Using Artificial Neural Network Models to Assess Hurricane Damage through Transfer Learning

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zhangping Wei (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
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Abstract: Coastal hazard events such as hurricanes pose a significant threat to coastal communities. Disaster relief is essential to mitigating damage from these catastrophes; therefore, accurate and efficient damage assessment is key to evaluating the extent of damage inflicted on coastal cities and structures. Historically, this process has been carried out by human task forces that manually take post-disaster images and identify the damaged areas. While this method has been well established, current digital tools used for computer vision tasks such as artificial intelligence and machine learning put forth a more efficient and reliable method for assessing post-disaster damage. Using transfer learning on three advanced neural networks, ResNet, MobileNet, and EfficientNet, we applied techniques for damage classification and damaged object detection to our post-hurricane image dataset comprised of damaged buildings from the coastal region of the southeastern United States. Our dataset included 1000 images for the classification model with a binary classification structure containing classes of floods and non-floods and 800 images for the object detection model with four damaged object classes damaged roof, damaged wall, flood damage, and structural damage. Our damage classification model achieved 76% overall accuracy for ResNet and 87% overall accuracy for MobileNet. The F1 score for MobileNet was also 9% higher than the F1 score of ResNet at 0.88. Our damaged object detection model achieved predominant predictions of the four damaged object classes, with MobileNet attaining the highest overall confidence score of 97.58% in its predictions. The object detection results highlight the model’s ability to successfully identify damaged areas of buildings and structures from images in a time span of seconds, which is necessary for more efficient damage assessment. Thus, we show that this level of accuracy for our damage assessment using artificial intelligence is akin to the accuracy of manual damage assessments while also completing the assessment in a drastically shorter time span.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
hurricane, building damage, damage classification, damage detection, artificial intelligence, transfer learning

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