Artificial neural network (ANN) modelling to estimate bubble size from macroscopic image and object features
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Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
Imperial College London
Publication date: 2024-03-07
Corresponding author
Luis Vinnett   

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(5):185759
Bubble size measurements in aerated systems such as froth flotation cells are critical for controlling gas dispersion. Commonly, bubbles are measured by obtaining representative photographs, which are then analyzed using segmentation and identification software tools. Recent developments have focused on enhancing these segmentation tools. However, the main challenges around complex bubble cluster segmentation remain unresolved, while the tools to tackle these challenges have become increasingly complex and computationally expensive. In this work, we propose an alternative solution, circumventing the need for image segmentation and bubble identification. An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was trained to estimate the Sauter mean bubble size (D32) based on macroscopic image features obtained with simple and inexpensive image analysis. The results showed excellent prediction accuracy, with a correlation coefficient, R, over 0.998 in the testing stage, and without bias in its error distribution. This machine learning tool paves the way for robust and fast estimation of bubble size under complex bubble images, without the need of image segmentation.
Special Issue of PPMP Journal in honour of Professor Juan Yianatos
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