Environmental noise monitoring using source classification in sensors

Panu Maijala, Zhao Shuyang, Toni Heittola, Tuomas Virtanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    80 Citations (Scopus)


    Environmental noise monitoring systems continuously measure sound levels without assigning these measurements to different noise sources in the acoustic scenes, therefore incapable of identifying the main noise source. In this paper a feasibility study is presented on a new monitoring concept in which an acoustic pattern classification algorithm running in a wireless sensor is used to automatically assign the measured sound level to different noise sources. A supervised noise source classifier is learned from a small amount of manually annotated recordings and the learned classifier is used to automatically detect the activity of target noise source in the presence of interfering noise sources. The sensor is based on an inexpensive credit-card-sized single-board computer with a microphone and associated electronics and wireless connectivity. The measurement results and the noise source information are transferred from the sensors scattered around the measurement site to a cloud service and a noise portal is used to visualise the measurements to users. The proposed noise monitoring concept was piloted on a rock crushing site. The system ran reliably over 50 days on site, during which it was able to recognise more than 90% of the noise sources correctly. The pilot study shows that the proposed noise monitoring system can reduce the amount of required human validation of the sound level measurements when the target noise source is clearly defined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-267
    Number of pages10
    JournalApplied Acoustics
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Acoustic pattern classification
    • Cloud service
    • Environmental noise monitoring
    • Wireless sensor network


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