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Subject: White Papers/Commercial software
From: Aldo-Pier Solari <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 9 Apr 1997 15:21:57 GMT

text/plain (144 lines)

FYI.  We've received the White Paper below from Dr.  G. Staaks to
whom I thank for his courtesy. Cheers, APS.

Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997 16:00:59 +0200
From: Georg Staaks <[log in to unmask]>
Organization: IGB Berlin, Germany

I'd   like  to  contribute  to  the  proposed  "White  papers  on
commercial software" a system that  we  are using for about three
years to manage automatic behavioural observations of fish  under
experimental  conditions  to  assess  the  influence of different
abiotic factors  (especially,  but  not  only, xenobiotics).  The
system comprises of a combined hardware-software solution, it  is
not  cheap,  rather  expensive,  but  we got excellent results of
video recognition and spatial  object trecking under experimental

*    Operative System.

DOS 6.22, DOS/Windows 3.1, Windows95 (Dos-box)

*    Name & version of package.

BehavioQuant=AE Behavior Quantification System V.4.02

*    Requirements of the package (disk  space,  RAM,  video  card,
The minimal system consists on

     metacom frame grabber mbq4-h-v4.02

     metacom software-package mbq4-p-v4.02 Personal computer, DOS
     6.22 / Windows  3.11/  Windows95  with  minimum 486/66, 8 Mb
     RAM, HD-space depending on planned observation time  periods
     (1  day with 24h observation of 5 cameras takes 50 Mb - data
     can be deleted after analysing, but we are burning the basic
     data sets on CD once a week)

     Video-CCD-b/w-camera (up to 16 with optional multiplexer) no
     special requirements  are  made,  even  infrared cameras and
     lamps work well for night and  day  observations  PC-monitor
     and control monitor VGA some cable and connectors optional:

     Video and actuator / annuator multiplexer (16 channel) up to
     15 more Video-CCD-b/w-cameras

     Video Cassette Recorder

*    Uses (stats, maths, graphics, gis, etc.).

BehavioQuant=AE   is   a   system,  for  automatic  recording  of
behavioral parameters  of  multiple  moving  objects (e.g.  fish,
daphnia also tubifex and lemna).  BehavioQuant=AE  makes  use  of
the  integrative  whole organism behavioral response by recording
and quantifying the locomotion  activity of the observed objects.
BehavioQuant=AE is able to register and track up to 200  untagged
individuals from up to 16 video sources sequentially.

The  measured characteristics of objects (location, dimension and
time) makes it possible  to  describe certain behavioral patterns
similar to an ethogram.

The data output consists of:
     Tracking data (reconstructed track for each object)

     The motility values of each object

     Count of turnings for each object

     Medium x / y - position for each object

     Frequency and duration (normalized) of the parameters

     e.g. motility, turnings, x/y-position, distances between objects

*    Factual-quality-for-purpose.

The advantages compared to other systems are:

        - it is based on PC-technology
        - it was especially designed for fish
        - it tracks up to 200 untagged objects
        - it can process up to 16 video-sources =

        - the support works quick and reliable

Disadvantages are:

        its only efficient for a person professionally working on =

        experimental behaviour of fish

        - high price 30,000$ to 60,000$ (depending on configuration)
        - a lot of time is needed to analyse all the data output you get

*    Bugs.

        - no 100 % accuracy of individual tracking (but as far as I know
          better than any other comparable system)
        - no warning of insufficient HD-space before a measurement

*    Quality of manuals.

        - sufficient

*    Cost effectiveness.

        - expensive, but good

*    Comments.

We did a lot of scientific work with the system and can recommend
it for  experimental-behavioural  purposes.  Further developments
and features of the BehavioQuant depend on the  request  and  the
number of potential users.

*    Other.

More information about some research done with the system can be found

More information about the system can be found =

at: (german start page)
or (english explanation)

    Dr. Georg Staaks                                      .
    Department Biology and Ecology of Fishes              .
    Institut fuer Gewaesseroekologie und Binnenfischerei  .
    Mueggelseedamm 310, 12587 Berlin, Germany             .
    Tel. 0049 (0)30 64181-625 Fax. -600                   .
    E-Mail: [log in to unmask]                             .

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