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Konferensartikel2016Vetenskapligt granskad

Development of a seven-point shape model for analysis of social interactions in dairy cattle

Guzhva, Oleksiy; Nilsson, M.; Ardö, H.; Herlin, Anders Henrik; Åström, K.; Bergsten, Christer


The efficiency of an automatic milking system (AMS) relies on a passage rate of cows through the waiting area to the AMS units. In order to assure high number of visits per cow per AMS unit it is important to understand the hierarchy and social interactions between cows that might occur during the time in the waiting area prior to milking. The competition between cows of a different rank to enter the AMS unit could result in a number of aggressive interactions, which could compromise the individual performance and endanger their health and welfare. The aim of the study was to investigate social interactions between cows in the waiting area with four AMS units and collecting data by three top-down view video cameras. A seven-point shape model for each cow was developed to manually tag cows in video sequences. Furthermore, the interactions between pair of cows were annotated into one of five states: body pushing, head butting, head pressing, body sniffing and no interaction. A classification system, investigating features from pair of cow shape models, was developed. The identification of social interactions using this system and crosscheck with ethogram containing descriptions of all the interactions was tested on a set of video sequences. The system showed a potential for further development and algorithm flexibility dependent on a number of features involved in the analysis. For the single frame analysis system showed higher accuracy with ‘line border features’ than without: 83.1 vs 79.2% respectively and analysis of three consecutive frames with ‘line border features’ showed accuracy of 85.1%. Exploration of social interactions between cows was addressed and the proposed seven-point cow shape model was investigated for this purpose. The proposed seven-point model may act as a crucial component towards building a robust system for automatic detection of social interactions in areas of interest.


object recognition, automatic milking, shape models, social interactions, computer vision

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Titel: Precision Dairy Farming 2016
ISBN: 978-90-8686-283-2, eISBN: 978-90-8686-829-2Utgivare: Wageningen Academic Publishers
DOI: 10.3920/978-90-8686-829-2


First International Conference on Precision Dairy Farming