Article

Benchmarking Anchor-Based and Anchor-Free State-of-the-Art Deep Learning Methods for Individual Tree Detection in RGB High-Resolution Images

Citation

Zamboni P, Marcato Junior J, de Andrade Silva J, Miyoshi GT, Matsubara ET, Nogueira K & Gonçalves WN (2021) Benchmarking Anchor-Based and Anchor-Free State-of-the-Art Deep Learning Methods for Individual Tree Detection in RGB High-Resolution Images. Remote Sensing, 13 (13), Art. No.: 2482. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13132482

Abstract
rban forests contribute to maintaining livability and increase the resilience of cities in the face of population growth and climate change. Information about the geographical distribution of individual trees is essential for the proper management of these systems. RGB high-resolution aerial images have emerged as a cheap and efficient source of data, although detecting and mapping single trees in an urban environment is a challenging task. Thus, we propose the evaluation of novel methods for single tree crown detection, as most of these methods have not been investigated in remote sensing applications. A total of 21 methods were investigated, including anchor-based (one and two-stage) and anchor-free state-of-the-art deep-learning methods. We used two orthoimages divided into 220 non-overlapping patches of 512 × 512 pixels with a ground sample distance (GSD) of 10 cm. The orthoimages were manually annotated, and 3382 single tree crowns were identified as the ground-truth. Our findings show that the anchor-free detectors achieved the best average performance with an AP50 of 0.686. We observed that the two-stage anchor-based and anchor-free methods showed better performance for this task, emphasizing the FSAF, Double Heads, CARAFE, ATSS, and FoveaBox models. RetinaNet, which is currently commonly applied in remote sensing, did not show satisfactory performance, and Faster R-CNN had lower results than the best methods but with no statistically significant difference. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the performance of novel deep-learning methods in remote sensing applications and could be used as an indicator of the most suitable methods in such applications.

Keywords
object detection; convolutional neural network; remote sensing

Journal
Remote Sensing: Volume 13, Issue 13

StatusPublished
FundersConselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior and Fundação de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento do Ensino, Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul
Publication date31/07/2021
Publication date online25/06/2021
Date accepted by journal15/06/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/33010
PublisherMDPI AG
eISSN2072-4292