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A phenotyping weeds image dataset for open scientific research

Dainelli R., Martinelli M., Bruno A., Moroni D., Morelli S., Silvestri M., Ferrari E., Rocchi L., Toscano P.

Weeds  Phenotyping  Open data  Dataset 

This in-house-built image dataset consists of 10810 weed images captured through a dedicated phenotyping activity in quasi-field conditions. The targets are seven of the most widespread and hard-to-control weeds in wheat (but also in other winter cereals) in the Mediterranean environment. In the framework of open scientific research, our aim is to share low-cost and high-resolution images representing challenging agricultural environments where weather, lighting and other factors can change by the hour and affect the quality of images. This way the dataset could be used to train Artificial Intelligence architectures designed for weed recognition, allowing the implementation of tools directly available in the field for farmers and technicians for effective and timely weed management. The dataset encompasses weed images ranging from the post-emergence phase (i.e. the complete cotyledons unfolding) until the pre-flowering stage. The weed selection was made by considering (i) bottom-up information and specific requests by farmers and technicians, (ii) weed susceptibility to commercial formulations for chemical control <50%, reported at least twice by field technicians, (iii) the difficulty of control considering any methods, and (iv) the type of growing season (overlapping or not with wheat). The final weeds selection encompassed both monocots (Avena sterilis and Lolium multiflorum) and dicots (Convolvulus arvensis, Fumaria officinalis, Papaver rhoeas, Veronica persica and Vicia sativa). Image acquisition was facilitated by using a white panel as a background; this helped to (i) spread the light and thereby make the plants well-illuminated, while still avoiding strong shadows when using the flash and (ii) simplify image processing. The images were acquired with a Canon EOS 700D hand-held camera set in the macro mode with aperture, shutter speed, ISO and flash in auto mode. Photo capture timing, target distances and light conditions did not have a fixed pattern but were deliberately programmed to vary in such a way as to mimic field conditions. For image shooting at various times of the day, the only precaution was to frame the subject with homogeneous light conditions (full sunlight/full shade). The varied outdoor conditions (light, distance, timing) and camera type (RGB) with auto mode were essential features to make the images photos look similar to those that a user can take in a field, for example with a smartphone camera. After selection and categorization, images were cropped to select the region of interest following the 1:1 ratio but maintaining a minimum size of 512 x 512 pixels. More details on the dataset and its use for weed recognition tasks will be soon available in the proceedings of the forthcoming ECPA conference (2-6 July 2023, Bologna, Italy).

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BibTeX entry
	title = {A phenotyping weeds image dataset for open scientific research},
	author = {Dainelli R. and Martinelli M. and Bruno A. and Moroni D. and Morelli S. and Silvestri M. and Ferrari E. and Rocchi L. and Toscano P.},
	year = {2023}

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