Lightweight Convolutional Network with Integrated Attention Mechanism for Missing Bolt Detection in Railways

Mujadded Al Rabbani Alif, Muhammad Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Railway infrastructure safety is a paramount concern, with bolt integrity being a critical component. In the realm of railway maintenance, the detection of missing bolts is a vital task that ensures the stability and safety of tracks. Traditionally, this task has been approached through manual inspections or conventional automated methods, which are often time-consuming, costly, and prone to human error. Addressing these challenges, this paper presents a state-of-the-art solution with the development of a lightweight convolutional neural network (CNN) featuring an integrated attention mechanism. This novel model is engineered to be computationally efficient while maintaining high accuracy, making it particularly suitable for real-time analysis in resource-constrained environments commonly found in railway inspections. The proposed CNN utilises a distinctive architecture that synergises the speed of lightweight networks with the precision of attention-based mechanisms. By integrating an attention mechanism, the network selectively concentrates on regions of interest within the image, effectively enhancing the model’s capability to identify missing bolts with remarkable accuracy. Comprehensive testing showcases a remarkable 96.43% accuracy and an impressive 96 F1-score, substantially outperforming existing deep learning frameworks in the context of missing bolt detection. Key contributions of this research include the model’s innovative attention-integrated approach, which significantly reduces the model complexity without compromising detection performance. Additionally, the model offers scalability and adaptability to various railway settings, proving its efficacy not just in controlled environments but also in diverse real-world scenarios. Extensive experiments, rigorous evaluations, and real-time deployment results collectively underscore the transformative potential of the presented CNN model in advancing the domain of railway safety maintenance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-278
Number of pages25
Issue number2
Early online date10 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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