Computers and Electronics in Agriculture vol:74 issue:1 pages:110-119
In this paper results on utilizing image analysis techniques towards early lameness detection in dairy cattle are presented. Data from two different dairy farms in Belgium were gathered. Preprocessing on raw data is required because of non-predictable behaviours of cows such as stopping for a while in front of the camera or non-uniform walking behaviour during experiments. Prelocalization of cow in each frame has been done based on two steps separation: (1) A coarse estimation of moving objects was obtained through background subtraction, (2) second statistical analysis of intensities in gray-scale image along with binarization was utilized to detect moving object in video. A common problem in on-farm collected videos is the similarity of the background and the cow's body colour since the use of classic algorithms for segmentation purposes does not work. Here a hierarchy background/foreground exaggeration is proposed to segment the cow in each frame and track it in video. The combination of logarithm and exponential, background subtraction as well as statistical filtering are used to find the accurate shape of the cow. Furthermore, the back posture of each cow during standing and walking was extracted automatically. It was done by detecting the arc of back posture and fitting a circle through selected points on the spine line. The average inverse radius of four frames displaying the hind hoofs in contact with the ground (two frames for each hoof in a row) was assigned to the cow. Based on this curvature value, a score representing the status of lameness in the individual cow was given automatically. Experimental results from two different databases show promising results in automatic lameness detection based on back posture information.