Bootstrapping Labelled Dataset Construction for Cow Tracking and Behavior Analysis

Aram Ter-Sarkisov, Robert Ross, John Kelleher

This paper introduces a new approach to the long-term tracking of an object in a challenging environment. The object is a cow and the environment is an enclosure in a cowshed. Some of the key challenges in this domain are a cluttered background, low contrast and high similarity between moving objects which greatly reduces the efficiency of most existing approaches, including those based on background subtraction. Our approach is split into object localization, instance segmentation, learning and tracking stages. Our solution is compared to a range of semi-supervised object tracking algorithms and we show that the performance is strong and well suited to subsequent analysis. We present our solution as a first step towards broader tracking and behavior monitoring for cows in precision agriculture with the ultimate objective of early detection of lameness.

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