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The language of root architecture

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RSML Thesaurus

RSML allows any property or function to be defined. However, the RSML thesaurus provides a list of standardized property and function which are recommended for use. Also, those terms should be avoided if the function or property meaning is not as described here.

This thesaurus is not static and new entries can be added by the RSML format autors and the members of the RootSystemML organization through the indicated open-source protocol. However, the thesaurus content needs not be implemented by all RSML software.

The thesaurus entries follows the format:

name: (scales it applies to)

Description (property/function type)

Property thesaurus:
species: (scene,plant)

Indicate the plant species in the image. Prefer latin names. (type: string)

genotype: (scene,plant)

Indicate the plant genotype in the image. (type: string)

medium: (scene)

Indicate the growing medium used for the plant present in the image. (type: string)

treatment: (scene)

Indicate wether a specific treatment was applied to the plants. (type: string)

age_of_plant: (scene, plant)

Age of the plant, in days. (type: integer)

complete: (root)

Indicates if the root axes has been fully traced (type: string)

branch-list: (root)

Indicates which sub-axes have been traced (type: string)

category: (root)

Gives a sub category of the selected plant ontology (type: string)

branch-count: (root)

Independent count of the number of branches (type: integer)

parent-node: (root)

This property allows to connect the root axes to the parent axes. More precisely, it indicates which node of the parent axe is actually the first node of this axe. (type: integer)

parent-position: (root)

Indicates at which position on the parent axe this axe starts. This preperty is to indicates a measured branching position along the parent root. It does not connect the axes. (type: real)

user-confidence: (scene, plant and root)

Indicates the confidence on the measured axe polyline given by user (type: string)

software-confidence: (scene, plant or root)

Indicates the confidence on the measured axe polyline given by (automated) software (type: real)

Function thesaurus:

This gives the recorded diameter at each node of the root polyline in pixel. (type: real)


confidence in the root node position of the polyline (type: real)


confidence in the root property xxxx (type: real)

Adding new entry to the Thesaurus

The thesaurus reference text is this page. In order to add an entry, two methods are to be followed depending on RSML authorship and membership.

For the authors and RootSystemML members, a dedicated wiki page has been set to discuss possible addition.

For the others:

  1. Fork the RSML website source
  2. Make the requested addition in format/
  3. Do a pull request to merge the fork site describing its use and scope

Or you can contact one of the RootSystemML members that you know to have him/her do the addition.

In both cases:

Back to RSML file format