Invited review: Toward a common language in data-driven mastitis detection research

M. van der Voort*, D. Jensen, C. Kamphuis, I.N. Athanasiadis, A. De Vries, H. Hogeveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Sensor technologies for mastitis detection have resulted in the collection and availability of a large amount of data. As a result, scientific publications reporting mastitis detection research have become less driven by approaches based on biological assumptions and more by data-driven modeling. Most of these approaches try to predict mastitis events from (combinations of) raw sensor data to which a wide variety of methods are applied originating from machine learning and classical statistical approaches. However, an even wider variety in terminologies is used by researchers for methods that are similar in nature. This makes it difficult for readers from other disciplines to understand the specific methods that are used and how these differ from each other. The aim of this paper was to provide a framework (filtering, transformation, and classification) for describing the different methods applied in sensor data–based clinical mastitis detection research and use this framework to review and categorize the approaches and underlying methods described in the scientific literature on mastitis detection. We identified 40 scientific publications between 1992 and 2020 that applied methods to detect clinical mastitis from sensor data. Based on these publications, we developed and used the framework and categorized these scientific publications into the 2 data processing techniques of filtering and transformation. These data processing techniques make raw data more amendable to be used for the third step in our framework, that of classification, which is used to distinguish between healthy and nonhealthy (mastitis) cows. Most publications (n = 34) used filtering or transformation, or a combination of these 2, for data processing before classification, whereas the remaining publications (n = 6) classified the observations directly from raw data. Concerning classification, applying a simple threshold was the most used method (n = 19 publications). Our work identified that within approaches several different methods and terminologies for similar methods were used. Not all publications provided a clear description of the method used, and therefore it seemed that different methods were used between publications, whereas in fact just a different terminology was used, or the other way around. This paper is intended to serve as a reference for people from various research disciplines who need to collaborate and communicate efficiently about the topic of sensor-based mastitis detection and the methods used in this context. The framework used in this paper can support future research to correctly classify approaches and methods, which can improve the understanding of scientific publication. We encourage future research on sensor-based animal disease detection, including that of mastitis detection, to use a more coherent terminology for methods, and clearly state which technique (e.g., filtering) and approach (e.g., moving average) are used. This paper, therefore, can serve as a starting point and further stimulates the interdisciplinary cooperation in sensor-based mastitis research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10449-10461
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
Early online date23 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • classification
  • filtering
  • framework
  • mastitis
  • transformation


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