Infoscience

Journal article

Semisupervised segmentation of remote sensing images with active queries.

We propose a semiautomatic procedure to generate land cover maps from remote sensing images. The proposed algorithm starts by building a hierarchical clustering tree, and exploits the most coherent pixels with respect to the available class information. For a given amount of labeled pixels, the algorithm returns both classification and confidence maps. Since the quality of the map depends of the number and informativeness of the labeled pixels, active learning methods are used to select the most informative samples to increase confidence in class membership. Experiments on four different data sets, accounting for hyperspectral and multispectral images at different spatial resolutions, confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach, and how active learning techniques reduce the uncertainty of the classification maps. Specifically, more accurate results with fewer labeled samples are obtained. Inclusion of spatial information in the classifiers drastically improves the classification accuracy, leading to faster convergence curves and tighter confidence intervals. In conclusion, the presented algorithm provides efficient image classification and, at the same time, yields a confidence map that may be very useful in many Earth observation applications.

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