Automatic Recognition of Medicinal Plants using Machine Learning Techniques


The proper identification of plant species has major benefits for a wide range of stakeholders ranging from forestry services, botanists, taxonomists, physicians, pharmaceutical laboratories, organisations fighting for endangered species, government and the public at large. Consequently, this has fueled an interest in developing automated systems for the recognition of different plant species. A fully automated method for the recognition of medicinal plants using computer vision and machine learning techniques has been presented. Leaves from 24 different medicinal plant species were collected and photographed using a smartphone in a laboratory setting. A large number of features were extracted from each leaf such as its length, width, perimeter, area, number of vertices, colour, perimeter and area of hull. Several derived features were then computed from these attributes. The best results were obtained from a random forest classifier using a 10-fold crossvalidation technique. With an accuracy of 90.1%, the random forest classifier performed better than other machine learning approaches such as the k-nearest neighbour, naïve Bayes, support vector machines and neural networks. These results are very encouraging and future work will be geared towards using a larger dataset and high-performance computing facilities to investigate the performance of deep learning neural networks to identify medicinal plants used in primary health care. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first of its kind to have created a unique image dataset for medicinal plants that are available on the island of Mauritius. It is anticipated that a web-based or mobile computer system for the automatic recognition of medicinal plants will help the local population to improve their knowledge on medicinal plants, help taxonomists to develop more efficient species identification techniques and will also contribute significantly in the protection of endangered species. Keywords—leaf recognition; medicinal plants; random forest; Mauritius

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@inproceedings{Begue2017AutomaticRO, title={Automatic Recognition of Medicinal Plants using Machine Learning Techniques}, author={Adams Begue and Venitha Kowlessur and Upasana G Singh and Fawzi M Mahomoodally and Sameerchand Pudaruth}, year={2017} }