The analysis and classification of seismic patterns, which are typically registered as digital signals, can be used to monitor and understand the underlying geophysical phenomena beneath the volcanoes. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the development of automated systems for labeling those signals according to a number of pre-defined volcanic, tectonic and environmental classes. The first and crucial stage in the design of such systems is the definition or adoption of an appropriate representation of the raw seismic signals, in such a way that the subsequent stage ---classification--- is made easier or more accurate. This paper describes and discusses the most common representations that have been applied in the literature on classification of seismic-volcanic signals; namely, time-frequency features and cepstral coefficients. A comparative study of them is performed in terms of two criteria: (i) the leave-one-out nearest neighbor error, which provides a parameterless measure of the discriminative representational power and (ii) a visual examination of the representational quality via a scatter plot of the best three selected features.
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