Title: Functional Data Analysis to Describe and Classify Southern Resident Killer Whale Calls
Speaker: Paul Nguyen Hong Duc (Carleton University)
Date:  Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Time:  1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Location: HP 4351 (Macphail Room)

Abstract:  The Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) is an endangered  population of whales found in the northeast Pacific. They have a vocal dialect unique from other killer whales, having a repertoire of distinct stereotyped calls. A framework for distinguishing SRKW call types using the frequency traces of the amplitude ridges from their spectrograms (termed frequency ridges) is proposed. The first step is the extraction of these frequency ridges of SRKW calls using an Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) approach. Next, these frequency ridges are converted into functional data using B-spline functions. They are analysed with a functional principal component (FPC) analysis to characterise the intrinsic variability of frequency ridges within a call type. The FPCs are able to capture the general patterns in the frequency ridges of the different SRKW call types. The FPCs are also used as the basis for call classification. This framework proves to be successful for classification with some call types correctly classified almost 80\% of the time, while other calls are less well discriminated. On balance, this approach showed reasonable performance given the small sample size available.