Probabilistic ship detection and classification using deep learning

Kwanghyun Kim, Sungjun Hong, Baehoon Choi, Euntai Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


For an autonomous ship to navigate safely and avoid collisions with other ships, reliably detecting and classifying nearby ships under various maritime meteorological environments is essential. In this paper, a novel probabilistic ship detection and classification system based on deep learning is proposed. The proposed method aims to detect and classify nearby ships from a sequence of images. The method considers the confidence of a deep learning detector as a probability; the probabilities from the consecutive images are combined over time by Bayesian fusion. The proposed ship detection system involves three steps. In the first step, ships are detected in each image using Faster region-based convolutional neural network (Faster R-CNN). In the second step, the detected ships are gathered over time and the missed ships are recovered using the Intersection over Union of the bounding boxes between consecutive frames. In the third step, the probabilities from the Faster R-CNN are combined over time and the classes of the ships are determined by Bayesian fusion. To train and evaluate the proposed system, we collected thousands of ship images from Google image search and created our own ship dataset. The proposed method was tested with the collected videos and the mean average precision increased by 89.38 to 93.92% in experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number936
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology under Grant NRF-2016R1A2A2A05005301.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Probabilistic ship detection and classification using deep learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this