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Automatic landslide detection from remote-sensing imagery using a scene classification method based on BoVW and pLSA

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Landslide detection from extensive remote-sensing imagery is an important preliminary work for landslide mapping, landslide inventories, and landslide hazard assessment. Aimed at development of an automatic procedure for landslide detection, a new method for automatic landslide detection from remote-sensing imagery is presented in this study. We achieved this objective using a scene classification method based on the bag-of-visual-words (BoVW) representation in combination with the unsupervised probabilistic latent semantic analysis (pLSA) model and the k-nearest neighbour (k-NN) classifier. Given a remote-sensing image, we divided it into equal-sized square sub-images and then described each sub-image as a BoVW representation. The pLSA model was applied to sub-images by using the BoVW representation to discover the object classes depicted in the sub-images, and then a k-NN classifier was used to classify the sub-images into landslide areas and non-landslide areas based on object distribution. We investigated the performance and applicability of the method using remote-sensing imagery from the Ili area. The results show that the method is robust and can produce good performance without the acquisition of three-dimensional (3D) topography. We anticipate that these results will be helpful in landslide inventory mapping and landslide hazard assessment in landslide-stricken areas.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Control and Information, School of Automation,Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an,710072, PR China

Publication date: January 10, 2013

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