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Leaf diseases may harm plants in different ways, often causing reduced productivity and, at times, lethal consequences. Detecting such diseases in a timely manner can help plant owners take effective remedial measures. Deficiencies of vital elements such as nitrogen, microbial infections and other similar disorders can often have visible effects, such as the yellowing of leaves in Catharanthus roseus (bright eyes) and scorched leaves in Fragaria × ananassa (strawberry) plants. In this work, we explore approaches to use computer vision techniques to help plant owners identify such leaf disorders in their plants automatically and conveniently. This research designs three machine learning systems, namely a vanilla CNN model, a CNN-SVM hybrid model, and a MobileNetV2-based transfer learning model that detect yellowed and scorched leaves in Catharanthus roseus and strawberry plants, respectively, using images captured by mobile phones. In our experiments, the models yield a very promising accuracy on a dataset having around 4000 images. Of the three models, the transfer learning-based one demonstrates the highest accuracy (97.35% on test set) in our experiments. Furthermore, an Android application is developed that uses this model to allow end-users to conveniently monitor the condition of their plants in real time.
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