Data synthesis methods for semantic segmentation in agriculture : A Capsicum annuum dataset

Barth, R.; IJsselmuiden, J.; Hemming, J.; van Henten, E.J.


This paper provides synthesis methods for large-scale semantic image segmentation datasets of agricultural scenes with the objective to bridge the gap between state-of-the art computer vision performance and that of computer vision in the agricultural robotics domain. We propose a novel methodology to generate renders of random meshes of plants based on empirical measurements, including the automated generation per-pixel class and depth labels for multiple plant parts. A running example is given of Capsicum annuum (sweet or bell pepper) in a high-tech greenhouse. A synthetic dataset of 10,500 images was rendered through Blender, using scenes with 42 procedurally generated plant models with randomised plant parameters. These parameters were based on 21 empirically measured plant properties at 115 positions on 15 plant stems. Fruit models were obtained by 3D scanning and plant part textures were gathered photographically. As reference dataset for modelling and evaluate segmentation performance, 750 empirical images of 50 plants were collected in a greenhouse from multiple angles and distances using image acquisition hardware of a sweet pepper harvest robot prototype. We hypothesised high similarity between synthetic images and empirical images, which we showed by analysing and comparing both sets qualitatively and quantitatively. The sets and models are publicly released with the intention to allow performance comparisons between agricultural computer vision methods, to obtain feedback for modelling improvements and to gain further validations on usability of synthetic bootstrapping and empirical fine-tuning. Finally, we provide a brief perspective on our hypothesis that related synthetic dataset bootstrapping and empirical fine-tuning can be used for improved learning.