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Title: PalmProbNet: A Probabilistic Approach to Understanding Palm Distributions in Ecuadorian Tropical Forest via Transfer Learning
Palms play an outsized role in tropical forests and are important resources for humans and wildlife. A central question in tropical ecosystems is understanding palm distribution and abundance. However, accurately identifying and localizing palms in geospatial imagery presents significant challenges due to dense vegetation, overlapping canopies, and variable lighting conditions in mixed-forest landscapes. Addressing this, we introduce PalmProbNet, a probabilistic approach utilizing transfer learning to analyze high-resolution UAV-derived orthomosaic imagery, enabling the detection of palm trees within the dense canopy of the Ecuadorian Rainforest. This approach represents a substantial advancement in automated palm detection, effectively pinpointing palm presence and locality in mixed tropical rainforests. Our process begins by generating an orthomosaic image from UAV images, from which we extract and label palm and non-palm image patches in two distinct sizes. These patches are then used to train models with an identical architecture, consisting of an unaltered pre-trained ResNet-18 and a Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) with specifically trained parameters. Subsequently, PalmProbNet employs a sliding window technique on the landscape orthomosaic, using both small and large window sizes to generate a probability heatmap. This heatmap effectively visualizes the distribution of palms, showcasing the scalability and adaptability of our approach in various forest densities. Despite the challenging terrain, our method demonstrated remarkable performance, achieving an accuracy of 97.32% and a Cohen's κ of 94.59% in testing.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
ACM SE '24: Proceedings of the 2024 ACM Southeast Conference
Page Range / eLocation ID:
272 to 277
Medium: X
Marietta GA USA
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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