Tracktor : Image‐based automated tracking of animal movement and behaviour

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2019
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  1. Automated movement tracking is essential for high‐throughput quantitative analyses of the behaviour and kinematics of organisms. Automated tracking also improves replicability by avoiding observer bias and allowing reproducible workflows. However, few automated tracking programs exist that are open access, open source and capable of tracking unmarked organisms in noisy environments.

    2. Tracktor is an image‐based tracking freeware designed to perform single‐object tracking in noisy environments, or multi‐object tracking in uniform environments while maintaining individual identities. Tracktor is code‐based but requires no coding skills other than the user being able to specify tracking parameters in a designated location, much like in a graphical user interface. The installation and use of the software is fully detailed in a user manual.

    3. Through four examples of common tracking problems, we show that Tracktor is able to track a variety of animals in diverse conditions. The main strengths of Tracktor lie in its ability to track single individuals under noisy conditions (e.g. when the object shape is distorted), its robustness to perturbations (e.g. changes in lighting conditions during the experiment), and its capacity to track multiple unmarked individuals while maintaining their identities. Additionally, summary statistics and plots allow measuring and visualising common metrics used in the analysis of animal movement (e.g. cumulative distance, speed, acceleration, activity, time spent in specific areas and distance to conspecific, etc.).

    4. Tracktor is a versatile, reliable and easy‐to‐use automated tracking software that is compatible with all operating systems and provides many features not available in other existing freeware. Access Tracktor and the complete user manual here: https://github.com/vivekhsridhar/tracktor
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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690SRIDHAR, Vivek H., Dominique G. ROCHE, Simon GINGINS, 2019. Tracktor : Image‐based automated tracking of animal movement and behaviour. In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 2019, 10(6), pp. 815-820. ISSN 2041-210X. eISSN 2041-210X. Available under: doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.13166
BibTex
@article{Sridhar2019-06Track-46082,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1111/2041-210X.13166},
  title={Tracktor : Image‐based automated tracking of animal movement and behaviour},
  number={6},
  volume={10},
  issn={2041-210X},
  journal={Methods in Ecology and Evolution},
  pages={815--820},
  author={Sridhar, Vivek H. and Roche, Dominique G. and Gingins, Simon}
}
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