The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-1/W1
31 May 2017
 | 31 May 2017


J. Mu, S. Cui, and P. Reinartz

Keywords: Building detection, variational inference, logistic regression, Bag-of-Words (BoW), conditional random fields, aerial images, classification

Abstract. In this paper a method for building detection in aerial images based on variational inference of logistic regression is proposed. It consists of three steps. In order to characterize the appearances of buildings in aerial images, an effective bag-of-Words (BoW) method is applied for feature extraction in the first step. In the second step, a classifier of logistic regression is learned using these local features. The logistic regression can be trained using different methods. In this paper we adopt a fully Bayesian treatment for learning the classifier, which has a number of obvious advantages over other learning methods. Due to the presence of hyper prior in the probabilistic model of logistic regression, approximate inference methods have to be applied for prediction. In order to speed up the inference, a variational inference method based on mean field instead of stochastic approximation such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo is applied. After the prediction, a probabilistic map is obtained. In the third step, a fully connected conditional random field model is formulated and the probabilistic map is used as the data term in the model. A mean field inference is utilized in order to obtain a binary building mask. A benchmark data set consisting of aerial images and digital surfaced model (DSM) released by ISPRS for 2D semantic labeling is used for performance evaluation. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.