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In Animals : an open access journal from MDPI

The aim of this study was to assess combining location, acceleration and machine learning technologies to detect estrus in dairy cows. Data were obtained from 12 cows, which were monitored continuously for 12 days. A neck mounted device collected 25,684 records for location and acceleration. Four machine-learning approaches were tested (K-nearest neighbor (KNN), back-propagation neural network (BPNN), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), and classification and regression tree (CART)) to automatically identify cows in estrus from estrus indicators determined by principal component analysis (PCA) of twelve behavioral metrics, which were: duration of standing, duration of lying, duration of walking, duration of feeding, duration of drinking, switching times between activity and lying, steps, displacement, average velocity, walking times, feeding times, and drinking times. The study showed that the neck tag had a static and dynamic positioning accuracy of 0.25 ± 0.06 m and 0.45 ± 0.15 m, respectively. In the 0.5-h, 1-h, and 1.5-h time windows, the machine learning approaches ranged from 73.3 to 99.4% for sensitivity, from 50 to 85.7% for specificity, from 77.8 to 95.8% for precision, from 55.6 to 93.7% for negative predictive value (NPV), from 72.7 to 95.4% for accuracy, and from 78.6 to 97.5% for F1 score. We found that the BPNN algorithm with 0.5-h time window was the best predictor of estrus in dairy cows. Based on these results, the integration of location, acceleration, and machine learning methods can improve dairy cow estrus detection.

Wang Jun, Bell Matt, Liu Xiaohang, Liu Gang


accelerometer, dairy cow, estrus detection, location, machine learning techniques, principal component analysis