Detecting and classifying ships based on radiated noise provide practical guidelines for the reduction of underwater noise footprint of shipping. In this paper, the detection and classification are implemented by auditory inspired convolutional neural networks trained from raw underwater acoustic signal. The proposed model includes three parts. The first part is performed by a multi-scale 1D time convolutional layer initialized by auditory filter banks. Signals are decomposed into frequency components by convolution operation. In the second part, the decomposed signals are converted into frequency domain by permute layer and energy pooling layer to form frequency distribution in auditory cortex. Then, 2D frequency convolutional layers are applied to discover spectro-temporal patterns, as well as preserve locality and reduce spectral variations in ship noise. In the third part, the whole model is optimized with an objective function of classification to obtain appropriate auditory filters and feature representations that are correlative with ship categories. The optimization reflects the plasticity of auditory system. Experiments on five ship types and background noise show that the proposed approach achieved an overall classification accuracy of 79.2%, which improved by 6% compared to conventional approaches. Auditory filter banks were adaptive in shape to improve accuracy of classification.
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