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Bayesian optimization for seed germination

Nikitin, Artyom, Fastovets, Ilia, Shadrin, Dmitrii, Pukalchik, Mariia, Oseledets, Ivan
Plant methods 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 43
Bayesian theory, algorithms, artificial intelligence, environmental factors, humidity, precision agriculture, seed germination, seeds, temperature, water supply
BACKGROUND: Efficient seed germination is a crucial task at the beginning of crop cultivation. Although boundaries of environmental parameters that should be maintained are well studied, fine-tuning can significantly improve the efficiency, which is infeasible to be done manually due to the high dimensionality of the parameter space. RESULTS: Traditionally seed germination is performed in climatic chambers with controlled environmental conditions. In this study, we perform a set of multiple-day seed germination experiments in the controllable environment. We use up to three climatic chambers to adjust humidity, temperature, water supply and apply machine learning algorithm called Bayesian optimization (BO) to find the parameters that improve seed germination. Experimental results show that our approach allows to increase the germination efficiency for different types of seeds compared to the initial expert knowledge-based guess. CONCLUSION: Our experiments demonstrated that BO could help to identify the values of the controllable parameters that increase seed germination efficiency. The proposed methodology is model-free, and we argue that it may be useful for a variety of optimization problems in precision agriculture. Further experimental studies are required to investigate the effectiveness of our approach for different seed cultures and controlled parameters.