Domain Adaptation in remote sensing: increasing the portability of land-cover classifiers


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Domain Adaptation in remote sensing: increasing the portability of land-cover classifiers
Matasci G.
Kanevski M.
Tuia D.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement
Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement Université de Lausanne CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
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Among the types of remote sensing acquisitions, optical images are certainly one of the most widely relied upon data sources for Earth observation. They provide detailed measurements of the electromagnetic radiation reflected or emitted by each pixel in the scene. Through a process termed supervised land-cover classification, this allows to automatically yet accurately distinguish objects at the surface of our planet. In this respect, when producing a land-cover map of the surveyed area, the availability of training examples representative of each thematic class is crucial for the success of the classification procedure. However, in real applications, due to several constraints on the sample collection process, labeled pixels are usually scarce. When analyzing an image for which those key samples are unavailable, a viable solution consists in resorting to the ground truth data of other previously acquired images. This option is attractive but several factors such as atmospheric, ground and acquisition conditions can cause radiometric differences between the images, hindering therefore the transfer of knowledge from one image to another.
The goal of this Thesis is to supply remote sensing image analysts with suitable processing techniques to ensure a robust portability of the classification models across different images. The ultimate purpose is to map the land-cover classes over large spatial and temporal extents with minimal ground information. To overcome, or simply quantify, the observed shifts in the statistical distribution of the spectra of the materials, we study four approaches issued from the field of machine learning.
First, we propose a strategy to intelligently sample the image of interest to collect the labels only in correspondence of the most useful pixels. This iterative routine is based on a constant evaluation of the pertinence to the new image of the initial training data actually belonging to a different image.
Second, an approach to reduce the radiometric differences among the images by projecting the respective pixels in a common new data space is presented. We analyze a kernel-based feature extraction framework suited for such problems, showing that, after this relative normalization, the cross-image generalization abilities of a classifier are highly increased. Third, we test a new data-driven measure of distance between probability distributions to assess the distortions caused by differences in the acquisition geometry affecting series of multi-angle images. Also, we gauge the portability of classification models through the sequences. In both exercises, the efficacy of classic physically- and statistically-based normalization methods is discussed.
Finally, we explore a new family of approaches based on sparse representations of the samples to reciprocally convert the data space of two images. The projection function bridging the images allows a synthesis of new pixels with more similar characteristics ultimately facilitating the land-cover mapping across images.
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07/10/2014 15:10
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20/08/2019 15:59
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