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Satellite image classification using granular neural networks

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The increased synergy between neural networks (NN) and fuzzy sets has led to the introduction of granular neural networks (GNNs) that operate on granules of information, rather than information itself. The fact that processing is done on a conceptual rather than on a numerical level, combined with the representation of granules using linguistic terms, results in increased interpretability. This is the actual benefit, and not increased accuracy, gained by GNNs. The constraints used to implement the GNN are such that accuracy degradation should not be surprising. Having said that, it is well known that simple structured NNs tend to be less prone to over‐fitting the training data set, maintaining the ability to generalize and more accurately classify previously unseen data. Standard NNs are frequently found to be accurate but difficult to explain, hence they are often associated with the black box syndrome. Because in GNNs the operation is carried out at a conceptual level, the components have unambiguous meaning, revealing how classification decisions are formed. In this paper, the interpretability of GNNs is exploited using a satellite image classification problem. We examine how land use classification using both spectral and non‐spectral information is expressed in GNN terms. One further contribution of this paper is the use of specific symbolization of the network components to easily establish causality relationships.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: EC Joint Research Centre, IPSC, MARS‐FOOD, 21020 (VA), Italy 2: Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, Pedion Areos 38334, Greece

Publication date: September 20, 2006

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