The development of a unique dolphin biomimetic sonar produced data that were used to study signal processing methods for object identification. Echoes from four metallic objects proud on the bottom, and a substrate-only condition, were generated by bottlenose dolphins trained to ensonify the targets in very shallow water. Using the two-element ('binaural') receive array, object echo spectra were collected and submitted for identification to four neural network architectures. Identification accuracy was evaluated over two receive array configurations, and five signal processing schemes. The four neural networks included backpropagation, learning vector quantization, genetic learning and probabilistic network architectures. The processing schemes included four methods that capitalized on the binaural data, plus a monaural benchmark process. All the schemes resulted in above-chance identification accuracy when applied to learning vector quantization and backpropagation. Beam-forming or concatenation of spectra from both receive elements outperformed the monaural benchmark, with higher sensitivity and lower bias. Ultimately, best object identification performance was achieved by the learning vector quantization network supplied with beam-formed data. The advantages of multi-element signal processing for object identification are clearly demonstrated in this development of a first-ever dolphin biomimetic sonar. ?? 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Additional publication details
Using a binaural biomimetic array to identify bottom objects ensonified by echolocating dolphins