Automatic image-based identification of Saimaa ringed seals
Zhelezniakov, Artem (2015)
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The Saimaa ringed seal is one of the most endangered seals in the world. It is a symbol of Lake Saimaa and a lot of effort have been applied to save it. Traditional methods of seal monitoring include capturing the animals and installing sensors on their bodies. These invasive methods for identifying can be painful and affect the behavior of the animals. Automatic identification of seals using computer vision provides a more humane method for the monitoring. This Master's thesis focuses on automatic image-based identification of the Saimaa ringed seals. This consists of detection and segmentation of a seal in an image, analysis of its ring patterns, and identification of the detected seal based on the features of the ring patterns. The proposed algorithm is evaluated with a dataset of 131 individual seals. Based on the experiments with 363 images, 81\% of the images were successfully segmented automatically. Furthermore, a new approach for interactive identification of Saimaa ringed seals is proposed. The results of this research are a starting point for future research in the topic of seal photo-identification.
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