Photo-identification is a commonly used non-invasive technique that has been profitably employed in biological studies throughout the years. It starts from the assumption that a single individual can be recognized in multiple photos captured at different times by exploiting its unique representative and visible physical qualities such as marks, notches or any other definite feature. Hence, photo-identification is performed to infer knowledge about wild species' spatial and temporal distributions as well as population dynamics, thus providing valuable information especially when the species being investigated is ranked as data deficient. Furthermore, the technological improvements of the last decades and the large availability of devices with powerful computing capabilities are driving the research towards a common goal of enriching bio-ecological studies with innovative computer science approaches. In this scenario, computer vision plays a fundamental role, as it can successfully assist researchers in the analysis of large amounts of data. The aim of this paper is, in fact, to effectively provide a computer vision approach for the photo-identification of the Risso's dolphin, exploiting specific visual cues with a feature-based approach relying on SIFT and SURF feature detectors. The experiments have been conducted on image data acquired in the Gulf of Taranto from 2013 to 2017, conducting a comparative analysis of the performance of both SIFT and SURF, as well as a comparison with the state-of-the-art software DARWIN, and they proved the effectiveness of the proposed approach and suggested its application would be suitable to large scale studies. In conclusion, this paper shows an innovative computer vision application for the identification of unknown Risso's dolphin individuals that relies on a feature-based automated approach. The results suggest that the proposed approach can efficiently assist researchers during the photo-identification task of large amounts of data collected in such a challenging domain.
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|Titolo:||A SIFT-based software system for the photo-identification of the Risso's dolphin|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|