ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume V-2-2022
17 May 2022
 | 17 May 2022


H. Zhang, A. Gruen, and M. Li

Keywords: Coral Images, Semantic Segmentation, Boundary Loss, Neural Network (NN), Deep Learning, Underwater Photogrammetry

Abstract. Regular monitoring activities are important for assessing the influence of unfavourable factors on corals and tracking subsequent recovery or decline. Deep learning-based underwater photogrammetry provides a comprehensive solution for automatic large-scale and precise monitoring. It can quickly acquire a large range of underwater coral reef images, and extract information from these coral images through advanced image processing technology and deep learning methods. This procedure has three major components: (a) Generation of 3D models, (b) understanding of relevant corals in the images, and (c) tracking of those models over time and spatial change analysis. This paper focusses on issue (b), it applies five state-of-the-art neural networks to the semantic segmentation of coral images, compares their performance, and proposes a new coral semantic segmentation method. Finally, in order to quantitatively evaluate the performance of neural networks for semantic segmentation in these experiments, this paper uses mean class-wise Intersection over Union (mIoU), the most commonly used accuracy measure in semantic segmentation, as the standard metric. Meanwhile, considering that the coral boundary is very irregular and the evaluation index of IoU is not accurate enough, a new segmentation evaluation index based on boundary quality, Boundary IoU, is also used to evaluate the segmentation effect. The proposed trained network can accurately distinguish living from dead corals, which could reflect the health of the corals in the area of interest. The classification results show that we achieve state-of-the-art performance compared to other methods tested on the dataset provided in this paper on underwater coral images.