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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Timely and accurate extraction of pavement crack information is crucial to maintain service conditions and structural safety for infrastructures and reduce further road maintenance costs. Currently, deep learning techniques for automated pavement crack detection are far superior to traditional manual approaches in both speed and accuracy. However, existing deep learning models may easily lose crack details when processing images containing complex background textures or other noises. Although many studies have alleviated this challenge by introducing attention mechanisms, especially the non-local (NL) block, which has the ability to efficiently capture long-range dependencies to facilitate crack pixel capture, the huge computational cost of NL makes the inference time of the model too long, which is not conducive to practical implementation. In this study, a new module, namely, the pyramid region attention module (PRAM), was developed by combining the pyramid pooling module in the pyramid scene parsing network and optimized NL, which can achieve global multi-scale context integration and long-range dependencies capture at a relatively lower computational cost. By applying PRAM to deep skip connections in the modified U-Net, an effective crack segmentation model called CrackResU-Net was developed. The test results on the existing CrackForest dataset showed that CrackResU-Net not only achieved an F1 score of 0.9580 but also took only 25.89 ms to process an image with a resolution of 480 × 320, which had advantages in accuracy and speed, compared with several other state-of-the-art crack segmentation approaches. It was fully demonstrated that this approach could realize automatic fast and high-precision recognition of pavement cracks for engineering purposes.

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© 2023 The Authors. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Editor. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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