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An automated chimpanzee identification system using face detection and recognition

 
: Loos, Alexander; Ernst, Andreas

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EURASIP journal on image and video processing (2013), Art. 49, 17 pp.
ISSN: 1687-5281
ISSN: 1687-5176
English
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IDMT ()
animal biometrics; face detection and tracking; face recognition

Abstract
Due to the ongoing biodiversity crisis, many species including great apes like chimpanzees are on the brink of extinction. Consequently, there is an urgent need to protect the remaining populations of threatened species. To overcome the catastrophic decline of biodiversity, biologists and gamekeepers recently started to use remote cameras and recording devices for wildlife monitoring in order to estimate the size of remaining populations. However, the manual analysis of the resulting image and video material is extremely tedious, time consuming, and cost intensive. To overcome the burden of time‐consuming routine work, we have recently started to develop computer vision algorithms for automated chimpanzee detection and identification of individuals. Based on the assumption that humans and great apes share similar properties of the face, we proposed to adapt and extend face detection and recognition algorithms, originally developed to recognize humans, for chimpanzee identification. In this paper we do not only summarize our earlier work in the field, we also extend our previous approaches towards a more robust system which is less prone to difficult lighting situations, various poses, and expressions as well as partial occlusion by branches, leafs, or other individuals. To overcome the limitations of our previous work, we combine holistic global features and locally extracted descriptors using a decision fusion scheme. We present an automated framework for photo identification of chimpanzees including face detection, face alignment, and face recognition. We thoroughly evaluate our proposed algorithms on two datasets of captive and free‐living chimpanzee individuals which were annotated by experts. In three experiments we show that the presented framework outperforms previous approaches in the field of great ape identification and achieves promising results. Therefore, our system can be used by biologists, researchers, and gamekeepers to estimate population sizes faster and more precisely than the current frameworks. Thus, the proposed framework for chimpanzee identification has the potential to open up new venues in efficient wildlife monitoring and can help researches to develop innovative protection schemes in the future.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-287260.html