An automatic image processing based on Hough transform algorithm for pavement crack detection and classification

Sandra Matarneh, Faris Elghaish, Amani Al-Ghraibah, Essam Abdellatef, David John Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Incipient detection of pavement deterioration (such as crack identification) is critical to optimizing road maintenance because it enables preventative steps to be implemented to mitigate damage and possible failure. Traditional visual inspection has been largely superseded by semi-automatic/automatic procedures given significant advancements in image processing. Therefore, there is a need to develop automated tools to detect and classify cracks. Design/methodology/approach: The literature review is employed to evaluate existing attempts to use Hough transform algorithm and highlight issues that should be improved. Then, developing a simple low-cost crack detection method based on the Hough transform algorithm for pavement crack detection and classification. Findings: Analysis results reveal that model accuracy reaches 92.14% for vertical cracks, 93.03% for diagonal cracks and 95.61% for horizontal cracks. The time lapse for detecting the crack type for one image is circa 0.98 s for vertical cracks, 0.79 s for horizontal cracks and 0.83 s for diagonal cracks. Ensuing discourse serves to illustrate the inherent potential of a simple low-cost image processing method in automated pavement crack detection. Moreover, this method provides direct guidance for long-term pavement optimal maintenance decisions. Research limitations/implications: The outcome of this research can help highway agencies to detect and classify cracks accurately for a very long highway without a need for manual inspection, which can significantly minimize cost. Originality/value: Hough transform algorithm was tested in terms of detect and classify a large dataset of highway images, and the accuracy reaches 92.14%, which can be considered as a very accurate percentage regarding automated cracks and distresses classification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Crack detection
  • Hough transform algorithm
  • Image processing
  • Pavement crack detection
  • Road maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Cultural Studies
  • Architecture
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Urban Studies


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