Preliminary Classification of Selected Farmland Habitats in Ireland Using Deep Neural Networks

Lizy Abraham, Steven Davy, Muhammad Zawish, Rahul Mhapsekar, John A. Finn, Patrick Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ireland has a wide variety of farmlands that includes arable fields, grassland, hedgerows, streams, lakes, rivers, and native woodlands. Traditional methods of habitat identification rely on field surveys, which are resource intensive, therefore there is a strong need for digital methods to improve the speed and efficiency of identification and differentiation of farmland habitats. This is challenging because of the large number of subcategories having nearly indistinguishable features within the habitat classes. Heterogeneity among sites within the same habitat class is another problem. Therefore, this research work presents a preliminary technique for accurate farmland classification using stacked ensemble deep convolutional neural networks (DNNs). The proposed approach has been validated on a high-resolution dataset collected using drones. The image samples were manually labelled by the experts in the area before providing them to the DNNs for training purposes. Three pre-trained DNNs customized using the transfer learning approach are used as the base learners. The predicted features derived from the base learners were then used to train a DNN based meta-learner to achieve high classification rates. We analyse the obtained results in terms of convergence rate, confusion matrices, and ROC curves. This is a preliminary work and further research is needed to establish a standard technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2190
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022


  • Base-learner
  • Drone images
  • Farmland habitat
  • Habitat classification
  • Meta-learner
  • Stacked ensemble model
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Farms
  • Ecosystem
  • Ireland
  • ROC Curve


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