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ACCURACY ASSESSMENT

Chapter 14

 Definition and Significance


 Accuracy: Measures the agreement between a standard assumed to be correct and a classified image
of unknown quality
 Precision: A measure of the sharpness or certainty of a measurement
 High accuracy means that bias is low; high precision means that the variability of estimates is low
 The usefulness of a map is related not only to its correctness but also to the precision with which the
user can make statements about specific points depicted on the map
 Accuracy affects the legal standing of maps, the operational usefulness of data and the validity of
research
 Sources of Classification Error
 In manual interpretations, errors are caused by the misidentification of parcels, excessive
generalization, errors in registration, variations in detail of interpretation, and other factors
 The simplest causes of error are related to the misassignment of informational categories to spectral
categories
 A simple landscape composed of large, uniform, distinct categories is easier to classify than one with
small, heterogeneous, indistinct parcels arranged in a complex pattern
 Key landscape variables: Parcel size, Variation in parcel size, Parcel identities, Number of categories,
Arrangement of categories, Number of parcels per category, Shapes of parcel and Radiometric &
spectral contrast with surrounding parcels
 Error Characteristics
 Classification error: The assignment of a pixel belonging to one category to another
 3 Common Error Characteristics
 1) Errors are not distributed at random, but display a degree of systematic, ordered occurrence in
space
 2) Often erroneously assigned pixels are not spatially isolated but occur grouped in areas of varied
size and shape
 3) Errors may have specific spatial relationships to the parcels to which they pertain
 Error Matrix
 The standard form for site-specific error is the error matrix, sometimes known as the confusion
matrix because it identifies not only overall errors for each category but also misclassifications by
category
 To construct the error matrix, the analyst must compare 2 sources of data – the reference samples
and the classified image – on a point-by-point basis to determine exactly how each of the validation
samples is represented in the classification
 The validation data and the image should be acquired as close in time as possible
 Error of omission: Pixel 1 on the ground is assigned to Non-Pixel 1 on the map (The loss of a pixel)
 Error of commission: Non-pixel 1 on the ground is assigned to Pixel 1 on the map (The gain of a wrong
pixel)
 User’s accuracy: From the perspective of the user, how accurate is the map? Corresponds to error of
commission
 Producer’s accuracy: From the perspective of the mapmaker, how accurate is the map? Corresponds
to error of omission