Deep learning powered real-time identification of insects using citizen science data

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Chiranjeevi, Shivani
Sadaati, Mojdeh
Deng, Zi K.
Koushik, Jayanth
Jubery, Talukder Z.
Mueller, Daren
O’Neal, Matthew E.
Merchant, Nirav
Singh, Aarti
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Singh, Asheesh
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Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University is where innovation thrives and the impossible is made possible. This is where your passion for problem-solving and hands-on learning can make a real difference in our world. Whether you’re helping improve the environment, creating safer automobiles, or advancing medical technologies, and athletic performance, the Department of Mechanical Engineering gives you the tools and talent to blaze your own trail to an amazing career.
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Plant Sciences Institute
The Plant Sciences Institute is dedicated to enhancing Iowa State University's international prominence in the plant sciences. Our research focus is to understand the effects of genotype and environment on phenotypes (traits) sufficiently well that we will be able to predict phenotype of a given genotype in a given environment (i.e., predictive phenomics)
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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Insect-pests significantly impact global agricultural productivity and quality. Effective management involves identifying the full insect community, including beneficial insects and harmful pests, to develop and implement integrated pest management strategies. Automated identification of insects under real-world conditions presents several challenges, including differentiating similar-looking species, intra-species dissimilarity and inter-species similarity, several life cycle stages, camouflage, diverse imaging conditions, and variability in insect orientation. A deep-learning model, InsectNet, is proposed to address these challenges. InsectNet is endowed with five key features: (a) utilization of a large dataset of insect images collected through citizen science; (b) label-free self-supervised learning for large models; (c) improving prediction accuracy for species with a small sample size; (d) enhancing model trustworthiness; and (e) democratizing access through streamlined MLOps. This approach allows accurate identification (>96% accuracy) of over 2500 insect species, including pollinator (e.g., butterflies, bees), parasitoid (e.g., some wasps and flies), predator species (e.g., lady beetles, mantises, dragonflies) and harmful pest species (e.g., armyworms, cutworms, grasshoppers, stink bugs). InsectNet can identify invasive species, provide fine-grained insect species identification, and work effectively in challenging backgrounds. It also can abstain from making predictions when uncertain, facilitating seamless human intervention and making it a practical and trustworthy tool. InsectNet can guide citizen science data collection, especially for invasive species where early detection is crucial. Similar approaches may transform other agricultural challenges like disease detection and underscore the importance of data collection, particularly through citizen science efforts..
This is a pre-print of the article Chiranjeevi, Shivani, Mojdeh Sadaati, Zi K. Deng, Jayanth Koushik, Talukder Z. Jubery, Daren Mueller, Matthew EO Neal et al. "Deep learning powered real-time identification of insects using citizen science data." arXiv preprint arXiv:2306.02507 (2023). DOI: 10.48550/arXiv.2306.02507. Copyright 2023 The Authors. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Posted with permission.