Plant Disease Detection and Classification Using Deep Learning Methods: A Comparison Study

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Pei-Wern Chin
Kok-Why Ng
Naveen Palanichamy


The presence issue of inaccurate plant disease detection persists under real field conditions and most deep learning (DL) techniques still struggle to achieve real-time performance. Hence, challenges in choosing a suitable deep-learning technique to tackle the problem should be addressed. Plant diseases have a detrimental effect on agricultural yield, hence early detection is crucial to prevent food insecurity. To identify and categorise the indications of plant diseases, numerous developed or modified DL architectures are utilised. This paper aims to observe the performance of the YOLOv8 model, which has better performance than its predecessors, on a small-scale plant disease dataset. This paper also aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of plant disease detection and classification methods by proposing an optimised and lightweight YOLOv8 architecture model. It trains the YOLOv8 model on a public dataset and optimises the YOLOv8 algorithm with the integration of the GhostNet module into the backbone architecture to cut down the number of parameters for a faster computational algorithm. In addition, the architecture incorporates a Coordinate Attention (CA) mechanism module, which further enhances the accuracy of the proposed algorithm. Our results demonstrate that the combination of YOLOv8s with CA mechanism and transfer learning obtained the best result, yielding  score of 72.2% which surpassed the studies that utilised the same dataset. Without transfer learning, our best result is demonstrated by YOLOv8s with GhostNet and CA mechanism yielding a  score of 69.3%.

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