Panoptic Segmentation of Individual Pigs for Posture Recognition

Behavioural research of pigs can be greatly simplified if automatic recognition systems are used. Systems based on computer vision in particular have the advantage that they allow an evaluation without affecting the normal behaviour of the animals. In recent years, methods based on deep learning have been introduced and have shown excellent results. Object and keypoint detector have frequently been used to detect individual animals. Despite promising results, bounding boxes and sparse keypoints do not trace the contours of the animals, resulting in a lot of information being lost. Therefore, this paper follows the relatively new approach of panoptic segmentation and aims at the pixel accurate segmentation of individual pigs. A framework consisting of a neural network for semantic segmentation as well as different network heads and postprocessing methods will be discussed. The method was tested on a data set of 1000 hand-labeled images created specifically for this experiment and achieves detection rates of around 95% (F1 score) despite disturbances such as occlusions and dirty lenses.


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