Artificial Neural Networks as a Method of Spatial Interpolation for Digital Elevation Models
Authors: Merwin, David A.; Cromley, Robert G.; Civco, Daniel L.
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Volume 29, Number 2, April 2002 , pp. 99-110(12)
Abstract:This paper examines the performance of artificial neural networks (ANNs) as a method of spatial interpolation, when presented with irregular and regular samples of elevation data. The results of the ANN interpolation are compared with results obtained by kriging. Tests of spatial bias in the systematic errors contained in each of the neural network-derived DEMs were conducted using four attributes: slope, aspect, average direction and average distance from the nearest sampled value. Based on RMS and other evaluation measures, the accuracy of estimated DEMs from regular and irregular sample distributions using neural networks is lower than the accuracy level derived from kriging. The accuracy level of the ANN interpolators also decreases as the range of elevation values in DEMs increases. As reported in the literature, ANNs are approximate interpolators, and the pattern of under-prediction and over-prediction of elevation values in this study revealed that all estimated values fell within the range of sample elevations. Neural networks cannot predict values outside the range of elevation values contained in the sample, a property shared by other interpolators such as inverse weighted distance.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2002-04-01
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