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    A fast Fourier convolutional deep neural network for accurate and explainable discrimination of wheat yellow rust and nitrogen deficiency from Sentinel-2 time series data

    Shi, Yue, Han, Liangxiu ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2491-7473, González-Moreno, Pablo, Dancey, Darren, Huang, Wenjiang, Zhang, Zhiqiang, Liu, Yuanyuan, Huang, Mengning, Miao, Hong and Dai, Min (2023) A fast Fourier convolutional deep neural network for accurate and explainable discrimination of wheat yellow rust and nitrogen deficiency from Sentinel-2 time series data. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14. 1250844. ISSN 1664-462X

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    Abstract

    Introduction: Accurate and timely detection of plant stress is essential for yield protection, allowing better-targeted intervention strategies. Recent advances in remote sensing and deep learning have shown great potential for rapid non-invasive detection of plant stress in a fully automated and reproducible manner. However, the existing models always face several challenges: 1) computational inefficiency and the misclassifications between the different stresses with similar symptoms; and 2) the poor interpretability of the host-stress interaction. Methods: In this work, we propose a novel fast Fourier Convolutional Neural Network (FFDNN) for accurate and explainable detection of two plant stresses with similar symptoms (i.e. Wheat Yellow Rust And Nitrogen Deficiency). Specifically, unlike the existing CNN models, the main components of the proposed model include: 1) a fast Fourier convolutional block, a newly fast Fourier transformation kernel as the basic perception unit, to substitute the traditional convolutional kernel to capture both local and global responses to plant stress in various time-scale and improve computing efficiency with reduced learning parameters in Fourier domain; 2) Capsule Feature Encoder to encapsulate the extracted features into a series of vector features to represent part-to-whole relationship with the hierarchical structure of the host-stress interactions of the specific stress. In addition, in order to alleviate over-fitting, a photochemical vegetation indices-based filter is placed as pre-processing operator to remove the non-photochemical noises from the input Sentinel-2 time series. Results and discussion: The proposed model has been evaluated with ground truth data under both controlled and natural conditions. The results demonstrate that the high-level vector features interpret the influence of the host-stress interaction/response and the proposed model achieves competitive advantages in the detection and discrimination of yellow rust and nitrogen deficiency on Sentinel-2 time series in terms of classification accuracy, robustness, and generalization.

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