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SAM-based instance segmentation models for the automation of structural damage detection

Zehao YeLucy LovellAsaad FaramarziJelena Ninic
Jan 2024
Automating visual inspection for capturing defects based on civil structures appearance is crucial due to its currently labour-intensive and time-consuming nature. An important aspect of automated inspection is image acquisition, which is rapid and cost-effective considering the pervasive developments in both software and hardware computing in recent years. Previous studies largely focused on concrete and asphalt, with less attention to masonry cracks. The latter also lacks publicly available datasets. In this paper, we first present a corresponding data set for instance segmentation with 1,300 annotated images (640 pixels x 640 pixels), named as MCrack1300, covering bricks, broken bricks, and cracks. We then test several leading algorithms for benchmarking, including the latest large-scale model, the prompt-based Segment Anything Model (SAM). We fine-tune the encoder using Low-Rank Adaptation (LoRA) and proposed two novel methods for automation of SAM execution. The first method involves abandoning the prompt encoder and connecting the SAM encoder to other decoders, while the second method introduces a learnable self-generating prompter. In order to ensure the seamless integration of the two proposed methods with SAM encoder section, we redesign the feature extractor. Both proposed methods exceed state-of-the-art performance, surpassing the best benchmark by approximately 3% for all classes and around 6% for cracks specifically. Based on successful detection, we propose a method based on a monocular camera and the Hough Line Transform to automatically transform images into orthographic projection maps. By incorporating known real sizes of brick units, we accurately estimate crack dimensions, with the results differing by less than 10% from those obtained by laser scanning. Overall, we address important research gaps in automated masonry crack detection and size estimation.
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