Machine Learning for Social Behavior Analysis

Genes, Brain, and Behavior Meeting 2021 (IBANGS)


May 11, 2021

11am - 4pm EASTERN TIME

Instructors: Vivek Kumar, Sam Golden

Helpers: Glen Beane, Keith Sheppard, Yehya Barakat, Arojit Mitra

General Information

We are in the midst of a revolution in animal behavioral analysis that is being led by application of machine learning. This workshop will focus on the analysis of social behaviors using machine learning, and will consist of hybrid lecture and lab components. Drs. Golden and Kumar will present the principles of behavior annotation and introduce two behavior annotation and classification platforms that their lab has been developing. The anticipated result of the workshop is familiarity with the principles of behavior annotation and the ability to use two behavior annotation platforms. One of the goals of the workshop is to build a community of behaviorists and computational biologists who can support each other in this rapidly evolving field.

No computational experience is needed and some experience with behavior analysis is suggested.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: May 11, 2021. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have access to a computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on.

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email or for more information.

Who can attend?: This workshop is open to 2021 IBANGS Meeting participants who have registered separately for this training.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Tuesday, May 11

Before Pre-workshop survey
11:00 Welcome and introductions
11:05 Seminar 1 (SG)
11:50 Seminar 2 (VK)
12:35 Lunch break
13:35 Workshop 1 (Simba)
14:35 Workshop 2 (JAX-ABA)
15:35 Debrief (SG, VK)
15:55 Post-workshop survey
16:00 END


To participate in a workshop, you will need internet access and an up-to-date web browser.

The software will be installed remotely on virtual machines that the attendees can log onto. Attendees will need to have their own computers with internet access.

Install the videoconferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

You will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (Simba, JAX-ABA, your web browser, etc..) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.