Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in J. Dairy Sci. 84:400–410. Copyright American Dairy Science Association, 2001.


Sensors that measure yield, temperature, electrical conductivity of milk, and animal activity can be used for automated cow status monitoring. The occurrence of false-positive alerts, generated by a detection model, creates problems in practice. We used fuzzy logic to classify mastitis and estrus alerts; our objective was to reduce the number of false-positive alerts and not to change the level of detected cases of mastitis and estrus. Inputs for the fuzzy logic model were alerts from the detection model and additional information, such as the reproductive status. The output was a classification, true or false, of each alert. Only alerts that were classified true should be presented to the herd manager. Additional information was used to check whether deviating sensor measurements were caused by mastitis or estrus, or by other influences. A fuzzy logic model for the classification of mastitis alerts was tested on a data set from cows milked in an automatic milking system. All clinical cases without measurement errors were classified correctly. The number of false-positive alerts over time from a subset of 25 cows was reduced from 1266 to 64 by applying the fuzzy logic model. A fuzzy logic model for the classification of estrus alerts was tested on two data sets. The number of detected cases decreased slightly after classification, and the number of false-positive alerts decreased considerably. Classification by a fuzzy logic model proved to be very useful in increasing the applicability of automated cow status monitoring.