Background: Copepods are planktonic organisms that play a major role in the marine food chain. Studying the community structure and abundance of copepods in relation to the environment is essential to evaluate their contribution to... more
Background: Copepods are planktonic organisms that play a major role in the marine food chain. Studying the community structure and abundance of copepods in relation to the environment is essential to evaluate their contribution to mangrove trophodynamics and coastal fisheries. The routine identification of copepods can be very technical, requiring taxonomic expertise, experience and much effort which can be very time-consuming. Hence, there is an urgent need to introduce novel methods and approaches to automate identification and classification of copepod specimens. This study aims to apply digital image processing and machine learning methods to build an automated identification and classification technique. Results: We developed an automated technique to extract morphological features of copepods' specimen from captured images using digital image processing techniques. An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was used to classify the copepod specimens from species Acartia spinicauda, Bestiolina similis, Oithona aruensis, Oithona dissimilis, Oithona simplex, Parvocalanus crassirostris, Tortanus barbatus and Tortanus forcipatus based on the extracted features. 60% of the dataset was used for a two-layer feed-forward network training and the remaining 40% was used as testing dataset for system evaluation. Our approach demonstrated an overall classification accuracy of 93.13% (100% for A. spinicauda, B. similis and O. aruensis, 95% for T. barbatus, 90% for O. dissimilis and P. crassirostris, 85% for O. similis and T. forcipatus).