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Plant pest and disease diagnosis using electronic nose and support vector machine approach

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date12/2012
JournalJournal of Plant Diseases and Protection
Number of pages8
Original languageEnglish


In this paper, we evaluate the use of an electronic nose (EN) containing 13 conducting polymer gas sensors to discriminate between patterns of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants. The VOC patterns examined were produced by tomato, cucumber and pepper plants under both healthy and infected or infested conditions. Leaves from the plants were subjected to mechanical damage or pest and disease attacks (i.e. spider mites infested or mildew infected) and others were judged against undamaged healthy leaves. Support vector machines (SVMs) with linear, polynomial and Gaussian radial basis function (RBF) kernels were used to process and classify the raw data collected. The SVM illustrated an ability to discriminate between different VOC patterns and hence was able to classify correctly the infected leaves using the EN data. The results indicate that the array of 13 EN gas sensors can discriminate among VOC patterns from undamaged and artificially damaged leaves of the three plant species. This study demonstrates the potential application of such an EN technology coupled with suitable pattern recognition and signal processing methods to be used as a real time pest and disease detection system in the greenhouse environment.