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Towards sustainable North American wood product value chains, part 2: computer vision identification of ring-porous hardwoods


Prabu Ravindran
Adam C. Wade
Frank C. Owens
Rubin Shmulsky



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Canadian Journal of Forest Research


Wood identification is vitally important for ensuring the legality of North American hardwood value chains. Computer vision wood identification (CVWID) systems can identify wood without necessitating costly and time-consuming off-site visual inspections by highly trained wood anatomists. Previous work by Ravindran and colleagues presented macroscopic CVWID models for identification of North American diffuse porous hardwoods from 22 wood anatomically informed classes using the open-source XyloTron platform. This manuscript expands on that work by training and evaluating complementary 17-class XyloTron CVWID models for the identification of North American ring porous hardwoods —— woods that display spatial heterogeneity in earlywood and latewood pore size and distribution and other radial growth-rate-related features. Deep-learning models trained using 4045 images from 452 ring-porous wood specimens from four xylaria demonstrated 98% five-fold cross-validation accuracy. A field model trained on all the training data and subsequently tested on 198 specimens drawn from two additional xylaria achieved top-1 and top-2 predictions of 91.4% and 100%, respectively, and images devoid of earlywood, latewood, or broad rays did not greatly reduce the prediction accuracy. This study advocates for continued cooperation between wood anatomy and machine-learning experts for implementing and evaluating field-operational CVWID systems.


Ravindran, Prabu; Wade, Adam C.; Owens, Frank C.; Shmulsky, Rubin; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C. 2022. Towards sustainable North American wood product value chains, part 2: computer vision identification of ring-porous hardwoods. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 52: 1-14 (2022).


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