Convolutional Neural Networks for Image-Based Corn Kernel Detection and Counting

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2020-05-10
Authors
Khaki, Saeed
Pham, Hieu
Han, Ye
Kuhl, Andy
Kent, Wade
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MDPI
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Abstract
Precise in-season corn grain yield estimates enable farmers to make real-time accurate harvest and grain marketing decisions minimizing possible losses of profitability. A well developed corn ear can have up to 800 kernels, but manually counting the kernels on an ear of corn is labor-intensive, time consuming and prone to human error. From an algorithmic perspective, the detection of the kernels from a single corn ear image is challenging due to the large number of kernels at different angles and very small distance among the kernels. In this paper, we propose a kernel detection and counting method based on a sliding window approach. The proposed method detects and counts all corn kernels in a single corn ear image taken in uncontrolled lighting conditions. The sliding window approach uses a convolutional neural network (CNN) for kernel detection. Then, a non-maximum suppression (NMS) is applied to remove overlapping detections. Finally, windows that are classified as kernel are passed to another CNN regression model for finding the (x,y) coordinates of the center of kernel image patches. Our experiments indicate that the proposed method can successfully detect the corn kernels with a low detection error and is also able to detect kernels on a batch of corn ears positioned at different angles.
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This article is published as Khaki, Saeed, Hieu Pham, Ye Han, Andy Kuhl, Wade Kent, and Lizhi Wang. "Convolutional neural networks for image-based corn kernel detection and counting." Sensors 20, no. 9 (2020): 2721. DOI: 10.3390/s20092721. Copyright 2020 by the authors. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission.
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