Deep neural network based date palm tree detection in drone imagery


Date palm trees are an important economic crop in the Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, and North Africa. Counting the numbers and determining the locations of date palm trees are important for predicting the date production and plantation management. In this paper, we exploit the effective use of the state-of-the-art CNN, YOLO-V5, in detecting date palm trees in images captured by a camera onboard of a drone flying 122 m above farmlands in the Northern Emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the dataset preparation process, we randomly selected 125 captured images and divided them into three datasets: training (60%), validation (20%), and testing (20%). The images of date palm trees in the training and validation datasets were manually annotated and those in the training dataset were used to train the four sub-versions of YOLO-V5 CNNs. The validation dataset was used during the training process to assess how well the network was performing during training. Finally, the images in the test dataset were used to evaluate the performance of the trained models. The results of using YOLO-V5 for date palm tree detection in drone imagery are compared with those obtainable with other popular CNN architectures, YOLO-V3, YOLO-V4, and SSD300, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results show that for the amount of training data used, YOLO-V5m (medium depth) model records the highest accuracy, resulting in a mean average precision of 92.34%. Further it provides the ability to detect and localize date palm trees of different sizes, in crowded, overlapped environments and areas where the date palm tree distribution is sparse. Therefore, it is concluded that the method can be a useful component of an automated plantation management system and help forecast the quantities of date production and condition monitoring of the date palm trees.

Thani Jintasuttisak, Eran Edirisinghe, Ali Elbattay
Publication Source
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication type
Scientific Paper