Decision-tree induction to detect clinical mastitis with automatic milking

C. Kamphuis, E. Mollenhorst, A. Feelders, D. Pietersma, H. Hogeveen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This study explored the potential of using decision-tree induction to develop models for the detection of clinical mastitis with automatic milking. Sensor data (including electrical conductivity and colour) of over 711,000 quarter milkings were collected from December 2006 till August 2007 at six Dutch dairy herds milking automatically. Farmer recordings of quarter milkings with visible signs of mastitis were considered as gold standard positive cases (n = 97), quarter milkings that were recorded as being visually normal as gold standard negatives (n = 339). Randomly chosen quarter milkings that were not visually checked, that were outside a 2-week range before or after a gold standard positive case and that were not manually or automatically separated were added to end up with 3000 gold standard negatives. Decision trees, with varying confidence factors and cost matrices to study their effect on performance characteristics, were developed with the probability of having clinical mastitis for each quarter milking as output. Detection performance of decision trees was estimated using 10-fold cross-validation. Evaluated performance characteristics were the sensitivity and specificity, both calculated at a threshold value of 0.50 for the probability estimate for clinical mastitis. The transformed partial area under the curve was used to summarise the diagnostic ability of decision trees within a specified range of interest (specificity ≥97%). Receiver operating characteristic curves visualized all combinations of sensitivity and specificity of decision trees within this range.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-68
    Number of pages9
    JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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