eCite Digital Repository

Detecting heat events in dairy cows using accelerometers and unsupervised learning


Shahriar, MS and Smith, D and Rahman, A and Freeman, M and Hills, J and Rawnsley, R and Henry, D and Bishop-Hurley, G, Detecting heat events in dairy cows using accelerometers and unsupervised learning, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 128 pp. 20-26. ISSN 0168-1699 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.compag.2016.08.009


This study was conducted to investigate the detection of heat events in pasture-based dairy cows fitted with on-animal sensors using unsupervised learning. Accelerometer data from the cow collars were used to identify increased activity levels in cows associated with recorded heat events. Time series data from the accelerometers were first segmented into windows before features were extracted. K-means clustering algorithm was then applied across the windows for grouping. The groups were labelled in terms of their activity intensity: high, medium and low. An activity index level (AIxL) was then derived from a count of activity intensity labels over time. Change detection techniques were then applied on AIxL to find very high activity events. Detected events in AIxL were compared with recorded heat events and observed significant associations between the increased activities through high AIxL values and the observed heat events. We achieved overall accuracy of 82-100% with 100% sensitivity when change detection technique is applied to activity index level.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:heat detection in dairy cows, time series feature extraction and clustering, change detection and outliers in time series
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Dairy cattle
UTAS Author:Freeman, M (Mr Mark Freeman)
UTAS Author:Hills, J (Dr James Hills)
UTAS Author:Rawnsley, R (Dr Richard Rawnsley)
ID Code:117701
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-06-26
Last Modified:2017-11-07

Repository Staff Only: item control page