The detection of cracks is a key aspect for assessing the condition of in-service structures such as road, bridges or dams. Therefore it assumes a great importance for civil infrastructures monitoring, road maintenance and traffic safety. Intelligent detection methods based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been widely applied to the field of crack detection in recently years. In this work we propose a vision system based on two lightweight and accurate CNN models implemented in a low-cost, low-power platform, namely the OpenMV Cam H7 Plus, to monitor and to detect concrete cracks in real-time, suitable to realize a prototype of early warning system. In order to be useful, such a system must provide a very high accuracy, so as not to give false alarms, and be parsimonious enough on computational resources to be embedded into low-power, portable systems that can be deployed on the field. To reach this goal, firstly we analyze different state-of-the-art CNNs applied to the concrete crack detection task in order to discover the smallest network in terms of memory storage and number of parameters. Then, we compare the performance, in terms of memory occupancy and accuracy, of the proposed CNN architectures with the smallest network in the investigated literature, LeNet, all trained on two different image datasets, the Concrete Crack Images for Classification dataset and the SDNET2018 dataset, and implemented on the embedded system OpenMV Cam H7 Plus. The proposed CNN architectures perform nicely on this platform, using only a small fraction, between 6% to 26%, of the memory required by LeNet, and always providing better accuracy in all the tested cases and on both the datasets tried, with only a marginal increase in inference time.
A Lightweight CNN-Based Vision System for Concrete Crack Detection on a Low-Power Embedded Microcontroller Platform / Falaschetti, Laura; Beccerica, Mattia; Biagetti, Giorgio; Crippa, Paolo; Alessandrini, Michele; Turchetti, Claudio. - In: PROCEDIA COMPUTER SCIENCE. - ISSN 1877-0509. - ELETTRONICO. - 207:(2022), pp. 3948-3956. (Intervento presentato al convegno 26th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems (KES 2022) tenutosi a Verona, Italy nel 7-9 Settembre 2022) [10.1016/j.procs.2022.09.457].