Extracting effective features from ship-radiated noise is an important way to improve the detection and recognition performance of passive sonar. Complexity features of ship-radiated noise have attracted increasing amounts of attention. However, the traditional definition of complexity based on entropy (information stored in the system) is not accurate. To this end, a new statistical complexity measure is proposed in this paper based on spectrum entropy and disequilibrium. Since the spectrum features are unique to the class of the ship, our method can distinguish different ships according to their location in the two-dimensional plane composed of complexity and spectrum entropy (CSEP). To weaken the influence of ocean ambient noise, the intrinsic time-scale decomposition (ITD) is applied to preprocess the data in this study. The effectiveness of the proposed method is validated through a classification experiment of four types of marine vessels. The recognition rate of the ITD-CSEP methodology achieved 94%, which is much higher than that of traditional feature extraction methods. Moreover, the ITD-CSEP is fast and parameter free. Hence, the method can be applied in the real time processing practical applications.
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