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YOLO-NPK: A Light Deep Network for Lettuce Nutrients Deficiency Classification Based on Improved YOLOv8 Nano
1 , * 2
1  Guinee Biomedical Maintenance, R&D Center, Bentourayah 3137, Republic of Guinea.
2  Electronics Engineering
Academic Editor: Stefano Mariani (registering DOI)

When it comes to growing lettuce, specific nutrients play vital roles in its growth and development. These essential nutrients include full nutriments (FN), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Insufficient or excess levels of these nutrients can have negative effects on lettuce plants, resulting in various deficiencies that can be observed in the leaves. To better understand and identify these deficiencies, a deep learning approach is employed to improve these tasks. For the study, YOLOv8 Nano, a lightweight deep network, is chosen to classify the observed deficiencies in lettuce leaves. Several enhancements to the baseline algorithm are made, the backbone is replaced with VGG16 to improve the classification accuracy, and depthwise convolution is incorporated into it to enrich the features while keeping the head unchanged. The proposed network, incorporating these modifications, achieved superior classification results with a top-1 accuracy of 99%. This performance outperformed other state-of-the-art classification methods, demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach in identifying lettuce deficiencies. The objective of the research was to improve a baseline algorithm that could achieve the classification task above 85% of top-1 accuracy, with a FLOP inferior to 10G, and classification latency below 170 ms per image.

Keywords: Lettuce nutrient deficiency; Classification; Deep learning; YOLOV8 Nano.