From plants to pixels: the role of artificial intelligence in identifying sericea lespedeza in field-based studies

Aftab Siddique, Kyla Cook, Yasmin Holt, Sudhanshu S. Panda, Ajit K. Mahapatra, Eric R. Morgan, Jan A. van Wyk, Thomas H. Terrill

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The increasing use of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) has brought about a significant transformation in numerous fields, such as image categorization and identification. In the development of a CNN model to classify images of sericea lespedeza [SL; Lespedeza cuneata (Dum-Cours) G. Don] from weed images, four architectures were explored: CNN model variant 1, CNN model variant 2, the Visual Geometry Group (VGG16) model, and ResNet50. CNN model variant 1 (batch normalization with adjusted dropout method) demonstrated 100% validation accuracy, while variant 2 (RMSprop optimization with adjusted learning rate) achieved 90.78% validation accuracy. Pre-trained models, like VGG16 and ResNet50, were also analyzed. In contrast, ResNet50’s steady learning pattern indicated the potential for better generalization. A detailed evaluation of these models revealed that variant 1 achieved a perfect score in precision, recall, and F1 score, indicating superior optimization and feature utilization. Variant 2 presented a balanced performance, with metrics between 86% and 93%. VGG16 mirrored the behavior of variant 2, both maintaining around 90% accuracy. In contrast, ResNet50’s results revealed a conservative approach for class 0 predictions. Overall, variant 1 stood out in performance, while both variant 2 and VGG16 showed balanced results. The reliability of CNN model variant 1 was highlighted by the significant accuracy percentages, suggesting potential for practical implementation in agriculture. In addition to the above, a smartphone application for the identification of SL in a field-based trial showed promising results with an accuracy of 98–99%. The conclusion from the above is that a CNN model with batch normalization has the potential to play a crucial role in the future in redefining and optimizing the management of undesirable vegetation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number992
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 08 May 2024


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