Comparing a linear with a non-linear method for acoustic localization


  • Magnus Wahlberg Department of Zoophysiology, Aarhus University, C. F. Moellers Alle Building 131, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


Acoustic waves, Correlation methods, Error analysis, Nonlinear systems, Problem solving, Signal theory, Acoustic localization, Error bounds, Non-linear methods, Path geometry


The performance of two different acoustic localization techniques is evaluated with signals from right whales in the Bay of Fundy. The methods are compared to the GPS localization error (114-273 m, N=3) through the use of played back whale calls. The linear approach underestimates the source location error (22 m, N=3), whereas the non-linear approach exaggerates the error (462-1166 m, N=3). The linear approach may render unrealistic error bounds because of the inherent non-linear properties of the localization problem. The non-linear approach may exaggerate error bounds by choosing the wrong cross-correlation peak for the time-of-arrival difference measurements. Whereas the GPS localization error was always contained within the non-linear error bounds it was never contained within the linear error localization bounds. This indicates that the non-linear approach can give more realistic error estimates, especially in situations where the sound path geometry is unknown. [Work supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Oticon Foundation].



How to Cite

Wahlberg M. Comparing a linear with a non-linear method for acoustic localization. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2004Jun.1 [cited 2020Nov.26];32(2):125-31. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada