Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Learns Dogspeak: Programs Can Classify Dog Barks Better Than Humans, Study Shows

Date:
January 19, 2008
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Computer programs may be the most accurate tool for studying acoustic communications amongst animals. New software is able to classify dog barks according to different situations and even identify barks from individual dogs, a task humans find challenging.

A new piece of software is able to classify dog barks according to different situations and even identify barks from individual dogs, according to research by Csaba Molnár from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary and his team.
Credit: Image courtesy of Springer

Computer programs may be the most accurate tool for studying acoustic communications amongst animals, according to Csaba Molnár from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary and his research team. Their research shows that a new piece of software is able to classify dog barks according to different situations and even identify barks from individual dogs, a task humans find challenging.

The aim of Molnár and colleagues’ experiments was to test a computer algorithm’s ability to identify and differentiate the acoustic features of dog barks, and classify them according to different contexts and individual dogs. The software analyzed more than 6000 barks from 14 Hungarian sheepdogs (Mudi breed) in six different situations: ‘stranger’, ‘fight’, ‘walk’, ‘alone’, ‘ball’ and ‘play’. The barks were recorded with a tape recorder before being transferred to the computer, where they were digitalized and individual bark sounds were coded, classified and evaluated.

In the first experiment looking at classification of barks into different situations, the software correctly classified the barks in 43 percent of cases. The best recognition rates were achieved for ‘fight’ and ‘stranger’ contexts, and the poorest rate was achieved when categorizing ‘play’ barks. These findings suggest that the different motivational states of dogs in aggressive, friendly or submissive contexts may result in acoustically different barks.

In the second experiment looking at the recognition of individual dogs, the algorithm correctly classified the barks in 52 percent of cases. The software could reliably discriminate among individual dogs while humans can not, which suggests that there are individual differences in barks of dogs even though humans are not able to recognise them.

The authors conclude by highlighting the value of their new methodology: “The use of advanced machine learning algorithms to classify and analyze animal sounds opens new perspectives for the understanding of animal communication… The promising results obtained strongly suggest that advanced machine learning approaches deserve to be considered as a new relevant tool for ethology*.”

* Ethology: the study of animal behavior, with a focus on behavioral patterns in natural environments.

Journal reference: Molnar C et al (2008). Classification of dog barks: a machine learning approach. Animal Cognition (DOI 10.1007/s10071-007-0129-9)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Computer Learns Dogspeak: Programs Can Classify Dog Barks Better Than Humans, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116095531.htm>.
Springer. (2008, January 19). Computer Learns Dogspeak: Programs Can Classify Dog Barks Better Than Humans, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116095531.htm
Springer. "Computer Learns Dogspeak: Programs Can Classify Dog Barks Better Than Humans, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116095531.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins