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Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures
Citizen Scientists League, PO Box 10051, Rochester, NY 14610, USA
Received: 20 November 2013; in revised form: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 16 January 2014
Abstract: In this paper, new techniques that allow conditional entropy to estimate the combinatorics of symbols are applied to animal communication studies to estimate the communication’s repertoire size. By using the conditional entropy estimates at multiple orders, the paper estimates the total repertoire sizes for animal communication across bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales and several species of birds for an N-gram length of one to three. In addition to discussing the impact of this method on studies of animal communication complexity, the reliability of these estimates is compared to other methods through simulation. While entropy does undercount the total repertoire size due to rare N-grams, it gives a more accurate picture of the most frequently used repertoire than just repertoire size alone.
Keywords: animal communication; information theory; dolphin; humpback whale; bird song; phonology
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MDPI and ACS Style
Smith, R. Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures. Entropy 2014, 16, 526-542.
Smith R. Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures. Entropy. 2014; 16(1):526-542.
Smith, Reginald. 2014. "Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures." Entropy 16, no. 1: 526-542.