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Special software helps to save species
Date:8/2/2011

"Our software analyzes the primates' faces using special algorithms," states Loos. At the moment these face-recognition algorithms analyze the entire face. In a data pool of 24 chimpanzees at Leipzig Zoo the Max Planck research scientists achieved a recognition rate of 83 percent.

This good hit accuracy is due to the high quality of the photos. "The algorithms are strongly affected by external influences," explains Loos. "In poor light or if the faces are partially occluded the recognition rates quickly drop to below 60 percent." Because it is much more difficult to get good pictures in the wild, the Ilmenau-based research scientists intend to add further algorithms which will not analyze the entire face but specific biometric features such as the eyes, nose and mouth.

The new software system also analyzes audio signals and assigns them to various noises made by the apes, for example chest drumming and threatening grunts like pant-hoots. This provides not only a basis for studying their social behavior but also enables specific individuals to be quickly identified, as the research scientists no longer have to listen to all of the recorded material. As a next step, the scientists intend to expand their data sets, because the software system learns as it performs the analysis, and the recognition rate improves as the number of pictures per individual in the data pool increases. A further module is also to be added to the system. This will automatically recognize what activity the ape is engaged in and provide valuable information in particular for studying their social behavior.


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Contact: Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Loos
alexander.loos@idmt.fraunhofer.de
49-367-746-7285
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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