Ratiometric Decoding of Pheromones for a Biomimetic Infochemical Communication System

Guangfen Wei, Marina Cole, Zoltán Rácz, Julian W. Gardner

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    7 Citations (Scopus)
    40 Downloads (Pure)


    Biosynthetic infochemical communication is an emerging scientific field employing molecular compounds for information transmission, labelling, and biochemical interfacing; having potential application in diverse areas ranging from pest management to group coordination of swarming robots. Our communication system comprises a chemoemitter module that encodes information by producing volatile pheromone components and a chemoreceiver module that decodes the transmitted ratiometric information via polymer-coated piezoelectric Surface Acoustic Wave Resonator (SAWR) sensors. The inspiration for such a system is based on the pheromone-based communication between insects. Ten features are extracted from the SAWR sensor response and analysed using multi-variate classification techniques, i.e., Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN), and Multilayer Perception Neural Network (MLPNN) methods, and an optimal feature subset is identified. A combination of steady state and transient features of the sensor signals showed superior performances with LDA and MLPNN. Although MLPNN gave excellent results reaching 100% recognition rate at 400 s, over all time stations PNN gave the best performance based on an expanded data-set with adjacent neighbours. In this case, 100% of the pheromone mixtures were successfully identified just 200 s after they were first injected into the wind tunnel. We believe that this approach can be used for future chemical communication employing simple mixtures of airborne molecules.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2489
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


    • Ratiometric decoding
    • Pheromone
    • Biomimeticinfo chemical communication
    • VOC detection
    • SAW sensor array


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