AbdulWahab Kabani and Mahmoud R. El-Sakka, "North Atlantic Right Whale Localization and Recognition Using Very Deep and Leaky Neural Network" Mathematics for Applications Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 155-170, 2016.


We describe a deep learning model that can be used to recognize individual right whales in aerial images. We developed our model using a data set provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The main challenge we faced when working on this data set is that the size of the training set is very small (4,544 images) with some classes having only 1 image. While this data set is by far the largest of its kind, it is very difficult to train a deep neural network with such a small data set. However, we were able to overcome this challenge by dividing this problem into smaller tasks and by reducing the viewpoint variance in the data set. First, we localize the body and the head of the whale using deep learning. Then, we align the whale and normalize it with respect to rotation. Finally, a network is used to recognize the whale by analyzing its callosities. The top-1 accuracy of the model is 69.7% and the top-5 accuracy is 85%. The solution we describe in this paper was ranked 5th (out of 364 teams) in a challenge to solve this problem.