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


Abstract

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.