Segmentation Framework for Heat Loss Identification in Thermal Images: Empowering Scottish Retrofitting and Thermographic Survey Companies

7 Aug 2023  ·  Md Junayed Hasan, Eyad Elyan, Yijun Yan, Jinchang Ren, Md Mostafa Kamal Sarker ·

Retrofitting and thermographic survey (TS) companies in Scotland collaborate with social housing providers to tackle fuel poverty. They employ ground-level infrared (IR) camera-based-TSs (GIRTSs) for collecting thermal images to identi-fy the heat loss sources resulting from poor insulation. However, this identifica-tion process is labor-intensive and time-consuming, necessitating extensive data processing. To automate this, an AI-driven approach is necessary. Therefore, this study proposes a deep learning (DL)-based segmentation framework using the Mask Region Proposal Convolutional Neural Network (Mask RCNN) to validate its applicability to these thermal images. The objective of the framework is to au-tomatically identify, and crop heat loss sources caused by weak insulation, while also eliminating obstructive objects present in those images. By doing so, it min-imizes labor-intensive tasks and provides an automated, consistent, and reliable solution. To validate the proposed framework, approximately 2500 thermal imag-es were collected in collaboration with industrial TS partner. Then, 1800 repre-sentative images were carefully selected with the assistance of experts and anno-tated to highlight the target objects (TO) to form the final dataset. Subsequently, a transfer learning strategy was employed to train the dataset, progressively aug-menting the training data volume and fine-tuning the pre-trained baseline Mask RCNN. As a result, the final fine-tuned model achieved a mean average precision (mAP) score of 77.2% for segmenting the TO, demonstrating the significant po-tential of proposed framework in accurately quantifying energy loss in Scottish homes.

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