Segmentation and size estimation of tomatoes from sequences of paired images

Ujjwal Verma, Florence Rossant, Isabelle Bloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a complete system to monitor the growth of tomatoes from images acquired in open fields. This is a challenging task because of the severe occlusion and poor contrast in the images. We approximate the tomatoes by spheres in the 3D space, hence by ellipses in the image space. The tomatoes are first identified in the images using a segmentation procedure. Then, the size of the tomatoes is measured from the obtained segmentation and camera parameters. The shape information combined with temporal information, given the limited evolution from an image to the next one, is used throughout the system to increase the robustness with respect to occlusion and poor contrast. The segmentation procedure presented in this paper is an extension of our previous work based on active contours. Here, we present a method to update the position of the tomato by comparing the SIFT descriptors computed at predetermined points in two consecutive images. This leads to a very accurate estimation of the tomato position, from which the entire segmentation procedure benefits. The average error between the automatic and manual segmentations is around 4 % (expressed as the percentage of tomato size) with a good robustness with respect to occlusion (up to 50 %). The size estimation procedure was evaluated by calculating the size of tomatoes under a controlled environment. In this case, the mean percentage error between the actual radius and the estimated size is around 2.35 % with a standard deviation of 1.83 % and is less than 5 % in most (91 %) cases. The complete system was also applied to estimate the size of tomatoes cultivated in open fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalEurasip Journal on Image and Video Processing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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