Methods for noise event detection and assessment of the sonic environment by the harmonica index

Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès, Roberto Benocci, Giovanni Brambilla, Giovanni Zambon

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

6 Cites (Scopus)


Noise annoyance depends not only on sound energy, but also on other features, such as those in its spectrum (e.g., low frequency and/or tonal components), and, over time, amplitude fluctuations, such as those observed in road, rail, or aircraft noise passages. The larger these fluctuationsthe more annoying a sound is generally perceived. Many algorithms have been implemented to quantify these fluctuations and identify noise events, either by looking at transients in the sound level time history, such as exceedances above a fixed or time adaptive threshold, or focusing on the hearing perception process of such events. In this paper, four criteria to detect sound were applied to the acoustic monitoring data collected in two urban areas, namely Andorra la Vella, Principality of Andorra, and Milan, Italy. At each site, the 1 s A-weighted short LAeq,1s time history, 10 min long, was available for each hour from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The resulting 92-time histories cover a reasonable range of urban environmental noise time patterns. The considered criteria to detect noise events are based on: (i) noise levels exceeding by +3 dB the continuous equivalent level LAeqT referred to the measurement time (T), criteria used in the definition of the Intermittency Ratio (IR) to detect noise events; (ii) noise levels exceeding by +3 dB the running continuous equivalent noise level; (iii) noise levels exceeding by +10 dB the 50th noise level percentile; (iv) progressive positive increments of noise levels greater than 10 dB from the event start time. Algorithms (iii) and (iv) appear suitable for notice-event detection; that is, those that (for their features) are clearly perceived and potentially annoy exposed people. The noise events detected by the above four algorithms were also evaluated by the available anomalous noise event detection (ANED) procedure to classify them as produced by road traffic noise or something else. Moreover, the assessment of the sonic environment by the Harmonica index was correlated with the single event level (SEL) of each event detected by the four algorithms. The threshold value of 8 for the Harmonica index, separating the “noisy” from the “very noisy” environments, corresponds to lower SEL levels for notice-events as identified by (iii) and (iv) algorithms (about 88–89 dB(A)) against those identified by (i) and (ii) criteria (92 dB(A)).

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article8031
RevistaApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de set. 2021


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