Visual Localisation and Individual Identification of Holstein Friesian Cattle via Deep Learning

Will Andrew, Colin Greatwood, Tilo Burghardt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

110 Citations (Scopus)
571 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we demonstrate that computer vision pipelines utilising deep neural architectures are well-suited to perform automated Holstein Friesian cattle detection as well as individual identification in agriculturally relevant setups. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first to apply deep learning to the task of automated visual bovine identification. We show that off-the-shelf networks can perform end-to-end identification of individuals in top-down still imagery acquired from fixed cameras. We then introduce a video processing pipeline composed of standard components to efficiently process dynamic herd footage filmed by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We report on these setups, as well as the context, training and evaluation of their components. We publish alongside new datasets: FriesianCattle2017 of in-barn top-down imagery, and AerialCattle2017 of outdoor cattle footage filmed by a DJI Inspire MkI UAV. We show that Friesian cattle detection and localisation can be performed robustly with an accuracy of 99.3% on this data. We evaluate individual identification exploiting coat uniqueness on 940 RGB stills taken after milking in-barn (89 individuals, accuracy = 86.1%). We also evaluate identification via a video processing pipeline on 46,430 frames originating from 34 clips (approx. 20 s length each) of UAV footage taken during grazing (23 individuals, accuracy = 98.1%). These tests suggest that, particularly when videoing small herds in uncluttered environments, an application of marker-less Friesian cattle identification is not only feasible using standard deep learning components - it appears robust enough to assist existing tagging methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Conference of Computer Vision Workshop (ICCVW 2017)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781538610343
ISBN (Print)9781538610350
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
EventInternational Conference of Computer Vision 2017: VWM Workshop - Venice, Italy
Duration: 22 Oct 2017 → …

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2473-9944


ConferenceInternational Conference of Computer Vision 2017
Period22/10/17 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual Localisation and Individual Identification of Holstein Friesian Cattle via Deep Learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this