DOI: 10.3390/s24010257 ISSN: 1424-8220

An Ensemble Approach for Robust Automated Crack Detection and Segmentation in Concrete Structures

Muhammad Sohaib, Saima Jamil, Jong-Myon Kim
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

To prevent potential instability the early detection of cracks is imperative due to the prevalent use of concrete in critical infrastructure. Automated techniques leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning as the traditional manual inspection methods are time-consuming. The existing automated concrete crack detection algorithms, despite recent advancements, face challenges in robustness, particularly in precise crack detection amidst complex backgrounds and visual distractions, while also maintaining low inference times. Therefore, this paper introduces a novel ensemble mechanism based on multiple quantized You Only Look Once version 8 (YOLOv8) models for the detection and segmentation of cracks in concrete structures. The proposed model is tested on different concrete crack datasets yielding enhanced segmentation results with at least 89.62% precision and intersection over a union score of 0.88. Moreover, the inference time per image is reduced to 27 milliseconds which is at least a 5% improvement over other models in the comparison. This is achieved by amalgamating the predictions of the trained models to calculate the final segmentation mask. The noteworthy contributions of this work encompass the creation of a model with low inference time, an ensemble mechanism for robust crack segmentation, and the enhancement of the learning capabilities of crack detection models. The fast inference time of the model renders it appropriate for real-time applications, effectively tackling challenges in infrastructure maintenance and safety.

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