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Use of different forms of symmetry and multi-objective optimization for automatic pixel classification in remote-sensing satellite imagery

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In this paper, a new multi-objective (MO) fuzzy-clustering technique is developed for unsupervised land-cover classification in remote-sensing images. This technique automatically partitions the pixels in the spectral domain into several clusters. The new MO clustering algorithm uses the newly developed simulated-annealing-based multi-objective optimization technique (AMOSA) as the underlying optimization strategy. Centre-based cluster encoding is used. Each cluster is divided into several small hyperspherical sub-clusters, and the centres of all these small sub-clusters are encoded in a string to represent the whole cluster. For membership-value computation of points to different clusters, these sub-clusters are considered individually. However, for the purpose of objective-function evaluation, these sub-clusters are merged appropriately to form some variable number of whole clusters. Three objective functions, one reflecting the total compactness of the partitioning based on the Euclidean distance, one reflecting the total point-symmetrical compactness of the obtained partitioning and one reflecting the total line-symmetrical compactness of the obtained partitioning are considered here. These are optimized simultaneously using AMOSA in order to detect the appropriate number of clusters and the appropriate partitioning from remote-sensing image datasets. The point symmetry present in a particular partitioning is measured using a newly developed point-symmetry-based distance, whereas the line symmetry present in a particular partitioning is measured using a newly developed line-symmetry-based distance. Since AMOSA, as well as any other MO optimization technique, provides a set of Pareto-optimal solutions, a new method is also developed to determine a single solution from this set. Different land-cover regions in remote-sensing imagery have been classified using the proposed technique to establish its efficiency. Results are compared with those obtained by fuzzy C-means (FCM) clustering technique and a recently developed symmetry-based automatic clustering technique, the variable string length genetic point symmetry (VGAPS) technique, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative comparisons are also carried out with the segmentation results obtained by the mean-shift-based segmentation technique.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Machine Intelligence Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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