Building the “Automatic Body Condition Assessment System” (ABiCA), an Automatic Body Condition Scoring System using Active Shape Models and Machine Learning

  • Rafael Tedín
  • José A. Becerra
  • Richard J. Duro
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 234)


A step by step reconstruction of the process that has been followed for building the Automatic Body Condition Assessment (ABiCA) system is presented. ABiCA is an automatic body condition scoring system for dairy cattle using images taken using hand-held cameras. The problem is decomposed into two sub-problems that are solved separately. Firstly, the shape of a cow is found and then the body condition score is estimated using this shape. The solutions to those problems are then combined to build the system. The shape of a cow is found using Active Shape Model (ASMs) tuned with an evolutionary algorithm. The shape feeds then a symbolic regression function evolved by means of genetic programming to finally estimate the body condition score of the cow. The error of the ABiCA system is reasonable, given the uncertainties of the expert’s scores. There is nevertheless room for improvement since it has been observed that some images might be too difficult for the system. Methods on how to automatically discard those images are being investigated.


Active Shape Model Body Condition Score Evolutionary Algorithm Genetic Programming Machine Learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Tedín
    • 1
  • José A. Becerra
    • 1
  • Richard J. Duro
    • 1
  1. 1.Integrated Group for Engineering ResearchUniversity of A CoruñaFerrolSpain

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