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Li Yadong,Cao Minglan,Li Changqing,Feng Zhongke,Jia Shuhua.Crown segmentation from UAV visible light DOM based on level set method[J].Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering (Transactions of the CSAE) ,2021,37(6):60-65
Crown segmentation from UAV visible light DOM based on level set method
Received:January 13, 2021  Revised:March 01, 2021
Foundation item:中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金项目(2015ZCQ-LX-01)。
Author NameAffiliation
Li Yadong 1.Beijing Polytechnic College, Beijing 100042, China
2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Precision Forestry of Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China 
Cao Minglan 1.Beijing Polytechnic College, Beijing 100042, China
Li Changqing 1.Beijing Polytechnic College, Beijing 100042, China
Feng Zhongke 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Precision Forestry of Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China 
Jia Shuhua 3.Inner Mongolia Dayangshu Forest Bureau, Dayangshu 022456, Inner Mongolia, China 
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Abstract: Under complicated forest stands like natural forest, mixed forest, and multi-storied forest, the visible light forest images are greatly influenced by the canopy density, canopy structure, and photographing season, etc. During the crown extraction, the existing methods fail to guarantee the precision and lack effective manual intervention mechanism. A universal, flexible, and practical crown segmentation method, which could realize the automatic segmentation under low canopy density and appropriately implement the manual intervention under high canopy density, was explored in this study. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) visible light forest images were firstly processed into DSM, DEM, and DOM, the CHM was obtained by deducting DEM from DSM, the plane position of tree top was extracted from CHM via the local maximum method to generate a Thiessen polygon, a rectangle of crown range was generated based on its bounding rectangle, the image of crown range of an individual standing tree was traversed and segmented, and after the anisotropic diffusion filtering, the boundary curve of crown was evolved out through the level set method. A level set CV model-based crown segmentation plug-in that could operate with embedded ArcMap was implemented on ArcGIS Engine via C# language, this plug-in was used to do the crown extraction test of DOM images in nine 50 m×50 m standard mixed forest sample plots with different canopy densities and different species compositions Naimuhe forest farm of Inner Mongolia Great Khingan Dayangshu Forestry Bureau, and meanwhile, this method was compared with the manual extraction method and SVM image segmentation method. The results showed that the extraction rate of the proposed method was averagely elevated by 45.97% in comparison with that of the manual extraction method, and the extraction accuracy was averagely improved by 15.29 percentage pionts compared with that of the SVM image segmentation method. Directing at the problems existing in the crown extraction from UAV forest visible light images of natural mixed forests, namely, the extraction difficulty was great and the existing methods were of low precision, a method integrating level set and selective manual intervention was proposed in this study, thus effectively avoiding the large workload in the full manual segmentation, and solving the problem that the precision could not be guaranteed by the machine learning method, which was inconvenient for the manual intervention. The level set method, which was not influenced by the initial value, was used, so it was unnecessary to seek for the initial value by training a large quantity of samples, and the crown segmentation efficiency was improved. The crown segmentation result is the vector line factor of the crown boundary of an individual standing tree, which can flexibly edit individual crowns. This method highlights the efficiency under low canopy density and large crown breadth, and guarantees the accuracy under high canopy density and small crown breadth, so it is of strong flexibility and universality.
KeyWord:unmanned aerial vehicle  level set  crown segmentation  visible light  ortho-image
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