On estimating air pollution from photos using convolutional neural network
Air pollution has raised people's intensive concerns especially in developing countries such as China and India. Difioerent from using expensive or unreliable methods like sensor-based or social network based one, photo based air pollution estimation is a promising direction, while little work has been done up to now. Focusing on this immediate problem, this paper devises an effective convolutional neural network to estimate air's quality based on photos. Our method is comprised of two ingredients: first a negative log-log ordinal classifier is devised in the last layer of the network, which can improve the ordinal discriminative ability of the model. Second, as a variant of the Rectifiued Linear Units (ReLU), a modified activation function is developed for photo based air pollution estimation. This function has been shown it can alleviate the vanishing gradient issue effectively. We collect a set of outdoor photos and associate the pollution levels from offcial agency as the ground truth. Empirical experiments are conducted on this real-world dataset which shows the capability of our method.