Effective crop protection requires early and accurate detection of biotic stress. In recent years, remarkable results have been achieved in the early detection of weeds, plant diseases and insect pests in crops. These achievements are related both to the development of non-invasive, high resolution optical sensors and data analysis methods that are able to cope with the resolution, size and complexity of the signals from these sensors. Several methods of machine learning have been utilized for precision agriculture such as support vector machines and neural networks for classification (supervised learning); k-means and self-organizing maps for clustering (unsupervised learning). These methods are able to calculate both linear and non-linear models, require few statistical assumptions and adapt flexibly to a wide range of data characteristics. Successful applications include the early detection of plant diseases based on spectral features and weed detection based on shape descriptors with supervised or unsupervised learning methods. This review gives a short introduction into machine learning, analyses its potential for precision crop protection and provides an overview of instructive examples from different fields of precision agriculture.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 31, 2014
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