Sound analysis in smart cities

Juan Pablo Bello, Charlie Mydlarz, Justin Salamon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter introduces the concept of smart cities and discusses the importance of sound as a source of information about urban life. It describes a wide range of applications for the computational analysis of urban sounds and focuses on two high-impact areas, audio surveillance, and noise pollution monitoring, which sit at the intersection of dense sensor networks and machine listening. For sensor networks we focus on the pros and cons of mobile versus static sensing strategies, and the description of a low-cost solution to acoustic sensing that supports distributed machine listening. For sound event detection and classification we focus on the challenges presented by this task, solutions including feature design and learning strategies, and how a combination of convolutional networks and data augmentation result in the current state of the art. We close with a discussion about the potential and challenges of mobile sensing, the limitations imposed by the data currently available for research, and a few areas for future exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Analysis of Sound Scenes and Events
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319634500
ISBN (Print)9783319634494
StatePublished - Sep 21 2017


  • Acoustic sensing
  • Audio surveillance
  • Convolutional neural networks
  • Data augmentation
  • Deep learning
  • Internet of things (IOT)
  • MEMS microphone
  • Machine learning
  • Machine listening
  • Noise monitoring
  • Sensor network
  • Smart cities
  • Sound classification
  • Sound event detection
  • Urban sound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Computer Science


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