The Challenge of Data Annotation in Deep Learning – A Case Study on Whole Plant Corn Silage

Christoffer Bøgelund Rasmussen, Kristian Kirk, Thomas B. Moeslund

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Recent advances in computer vision are primarily driven by the usage of deep learning, which is known to require large amounts of data, and creating datasets for this purpose is not a trivial task. Larger benchmark datasets often have detailed processes with multiple stages and users with different roles during annotation. However, this can be difficult to implement in smaller projects where resources can be limited. Therefore, in this work we present our processes for creating an image dataset for kernel fragmentation and stover overlengths in Whole Plant Corn Silage. This includes the guidelines for annotating object instances in respective classes and statistics of gathered annotations. Given the challenging image conditions, where objects are present in large amounts of occlusion and clutter, the datasets appear appropriate for training models. However, we experience annotator inconsistency, which can hamper evaluation. Based on this we argue the importance of having an evaluation form independent of the manual annotation where we evaluate our models with physically based sieving metrics. Additionally, instead of the traditional time-consuming manual annotation approach, we evaluate Semi-Supervised Learning as an alternative, showing competitive results while requiring fewer annotations. Specifically, given a relatively large supervised set of around 1400 images we can improve the Average Precision by a number of percentage points. Additionally, we show a significantly large improvement when using an extremely small set of just over 100 images, with over 3× in Average Precision and up to 20 percentage points when estimating the quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1596
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Smart and Intelligent Sensors Systems


  • Annotation
  • Dataset
  • Deep learning
  • Semi-supervised learning
  • Whole plant corn silage


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