Data augmentation in deep learning-based obstacle detection system for autonomous navigation on aquatic surfaces
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© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Deep learning-based frameworks have been widely used in object recognition, perception and autonomous navigation tasks, showing outstanding feature extraction capabilities. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of such detectors usually depends on large amounts of training data. For specific object-recognition tasks, it is often difficult and time-consuming to gather enough valuable data . Data Augmentation has been broadly adopted to overcome these difficulties, as it allows to increase the training data and introduce variation in qualitative elements like color, illumination, distortion and orientation. In this paper, we leverage on the object detection framework YOLOv2  to evaluate the behavior of an obstacle detection system for an autonomous boat designed for the International RoboBoat Competition. We are focused on how the overall performance of a model changes with different augmentation techniques. Thus, we analyze the features that the network learns by using geometric and pixel-wise transformations to augment our data. Our instances of interest are buoys and sea markers, thus to generate training data comprising these classes, we simulated the aquatic surface of the boat and collected data from the COCO dataset . Finally, we discuss that significant generalization is achieved in the learning process of our experiments using different augmentation techniques.