Evaluation of sampling frequency, window size and sensor position for classification of sheep behaviour

Emily Walton, Christy Casey, Jurgen Mitsch, Jorge A. Vázquez-Diosdado, Juan Yan, Tania Dottorini, Keith A. Ellis, Anthony Winterlich, Jasmeet Kaler

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Automated behavioural classification and identification through sensors has the potential to improve health and welfare of the animals. Position of a sensor, sampling frequency and window size of segmented signal data has a major impact on classification accuracy in activity recognition and energy needs for the sensor, yet, there are no studies in precision livestock farming that have evaluated the effect of all these factors simultaneously. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of position (ear and collar), sampling frequency (8, 16 and 32Hz) of a triaxial accelerometer and gyroscope sensor and window size (3, 5 and 7 s) on the classification of important behaviours in sheep such as lying, standing and walking. Behaviours were classified using a random forest approach with 44 feature characteristics. The best performance for walking, standing and lying classification in sheep (accuracy 95%, F-score 91%-97%) was obtained using combination of 32 Hz, 7 s and 32 Hz, 5 s for both ear and collar sensors, although, results obtained with 16Hz and 7 s window were comparable with accuracy of 91%-93% and F-score 88%-95%. Energy efficiency was best at a 7 s window. This suggests that sampling at 16Hz with 7 s window will offer benefits in a real-time behavioural monitoring system for sheep due to reduced energy needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171442
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Classification algorithm
  • Precision livestock monitoring
  • Sensor
  • Sheep behaviour
  • Signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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