Multi-temporal and multi-source remote sensing image classification by nonlinear relative normalization

Published on
October 11, 2017

A paper of Devis Tuia, Diego Marcos, Gustau Camps-Valls: Multi-temporal and multi-source remote sensing image classification by nonlinear relative normalization, has been selected as featured article of the Journal of the ISPRS" for October 2016.

Remote sensing image classification exploiting multiple sensors is a very challenging problem: data from different modalities are affected by spectral distortions and mis-alignments of all kinds, and this hampers re-using models built for one image to be used successfully in other scenes. In order to adapt and transfer models across image acquisitions, one must be able to cope with datasets that are not co-registered, acquired under different illumination and atmospheric conditions, by different sensors, and with scarce ground references. Traditionally, methods based on histogram matching have been used. However, they fail when densities have very different shapes or when there is no corresponding band to be matched between the images. An alternative builds upon manifold alignment. Manifold alignment performs a multidimensional relative normalization of the data prior to product generation that can cope with data of different dimensionality (e.g. different number of bands) and possibly unpaired examples. Aligning data distributions is an appealing strategy, since it allows to provide data spaces that are more similar to each other, regardless of the subsequent use of the transformed data. In this paper, we study a methodology that aligns data from different domains in a nonlinear way through kernelization. We introduce the Kernel Manifold Alignment (KEMA) method, which provides a flexible and discriminative projection map, exploits only a few labeled samples (or semantic ties) in each domain, and reduces to solving a generalized eigenvalue problem. We successfully test KEMA in multi-temporal and multi-source very high resolution classification tasks, as well as on the task of making a model invariant to shadowing for hyperspectral imaging.

Keywords: Feature extraction; Manifold learning; Domain adaptation; Graph-based methods; Hyperspectral imaging; Very high resolution; Classification; Kernel methods