Entropy 2014, 16(1), 526-542; doi:10.3390/e16010526
Article

Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures

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Received: 20 November 2013; in revised form: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 16 January 2014
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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.

AMA Style

Smith R. Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures. Entropy. 2014; 16(1):526-542.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smith, Reginald. 2014. "Complexity in Animal Communication: Estimating the Size of N-Gram Structures." Entropy 16, no. 1: 526-542.

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