An Algorithm for Plant Disease Visual Symptom Detection in Digital Images Based on Superpixels

Itamar F. Salazar-Reque, Samuel Gustavo Huamán, Guillermo Kemper, Joel Telles, Daniel Diaz


Quantifying diseased areas in plant leaves is an important procedure in agriculture, as it contributes to crop monitoring and decision-making for crop protection. It is, however, a time-consuming and very subjective manual procedure whose automation is, therefore, highly expected. This work proposes a new method for the automatic segmentation of diseased leaf areas. The method used the Simple Linear Iterative Clustering (SLIC) algorithm to group similar-color pixels together into regions called superpixels. The color features of superpixel clusters were used to train artificial neural networks (ANNs) for the classification of superpixels as healthy or not healthy. These network parameters were heuristically tuned by choosing the network with the best classification performance to obtain the automatic segmentation of the diseased areas. The performance of the classifier was measured by comparing its automatic segmentations with those manually made from a database with public and private images divided into nine groups by visual symptom and plant. The mean error of the area obtained was always below 11%, and the average F-score was 0.67, which is higher than that found by the other two approaches reported in the literature (0.57 and 0.58) and used here for comparison.


segmentation; superpixels; leaf diseases.

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