Design and Development of a Knowledge-Based System for Diagnosing Diseases in Banana Plants

  • M. B. Santosh Kumar
  • V. G. Renumol
  • Kannan Balakrishnan
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 705)


Farmers usually find it difficult to identify and treat various diseases in banana plants (BPs) because it demands a wide spectrum of tacit knowledge. This situation motivated the authors to design and develop a technology-assisted knowledge base (KB) system for farmers, in order to diagnose and treat diseases in BPs. As a preliminary step towards building the KB, a set of images of diseases in BPs were taken from the manual published by Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK). These sets of images were used to collect data from the agricultural experts and experienced farmers about the symptoms and remedies of various diseases in BPs. The data was collected from the participants by conducting semi-structured interview and then analysed to design the KB system. Since the diagnosis of diseases was a subjective process, an inter-rater reliability check was done on the data, using Cohen’s Kappa method. Then using this data, a KB system has been designed and developed as a mobile app named as ‘Ban-Dis’. An initial usability study has been conducted on this prototype among a few farmers, and their feedbacks have been recorded. The study results are promising and warrant further enhancements to the system. The KB system would be more beneficial as indicated by the farmers if the interface was in vernacular language.


Banana plant (BP) diseases Knowledge base (KB) Mobile app Cohen’s Kappa Reliable knowledge 



Authors hereby declare that the study was not concerned with any experiment on human beings, animals, etc. Authors have also obtained consents from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Valmayor, R.V., Umali, B.E., Bejosano, C.P.: Summary of discussion and recommendation of the INIBAP Brisbane Conference. In: Banana Diseases in Asia and the Pacific, pp. 1–4 (1991)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Denham, T., Haberle, S.G., Lentfer, C., Fullagar, R., Field, J., Porch, N., Therin, M., Winsborough B., Golson, J.: Multi-disciplinary evidence for the origins of agriculture from 6950–6440 Cal BP at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of New Guinea. Science (June Issue) (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Amorim, Edson P.: Genetic diversity of carotenoid-rich bananas evaluated by Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT). Genet Mol Biol 32(1), 96–103 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Price, N.S.: The origin and development of banana and plantain cultivation. In: Bananas and Plantains, pp. 1–13. Springer Netherlands (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Robinson, J.C., Saúco, V.G.: Bananas and Plantains, vol. 19. Cabi (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lescot, T.: Genetic diversity of banana. Close-up. FRuiTReP231 (2015)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    VFPCK—Vegetable And Fruit Promotion Council Keralam. N. p., 2017. Web, 21 Sept 2017Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Álvarez, E., et al.: Current status of Moko disease and black sigatoka in Latin America and the Caribbean, and options for managing them (2015)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bourke, R.M., et al.: Food production, consumption and imports. In: Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, pp. 129–192 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bogale, M., et al.: Survey of plant parasitic nematodes and banana weevil on Ensete ventricosum in Ethiopia. Nematologia Mediterranea 32(2) (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rukazambuga, N.D.T.M., Gold, C.S., Gowen, S.R.: Yield loss in East African highland banana (Musa spp., AAA-EA group) caused by the banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar. Crop Prot. 17(7), 581–589 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chowdhury, S.K.: Study on major insect pests and major diseases of banana of Malda, West Bengal, India. Indian J. Appl. Res. 5(8) (2015)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Derwin Suhartono, W.A., Lestari, M., Yasin, M.: Expert system in detecting coffee plant diseases (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kalita, H., Sarma, S.K., Choudhury, R.D.: Expert system for diagnosis of diseases of rice plants: prototype design and implementation. In: International Conference on Automatic Control and Dynamic Optimization Techniques (ICACDOT). IEEE (2016)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kramers, M.A., Conijn, C.G.M., Bastiaansen, C.: EXSYS, an expert system for diagnosing flowerbulb diseases, pests and non-parasitic disorders. Agric. Syst. 58(1), 57–85 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abu-Naser, S.S., Kashkash, K.A., Fayyad, M.: Developing an expert system for plant disease diagnosis. J. Artif. Intell. 3(4), 269–276 (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Prasad, R., Ranjan, K.R., Sinha, A.K.: AMRAPALIKA: an expert system for the diagnosis of pests, diseases, and disorders in Indian mango. Knowl.-Based Syst. 19(1), 9–21 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kerala Agricultural University. Towards Excellence in Agricultural Education. N. p., 2017. Web, 21 Sept 2017Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krishi Vikas Yojana. (2017). Accessed 21 Sept 2017
  21. 21.
    Borborah, K.S., Borthakur, K., Tanti, B.: Musa Balbisiana Colla-Taxonomy, Traditional knowledge and economic potentialities of the plant in Assam, India. (2016)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    O’Donnell, K., et al.: Multiple evolutionary origins of the fungus causing Panama disease of banana: concordant evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial gene genealogies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 95(5), 2044–2049 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Su, H.J., Hwang, S.C., Ko, W.H.: Fusarial wilt of Cavendish bananas in Taiwan. Plant Dis. 70(9), 814–818 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Deltour, P., et al.: Disease suppressiveness to Fusarium wilt of banana in an agroforestry system: influence of soil characteristics and plant community. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 239, 173–181 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Banana Diseases and Their Control. Agropedia. N. p., 2017. Web, 21 Sept 2017Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    McHugh, M.L.: Interrater reliability: the kappa statistic. Biochemia medica 22(3), 276–282 (2012)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Santosh Kumar
    • 1
  • V. G. Renumol
    • 1
  • Kannan Balakrishnan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information Technology, School of EngineeringCochin University of Science and TechnologyCochinIndia
  2. 2.Department of Computer ApplicationsCochin University of Science and TechnologyCochinIndia

Personalised recommendations