Interpreting behaviors from accelerometry: a method combining simplicity and objectivity.

Collins, Philip M, Green, Jonathon A, Warwick-Evans, Victoria, Dodd, Stephen, Shaw, Peter J A, Arnould, John P Y and Halsey, Lewis G 2015, Interpreting behaviors from accelerometry: a method combining simplicity and objectivity., Ecology and evolution, vol. 5, no. 20, pp. 4642-4654, doi: 10.1002/ece3.1660.

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Title Interpreting behaviors from accelerometry: a method combining simplicity and objectivity.
Author(s) Collins, Philip M
Green, Jonathon A
Warwick-Evans, Victoria
Dodd, Stephen
Shaw, Peter J A
Arnould, John P YORCID iD for Arnould, John P Y
Halsey, Lewis G
Journal name Ecology and evolution
Volume number 5
Issue number 20
Start page 4642
End page 4654
Total pages 13
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 2045-7758
Keyword(s) Accelerometer
data logger
Summary Quantifying the behavior of motile, free-ranging animals is difficult. The accelerometry technique offers a method for recording behaviors but interpretation of the data is not straightforward. To date, analysis of such data has either involved subjective, study-specific assignments of behavior to acceleration data or the use of complex analyses based on machine learning. Here, we present a method for automatically classifying acceleration data to represent discrete, coarse-scale behaviors. The method centers on examining the shape of histograms of basic metrics readily derived from acceleration data to objectively determine threshold values by which to separate behaviors. Through application of this method to data collected on two distinct species with greatly differing behavioral repertoires, kittiwakes, and humans, the accuracy of this approach is demonstrated to be very high, comparable to that reported for other automated approaches already published. The method presented offers an alternative to existing methods as it uses biologically grounded arguments to distinguish behaviors, it is objective in determining values by which to separate these behaviors, and it is simple to implement, thus making it potentially widely applicable. The R script coding the method is provided.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/ece3.1660
Field of Research 060203 Ecological Physiology
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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