Focus of this study is to design an automated image processing pipeline for handling uncontrolled acquisition conditions of images acquired in the field. The pipeline has been tested on the automated identification and count of uncapped brood cells in honeybee (Apis Mellifera) comb images to reduce the workload of beekeepers during the study of the hygienic behavior of honeybee colonies. The images used to develop and test the model were acquired by beekeepers on different days and hours in summer 2020 and under uncontrolled conditions. This resulted in images differing for background noise, illumination, color, comb tilts, scaling, and comb sizes. All the available 127 images were manually cropped to approximately include the comb area. To obtain an unbiased evaluation, the cropped images were randomly split into a training image set (50 images), which was used to develop and tune the proposed model, and a test image set (77 images), which was solely used to test the model. To reduce the effects of varied illuminations or exposures, three image enhancement algorithms were tested and compared followed by the Hough Transform, which allowed identifying individual cells to be automatically counted. All the algorithm parameters were automatically chosen on the training set by grid search. When applied to the 77 test images the model obtained a correlation of 0.819 between the automated counts and the experts' counts. To provide an assessment of our model with publicly available images acquired by a different equipment and under different acquisition conditions, we randomly extracted 100 images from a comb image dataset made available by a recent literature work. Though it has been acquired under controlled exposure, the images in this new set have varied illuminations; anyhow, our pipeline obtains a correlation between automatic and manual counts equal to 0.997. In conclusion, our tests on the automatic count of uncapped honey bee comb cells acquired in the field and on images extracted from a publicly available dataset suggest that the hereby generated pipeline successfully handles varied noise artifacts, illumination, and exposure conditions, therefore allowing to generalize our method to different acquisition settings. Results further improve when the acquisition conditions are controlled.

Automated image analysis to assess hygienic behaviour of honeybees / G. Paolillo, A. Petrini, E. Casiraghi, M.G. De Iorio, S. Biffani, G. Pagnacco, G. Minozzi, G. Valentini. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 17:1(2022 Jan 27), pp. e0263183.1-e0263183.18. [10.1371/journal.pone.0263183]

Automated image analysis to assess hygienic behaviour of honeybees

G. Paolillo
Primo
;
A. Petrini
Secondo
;
E. Casiraghi
;
M.G. De Iorio;G. Pagnacco;G. Minozzi
Penultimo
;
G. Valentini
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Focus of this study is to design an automated image processing pipeline for handling uncontrolled acquisition conditions of images acquired in the field. The pipeline has been tested on the automated identification and count of uncapped brood cells in honeybee (Apis Mellifera) comb images to reduce the workload of beekeepers during the study of the hygienic behavior of honeybee colonies. The images used to develop and test the model were acquired by beekeepers on different days and hours in summer 2020 and under uncontrolled conditions. This resulted in images differing for background noise, illumination, color, comb tilts, scaling, and comb sizes. All the available 127 images were manually cropped to approximately include the comb area. To obtain an unbiased evaluation, the cropped images were randomly split into a training image set (50 images), which was used to develop and tune the proposed model, and a test image set (77 images), which was solely used to test the model. To reduce the effects of varied illuminations or exposures, three image enhancement algorithms were tested and compared followed by the Hough Transform, which allowed identifying individual cells to be automatically counted. All the algorithm parameters were automatically chosen on the training set by grid search. When applied to the 77 test images the model obtained a correlation of 0.819 between the automated counts and the experts' counts. To provide an assessment of our model with publicly available images acquired by a different equipment and under different acquisition conditions, we randomly extracted 100 images from a comb image dataset made available by a recent literature work. Though it has been acquired under controlled exposure, the images in this new set have varied illuminations; anyhow, our pipeline obtains a correlation between automatic and manual counts equal to 0.997. In conclusion, our tests on the automatic count of uncapped honey bee comb cells acquired in the field and on images extracted from a publicly available dataset suggest that the hereby generated pipeline successfully handles varied noise artifacts, illumination, and exposure conditions, therefore allowing to generalize our method to different acquisition settings. Results further improve when the acquisition conditions are controlled.
Algorithms; Animals; Bees; Behavior, Animal; Image Enhancement; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted; Seasons; Hygiene;
Settore INF/01 - Informatica
27-gen-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/911406
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