The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B2-2020
12 Aug 2020
 | 12 Aug 2020


Y. Yang, D. Zhu, F. Ren, and C. Cheng

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Scene Classification, Self-taught Learning, Spatial Pyramid Matching, High Resolution Imagery

Abstract. Remote sensing earth observation images have a wide range of applications in areas like urban planning, agriculture, environment monitoring, etc. While the industrial world benefits from availability of high resolution earth observation images since recent years, interpreting such images has become more challenging than ever. Among many machine learning based methods that have worked out successfully in remote sensing scene classification, spatial pyramid matching using sparse coding (ScSPM) is a classical model that has achieved promising classification accuracy on many benchmark data sets. ScSPM is a three-stage algorithm, composed of dictionary learning, sparse representation and classification. It is generally believed that in the dictionary learning stage, although unsupervised, one should use the same data set as classification stage to get good results. However, recent studies in transfer learning suggest that it might be a better strategy to train the dictionary on a larger data set different from the one to classify.

In our work, we propose an algorithm that combines ScSPM with self-taught learning, a transfer learning framework that trains a dictionary on an unlabeled data set and uses it for multiple classification tasks. In the experiments, we learn the dictionary on Caltech-101 data set, and classify two remote sensing scene image data sets: UC Merced LandUse data set and Changping data set. Experimental results show that the classification accuracy of proposed method is compatible to that of ScSPM. Our work thus provides a new way to reduce resource cost in learning a remote sensing scene image classifier.