I recently recovered a data-set my father (a biology professor) recorded at UC Berkeley in the 90s on Stickleback mating behaviors. He says the data was recorded using the "open-source BEAST event recorder software, on DOS, on a Compact computer." The files have names like R721F211.CPR. According to file, they are "ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators", and the contents look like (for example) this:

"right male, tank 2, 1st trial, 6-4-93, 255-325, precourtship"
TIME=          10 
30.00     20
 2084 -2089  2099 -2117  3905 -3908  3932 -3933  6890 -6904  7945 
-7947  11177 -11178  13193 -13197  15580 -15581  15664 -15665  0  0 
43.00     22
 1459 -1460  3561 -3562  4651 -4652  5661 -5662  5834 -5835  6779 
-6781  9162 -9163  9169 -9170  10795 -10796  11892 -11893  13052 -13054

What is the grammar for this file?

My dad and I looked at this and deduced the following:

  • the first line is a note describing the contents of the file, which my dad must have typed out;
  • we are not sure what the TIME= 10 means
  • we think the "20" in 30.00 20 means "event with ID 20" but we are not sure what the 30.00 means; likewise we think the 22 later means event "22" but we are not sure what the 43.00 means;
  • we think the items like 3932 -3933 are time intervals, as in, event with id 20 occurred from second 3,932 to second 3,933.

Dad says he recalls the software was open-source, accessible via an academic precursor to the modern Internet, ran on DOS, and was developed by a professor in Hawaii. This is all we know.

Either the grammar for these files, or software with which to interpret these files, constitutes an answer to this question.


1 Answer 1


BEAST Behavioral Events Acquisition and analysis SysTem by Windward Technology

BEAST grew out of a need for computerized event recording in Ethological research in Dr. George Losey's laboratory at the Dept. of Zoology and the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawai'i. As it matured, more and more statistical analysis routines were added until it formed a complete analysis system for Windows PC's. It has now been revised to operate within Windows XP and more modern processors.

BEAST begins with continuous time event recording in which your computer keyboard becomes an event recorder. After acquiring data with the event recorder, data preparation routines allow you to create new logical combinations of events. Editors allow you to alter individual instances of any event and to create alphanumeric names for your events.

It's available via archive.org.

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