WASN-based day–night characterization of urban anomalous noise events in narrow and wide streets

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10 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to air pollution, environmental noise has become one of the major hazards for citizens, being Road Traffic Noise (RTN) as its main source in urban areas. Recently, low-cost Wireless Acoustic Sensor Networks (WASNs) have become an alternative to traditional strategic noise mapping in cities. In order to monitor RTN solely, WASN-based approaches should automatize the off-line removal of those events unrelated to regular road traffic (e.g., sirens, airplanes, trams, etc.). Within the LIFE DYNAMAP project, 15 urban Anomalous Noise Events (ANEs) were described through an expert-based recording campaign. However, that work only focused on the overall analysis of the events gathered during non-sequential diurnal periods. As a step forward to characterize the temporal and local particularities of urban ANEs in real acoustic environments, this work analyses their distribution between day (06:00–22:00) and night (22:00–06:00) in narrow (1 lane) and wide (more than 1 lane) streets. The study is developed on a manually-labelled 151-h acoustic database obtained from the 24-nodes WASN deployed across DYNAMAP’s Milan pilot area during a weekday and a weekend day. Results confirm the unbalanced nature of the problem (RTN represents 83.5% of the data), while identifying 26 ANE subcategories mainly derived from pedestrians, animals, transports and industry. Their presence depends more significantly on the time period than on the street type, as most events have been observed in the day-time during the weekday, despite being especially present in narrow streets. Moreover, although ANEs show quite similar median durations regardless of time and location in general terms, they usually present higher median signal-to-noise ratios at night, mainly on the weekend, which becomes especially relevant for the WASN-based computation of equivalent RTN levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4760
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Acoustic analysis
  • Database
  • Day–night periods
  • Dynamic noise mapping
  • Low-cost sensors
  • Narrow–wide streets
  • Noise events
  • Urban environment
  • Wireless acoustic sensor networks


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