Impulse noise (acoustics)

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Impulse noise is a category of (acoustic) noise which includes unwanted, almost instantaneous (thus impulse-like) sharp sounds (like clicks and pops). Noises of the kind are usually caused by electromagnetic interference, scratches on the recording disks, gunfire, explosions and ill synchronization in digital recording and communication. High levels of such a noise (200+ decibels) may damage internal organs, while 180 decibels are enough to destroy or damage human ears.

An impulse noise filter can be used to enhance the quality of noisy signals, in order to achieve robustness in pattern recognition and adaptive control systems. A classic filter used to remove impulse noise is the median filter, at the expense of signal degradation. Thus it's quite common, in order to get better performing impulse noise filters, to use model-based systems that know the properties of the noise and source signal (in time or frequency), in order to remove only impulse obliterated samples.

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