The INaturalist Species Classification and Detection Dataset

Grant Van Horn, Oisin Mac Aodha, Yang Song, Yin Cui, Chen Sun, Alex Shepard, Hartwig Adam, Pietro Perona, Serge Belongie; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018, pp. 8769-8778


Existing image classification datasets used in computer vision tend to have a uniform distribution of images across object categories. In contrast, the natural world is heavily imbalanced, as some species are more abundant and easier to photograph than others. To encourage further progress in challenging real world conditions we present the iNaturalist species classification and detection dataset, consisting of 859,000 images from over 5,000 different species of plants and animals. It features visually similar species, captured in a wide variety of situations, from all over the world. Images were collected with different camera types, have varying image quality, feature a large class imbalance, and have been verified by multiple citizen scientists. We discuss the collection of the dataset and present extensive baseline experiments using state-of-the-art computer vision classification and detection models. Results show that current non-ensemble based methods achieve only 67% top one classification accuracy, illustrating the difficulty of the dataset. Specifically, we observe poor results for classes with small numbers of training examples suggesting more attention is needed in low-shot learning.

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author = {Van Horn, Grant and Mac Aodha, Oisin and Song, Yang and Cui, Yin and Sun, Chen and Shepard, Alex and Adam, Hartwig and Perona, Pietro and Belongie, Serge},
title = {The INaturalist Species Classification and Detection Dataset},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2018}