Scalable Machine Learning Approach to Classifying Transportation Noise at Two Urban Sites in Greater Boston, Massachusetts



The goal of this study was to characterize transportation noise by vehicle class in two urban communities, to inform studies of transport noise and ultra-fine particulates. Data were collected from April to September 2016 (150 days) of continuous recording in each urban community using high-resolution microphones. Training data was created for airplanes, trucks/buses, and train events by manual listening and extraction of audio files. Digital signal processing using STFT and Hanning windowing was performed in MATLAB, creating audio spectrograms with varying frequency: log vs linear frequency scales, and 4K vs 20K max frequency. For each of the four spectrogram sets, a neural net model using PyTorch was trained via a compute cluster. Initial results for a multi-class model provide an accuracy of 85%. Comparison between a selection of frequency scales and expanding to longer time periods is ongoing. Validation with airport transport logs and local bus and train schedules will be presented.