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Quantitative assessment of automatic reconstructions of branching systems obtained from laser scanning

Boudon F., Preuksakarn C., Ferraro P., Diener J., Nacry P., Nikinmaa E., Godin C.. 2014. Annals of Botany, 114 (4) : p. 853-862.

Background and Aims Automatic acquisition of plant architecture is a major challenge for the construction of quantitative models of plant development. Recently, 3-D laser scanners have made it possible to acquire 3-D images representing a sampling of an object's surface. A number of specific methods have been proposed to reconstruct plausible branching structures from this new type of data, but critical questions remain regarding their suitability and accuracy before they can be fully exploited for use in biological applications. Methods In this paper, an evaluation framework to assess the accuracy of tree reconstructions is presented. The use of this framework is illustrated on a selection of laser scans of trees. Scanned data were manipulated by experienced researchers to produce reference tree reconstructions against which comparisons could be made. The evaluation framework is given two tree structures and compares both their elements and their topological organization. Similar elements are identified based on geometric criteria using an optimization algorithm. The organization of these elements is then compared and their similarity quantified. From these analyses, two indices of geometrical and structural similarities are defined, and the automatic reconstructions can thus be compared with the reference structures in order to assess their accuracy. Key Results The evaluation framework that was developed was successful at capturing the variation in similarities between two structures as different levels of noise were introduced. The framework was used to compare three different reconstruction methods taken from the literature, and allowed sensitive parameters of each one to be determined. The framework was also generalized for the evaluation of root reconstruction from 2-D images and demonstrated its sensitivity to higher architectural complexity of structure which was not detected with a global evaluation criterion. Conclusions The evaluation framework presented quantifies geometric and structural similarities between two structures. It can be applied to the characterization and comparison of automatic reconstructions of plant structures from laser scanner data and 2-D images. As such, it can be used as a reference test for comparing and assessing reconstruction procedures. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : imagerie; laser; application des ordinateurs; logiciel; analyse quantitative; modèle mathématique; croissance; anatomie végétale; port de la plante; scanner; architecture végétale

Thématique : Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Anatomie et morphologie des plantes; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement

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