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Spectral–spatial based sub-pixel mapping of remotely sensed imagery with multi-scale spatial dependence

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Sub-pixel mapping (SPM) is a technique used to obtain a land-cover map with a finer spatial resolution than input remotely sensed imagery. Spectral–spatial based SPM can directly apply original remote-sensing images as input to produce fine-resolution land-cover maps. However, the existing spectral–spatial based SPM algorithms only use the maximal spatial dependence principle (calculated at the sub-pixel scale) as the spatial term to describe the local spatial distribution of different land-cover features, which always results in an over-smoothed and discontinuous land-cover map. The spatial dependence can also be calculated at the coarse-pixel scale to maintain the holistic land-cover pattern information of the resultant fine-resolution land-cover map. In this article, a novel spectral–spatial based SPM algorithm with multi-scale spatial dependence is proposed to overcome the limitation in the existing spectral–spatial based SPM algorithms. The objective function of the proposed SPM algorithm is composed of three parts, namely spectral term, sub-pixel scale based spatial term, and coarse-pixel scale based spatial term. Synthetic multi-spectral, degraded Landsat multi-spectral and real IKONOS multi-spectral images are employed in the experiments to validate the performance of the proposed SPM algorithm. The proposed algorithm is evaluated visually and quantitatively by comparing with the hard-classification method and two traditional SRM algorithms including pixel-swapping (PS) and Markov-random-field (MRF) based SPM. The results indicate that the proposed algorithm can generate fine-resolution land-cover maps with higher accuracies and more detailed spatial information than other algorithms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Key Laboratory of Monitoring and Estimate for Environment and Disaster of Hubei Province, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430077, PR China

Publication date: June 3, 2015

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