Fruit counting is a fundamental component for yield estimation applications. Most of the existing approaches address this problem by relying on fruit models (i.e., by using object detectors) or by explicitly learning to count. Despite the impressive results achieved by these approaches, all of them need strong supervision information during the training phase. In agricultural applications, manual labeling may require a huge effort or, in some cases, it could be impossible to acquire fine-grained ground truth labels. In this letter, we tackle this problem by proposing a weakly supervised framework that learns to count fruits without the need for task-specific supervision labels. In particular, we devise a novel convolutional neural network architecture that requires only a simple image level binary classifier to detect whether the image contains instances of the fruits or not and combines this information with image spatial consistency constraints. The result is an architecture that learns to count without task-specific labels (e.g., object bounding boxes or the multiplicity of fruit instances in the image). The experiments on three different varieties of fruits (i.e., olives, almonds, and apples) show that our approach reaches performances that are comparable with SotA approaches based on the supervised paradigm.
2019, IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS, Pages 2348-2355 (volume: 4)
Weakly Supervised Fruit Counting for Yield Estimation Using Spatial Consistency (01a Articolo in rivista)
Bellocchio Enrico, Ciarfuglia Thomas A., Costante Gabriele, Valigi Paolo
Gruppo di ricerca: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics