Lecture 5 Image Classification

 Objective is to automatically categorized all pixels in an image into land cover classes;  Classification normally performed with multispectral data;  Different features have different combination of DNs based on their spectral reflectance or emittance properties;  The DNs are used as a numerical basis for classification;  Pattern is discerned from the set of radiance measurement obtained in the various wavelength bands;
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Digital image classification uses the spectral information represented by the digital numbers in one or more spectral bands (A), and attempts to classify each individual pixel based on this spectral information (B).
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Identification of Patterns: Spectral pattern recognition: Classification using pixel-by-pixel spectral information as the basis for land-use classification; Spatial pattern recognition: Categorization of image pixels based on the spatial relationship with surrounding pixels e.g. using image texture, pixel proximity, feature size, shape etc. Temporal pattern recognition: Use time to aid in feature identification e.g. examining spectral and spatial changes during the growing season to discriminate differences in multidate imagery;

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Classification is used to provide information on among others things: 
Land Use;  Vegetation types;  Soil, minerals and geomorphology;

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Types of Classification:  Visual interpretation:  Simple and easy to implement but very subjective and time consuming.  Digital image classifications:  Supervised classification - when the identity and location of land cover types is known beforehand; - The analysis ³supervises´ the pixel categorization process by specifying numerical descriptors of the various land use;
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Unsupervised classification

- when there is no or only limited beforehand knowledge of the land cover; - Aggregating image data into natural spectral grouping or clusters;

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Supervised Classification: General steps 1. Training stage:  The definition of classes and the selection of representative training areas;  Training areas are regions within the image that are representative of the land cover classes ± must be homogeneous; 2. Classification stage:  The allocation of pixels to the defined classes 3. Output stage:  The accuracy of the classification is assessed
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Training Areas
Forest

Clouds

Water

Urban Grass Agriculture

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The Training Stage:  Requires substantial reference data and through knowledge of the area to which the data apply;  Overall objective ± to assembly a set of statistics that describes the spectral response pattern of each land cover;  Training sets must be both representative and complete i.e. statistics for all spectral classes represented; - E.g. if a water body contain two distinct areas of clear and turbid water a minimum of two spectral classes are required to train for this feature; - Agricultural class may consist of several crop type each of which must be represented;
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I. 


Training areas normally established by using enlarged windows; Avoid pixel located on the edge between two land cover type; Types of analysis for Training Set Refinement: Graphical representation of the spectral response pattern: The graphical display of training areas histograms: Provides a visible check on the normality of the spectral response distribution;
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Statistics Extraction:  Once you training areas have been digitized extraction of statistics for the training areas follows;  Normal distribution is achieved by ensuring that training data are pure that is they include only one land cover class;  If more than one land cover class is present within the training area for a particular class the normal distribution may be violated or;  The training data may be composed of two subclasses with slightly different spectral characteristics;
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Important statistics includes:  Mean;  Minimum and maximum;  Standard deviation;  Co-variance;  Correlation;  mean, standard deviation and co-variance are only meaningful if the input data are normally distributed;

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Separability 

One way of enhancing the output of a classification, is to examine the separability of the defined classes; - Coincident spectral plots ± using the mean spectral response and the variance of the distribution; Indicate the overlap between category response pattern; Plot also show which combination of bands are best for discrimination;

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II. 

III. 

Quantitative expression of category separation: Statistical separation between category response pattern are computed for all pair of classes, presented in the form of a divergence matrix; i.e. a covariance-weighted distance between category means; Self-classification of training set data: Using an error matrix to determine what percentage of the training pixels are actually classified as expected;

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Supervised Classification:  Classification stage: 
The assignment of unknown pixels to one of a number of classes using a certain decision rule;  Some of the most frequently used decision rules are the minimum distance to means, the parallelpiped classifer and the maximum likelihood decision rule;  Minimum distance:  Based on the distance to the mean vector for each class;  A pixel is assigned to that class where the distance to the mean vector is shortest;  Not widely used in application where spectral classes are close in measurement space and have high variance;
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Parallelepiped Classifier:  Range defined by the highest and lowest DN value in each band and appear as a rectangular area (parallelepiped);  Unknown pixels are classified according to the category range, or decision region in which it lies;  Difficulty occur when categories overlap ± classified as ³not sure´ ± disadvantage;

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Maximum Likelihood Classifier:  Assumes a multivariate normal distribution;  Given this assumption, the class signature can be completely described by the: - mean vector; - covariance matrix;  With these two statistical values we can calculate the probability of a pixel belonging to each class;  Based on a probability function. A pixel is assigned to the class where it has the highest probability of belonging to;

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Advantages of Supervised Classification: Control over a selected menu of informational categories tailored to a geographic region or specific purpose; Tied to a specific area of known identity, determined by selecting training sets; Not faced with the problem matching spectral categories on final map with informational categories; The operator may be able to detect serious error in classification by examining training data;

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Disadvantages and Limitations: The analysis impose a classification structure on the data ± may not match natural breaks; Training data defined primarily with reference to informational categories and only secondarily with reference to spectral properties; Training data may not be representative of condition throughout the image; Pure selection of training data may be timeconsuming, expensive, and tedious; Special or unique categories not represented in the training date may not be recognized ± not known or occupy a very small area of the image;
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