecoacoustic interactions among songbirds as complex systems using robot audition techniques

  • R. Suzuki, S. Sumitani, S. Matsubayashi, T. Arita, K. Nakadai, H. G. Okuno,
  • in The Program and Abstract Booklet of EVOSLACE: Workshop on the emergence and evolution of social learning, communication, language and culture in natural and artificial agents in ALIFE 2018,
  • ARTIFICIAL LIFE,
  • 2018,
  • p. 22,
  • Conference paper

We are interested in understanding emergent dynamics in acoustic communication among songbirds as complex systems composed of multiple individuals interacting with each other using acoustic signals that have various complexity and structures. The spatial information is an important ecological property of acoustic events in natural systems, including human spoken language, because it can strongly affect their semantics, functions, or roles. To obtain fine-scaled spatial or ecoacoustic data of bird songs in a real field, we are developing a portable system for bird song localization called HARKBird, which automatically extract sound sources and their direction of arrival (DOA), using a laptop PC with an open source software for robot audition HARK combined with a commercially available microphone array (Suzuki et al., Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, 27(1), 213-223, 2017). In this presentation, we introduce two case studies to clarify acoustic interactions among wild songbirds from the viewpoint of complex systems and constructive approaches using HARKBird. We show that the observed spatio-temporal patterns of songs of great reed warblers in a reed marsh showed significant temporal overlap avoidance between neighbors, and an asymmetric relationship between their song timings using transfer entropy analysis (Suzuki et al., Ecology and Evolution, 8(1), 812-825, 2018). We also constructed some situations in which a conspecific individual intruded into a territory of an individual of Japanese bush-warbler (Horornis diphone), and recorded his vocalization and spatial movement, by extending HARKBird (Suzuki et al., Journal of Ecoacoustics, 2: #EYAJ46, 2018). We observed that this individual tended to sing type-H (advertising) songs less frequently and move actively during which conspecific songs were replayed from a loudspeaker, and sing a type-L (threatening) song after a large movement with a high probability, which was also clarified by using transfer entropy. These two cases clearly show that the spatial information is strongly related with their dynamics of acoustic interactions, implying that such fine-scaled ecological properties should be considered to understand emergence and evolution of communications in natural systems.

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