Egyptian cotton is one of the most important commodities to the Egyptian economy and is renowned globally for its quality, which is currently graded by manual inspection. This has several drawbacks including significant labour requirement, low inspection efficiency, and influence from inspection conditions such as light and human subjectivity. This current work uses a low-cost colour vision system, combined with machine learning to predict the cotton lint grade of the cultivars Giza 86, 97, 90, 94 and 96. Unsupervised and supervised machine learning approaches were explored and compared. Three different supervised learning algorithms were evaluated: linear discriminant analysis, decision trees and ensemble modelling. The highest accuracy models (77.3-98.2%) used an ensemble modelling technique to classify samples within the Egyptian cotton grades: Fully Good, Good, Fully Good Fair, Good Fair and Fully Fair. The unsupervised learning technique k-means showed that human error is more likely to occur when classifying lint belonging to the higher quality grades and underlined the need for an intelligent system to replace manual inspection.
Digital Manufacturing; Sensors; Machine Learning; Industry 4.0; Optical; Cotton Lint; Industrial Digital Technologies
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