A new method to control error rates in automated species identification with deep learning algorithms

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Villon Sébastien1, 2, Mouillot David1, 5, Chaumont Marc2, 3, Subsol Gérard2, Claverie Thomas1, 4, Villéger Sébastien1
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, Univ of Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Montpellier, France
2 : Research-Team ICAR, LIRMM, Univ of Montpellier, CNRS, Montpellier, France
3 : University of Nîmes, Nîmes, France
4 : CUFR Mayotte, Dembeni, France
5 : Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811, Australia
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-07 , Vol. 10 , N. 1 , P. 10972 (13p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-67573-7
WOS© Times Cited 22

Processing data from surveys using photos or videos remains a major bottleneck in ecology. Deep Learning Algorithms (DLAs) have been increasingly used to automatically identify organisms on images. However, despite recent advances, it remains difficult to control the error rate of such methods. Here, we proposed a new framework to control the error rate of DLAs. More precisely, for each species, a confidence threshold was automatically computed using a training dataset independent from the one used to train the DLAs. These species-specific thresholds were then used to post-process the outputs of the DLAs, assigning classification scores to each class for a given image including a new class called “unsure”. We applied this framework to a study case identifying 20 fish species from 13,232 underwater images on coral reefs. The overall rate of species misclassification decreased from 22% with the raw DLAs to 2.98% after post-processing using the thresholds defined to minimize the risk of misclassification. This new framework has the potential to unclog the bottleneck of information extraction from massive digital data while ensuring a high level of accuracy in biodiversity assessment.

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