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NOVEL ENTROPY FUNCTION BASED MULTI-SENSOR FUSION IN SPACE AND TIME DOMAIN: APPLICATION IN AUTONOMOUS AGRICULTURAL ROBOT

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thesis
posted on 07.05.2021, 18:42 by Md Nazmuzzaman KhanMd Nazmuzzaman Khan
How can we transform an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot? A robot that can run autonomously through a vegetable field, classify multiple types of weeds from real-time video feed and then spray specific herbicides based of previously classified weeds. In this research, we answer some of the theoretical and practical challenges regarding the transformation of an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot. How can we transform an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot? A robot that can run autonomously through a vegetable field, classify multiple types of weeds from real-time video feed and then spray specific herbicides based of previously classified weeds. In this research, we answer some of the theoretical and practical challenges regarding the transformation of an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot. How can we transform an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot? A robot that can run autonomously through a vegetable field, classify multiple types of weeds from real-time video feed and then spray specific herbicides based of previously classified weeds. In this research, we answer some of the theoretical and practical challenges regarding the transformation of an agricultural vehicle into an autonomous weeding robot.

First, we propose a solution for real-time crop row detection from autonomous navigation of agricultural vehicle using domain knowledge and unsupervised machine learning based approach. We implement projective transformation to transform camera image plane to an image plane exactly at the top of the crop rows, so that parallel crop rows remain parallel. Then we use color based segmentation to differentiate crop and weed pixels from background. We implement hierarchical density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (HDBSCAN) clustering algorithm to differentiate between the crop row clusters and weed clusters.

Finally we use Random sample consensus (RANSAC) for robust line fitting through the detected crop row clusters. We test our algorithm against four different well established methods for crop row detection in-terms of processing time and accuracy. Our proposed method, Clustering Algorithm based RObust LIne Fitting (CAROLIF), shows significantly better accuracy compared to three other methods with average intersect over union (IoU) value of 73%. We also test our algorithm on a video taken from an agricultural vehicle at a corn field in Indiana. CAROLIF shows promising results under lighting variation, vibration and unusual crop-weed growth.

Then we propose a robust weed classification system based on convolutional neural network (CNN) and novel decision-level evidence-based multi-sensor fusion algorithm. We create a small dataset of three different weeds (Giant ragweed, Pigweed and Cocklebur) commonly available in corn fields. We train three different CNN architectures on our dataset. Based on classification accuracy and inference time, we choose VGG16 with transfer learning architecture for real-time weed classification.
To create a robust and stable weed classification pipeline, a multi-sensor fusion algorithm based on Dempster-Shafer (DS) evidence theory with a novel entropy function is proposed. The proposed novel entropy function is inspired from Shannon and Deng entropy but it shows better results at understanding uncertainties in certain scenarios, compared to Shannon and Deng entropy, under DS framework. Our proposed algorithm has two advantages compared to other sensor fusion algorithms. First, it can be applied to both space and time domain to fuse results from multiple sensors and create more robust results. Secondly, it can detect which sensor is faulty in the sensors array and compensate for the faulty sensor by giving it lower weight at real-time. Our proposed algorithm calculates the evidence distance from each sensor and determines if one sensor agrees or disagrees with another. Then it rewards the sensors which agrees with another according to their information quality which is calculated using our novel entropy function. The proposed algorithm can combine highly conflicting evidences from multiple sensors and overcomes the limitation of original DS combination rule. After testing our algorithm with real and simulation data, it shows better convergence rate, anti-disturbing ability and transition property compared to other methods available from open literature.

Finally, we present a fuzzy-logic based approach to measure the confidence
of the detected object's bounding-box (BB) position from a CNN detector. The CNN detector gives us the position of BB with percentage accuracy of the object inside the BB on each image plane. But how do we know for sure that the position of the BB is correct? When we are detecting an object using multiple cameras, the position of the BB on the camera image plane may appear in different places based on the detection accuracy and the position of the cameras. But in 3D space, the object is at the exact same position for both cameras. We use this relation between the camera image planes to create a fuzzy-fusion system which will calculate the confidence value of detection. Based on the fuzzy-rules and accuracy of BB position, this system gives us confidence values at three different stages (`Low', `OK' and `High'). This proposed system is successful at giving correct confidence score for scenarios where objects are correctly detected, objects are partially detected and objects are incorrectly detected.

History

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sohel Anwar

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Gregory Shaver

Additional Committee Member 2

George Chiu

Additional Committee Member 3

Mohammad Al Hasan

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