BioSense: Real-Time Object Tracking for Animal Movement and Behavior Research


Video object tracking has been used with great success in numerous applications ranging from autonomous vehicle navigation to medical image analysis. A broad and emerging domain for exploration is in the field of automatic video-based animal behavior understanding. Interesting, yet difficult-to-test hypotheses, can be evaluated by high-throughput processing of animal movements and interactions collected from both laboratory and field experiments. In this paper we describe BioSense, a new standalone software platform and user interface that provides researchers with an open-source framework for collecting and quantitatively analyzing video data characterizing animal movement and behavior (e.g. spatial location, velocity, region preference, etc.). BioSense is capable of tracking multiple objects in real-time, using various object detection methods suitable for a range of environments and animals. Real-time operation also provides a tactical approach to object tracking by allowing users the ability to manipulate the control of the software while seeing visual feedback immediately. We evaluate the capabilities of BioSense in a series of video tracking benchmarks representative of the challenges present in animal behavior research.