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Doktorsavhandling2018Öppen tillgång

Computer vision algorithms as a modern tool for behavioural analysis in dairy cattle

Guzhva, Oleksiy

Sammanfattning

Looking at modern dairy production, loose housing, i.e. free stalls became one of the most common practices, which, while widely implemented along with different management routines, do not always include the adjustments necessary for assuring animal welfare. The analysis of interactions occurring between cows in dairy barns and their effect on health and performance is of great importance for sustainable, animal-friendly production. The general aim of this thesis was to investigate the possibilities and limitations of computer vision approach for studying dairy cattle behaviour and interactions between animals, as well as take a first step towards the fully automated system for continuous surveillance in modern dairy barns. In the first study, a seven-point shape-model for describing a cow from the mathematical perspective was proposed and investigated. A pilot study showed that the proposed Behavioural Detector based on the developed shape-model provided a solid basis for behavioural studies in a real-life dairy barn environment. The second study investigated a classification case from the industry: how animal distribution and claw positioning in specific areas could affect the maximal load on floor elements. The results of the study provided more substantial background data for determining the dimensioning of the strength of the slats. The third study aimed to take the first step towards an automated system (so-called WatchDog) for behavioural analysis and automatic filtering of the recorded video material. The results showed that the proposed solution is capable of detecting potentially interesting scenes in video-material with the precision of 92,8%. In the fourth and final study, a state-of-the-art tracking/identification algorithm for multiple objects with near-real-time implementation in crowded scenes with varying illumination was developed and evaluated. The algorithms forming the multi-modular WatchDog system and developed during this project are the crucial stepping stone towards a fully-automated solution for continuous surveillance of health and welfare-related parameters in dairy cattle. The proposed system could also serve as evaluation/benchmark tool for modern dairy barn assessment. Keywords: dairy cattle, image analysis, Precision Livestock Farming, computer vision, deep learning, convolutional neural networks, social interactions, tracking, cow traffic

Nyckelord

dairy cattle, image analysis, Precision Livestock Farming, computer vision, deep learning, convolutional neural networks, social interactions, tracking, cow traffic

Publicerad i

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2018, nummer: 2018:33ISBN: 978-91-7760-206-4, eISBN: 978-91-7760-207-1
Utgivare: Department of Biosystems and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences