Ichthyoplankton Classification Tool using Generative Adversarial Networks and Transfer Learning

  • Nura Aljaafari

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The study and the analysis of marine ecosystems is a significant part of the marine science research. These systems are valuable resources for fisheries, improving water quality and can even be used in drugs production. The investigation of ichthyoplankton inhabiting these ecosystems is also an important research field. Ichthyoplankton are fish in their early stages of life. In this stage, the fish have relatively similar shape and are small in size. The currently used way of identifying them is not optimal. Marine scientists typically study such organisms by sending a team that collects samples from the sea which is then taken to the lab for further investigation. These samples need to be studied by an expert and usually end needing a DNA sequencing. This method is time-consuming and requires a high level of experience. The recent advances in AI have helped to solve and automate several difficult tasks which motivated us to develop a classification tool for ichthyoplankton. We show that using machine learning techniques, such as generative adversarial networks combined with transfer learning solves such a problem with high accuracy. We show that using traditional machine learning algorithms fails to solve it. We also give a general framework for creating a classification tool when the dataset used for training is a limited dataset. We aim to build a user-friendly tool that can be used by any user for the classification task and we aim to give a guide to the researchers so that they can follow in creating a classification tool.
Date of AwardApr 15 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorPanos Kalnis (Supervisor)


  • Deep learning
  • transfer learning
  • ichthyoplankton
  • semi-supervised learning
  • marine
  • Generative adversarial Networks

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