FIBER QUALITY PREDICTION USING NIR SPECTRAL DATA: TREE-BASED ENSEMBLE LEARNING VS DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS
The growing applications of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in wood quality control and monitoring necessitates focusing on data-driven methods to develop predictive models. Despite the advancements in analyzing NIR spectral data, literature on wood science and engineering has mainly uti- lizedthe classic model development methods, such as principal component analysis (PCA) regression or partial least squares (PLS) regression, with relatively limited studies conducted on evaluating machine learning (ML) models, and speciﬁcally, artiﬁcial neural networks (ANNs). This couldpotentially limit the performance of predictive models, speciﬁcally for some wood properties, such as tracheid width that are both time-consuming tomeasure and challenging to predict using spectral data. This study aims to enhance the prediction accuracy for tracheid width using deep neural networks and tree-based ensemble learning algorithms on a dataset consisting of 2018 samples and 692 features (NIR spectra wavelengths). Accord- ingly, NIR spectra were fed into multilayer perceptron (MLP), 1 dimensional-convolutional neural net- works (1D-CNNs), random forest, TreeNet gradient-boosting, extreme gradient-boosting (XGBoost), and light gradient-boosting machine (LGBM). It was of interest to study the performance of the models with and without applying PCA to assess how effective they would perform when analyzing NIR spectra with- out employing dimensionality reduction on data. It was shown that gradient-boosting machines outper- formed the ANNs regardless of the number of features (data dimension). Allthe models performed better without PCA. It is concluded that tree-based gradient-boosting machines could be effectively used for wood characterization utilizing a medium-sized NIR spectral dataset.
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