Multi-pig part detection and association with a fully-convolutional network

Eric T. Psota, Mateusz Mittek, Lance C. Pérez, Ty Schmidt, Benny Mote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Computer vision systems have the potential to provide automated, non-invasive monitoring of livestock animals, however, the lack of public datasets with well-defined targets and evaluation metrics presents a significant challenge for researchers. Consequently, existing solutions often focus on achieving task-specific objectives using relatively small, private datasets. This work introduces a new dataset and method for instance-level detection of multiple pigs in group-housed environments. The method uses a single fully-convolutional neural network to detect the location and orientation of each animal, where both body part locations and pairwise associations are represented in the image space. Accompanying this method is a new dataset containing 2000 annotated images with 24,842 individually annotated pigs from 17 different locations. The proposed method achieves over 99% precision and over 96% recall when detecting pigs in environments previously seen by the network during training. To evaluate the robustness of the trained network, it is also tested on environments and lighting conditions unseen in the training set, where it achieves 91% precision and 67% recall. The dataset is publicly available for download.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number852
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2019


  • Animal detection
  • Computer vision
  • Deep learning
  • Image processing
  • Pose estimation
  • Precision livestock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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