Advancing Tassel Detection and Counting: Annotation and Algorithms

Azam Karami, Karoll Quijano, Melba Crawford
2021 Remote Sensing  
Tassel counts provide valuable information related to flowering and yield prediction in maize, but are expensive and time-consuming to acquire via traditional manual approaches. High-resolution RGB imagery acquired by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), coupled with advanced machine learning approaches, including deep learning (DL), provides a new capability for monitoring flowering. In this article, three state-of-the-art DL techniques, CenterNet based on point annotation, task-aware spatial
more » ... tanglement (TSD), and detecting objects with recursive feature pyramids and switchable atrous convolution (DetectoRS) based on bounding box annotation, are modified to improve their performance for this application and evaluated for tassel detection relative to Tasselnetv2+. The dataset for the experiments is comprised of RGB images of maize tassels from plant breeding experiments, which vary in size, complexity, and overlap. Results show that the point annotations are more accurate and simpler to acquire than the bounding boxes, and bounding box-based approaches are more sensitive to the size of the bounding boxes and background than point-based approaches. Overall, CenterNet has high accuracy in comparison to the other techniques, but DetectoRS can better detect early-stage tassels. The results for these experiments were more robust than Tasselnetv2+, which is sensitive to the number of tassels in the image.
doi:10.3390/rs13152881 fatcat:fmp5ghb7zbhi5gjy5jviofeqwy