Saturday, July 8, 2017

A thesis on Cows

I lived my entire childhood with my four siblings and four cows along with the mother cow (mother & father's cow).  My calf (mother cow's granddaughter), when she was born, she had that deep black heavenly eyes, I named her Kajri. I finally had my own mate.

Tragically we lost her at a very young age despite the best efforts of our veterinary doctor. She was around 8 months old. Grief turned out to be a place none of us knew until we reached there. I still remember her last rituals like yesterday. We saw her slowly leaving us, Mother was inconsolable, we were devastated, the last month was completely disastrous, and that was the start of the end of our life with cows. The tragedy of such grief is that the loss of a loved one is irreversible. It is total and final. Over the next few years, Mother kept looking for fitting families and handed over our cows one-by-one.

Living with animals open your eyes to a lot of things that might be unattainable otherwise. Our cows, they had souls, they had their own favorites, just like your pets, they love as we do. In the beginning, you might not understand them but eventually, you get past your fear and you realize how much personality they have and how individual they are, you finally overcome the barrier of human language and speak in the language of love, just as they do. Being an animal doesn't mean they are less than a person, they are just different, but not less. I feel I had a very pleasant childhood - being youngest, caring siblings, loving parents, a gorgeous woman (mother's friend) who had promised to marry and continue the flow of sweets and biscuits (totally despised her husband at that time), when I would be grown up, and not to mention our wonderful cows. What invoked those stuffs is this master thesis that a friend just sent.  Well, right now, it seems too far in distant future, but one day I hope, I and my daughters and sons, we will have a cow and her calf, a dog and a small place to grow plants just like my parents had.

Watch the story of Maybelle.

By the way, this is the thesis.  If it had come earlier, I would have loved to pursue this exciting topic - machine learning and cows.

Thesis Abstract:

Dairy farming as one part of agriculture has thousands of year’s history. The increasing demands of dairy products and the rapid development of technology bring dairy farming tremendous changes. Started by original hand milking, dairy farming goes through vacuum bucket milking, pipeline milking, and now parlors milking. The automatic and technical milking system provides a farmer with high-efficiency milking, effective herd management and above all booming income.

DeLaval AMR™ is the world's leading automatic milking rotary system. It presents an ultimate combination of technology and machinery which brings dairy farming with significant benefits. AMR™ technical milking capacity is 90 cows per hour. However, constrained by farm management, cow's condition and system configuration, the actual capacity is lower than technical value. In this thesis, an optimization system is designed to analyze and improve AMR™ performance. The research is focusing on cow's behavior and AMR™ robot timeout. Through applying knowledge discovery from the database (KDD), machine learning for bad cow prediction and modeling methods for system simulation, the optimizing solutions are proposed and validated.